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2019 Ford Ranger brings back a classic with dramatic improvements

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Ford Ranger fans finally got their wish. After years of non-existence, Ford reentered the midsize truck segment with the all new 2019 Ford Ranger. Did they get it right? Is it a worthy entry into the growing midsize segment? Let’s take a look.

The first thing fans of the old Ranger will notice is that it’s considerably bigger than its predecessor. Midsize is the new compact, and with four others vying for dominance in the segment, Ford has banked on two of its strengths to propel the Ranger over the top.

First, we get to take advantage of of 305 lb-ft of torque which enables the Ranger to tow more than its prime competitors, the Toyota Tacoma and Chevrolet Colorado. Rated for 7,500 lb towing, its 10-speed automatic transmission compensates for its lower 270 horsepower.

Second, the Ranger’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder makes it the most fuel economical midsize truck available, offering up to 26 mpg on the highway. As a “lifestyle” truck, this will come in handy in fending off the competitors.

2019 Ford Ranger Front End

Perhaps the most compelling element of the new Ranger is its exterior aesthetic. It’s a great looking truck, arguably more attractive than its big brother, the F-150. While not having the same ground-clearance as its competitors, the overall look and feel of the exterior makes it seem more roadworthy while not betraying the potential for some off-road fun.

Unfortunately, the interior is where things seem to go downhill for the Ranger. Fans of plain and simple will not be disappointed, but those who are looking for more curves, better gadgets, and the type of comfort they’ll find a comparable SUV won’t find it in the Ranger.

Essentially, it’s a basic modern-day truck with just the minimum interior benefits.

2019 Ford Ranger Interior

As Dan Edmunds (or is it Dan from Edmunds?) points out in his first-drive video, things don’t get much better in the backseat. While the driver’s seat fits nicely for the 6’2″ reviewer, the backseat of the crew cab didn’t make it easy for him to go on long trips. The rear seat is not split, making for nearly worthless folding. But not all was bad. They have a standard SYNC 3 infotainment system that includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and there are plenty of outlets in both the front and back. Minimalist design isn’t common in today’s vehicles, but it works.

Overall, it should fair nicely against its main competitors, plus the novelty of the returning legend is nice, but there’s one competitor that could give the Ranger unexpected trouble. The new Jeep Gladiator is a pretty epic entry into the segment which will steal some of the Ranger’s thunder.

The midsize truck field is getting pretty crowded. We’ve gone from not very many options to suddenly too many, but that’s what consumers want. How they all pan out in the sales department at dealerships will determine if they’re here to stay.

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All new 2020 Ford Super Duty looks great, but does it have the specs?

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All new 2020 Ford Super Duty looks great but does it have the specs

Update: Commenter Wyatt offered this correction: An error in your post. The legendary 7.3L V8 engine is returning, but only in GAS. The diesel engine will still be the standard (yet upgraded) 6.7L Power Stroke Turbo Diesel. Performance numbers have yet to be released, but my thoughts for diesel are around 450-460 hp and around 940-950 lb.-ft. torque, and for gas engine will be around 450 hp and around 505-510 lb.-ft. torque.

Thank you, Wyatt!

Original Story:

When Ford Motor Company comes to mind, they want you to think of two things – trucks and SUVs. The brand is essentially abandoning anything shorter than a crossover, making it imperative that they get their trucks and sports utility vehicles exactly right. The all-new 2020 Super Duty F-250 and F-350 are coming out. Did they get them exactly right?

On the outside, they definitely did. These are arguably the most attractive big trucks every designed. Big without being too bulking. Sleek without being too wimpy. Bold without being too loud. The combination of tasteful and ominous seem to have blended perfectly in the new Super Duty.

All new 2020 Ford Super Duty looks great but does it have the specs

The question that every big truck lover is asking is whether or not this is going to deliver the power Ford owners have grown accustomed to over the decades. In short, yes. The aluminum body still presents them with the strength and light weight that most consider to be an advantage over other trucks in the segment. Combine that with the legendary 7.3L diesel turbo Powerstroke and it’s a winning mix that rides on a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The numbers for towing and hauling are not released, but experts expect it to be the top of the line ahead of Chevrolet and Dodge. As Alex on Autos notes, it’s very likely they’re holding back on the numbers because they’re so good.

What he didn’t care for as much as the Chevrolet is the interior. It’s a big pickup, but this isn’t the 1980s. Drivers aren’t expecting it to be a luxury interior, but they still want it to be more comfortable than the old farm haulers of the last century.

There’s no word on when they’ll be released, but expect Ford to time it out around the summer heavy duty season. Will this be the truck to put the rest to shame. Until we drive it, we won’t pass judgment but so far, so good.

 


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GM rebounds with $8.1B 2018 profit on strong pricing

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GM rebounds with 81B 2018 profit on strong pricing

DETROIT (AP) — General Motors posted an $8.1 billion net profit for 2018, fueled by better prices for vehicles sold in the U.S., its most lucrative market.

It’s a strong rebound from the previous year when the company lost $3.9 billion on a giant tax accounting charge.

GM made $10.8 billion before taxes in North America, down about 9 percent from 2017. But it still means big profit-sharing checks for about 46,500 union workers in the U.S. They’ll get $10,750 each, less than last year’s $11,500.

The company said Wednesday that it made $5.58 per share for the year. Without $2.5 billion worth of special items largely due to restructuring, the profit was $6.54, easily beating Wall Street expectations of $6.29, according to a survey by FactSet.

Full-year revenue rose 1 percent to $147.05 billion, also beating estimates of just over $145 billion.

GM made $2 billion, or $1.40 per share in the fourth quarter. Excluding restructuring charges, the company’s per-share earnings were $1.43, also breezing past Wall Street expectations of $1.24.

Shares of GM rose almost 3 percent at the opening bell.

Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said GM said it made $2 billion on its joint venture in China last quarter, despite slowing auto sales in the country.

The Trump administration’s tariffs on imported aluminum and steel raised prices of those commodities, costing the company more than $1 billion last year. Suryadevara expects another $1 billion increase this year.

“It’s a volatile environment as you well know, and we’re going to have to see how that goes,” she said.

GM has managed to offset some costs with efficiencies, she told reporters Wednesday.

Even with the profit, GM’s U.S. sales last year fell 1.6 percent as big SUVs and the company’s top-selling Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck faltered during the fourth quarter. But sales of many smaller SUVs rose and the average sale price of a GM vehicle hit a record of $36,974, the company said. GM’s U.S. market share 0.4 percentage points to 16.7 percent.

The profits are being announced as GM lays off about 4,300 white-collar workers, many of them at its giant technical center in a nearby suburb of Warren, Michigan. The company plans to close five U.S. and Canadian factories and eliminate a total of 14,000 salaried and blue-collar jobs as part of a giant restructuring to boost profit margins, prepare for a downturn and invest more in electric and autonomous vehicles.

GM wanted to cut 8,000 white-collar workers. About 2,200 took retirement offers, and the company let go of another 1,500. This week, GM started telling 4,300 other salaried workers that they were out of a job.

The company plans to eliminate about 6,000 factory worker jobs by closing three car assembly plants and two other factories. But it says there are 2,700 openings for U.S. workers at factories across the nation.

 


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2020 Kia Telluride can’t actually do what it did in its Super Bowl commercial

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2020 Kia Telluride cant actually do what it did in its Super Bowl commercial

Super Bowl ads have become a big part of the whole yearly ritual, and automakers are among those who spend big bucks to get in front of a huge television audience. Kia used their time to highlight the all-new 2020 Telluride by filming a very nice commercial about the community in which they are built.

That community happens to be less than a hundred miles from where the big game was played this year.

But there was a scene in the ad that paints the Telluride as able to do what few vehicle can – go through very deep water without stalling. The problem is, it can’t actually do that.

2020 Kia Telluride cant actually do what it did in its Super Bowl commercial

If you read the fine print that flashed on the screen for around 3 seconds, you’ll notice it says “DO NOT ATTEMPT. Water stunt performed with aftermarket snorkel. Professional driver on closed course.”

Don’t get me wrong. Stunts are done in commercials all the time that should never be attempted by average drivers, but they rarely demonstrate a feature of a vehicle that doesn’t exist. This shot, while extremely cool, may mislead people into believing they can drive their Telluride into water without fear.

They can’t, at least not without the aftermarket snorkel they mentioned.

It’s a shame because this was my favorite of the car commercials aired during the Super Bowl. Yes, it was a great shot. No, they shouldn’t have included it in the ad even with the quick disclaimer attached.

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