New Model News

Next-gen 2021 Ford F-150 introduced with hybrid power, thoughtful in-cabin innovation

The 14th-generation Ford F-150 has been introduced.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has revealed the 14th-generation F-150. The next chapter of the F-Series story is designed to take capability and comfort to new heights in the 2021 Ford F-150.

"Since 1948, our hardworking F-Series customers have trusted Ford to help them get the job done," said Jim Farley, Ford's chief operating officer. "F-150 is our flagship, it's 100 percent assembled in America, and we hold ourselves to the highest standard to make sure our customers can get the job done and continue to make a difference in their communities."

2021 Ford F-150 The model comes with a host of new wheel options.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The truck is built on a new high-strength steel frame that resides under the high-strength aluminum body. At the front of the truck is an updated version of the Ford F-Series grille that, in some trim levels, has heritage-like leanings with a center section that calls back to 1940s era models. Eleven grille options are available.

There is a fresh LED light signature at the front that faces a body that features a domed hood and wraparound bumpers. The model rides on larger diameter wheels and tires than the previous generation. Unique tailgate appliqu├ęs are available.

The truck's available full-length power running boards run nearly from wheel to wheel.

Ford is targeting the most towing, payload, torque and horsepower of any light-duty full-size pickup. Part of that is its six-engine lineup, which includes a new hybrid 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 that's paired with a 35-kilowatt battery. All engines are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Read more about engine and transmission specs here.

2021 Ford F-150 Ford has made the truck ready for the job site.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A variety of drive modes are available, which, when chosen, transform the driver information display to match the spirit of the model. A 12-inch fully digital driver's information display is available. A four-inch productivity screen is standard.

Among that the innovations in the model is an available Pro Power Onboard generator that is integrated into the truck body and available in a variety of power options. The most powerful of which is able to provide the same charging capacity as a Level 2 electric vehicle charger.

The interior is full of thoughtful innovations like a storable flat work surface, storable shifter, available 12.0-inch infotainment touch screen, soil-resistant seat upholstery, and more.

The front seats in the King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited models feature early 180 degrees of recline ability and are called Max Recline Seats.

2021 Ford F-150 There is a flat load floor behind the front seats.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Under the rear seats is a fold-flat storage area that runs the width of the rear.

The truck's technology allows for bumper-to-bumper over-the-air updates. According to Ford, most of these updates can be completed in user two minutes.

Ford has given the truck its SYC 4 infotainment system. The system is twice as fast as SYNC 3 and features a number of new features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can now be accessed wirelessly. Apps including Waze and Ford+Alexa continue to be available.

Customers can access more than 10,000 hours of on-demand content, live channels, ad-free music, sports, entertainment, news and personalized recommendations, and they can search for related content with available SiriusXM with 360L satellite and streaming service.

The new eight-speaker B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen is available starting on F-150 XLT, while the optional 18-speaker B&O Unleashed system with speakers in the headliner and front headrests is available on F-150 Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum, and standard on Limited.

2021 Ford F-150 The seats features nearly 180-degree recline-ability.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

A number of innovations are in the bed and on the tailgate. You can read more about those here.

Zone lightning allows drivers to choose which exterior lights are illuminated while the model is parked.

Trailer Reverse Guidance and Pro Trailer Backup Assist are available. Find out more here.

The truck comes with the latest iteration of Ford Co-Pilot360, which includes a number of features including pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. There are also 10 new driver assist features including Active Driver Assist, Ford's new hands-free driving system that was introduced last week in a preview of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E. It will have late availability and be available via an over-the-air update.

The Ford F-150 will go on sale this autumn. It is assembled at Ford's Dearborn Truck Plant in Dearborn, Michigan, and Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Missouri.

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New off-roader

Ford Bronco Production Officially Begins

The Ford Bronco is finally ready for primetime.

Ford

The time is finally here. After years of speculation and several months of pandemic-related delays, the Ford Bronco is starting to roll off the assembly line. The SUV marks the first new Bronco model in Ford's lineup in 15 years, not counting the Bronco Sport, and is one of the most hyped and sought-after vehicles to hit the market in quite some time. Ford's announcement that production has begun will be accompanied by a special YouTube presentation that Ford says will include interviews with the Bronco team and with reservation holders at the automaker's new Modification Center.


2021 Ford Bronco Ford added 2,700 jobs to support Bronco production.Ford


Bronco production has driven Ford to invest $750 million into its Michigan Assembly Plant, and the automaker says it has added 2,700 jobs to support the rollout. Ford's push to begin production can't come soon enough. Over 125,000 Bronco orders have been placed, and multiple delays have pushed the vehicle's arrival back, meaning there is considerable demand for the off-road legend.

Ford is ready to capitalize on the craze and will offer several ways to customize the new vehicle. At its 1.7 million square-foot Modification Center, The Blue Oval will factory-install several optional modifications that include equipment such as a front bumper safari bar, graphics packages, roof racks, and more. That's on top of more than 200 factory-backed accessories that can be installed at the dealer, either at or after the time of purchase.


2021 Ford Bronco Delays and production difficulties have pushed the Bronco back.Ford


If you are hoping to get behind the wheel of a new Bronco, it could be a while. Even buyers that have been in line for a while now might not see their new vehicle until late 2021 or 2022, and the vehicle's official rollout will almost certainly re-spike demand. Even so, many feel it's worth the wait, and Ford's vehicle configuration tool is live, so go check it out for yourself.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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