2021 HONDA RIDGELINE FIRST LOOK

2021 HONDA RIDGELINE FIRST LOOK BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES

I’ve always wanted a Ridgeline; it’s a great lifestyles truck that’s as smart and versatile as they come, but like many of you, its soft, mini-van-like styling has kept me from pulling the trigger.  Honda realizes that so to broaden its appeal they’ve toughened up its appearance.  Going on sale early next year, the 2021 Ridgeline features all-new sheet metal from the A-pillars forward, with a power dome hood, more upright grille, brighter LED headlights and a prominent skid plate.  Out back, the new bumper flaunts more aggressive exhaust outlets.  And butching it up even more are rugged-looking 18” wheels and a wider stance. But if that’s still not enough testosterone for you the new Honda Performance Development package sports these bronze-colored wheels, unique grille, black fender flares and special graphics.  And it’s available on all trims. Last year, the 9-speed auto became standard on all Ridgelines and is paired to a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with an available torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system.  A unibody truck with car-like ride and handling yet capable off-road, the 2021 Ridgeline’s pricing will be announced closer to launch.     

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2021 Ford Ranger Tremor First Look

2021 Ford Ranger Tremor First Look By Car Critic Steve Hammes. 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor
Following the recently released off-road oriented Super Duty Tremor comes a Tremor package for Ford’s smallest pickup. When equipped with the Tremor Off-Road Package, the 2021 Ford Ranger gives customers a truck with even more capability, taking it several notches beyond the already-capable FX4 Package. A lifted suspension provides nearly another inch of ground clearance which combined with the new 32” Grabber tires improves the Ranger’s off-road metrics for tackling tougher angles. FOX shocks with external reservoirs at the rear and hydraulic rebound stops keep things comfortable even over severe terrain. A steel front bash plate, skid plates, 2 new recovery hooks in the rear, a locking rear differential and Terrain Management System round out the package. Even the traction control system has been recalibrated for improved acceleration while driving on loose surfaces. Inside, you’ll find a bank of auxiliary power switches to control accessories such as a winch and lights and special Tremor accented seats. Powered by a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo producing 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, the Tremor Off-Road Package is priced at $4,290 and is available on XLT and Lariat grades in the SuperCrew 4X4 configuration.

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2021 Ford F150

2021 Ford F150 Review By TestDriveNow Car Critic Steve Hammes. The all-new F-150 arrives this fall and here’s your first look at Ford’s most important model. Though it doesn’t look radically different, Ford says every body panel has been redesigned.  There’s a wider stance and 11 – yes 11 – different grille options.  And to save fuel through improved aerodynamics, there are active grill shutters and an automatic deploying air dam. But the sexy news surrounds the new optional, range –topping powertrain – a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 boosted by 47 horsepower electric motor making it full hybrid.  Integrated into the 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford is targeting a 700 mile driving range and 12,000 pounds max towing.  The battery is packaged underneath the truck so passenger and cargo volume is unencumbered. Ford refers to it as PowerBoost and it’s available on every trim level from XL to Limited.   And the electrifying news doesn’t stop there. A new feature Ford calls Pro Power Onboard turns gas and hybrid F-150s into a portable generator capable of powering 28 refrigerators or running an entire job site worth of tools.  We’ve all been there…the truck as an office.  Ford’s solution? The optional Interior Work Surface creates a an ideal space for signing documents or eating takeout.  And if your lunch break isn’t over yet, the Max Recline Seats become a sweet place to grab a couple of ZZZs.   The tailgate wars continue with Ford’s Tailagte Work Surface which includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder and more.  On the tech side, the all-new F-150 is North America’s first full-size pickup with standard over-the-air updates.  These updates are bumper-to-bumper, and can include all-new functions and additional features throughout the life of the truck. And then there’s SYNC4 with twice the computing power of the previous gen system.  And that includes wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto.  And some real semi-autonomous driving is coming, too.  Active Drive Assist is a hands-free experience that works on divided highways much like Caddy’s Super Cruise.  It’ll be late availability but customers can add it later via an over the air update and pay for it then.  With 3 V6s, a V8, a diesel and a Hybrid, 3 cab styles and 3 bed lengths, Ford’s F-150 looks to be a ground breaker.  Look for it this fall with specs and pricing to be released closer to launch.   

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2020 Ram 1500 Limited EcoDiesel

For a long while, if you wanted a diesel-powered pickup truck you had to move beyond the half-ton segment and into something much bigger. But that’s changed as the key players have given diesel a shot in their volume models. And now for its second act, Ram’s EcoDiesel is more powerful and fuel efficient. So if you’re a high mileage driver predominantly spending time on the highway the EcoDiesel would be a viable option. https://testdrivenow.com/2020-ram-1500-limited-ecodiesel/

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