Drive Type: manual
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Black
Leesburg, Ohio, United States
The Ford F-Series has been America's best-selling truck for decades, but along with the good comes the bad, apparently. In addition to being popular with consumers, the Highway Loss Data Institute notes that the F-Series Super Duty has risen in popularity among thieves. Based on its new study, the four-wheel drive crew cab F-250 Super Duty has topped the list for the country's highest rate of insurance theft claims, knocking the Cadillac Escalade from the top spot - a distinction the luxury SUV has held since this annual report was first established in 2003.
To reach its findings, HLDI looks at theft data from the previous three model years (in this case 2010-2012) to determine the frequency of claims for a particular make and mode,l as well as the average payment per claim. As the report points out, the claims aren't always for the theft of the entire vehicle - they can include components (say, wheels and tires) or property taken from the vehicle. At seven claims per 1,000 insured vehicles, the F-250 is six times more likely to suffer a theft claim than the average vehicle.
The Cadillac likely dropped from the top of the list to sixth due to additional theft-prevention features including a steering wheel lock and inclination sensor for the alarm, but GM's other fullsize trucks and SUVs still occupy eight of the list's 10 spots. Some of the least stolen vehicles with below-average loss payments include the Lexus HS250h, Hyundai Tucson, Honda CR-V and Dodge Journey. Head on over to the HLDI's website for the full list that shows the most and least popular vehicles among thieves from 2010 through 2012.
The era of the body-on-frame, fullsize SUV is rapidly vanishing in favor of smaller, unibody crossovers. However, Ford still sees life in the segment with the reveal of the updated 2015 Expedition, now available (solely) with the company's 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. The new truck will make its public debut at the 2014 DFW Auto Show in Dallas on February 19.
The loss of the previous 5.4-liter V8 in favor of Ford's 3.5-liter, direct-injected, twin-turbocharged V6 engine might rankle some of the Expedition's fans, but Ford claims that the change gives the SUV better fuel economy, more power and increased low-end torque than before. Unfortunately, official engine specifications won't be released until later this year, but Ford says engine output will be similar to the 365 horsepower and 360 pound-feet of torque that this powerplant produces in other applications. The EcoBoost is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, and the SUV now uses electrically assisted power steering, for an even greater fuel economy advantage. Ford claims this also allows for better maneuverability at low speeds and better feel at high speeds.
Exterior styling is basically unchanged for 2015. The front end has the same three-bar chrome grille and headlight design, but the lower air dam gets added chrome and LED lamps. The rear gets more brightwork on the hatch, and there's a chrome-tipped exhaust pipe. As before, Ford is offering the Expedition in two wheelbase lengths - 119 inches and 131 inches. A new, optional, continuously controlled damping system alters suspension settings constantly based on 46 parameters and offers comfort, normal and sport modes (just like the Expedition's sister, the recently refreshed and decidedly less-attractive Lincoln Navigator).
Ford has already confirmed that the 2015 F-150 (pictured above) was just the beginning for its more extensive use of aluminum. CEO Alan Mulally said it himself during the 2014 Detroit Auto Show. We've even already seen the future Raptor testing with an aluminum body. But a recent discovery from an intrepid spy photographer might indicate that the lightweight metal is coming to the Blue Oval's Super Duty pickups in their upcoming generation, as well.
According to Automotive News, a spy shooter in Colorado spotted a prototype for the next-gen F-350 testing. He happened to have a magnet on hand and got close enough to check the truck out. When he held it up to the metal in the bed, it didn't stick, which signaled to him a switch from steel to aluminum.
Obviously, this claim raises some questions. Given that it was a test vehicle, one possibility is that the Blue Oval is just evaluating the feasibility of switching to aluminum for the Super Duty trucks, not necessarily committed to it yet. Ford has been testing it quite exhaustively, after all. In fact, much of the rest of the truck in question was covered in camouflage, so it's possible that the magnet failed to work along the rest of the body not because it was aluminum, but because it wasn't powerful enough to get through the disguising material. Thus, the lightweight metal's use could be far less substantial than on the new F-150. Still, it was a clever idea for the cameraman to check things out and might have given us the first hint about brand's next heavy-duty models.