Air bag: Front Side Air Bag
Disability Equipped: Yes
Sub Model: XLT PREMIUM
Warranty: Vehicle has an existing warranty
Model: Transit Connect
Exterior Color: White
Glendale, Arizona, United States
Even as fuel prices creep back up, trucks are still a hot item among new-vehicle shoppers. To see how popular pickup trucks still are, you don't have to look any further than how much effort automakers put into the continual one-upmanship of their trucks. Backing this fact up, USA Today is reporting that the segment could top two million sales this year - a total not matched since 2007, though still far from the pre-recession, three-million-unit levels.
Through August, the Ford F-Series continues to be the segment leader with almost 500,000 units sold, but the Chevy Silverado (328,269), Ram 1500 (234,642), GMC Sierra (122,232) and Toyota Tacoma (110,293) are all seeing at least 20-percent sales increases, helping to account for around 1.44 million truck sales so far this year - not including possible outliers like the Suzuki Equator and Chevy Avalanche.
This year alone, General Motors has completely redesigned its fullsize trucks, Ram and Toyota have significantly updated their offerings, the next-gen Ford F-150 will be out next year and Nissan is promising an all-new Titan around the same time with an eventual Cummins diesel under the hood. It would seem, then, that truck sales are poised to continue their upward trend.
Ford is toiling away, installing heavy-duty engine components into select 3.7-liter V6s to allow them to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in addition to gasoline. That's nothing new, but now, Ford has announced that it will offer the 2014 F-150 with this engine configuration, bringing the Blue Oval's total number of CNG/LPG-friendly vehicles up to eight. The F-150 will be the only half-ton pickup on the market that can run on these gases.
Ford will charge $315 per vehicle to equip the optional engine, but the trucks won't be ready to run on the alternative fuels straight from the factory and must be upfitted with additional equipment. A Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier will install a separate fuel system for the compressed gases at a cost of $7,500 to $9,500, depending on fuel tank size. With the right-size tank, the F-150 equipped with the CNG/LPG-prepped engine can go 750 miles on one tank of gas, according to Ford, averaging 23 miles per gallon.
The practice of offering flex-fuel vehicles is gaining momentum as businesses take advantage of cheap gas. CNG can be bought for $2.11/gallon on average (per gasoline equivalent), and sometimes for as little as $1.00 in some parts of the US, Ford states. "With the money saved using CNG, customers could start to see payback on their investment in as little as 24 to 36 months," says Jon Coleman, Ford's fleet sustainability and technology manager. The automaker expects to sell a total of 15,000 CNG/LPG-prepped vehicles in the 2014 model year.
More than two dozen jurors started with a pool of 23 concept cars introduced at the most recent Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Toronto and New York auto shows, then pared it down to three winners in three categories for the twelfth annual North American Concept Vehicle of the Year Awards. The trophy-bearers are said to be those "vehicles most likely to shape the future of the automobile industry," and lead their classes in the Concept Car, Concept Truck and Production Preview divisions.
Hyundai had two cars as finalists for the Concept Car category, the competition boiled down to the Hyundai HCD-14 Genesis concept, Veloster C3 Roll Top, Honda EV-STER and the Toyota Corolla Furia. It won with the HCD-14 Genesis that was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, a sharp sedan that sharply divided opinion between those who thought it was too much, those who thought it was too much Audi A7, and those who thought it was perfect. The award panel's judges, however, thought so much of it that it's got two awards in one sitting, not only taking concept car honors, but because it earned the highest overall score in the competition it also takes the crown for Most Significant Concept Vehicle of 2013.
The final selection in the Concept Truck category was down to the Ford Atlas, Kia Cross GT, Nissan Resonance and Volkswagen Cross Blue. The Ford Atlas took the silverware, after also winning the Eyes on Design award - shared with the Nissan Resonance - at the Detroit Auto Show where it was introduced.