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2020 FORD SUPER DUTY FIRST LOOK

2020 FORD SUPER DUTY FIRST LOOK BY AUTO CRITIC STEVE HAMMES. Serious work trucks are judged on 2 main criteria; towing and payload.

So Ford is ratcheting up both in their all-new 2020 Super Duty.  Shipping to dealers this fall, the Super Duty lineup which includes the F-250, F-350 and F-450 is powered by a 6.2-liter gas V8 as standard or customers can upgrade to the next generation 6.7-liter Power Stroke diesel V8 making more horsepower and torque or opt for a new entry; a 7.3-liter gas V8. 

Though numbers have not been released, Ford says they expect the 7.3 to be the most powerful gas V8 in its class.  All 3 engines will use a new Ford-developed 10-speed automatic transmission designed for the harshest towing conditions. 

Without citing specifics, Ford says this Super Duty offers its highest-ever conventional, gooseneck and fifth-wheel towing and payload ratings.  Optimized cooling across the range is courtesy of a new front-end design that also enhances the performance of the LED headlamps. 

Ford says the improved front bumper also makes using the utility hooks easier.  The cabin has been completely refreshed, crafted with the use of even more luxurious materials on the Limited model and modern touches such as wireless charging, Wi-Fi, and Pro Trailer Backup Assist add technology, connectivity and convenience. 

Though pricing has yet to be released, the current Super Duty lineup starts at under $35,000 while an F-450 Limited can cross $90,000.

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2019 TOYOTA TACOMA QUICK TAKES

The Toyota Tacoma drives into 2019 on an impressive streak leading the mid-size market in sales for 12 straight years. Although certainly worthy of a mic drop, the hard-working Tacoma has no intention of resting on its laurels. In fact, it returns better than ever in 2019 with the additions of the new blacked-out SX Package and updated TRD Pro, both of which add even more variety to the diverse Tacoma lineup that now includes 32 different configurations.

Offering Tacoma lovers a stylish truck that’s light on the wallet, the new SX package provides an affordable, blacked-out appearance package that can be a great base for a customized vehicle but can also stand confidently on its own. The host of black accents include 16-inch alloy wheels, mirror caps, handles, grille and more.

For those who live life off the pavement, the 2019 Tacoma TRD Pro provides a compelling reason to start planning that next adventure. Highlighted by 2.5-inch Fox Internal Bypass shocks on all four corners, the new Tacoma adds an available TRD Desert Air Intake designed to provide cleaner airflow to the engine even in the dustiest environments. TRD Pro also gets a standard moonroof and JBL Premium Audio (on automatic transmission models only).

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2019 TOYOTA RAV4 REVIEW

The RAV4 is one of the best-selling vehicles in America and has even usurped the Toyota sales thrown from the Camry. And this all-new RAV4, designed with a higher level of athleticism and charisma, is a bolder, tougher SUV ready to go beyond the mall parking lot.

MSRP as-tested: $39,479

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2019 TOYOTA COROLLA HATCHBACK

Don’t let its diminutive dimensions fool you – the hatchback, in either SE or XSE grades, is all about making a huge impression. With its lengthy list of standard features that includes Entune 3.0 with Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa Connectivity; a revised sport-tuned suspension and new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform; and the first North American application of Toyota Safety Sense 2.0, Corolla Hatchback strikes a resounding chord with drivers who value authenticity, utility, practicality, and style.
There’s no shortage of entertainment and connectivity capability inside Corolla Hatchback either. For SE, standard Entune 3.0 Audio includes 8-in. touchscreen; six speakers; Apple CarPlay compatibility; Amazon Alexa; Entune 3.0 App Suite Connect; Safety Connect; Wi-Fi Connect; Scout GPS Link Compatible; Siri Eyes Free; Auxiliary audio jack and USB 2.0 port with iPod connectivity and control; AM/FM; MP3/WMA playback capability; Voice Recognition training and tutorials; Hands-free phone capability; voice recognition and music streaming via Bluetooth; Customizable Home Screen; and Weather/Traffic info via Entune 3.0 App Suite.

Entune 3.0 Audio Plus, which is standard on XSE and optional on SE CVT, adds HD Radio and Weather/Traffic info; SiriusXM with Cache Radio; Entune 3.0 Connected Services; Service Connect; Remote Connect. Topping the range is Entune 3.0 Audio Premium that’s optional on XSE CVT. The system includes a JBL 8-speaker 800-watt system with Clari-Fi; Dynamic Voice Recognition; Dynamic Navigation; Dynamic POI Search; and Destination Assist Connect.

The JBL audio experience with Clari-Fi – having such a complete orchestration of advanced power output, hardware, structure, and software – is engineered to impress even the most perceptive audiophile.

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2019 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS

2019 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS QUICK TAKES. The Eclipse Cross offers something truly different in the compact SUV sector. Its coupe styling is combined with Mitsubishi’s SUV functionality and driving experience to create a car which is stylish, rugged and fun to drive. Its global success is proof that the concept is resonating with customers around the world.
Mitsubishi Motors’ first foray into the Coupe SUV segment, the Eclipse Cross is winning customers over with its style: customer surveys show that ‘Design’ is listed as the main reason for purchase.

“The Eclipse Cross offers something truly different in the compact SUV sector,” said Yuichiro Hayashi, Chief Product Specialist. “Its coupe styling is combined with Mitsubishi’s SUV functionality and driving experience to create a car which is stylish, rugged and fun to drive. Its global success is proof that the concept is resonating with customers around the world.”

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