For Sale By:Private Seller
Drive Type: None
Vale, North Carolina, United States
We often mock Toyota for building boring, soulless cars, but a new study by Consumer Reports suggests that regardless of whether that's true, the company has some of the best used cars on the market. In its report on used cars from 2004-2013, the Japanese automaker had 11 vehicles among its brands on the list - more than any other automaker.
CR breaks the list down by cost and vehicle size, and Toyota has at least one entry at every price point and in nearly every segment. To score a recommendation, a vehicle had to perform well in the magazine's initial tests and score above-average reliability results. It also tried to only suggest cars with electronic stability control. Of the 28 recommended vehicles, Honda/Acura had the second most mentions at six, and Ford, Hyundai and Subaru managed two each.
The Detroit brands also made it to the list, but not in a positive way. Consumer Reports compiled a list of 22 vehicles it wouldn't recommend because "they have multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability." General Motors had the most unrecommended models on the list at six, but Chrysler and Ford weren't far behind, with five cars each from their brands not making the grade. The full list of recommendations is available on CR's website.
Typically when we report on the findings of an investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it's because the government body has discovered a safety issue and prescribed a recall. In this case, however, NHTSA has closed an investigation into a reported performance deficit without ever getting to the recall stage.
The issue revolves around the Ford F-150 - specifically those equipped with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine - of which some 360,000 were built in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 model years. After receiving an initial 95 complaints, NHTSA opened an investigation last May - almost a year ago - into the reported issue of reduced engine power under hard acceleration. The agency has since received a total of 525 such complaints, and Ford itself reported receiving over 4,000.
Together, NHTSA and Ford determined that the problem resulted from cylinders misfiring, an issue itself stemming from water getting into the charge air cooler (CAC) mated to the turbochargers. In particularly humid or rainy conditions, water was found to get into the CAC, causing some of the cylinders to misfire, which in turn triggered the ECU to disable those cylinders in order to protect the catalytic converter from damage.
With Shelby preparing to wind down production of its brutal GT350, a 624-horsepower Mustang that's meant to go up against the Roush Stage 3 in the world of tuned Ford ponycars, the Las Vegas-based tuner is looking to give back to one lucky customer. It'll auction off the very first GT350 ever produced, at the 2013 Barrett-Jackson auction in Las Vegas, a three-day event that runs from September 26 through September 28.
The GT350 is a monster, with a 5.0-liter, supercharged V8 that's been tuned well past 600 horsepower in a time when Ford's own Shelby-branded GT500 barely reached 550 horsepower. The GT350 is much louder than Ford's effort, too, both visually and audibly. The wide body look isn't what we'd call conventional, but on a car that sounds and goes like this, something extreme is needed. According to Shelby American's vice president of production, Gary Davis, "Carroll was very excited about the new wide body option, so that was included on this car. It's the first 2012 GT350 serial number from our anniversary year. It is a very special car." Wilwood brakes, a massaged suspension, and some very fat, sticky tires add to the Shelby experience.
This particular GT350 will be lot number 750, and will cross the Barrett-Jackson stage on Sunday, September 28.