New Package

Ford makes 2021 Ranger available with the Tremor Off-Road Package

The popular Tremor Off-Road Package will be available on the 2021 Ford Ranger.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Is that a rumble in your truck or are you just happy to see me? The Ford Ranger is getting the Tremor Off-Road Package for the 2021 model year, making it the most capable Ranger ever sold in the U.S. (but not the world - global markets have the Ranger Raptor).

"Tremor gives Ranger customers a new level of off-road confidence and fun," said Chad Callander, Ford Ranger marketing manager. "With increased ground clearance, off-road tuned suspension and aggressive Continental General Grabber tires, Tremor elevates Ranger's off-roading capability even further while keeping the unique advantages that come with a cargo box for hauling gear anywhere."

2021 Ford Ranger Lariat Tremor The Tremor package is available on the XLT and Lariat trim levels.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford offers the Tremor package on XLT andLariat grade models. Each is powered by a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine that delivers 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission and 4x4 drivetrain is standard.

Each model with the Tremor package features a grille with Magnetic-painted surround with black bars running across the middle and red accents at the corners. There is badging on both sides of the cargo box and buyers can add a hood and body graphics package.

The 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor goes beyond the FX4 Off-Road Package. Its suspension is lifted and combines with redesigned front knuckles and 32-inch Continental General Grabber A/TX all-terrain tires wrapped around new 17-inch Magnetic-painted wheels to give the truck 9.7 inches of ground clearance - 0.8 niches more than the Ranger SuperCrew 4x4.

Ford has added Fox 2.0 monotone dampers with remote rear reservoirs and hydraulic rebound stops that are tuned for a comfortable ride on pavement while delivering the control necessary when heading off-road. The shocks are specially tuned with progressive rebound end zone damping. The front and rear springs are also tuned for off-road performance, a multi-leaf rear spring setup allows increased wheel travel, and the anti-roll bar has reduced stiffness.

2021 Ford Ranger Lariat Tremor

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The truck has improved travel dynamics. It has a 30.9-degree approach angle, 25.5-degree departure angle, and a 24.2-degree breakover angle. Front suspension travel is up to 6.5 inches. At the rear it goes up to 8.1 inches. Those numbers are better than the typical mid-size truck, but not as good as proficient off-roaders like the Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro and Jeep Gladiator.

The Ranger Tremor also includes a frame-mounted steel front bash plate, underbody skid plates, rear locking differential, and a Terrain Management System with four drive models and Trail Control. Ford notes that the system is calibrated for improved acceleration and traction in gravel to allow for peel outs in a washout.

Two rear-mounted recovery hooks are standard in addition to the traditional two up front. Ford has also added hoop steps. Customers can add a number of accessories like winches, lights, and air compressors thanks to Tremor's six-switch auxiliary power bank that is mounted to the dashboard with rated loads of 25 amps, 15 amps and 10 amps, plus three switches at five amps

2021 Ford Ranger XLT Tremor

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The truck has a 1,430-pound maximum payload and available 7,500-pound maximum towing capacity.

The grade of the model dictates the interior of the model. Each model comes with Mike suede seat inserts and "Tremor" stitched int other setbacks, and black accents.

The Tremor Off-Road Package is priced at $4,290. It is scheduled to go into production in Michigan early next year.

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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 Nissan Pathfinder is just at home on the trial as it is on the road.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

One of my favorite poems is Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken". The message is about making choices and, how the road taken made all the difference. Often in life and on the road, we have to make one choice. Take one road. No turning back. I thought of this poem on my recent test drive in the 2022 Nissan Pathfinder in the hinterlands of Montana, when I could take two different roads—paved and dirt—and that made all the difference!

Nissan has redesigned and retooled its fifth-generation Pathfinder instilling greater latitude for buyers who want to travel both types of roads and expand their adventure footprint. After seven decades of off-road development, 35 years in the business of selling Pathfinders, and with more than 1.8 million sold in the U.S., this Japanese automaker has moved the needle with a ground-up revision of the previous-gen model.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is a capable off-roader.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The full-sized sport utility is available in four trims (S, SV, SL and Platinum) and two- and four-wheel drive versions; Nissan expects that nearly 60 percent of buyers will choose four-wheel drive. The Pathfinder is in a segment that has grown larger each year as more families want a vehicle for around-town, school and playdate runs and for weekend getaways with traction technology that allows travel in the backcountry and good towing capability. Direct competitors are the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, and Ford Explorer.

A day-long drive of approximately 150 miles on tarmac and over a variety of dirt roads and tracks provided the opportunity to assess the Pathfinder's updates. A late-spring snowstorm added slickness to all the road surfaces in the region and allowed the Pathfinder to show off its traction capabilities at both slow and higher speeds and with lane change and emergency-braking maneuvers, when towing. I concentrated my evaluation on the augmented hardware and software designed to enhance the crossover's capabilities for backcountry travel and towing.

What I found most notable over every road surface was the comfortable ride and responsive handling that come from a collection of upgrades—and, in particular, as a result of the following: the gearing on the new nine-speed transmission, with paddle shifters for personal and more precise shifting for sport driving and slowing over rough terrain; the new terrain mode system that's engineered for different driving conditions; the four-wheel drive system that moves torque more quickly to avoid wheel slip; the improved suspension system; and new tires with a larger contact patch and more aggressive tread pattern, among other changes.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence. Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Pathfinder provided sure-footed motoring and comfort over uneven surfaces. Its 7.1 inches of ground clearance easily maneuvered over the small obstacles on the trail and hill descent control took the reigns without hesitation for steeper and longer downhills on traction-compromised surfaces.

I was also impressed with the Pathfinder's towing competence and appreciated the standard trailer sway control onboard all trims. It offered notably strong, mannered acceleration from a standing start and excellent straight-line braking without porpoising for either exercise.

The new 2022 Pathfinder brings off-road and towing attributes that are important to families who are seeking to spend time in the backcountry for days trips and longer and for overlanding in terrain that doesn't require a true off-road vehicle with a low range. It's will appeal to buyers who want don't want to have to choose only one road.

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