Towing Capacities of all Trucks and SUVS on your Android Phone!
August 2012 — For anyone looking to buy a new or used tow vehicle, the new Towing Capacities App from OnlineTowingGuide.com is the most efficient way to find the right pickup or SUV for you towing needs.
Developed for Android smart phones, the Towing Capacities App from OnlineTowingGuide.com lets users search for pickups and SUVs by year, make and model, engine, transmission and axle ratio, and even different trim levels! Covering model years 2005 through 2012, the Towing Capacities App is the most comprehensive searchable app on the market today!
Scan the QR code above or use this link:
B&W Trailer Hitches Debuts Companion Slider Fifth Wheel Hitch
May 7, 2013 — B&W Trailer Hitches, a leading U.S.-based manufacturer of heavy duty trailer hitches and aftermarket truck and trailer accessories announced that its new Companion Slider fifth wheel hitch, a product that took five years to develop, is available for purchase in May 2013.
“We took time to develop it so that it would be worthy of the B&W Trailer Hitches reputation for quality,” said Marketing Manager, Beth Barlow. The new hitch, that is now part of their family of fifth wheel hitches, made its debut at the SEMA Show in early November. “We are proud to offer a family of fifth wheel hitches to RV enthusiasts. Our goal is to equip dealers with a fifth wheel hitch option for any one of their customers.”
In B&W’s unique fashion, the Companion Slider easily converts to a level bed, freeing up your truck bed for other uses. It is engineered with a patent pending automatic latch in both directions and 12 inches of rearward travel. Automatic latches, in both directions, means getting out of the truck only once to move into maneuvering position. It is rated to tow 18,000 pounds of gross trailer weight. It also has three vertical adjustments, 17", 18", 19". This American-made, fifth-wheel hitch comes with a five year limited warranty, too.
“The Companion Slider was in the design stage for a long time and it’s a great American-made RV hitch that will excite those RVer’s who are looking for a short bed towing solution” said McCall, New Product Engineer for B&W Trailer Hitches.
B&W Trailer Hitches specializes in designing and engineering trailer hitches and aftermarket truck and trailer accessories and has a proud reputation as a U.S. based manufacturer and innovator. The company’s workforce makes the Companion Slider entirely in Humboldt, Kansas.
The Companion Slider can be purchased from authorized B&W Dealers and Distributors.
Locate a dealer at http://www.turnoverball.com/find-a-dealer
Toyota Unveils Redesigned 2014 Tundra Pickup
February 27, 2013 — Toyota unveiled the redesigned 2014 Tundra full-size pickup truck at a press conference at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.
Tundra has been a quality leader with Toyota’s DNA of quality, dependability and reliability. The industry has recognized Tundra with a myriad of awards over the last 12 years, including winning the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study for seven years running in the Full-Size Pick Up segment. Not resting on its laurels, the 2014 Tundra will be redesigned, inside and out, representing the first major change since the launch of the current generation for the 2007 model year.
The redesigned Tundra continues to be a truck with true American roots that was once again engineered by Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and its new look designed by Calty Design Research centers in Newport Beach, Calif., and Ann Arbor. Finally, Tundra continues to be assembled exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, in San Antonio, Texas.
“Toyota prides itself on listening to its customers and the development of the 2014 American-born Tundra is a perfect example,” said Bill Fay, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “Tundra’s new exterior design and all-new interior were inspired by customer feedback requesting a more chiseled exterior and refined interior with improved driver ergonomics, and easy-to-use technology, giving customers more of what they want instead, in addition to what they need.”
The 2014 Tundra will have a grade strategy consisting of the hard-working SR, volume-leading SR5, the well-appointed Limited, and two premium grades: “Platinum” and the all-new “1794 Edition.” The new 1794 Edition is a tribute to the ranch, founded in the year 1794, on which the Tundra plant is located in San Antonio. Tundra is offered in three cab styles, two-door Regular Cab, four-door Double Cab and four-door CrewMax, all available in 4x2 and 4x4.
4.0 Liter V6
270 H.P. @ 5600 RPM
278 lb-ft Torque @4400 RPM
5-Speed Automatic Transmission
4.6 Liter V8
310 H.P. @ 5600 RPM
327 lb-ft Torque @3400 RPM
6-Speed Automatic Transmission.
5.7 Liter V8
381 H.P.@ 5600 RPM
401 lb-ft Torque @ 3400 RPM
6-Speed Automatic Transmission
Ford Debuts Atlas Pickup at NAIAS in Detroit
December 30, 2012 — Ford today unveiled the Ford Atlas concept truck to showcase the design, capability, fuel efficiencies and smart technologies that will define future pickup trucks.
For towing, Dynamic Hitch Assist helps precisely line up the truck’s hitch with the trailer coupling, eliminating maneuvering guesswork by showing visual cues in the truck’s center display screen.
“The Ford Atlas Concept previews the innovations that will transform what people expect from their pickup,” said Raj Nair, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “With 36 years as America’s best-selling pickup, we are absolutely committed to setting the agenda in the truck market.”
The Ford Atlas Concept is inspired by decades of listening to customers at the places they work and play. The result is a purpose-driven design with prominent wheel arches, a wide stance and chiseled grille – all to reinforce its functional Built Ford Tough® image.
“We wanted the concept to reflect how Ford trucks help customers in both their worlds – professionally and personally,” said J Mays, Ford group vice president and chief creative officer. “Every surface and feature in the vehicle has been crafted for purpose and capability while retaining an unmistakable Built Ford Tough look.”
Designers enhanced truck functionality, while creating new advanced features(see infographic here). For example, multiple tie-down points are integrated within the cargo box walls and load floor, along with 110-volt electrical outlets in the cargo box to charge power tools. An integrated roof carrying system and hidden extendable ramps give the truck unique functionality for a variety of jobs.
Ford posted a video tour of the Atlas concept truck here:
New Silverado and Sierra Debut
December 30, 2012 — Chevrolet and GMC today unveiled the all-new Silverado and Sierra 1500 pickups, designed to be the most refined, best engineered full-size pickups in the market. Among the many updates for 2014 are dramatic new designs inside and out for each brand; a trio of powerful, efficient EcoTec3 engines that seamlessly switch to four-cylinder mode to improve efficiency; and quieter, more comfortable, more functional cabs.
“The new Sierra and Silverado are more differentiated than ever in unique features and materials, in their standard content and in their design and details,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “These are two strong and distinct brands – each one appealing to a different kind of customer.”
Under the hood, the 2014 Silverado 1500 features a family of three all-new EcoTec3 engines, a V-6 and two V-8s, engineered specifically for use in full-size trucks. All three engines incorporate direct fuel injection, cylinder deactivation and continuously variable valve timing, a combination of advanced technologies not found in other competitors’ trucks. All three switch seamlessly to four-cylinder operation to improve efficiency during light load driving and all three are engineered provide more power, more torque and better efficiency than the previous versions.
The engine family includes a new 4.3L V-6 that will have ample torque to power a crew cab pickup and tow a substantial trailer, as well as a new 5.3L V-8 designed for more power, more torque and better efficiency than the current version, which is currently the V-8 fuel economy leader. A new 6.2L V-8 is engineered to be the most capable engine in any light-duty pickup.
SAE certified horsepower and torque ratings and EPA fuel economy estimates for the new Silverado will be final and available beginning early next year.
The all-new interiors of the 2014 Silverado 1500 reflect the same focus on form and function. The upright instrument panel, six-gauge instrument cluster and multiple storage options are tailored specifically to the needs of truck customers. Controls are functional, logically placed and easy to operate with work gloves on. Rear doors on crew cabs are larger, for easier entry and exit, and rear doors on extended cab models are now hinged at the front for easier access, especially in tight spots.
“Our engineers and designers left nothing on the table when developing this latest Sierra pickup,” said Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC Marketing. “These trucks have all the power and capability that’s expected in today’s market, excellent fuel efficiency, plus a lot of unexpected, purposeful features developed with truck owners in mind.”
For the first time on Extended Cab models, the 2014 Sierra has new front-hinged rear doors with outside pull handles at the rear, providing improved access in tight parking spaces. Unlike trucks with rear-hinged doors, Sierra’s layout allows rear passengers to enter and exit the vehicle with the front doors remaining closed.
Crew Cab customers, who represent more than 60 percent of retail Sierra customers, can choose between two bed lengths; in addition to the current 5-foot, 8-inch box, a new 6-foot, 6-inch box is available. Regular cabs continue to be available with the 6-foot, 6-inch or 8-foot box lengths, while the extended cab will come exclusively with a 6-foot, 6-inch box.
Sierra’s rear bumper features standard corner steps that make climbing into the bed easy, regardless of whether the tailgate is up or down. The steps are paired with grips formed into the top of each bed side. Four movable upper tie downs are also standard. They can be placed in nine different locations and can bear a 500-pound (227 kg) load.
Sierra uses aluminum for some suspension components for additional rigidity and weight saving, and new lightweight wheels are paired with low-rolling-resistance tires in most applications. The tires, along with new shear-style and redesigned hydraulic cab mounts, are designed to help reduce noise and vibration in the cabin.
“Pickups aren’t just a tool for GMC owners – they’re part of their everyday lives, and Sierra needs to be as useful on the way to the movies as it is on the way to a job site,” said DiSalle. “The most important thing about the engineering behind this new truck is that it benefits owners in so many different ways.”
Next Generation Silverado to Debut in December
October 24, 2012 — Chevrolet will take the wraps off the all-new Silverado 1500 full-size pickup on Dec. 13 at a special event in the Detroit area. The bold exterior design of the new Silverado reflects the enhanced capabilities of the truck while features such as jewel-like, projector beam headlamps showcase the careful attention given to every detail.
The new Silverado will be on public display for the first time at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in January, and will start production next year. For now, all we get is this "teaser image" from GM.
2014 GM Pickups Undergoing Final Testing
September 30, 2012 — GM engineers are conducting the final validation of the next generation Silverado light-duty pickups. In addition to torture testing, the team is paying attention to delivering a comfortable, well-balanced ride, which is being refined on a variety of track surfaces at GM’s Milford Proving Ground. The new Silverado will start production in 2013.
Ford Takes F-150 Upscale
August 13, 2012 — We’ve seen Ford cater to fleet buyers with its Special Service Vehicle F-150s, which are targeted to police, fire and other specialized services. Now it’s taking the truck decidedly upscale with the F-150 Limited.
As often as the F-150 is used for work, Ford says 30 percent of sales of the popular pickup are high-end trim levels, with sticker prices ranging from $35,000 to nearly $50,000.
“The F-150 Limited signifies the highest levels of design refinement, luxury and technology that we’ve ever offered in a pickup truck,” said Ford group vice president for product development, Raj Nair. “The F-150 Limited reflects a growing trend. More and more customers today have high expectations for luxury and convenience, yet their needs call for a truly capable truck.”
The new limited model comes in three colors, ruby red metallic, tuxedo black metallic and white platinum metallic. The paint colors carry through to the front and rear bumpers, the front bumper valance, sideview mirrors, wheel lip moldings and grille surrounds.
Available exclusively as a four-door Super Crew cab, the Limited also includes HID headlamps, a first for the segment, according to Ford. The lights reportedly offer two and a half times more light than conventional halogen lamps.
Inside, Ford certainly delivered on the luxury promised by the exterior. Leather trimmed seats feature red inserts with cooling and heating and memory function for two drivers. The rear seats also are heated and cooled.
No woodgrain here, the center console is trimmed with aluminum and piano black accents. The Limited also features ambient lighting in five colors, a standard moonroof, a rearview camera and an 8-inch dash display.
In terms of powertrain, the Limited is powered exclusively by Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission with tow/haul mode. Look for the F-150 Limited when it arrives at dealerships this fall.
For more information on the 2013 F-150s, visit:
2013 Ford Escapes Recalled for Fire Risk
July 25, 2012 — Ford Motor Company recently launched a recall campaign of its 2013 Escape models due to a risk of a fuel line failure, which could result in a fire.
The recall involves Escapes equipped with the 1.6-liter engines, which are marketed under the name EcoBoost. The recall affects some 11,500 vehicles. Escapes with the nonturbocharged 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines are not subject to the recall.
According to Ford, owners are advised not to drive their vehicles and to contact their dealer immediately for repairs. Dealers will deliver a loaner vehicle to customers while the customer’s car is transported to the dealership where it will be repaired under warranty.
2013 Ford Escape
"We have identified an issue and are taking quick actions in the best interest of our customers,” said Ray Nevi, assistant director, Ford Automotive Safety Office. “Our intensive investigation and testing has identified the area of concern and we are moving as quickly as possible to repair vehicles for our customers. In the meantime, it is extremely important that affected customers not ignore this recall and immediately contact their dealer."
Ford says the actual repairs take less than an hour to complete pending parts availability. For more information about the recall, visit, www.fordowner.com or contact Ford's Customer Relationship Center at 866-436-7332.
Featherlite Debuts New Car Hauler
July 17, 2012 — It has been said low mass is its own reward. It certainly applies to race cars and it’s a valid premise for car haulers. Famous for lightweight trailers, Featherlite has introduced a newly redesigned model 1611 car hauler. Available in two widths and six lengths up to 24 feet, the 1611 was designed to haul cars, ATVs and motorcycles and other equipment such as mowers and construction machines. With a three-quarter-inch wood floor and a 6-foot, 6-inch height, the 1611 can be upgraded with optional cabinets, white interior lining, aluminum floors and aluminum wheels. $16,371 for the 20-foot model. www.fthr.com.
Ford to Offer Special Service Vehicle F-150s
June 28, 2012 — No stranger to work trucks, Ford is now offering a special service vehicle package on its 2013 F-150 that will allow the truck to be used for unique tasks, such as outfitting it for police, fire, forestry service and other specialized services.
Ideal for fleet customers who use their trucks strictly for work or as a tow vehicle, the new package includes a 220-amp alternator. The rest of the package, to be honest, could best be described as “decontenting” of the vehicle, which is probably why there is no charge for the package.
For example, front seating in the truck is cloth and split “40/20/40, with the center 20 percent omitted completely to maximize space for in-cab aftermarket equipment such as law enforcement communications and firearms installations. The central console is omitted also, creating even more space.” The rear seat is covered in vinyl, and was designed for maximum durability.
“Our fleet customers have been asking us to create this option for F-Series trucks,” said Ford Government Sales Manager Tony Gratson. “We’re confident the current and updated 2013 F-150 equipped with the SSV Package will be of particular interest to our government customers with rugged jobs such as law enforcement, firefighting, and national and state park patrols.”
Despite its sparse nature, Ford lets government and commercial buyers special order the vehicle, with no limits on optional content, such as heavy duty tires or interior convenience features. What’s more, the package will be available on SuperCrew and SuperCab models, in two- and four-wheel drive and with a choice of the Ford’s 5.0-liter V8 or its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engines and a six-speed automatic transmission.
Maximum towing capacity for trucks equipped with the 5.0-liter V8 is 10,000 pounds. For the EcoBoost model, max capacity is 11,300 pounds.
For more information, visit:
Jeep to Bring Back Wagoneer
June 13, 2012 — Bad news: The Dodge Durango is going away. Good news: It won’t happen till 2016, and it should live on in a Jeep with the resurrected Wagoneer nameplate.
According to Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, the Wagoneer will share its platform with a new SUV from Maserati, which Fiat owns. Marchionne also tipped his hat on a new Jeep Liberty due in 2013 and a new Patriot in 2014. The often maligned Jeep Compass is being discontinued.
So, from our perspective, it seems Chrysler is keeping the right stuff alive, preserving what works and sacrificing what doesn’t. And the Durango definitely works.
Click here for our tow vehicle evaluation of the current-generation Durango:
Ford’s F-150 to Get Mild Changes for 2013
June 11, 2012 — Fresh from a ground-up redesign in 2009, Ford’s F-150 will undergo only nominal changes for the 2013 model year.
For example, the changes will include a new grille that mimicks that of the Super Duty pickups, high-itensity discharge headlamps, a redesigned center stack on the console and new “Limited” trim level.
The Limited will bring the total to four luxury trim levels in the F-150, which already includes the Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum.
Powertrains will remain unchanged, with two V6 engines and two V8s. However, all F-150s will now benefit from the availability of hill-descent control system lifted from the Raptor series F-150. Look for the new models in Ford showrooms this fall.
What’s Next for the Next Generation of GM Full-Size Pickups?
June 8, 2012 — GM North America vice president is pretty forthcoming when answering questions from the media. Candid, too.
According to a recent report in Automotive News, a leading trade publication, GM doesn’t seem to on track to be offering small displacement, turbocharged engines in its next generation of full size pickups.
Reuss acknowledged Ford has done well with its EcoBoost line of engines in its half-ton pickups, but says it isn’t a “huge priority” to offer something similar. Rather than compromise its full-size pickups’ power and towing capacity, GM reportedly is working to improve greatly the fuel economy of its coming redesigned midsize pickups, the Canyon and Colorado.
More on the story here:
Is Ram Testing a Half-Ton Diesel Pickup?
June 1, 2012 — Spy shots from KGP Photography have emerged of a 2013 Ram 1500 pickup undergoing testing around Detroit. That in itself is not news, but the distinctive black stains on the bumper behind the tailpipe could be.
Such stains are often a sign of diesel particulate. According to a news brief in Automotive News, the leading automotive trade publication, Chrysler has no comment on whether it will offer a diesel engine in its half-ton Ram pickups, but the tabloid paper did report that a Chrysler spokesman acknowledged that the company is “looking at putting a diesel in a light-duty pickup.”
Cummins diesel was reportedly working on small displacement diesel engines with Nissan for half-ton pickups and is committed to them even if Chrysler isn’t.
For more information, including spy shots of the Ram pickup, visit:
New Featherlite Open Car Hauler Geared to Dirt-Track Racers
May 22, 2012 — Featherlite’s new model 3109 open car hauler has been designed with the dirt-track racer in mind.
For example, the 3109 features an open center so that racers can use it for working underneath their cars, a feature made better by the two 5-foot-long “flex foot” ramps that store under the trailer. According to Featherlite literature, the flex foot ramps “easily conform to the ground, even on unlevel surfaces.”
The diamond-plate flooring features four D rings for securing a vehicle. The large tongue box is an optional feature, as are aluminum wheels and a winch. Buyers also can opt for a recessed 24” x 38” x 8” storage box up front between the treadplates.
MSRP for the the all-aluminum model is $7,567, which comes with a 10-year limited structural warranty. For more information, visit www.fthr.com.
Toyota Prices New Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series Trucks
May 8, 2012 — We knew the Tacoma with the Toyota TRD T/X Baja Series package was coming. Now we know how much it costs.
2012 Tacoma TRD T/X Baja Series Prices
Access Cab V6, m/t with TRD off-road and Baja Series packages $32,990
Access Cab V6, a/t with TRD off-road and Baja Series packages $33,975
Double Cab V6, m/t with TRD off-road and Baja Series packages $34,275
Double Cab V6, a/t with TRD off-road and Baja Series packages $35,255
Interested buyers should note that all prices listed exclude $810 delivery, processing, and handling fee. However, the price of the TRD package that is necessary for equipping the trucks with the Baja package has been reduced on this special model.
The Tacoma TRD T/X Baja seires trucks come with TRD Bilstein racing shocks tuned for off-road conditions and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. Special bead-lock off road wheels with a gunmetal gray finish are shod with LT265/70R16 BF Goodrich T/A KO tires, and ride height has been lifted by two 2 inches.
The truck also comes with electronic aids such as active traction control, hill-start assist and downhill assist control. Topping off the package are a special TRD cat-back exhaust system and proprietary matte black graphics for the sides and tailgate.
For more information, visit:
GM Reveals Bi-Fuel Pickup Prices
April 24, 2012 — Chevrolet and GMC extended cab heavy-duty pickup trucks with a bi-fuel option will sell for $11,000 above the suggested base-vehicle price. Fleet and retail customers can place orders for the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra 2500 HD beginning April 19.
The pickups, which run on compressed natural gas (CNG) and gasoline, have a Vortec 6.0L V8 engine that seamlessly transitions between the two fuel systems. A single light-weight Type 3 tank in the bed maximizes available payload and bed space, offering more usable space than competitors. Tow ratings will be 600 pounds less on CNG compared with gasoline.
The Silverado HD and Sierra 2500 HD offer customers fueling flexibility with a combined CNG and gasoline range of more than 650 miles - the longest range available in the bi-fuel truck market.
“The announcement of the bi-fuel Silverado and Sierra has been well-received among customers, which sends a clear message that businesses are looking for alternative fuel options to meet their needs,” said Ed Peper, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “The addition of the full-size bi-fuel pickups to our product portfolio is part of our commitment to offer great products, innovative business solutions and an exceptional customer experience.”
The pickups, which provide more options than any on the market, will be available in standard and long-box, two-or-four-wheel drive in the extended cab models, offering customization for specific needs.
“Businesses are looking for ways to control their costs while reducing vehicle emissions and becoming less dependent on fluctuating gas prices. The low cost of ownership makes these vehicles a realistic solution,” said Joyce Mattman, director, GM Commercial Product and Specialty Vehicles. “CNG has maintained a significantly lower retail price than either gasoline or diesel. The current average price of CNG is equivalent to $1.89 per gallon of gasoline. Customers could save $5,000 to $10,000 over a three-year period, depending on their driving habits.”
For more information, visit: www.gmc.com
Avalanche Production to end in 2013
April 16, 2012 — Since its introduction in 2001, the Chevrolet Avalanche, has served as something of a go-between SUVs and pickups. Not quite SUV. Not quite full-blown pickup. Chevrolet has sold more than a half million Avalanches. It also helped bring on the advent of light-duty crew cab pickups, which have become popular in their own right.
Which is kind of odd, if you consider that Chevrolet just announced that 2013 will be the last year of Avalanche production. In short, the trucks it helped popularize are the reason for its demise.
To commemorate the final year of production, Chevrolet has announced the Black Diamond Avalanche, a special edition that will feature body-color bed surrounds, unique badging and additional features on higher-trim-level models.
“Although Avalanche sales have tapered off in recent years, as crew cabs have grown to dominate Silverado sales, we know there are many Avalanche enthusiasts among Chevy customers,” said Clawson. “The Black Diamond Avalanche is our way of saying ‘Thank you’ and making it just a little more attractive to own one more Avalanche.”
For 2013, the Avalanche LS will come standard with a rear camera, rear park assist, power adjustable pedals, fog lamps and remote start.
Towing capacities were not mentioned in the release, but it’s reasonable to expect they will remain the same as the maximum specs of the 2012 models, 8,100 pounds for two-wheel drive; 7,900 pounds for four-wheel drive.
The Avalanche was introduced at the 2000 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a concept and was described as a no- compromise Chevy Truck with a unique combination of configurable passenger and cargo space. The production Avalanche was positioned as an Ultimate Utility Vehicle (UUV) when it went on sale in 2001 as a 2002 model.
A special Avalanche was equipped to protect and transport the Olympic Flame during the Torch Relay prior to the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City; the relay covered more than 13,500 miles and passed through 46 states on its way to the Olympic Stadium for the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 8, 2002.
In addition to receiving Motor Trend’s Truck of the Year for 2002, the Avalanche received the Design and Engineering award from Popular Mechanics. Both recognized the vehicle’s revolutionary innovation.
Chevrolet teamed up with outdoor outfitter North Face and offered a special edition Avalanche in 2002 that was used to transport a team of kayakers through the rugged terrain of the Himalayas to the Tsangpo Gorge in Tibet, where they successfully accomplished first descent of the most-feared whitewater on the planet.
In 2006, Chevrolet introduced an all-new Avalanche with a fully boxed frame and redesigned suspension to deliver more refined ride and handling; a new Z71 off-road package was introduced and front featured special off-road tires, unique grille and fascia, an integrated front bumper winch and oversize tow hooks.
A 2007 Avalanche was presented to the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game MVP Michael Young of the Texas Rangers.
For more information, visit:
Ram Trucks Goes Into Fuel-Saving Mode
April 9, 2012 — Fuel prices are up, fuel-efficiency standards as required by the government are looming and Ram Trucks isn’t wasting any time in pushing to meet new demands in its 2013 model line.
Ram Trucks has approached the problem in virtually all areas of vehicle design.
For example, Chrysler’s new Pentastar V6 engine will feature 42 percent more horsepower and 13 percent more torque while improving fuel economy by at least 20 percent, according to Chrysler Group LLC. Smaller in displacement than the model it replaces, the 3.6-liter V6 will produce 305 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque.
3.6 VVT Pentastar V6 Photo: Chrysler Group LLC
For its Hemi V8s, Ram Trucks will employ fuel-saving technology, with variable valve timing, a stop-start function, thermal management, pulse-width modulation of the alternator, active aerodynamics, low-rolling-resistance tires and fuel shut-off to four of its eight cylinders. The net result is 10 percent better fuel economy than the 2012 models. Power figures for the 2013 Hemi V8 in the Ram are 395 horsepower and 407 pound-feet of torque.
The company also is boosting fuel economy figures through its new eight-speed TorqueFlite 8 transmission, which the driver engages with a rotary “e-shift” knob rather than the traditional column- or console-mounted lever. Chrysler Group LLC says it’s easy to operate, even with gloves on, and it frees up more stowage space on the console.
The new TorqueFlite 8 transmission reduces vehicle weight by approximately 76 pounds. The V-8 and TorqueFlite 8 together reduce weight by more than 30 pounds.
“The new 2013 Ram 1500 is the most capable, best-looking half-ton pickup in the world and delivers best-in-class fuel efficiency, new technology and new features while upgrading the interior and exterior,” said Fred Diaz, president and CEO of Ram Truck Brand. “With best-in-class towing and payload, best-in-class ride and handling and best-in-class aerodynamics, the 2013 Ram 1500 delivers unmatched content, performance and capability to our customers.”
For example, a Hemi-powered Ram 1500 Tradesman Heavy Duty will tow 11,500 pounds and can carry a payload of 3,125 pounds.
The aforementioned thermal management system warms fluids to operating temperatures quickly, resulting in reduced parasitic losses, and a 1.7 percent increase in fuel efficiency.
Available stop-start technology shuts off the engine when the truck comes to a complete stop. Peripherals such as radio, HVAC and gauges continue to operate for driver information and passenger comfort. The engine restarts automatically when the driver lifts off the brake pedal to reaccelerate. Chrysler group says it improves city fuel economy ratings by 3.3 percent.
The truck’s coefficient of drag also has been improved for greater fuel efficiency. Adjustable ride height, electric power steering, a frame that’s 30 pounds lighter frame also help as does an aluminum hood that saves 26 pounds.
GMC Commemorates 100 Years
April 2, 2012 — General Motors is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the GMC nameplate by introducing “Heritage Editions” of the Sierra pickup and Yukon and Yukon XL SUVs.
Slated to be introduced at the New York Auto Show, the very same event where GMC debuted 100 years ago, the Heritage editions will feature largely cosmetic commemorative details and special paint colors. For example, the Sierra and Yukons will be available in white diamond for $995, onyx black at no extra charge or heritage blue for $195. Interior color choices are light tan and ebony.
Sierra pickups will include unique “Heritage Edition” exterior badges, embroidered front mats and headrests, chrome door handles, mirror caps and door moldings and 20-inch chromed aluminum wheels. They also will come equipped with the convenience package with rear park assist, adjustable pedals, universal home remote, the EZ-Lift locking tailgate and the rear vision camera. The package adds $2,645 to the vehicle’s price.
The Yukons have the same badges, colors, floor mats and headrests, but also include the SLT-2 equipment package, an option group consisting of 10-way leather memory seats, headed second-row seats with power release, power-operated liftgate and heated side mirrors. The 20-inch wheels are optional. The up-charge for the Yukon and Yukon XL is $1,970 or $1,820 for the three-quarter-ton model.
“The GMC brand always looks forward, but this day provides an opportunity to celebrate 100 years of the proud GMC name,” said Tony DiSalle, U.S. vice president of GMC Marketing. “Sierra and Yukon are two of our longest-running and most-respected nameplates, so it makes sense to use them to represent our heritage.”
April 1, 2012 — If you waited this long to get your trailer serviced, shame on you. Hurry up before you miss out on camping/boating/riding/racing time!
Ram Teases New Truck on Facebook
March 31, 2012 — Beginning March 31, Ram Truck will utilize Facebook and Twitter to create interest for an upcoming product debut. Titled “A Giant Awaits,” each day through April 4th, new, not easily identifiable images will be placed on the Ram Truck Facebook page, allowing viewers to comment and guess what it is. On April 5th, coinciding with the international reveal of a new Ram Truck product, the images will be explained and shown in full view.
If you're on Facebook, just search Ram Trucks and click "like."
Small SUV Towing/Mileage Comparison Chart
March 23, 2012 — As fuel prices climb, they not only force people into smaller cars, but also into smaller tow vehicles. Each time fuel prices spike, it also move the line of what is acceptable to U.S. consumers in terms of the cost to fill the tank.
According to the OEMs, the most common weight at which point people decide to go with a full size pickup or SUV is 5,000 pounds. That’s the point at which a trailer becomes a fairly sizeable load, whether it’s a boat, RV or something more utilitarian. At that point consumers become willing to accept lower fuel mileage in exchange for capacity and safety.
For smaller trailers, there are a lot of options for tow vehicles, and the market for compact SUVs is heating up. There are lot more players in the arena now. All of the current small SUVs on the market are either new or introduced not more than a few years ago. To help you with your search, we’ve compiled the chart below, which highlights the make and model, engine, horsepower, towing capacity and city/highway fuel mileage.
Acura RDX 2.3 I4, 240 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 19/24, AWD 17/22
Acura ZDX 3.7 V6, 300 hp, 1,500 lbs., 16/23
Audi Q5 2.0 I4, 211 hp, 4,400 lbs, 20/27
3.2 V6, 270 hp, 4,400 lbs., 18/23
BMW X3 xDrive28i 3.0 I6, 240 hp, 3,500 lbs., 19/25
BMW X3 xDrive35i, 3.0 I6, 300 hp, 6,000 lbs., 19/26
Cadillac SRX 3.6 V6, 308 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 17/24, AWD 16/23
Chevrolet Equinox 2.4 I4, 182 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 22/32, AWD, 20/29
3.0 V6, 264 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 17/24, AWD
Dodge Journey 2.4 I4, 173 hp, 1,000 lbs., 19/26,
3.6 V6, 283 hp, 2,500 lbs. 17/25,
Ford Edge 3.5 V6, 285 hp, 3,500 lbs, FWD 19/27, AWD 18/25
Ford Escape (2013) 2.0 I4 EcoBoost, 237 hp (projected), 3,500 lbs., mileage NA
1.6 I4 EcoBoost, 173 hp (projected), 2,000 lbs., mileage NA
2.5 I4, 168 hp, (projected), 1,500 lbs., mileage NA
GMC Terrain 2.4 I4, 182 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 22/32, AWD, 20/29
3.0 V6, 264 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 17/24, AWD
Honda CR-V 2.4 I4, 185 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 23/21, AWD 22/30
Hyundai Santa Fe 2.4 I4, 175 hp, 2,000 lbs., 20/28
3.5 V6, 276 hp, 3,500 lbs., 20/26
Hyundai Tucson 2.0 I4, 165 hp, 1,000 lbs., 23/31
2.4 I4, 176 hp, 2,000 lbs., FWD automatic 22/31, AWD automatic 21/28
Hyundai Veracruz 3.8 V6, 260 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 17/22, AWD 16/21
Jeep Liberty 3.7 V6, 210 hp, 5,000 lbs., 2WD 16/22, 4WD 15/21
Kia Sorrento 2.4 I4, 175 hp, 1,650 lbs., FWD 21/29, AWD, 21/27
2.4 I4 GDI, 191 hp, 1,650 lbs., FWD 22/32, AWD, 21/28
3.5 V6, 276 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 20/26, AWD, 18/24
Kia Sportage 2.4 I4, 176 hp, 2,000 lbs., FWD automatic 22/31, AWD automatic 21/28
2.0 I4 turbo, 260 hp, 2,000 lbs, FWD auto. 22/29, AWD auto. 21/27
Lincoln MKX 3.7 V6, 305 hp, 3,500 lbs, FWD 19/26, AWD 17/23
Mazda CX5 (2013) 2.0 I4, 155 hp, 2,000 lbs., auto. 25/31
Mazda CX7 2.5 I4, 161 hp, 1,500 lbs., 20/26
2.3 I4 turbo, 244 hp, 2,000 lbs., FWD 18/24, AWD 17/21
Mitsubishi Outlander 2.4 I4, 168 hp, 2,000 lbs., 2WD 23/28, 4WD 22/27
3.0 V6, 230 hp, 3,500 lbs., 2WD 19/26, 4WD 19/25
Nissan Murano 3.5 V6, 260 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 18/24, AWD 18/23
Suzuki Grand Vitara 2.4 I4, 166 hp, 3,000 lbs., 2WD automatic 19/25, 4WD automatic 19/23
Toyota RAV4 2.5 I4, 179 hp, 1,500 lbs., FWD 22/28, AWD 21/27
3.5 V6, 269 hp, 3,500 lbs., FWD 19/27, AWD 19/26
Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0 I4, 200 hp, 2,200 lbs., FWD automatic 22/27, AWD automatic 21/27
You can do fuel economy comparisons on the EPA website. It doesn't list towing capacities, but that's what we're here for.
Ram 2500 HD Truck to Run on Natural Gas
March 19, 2012 — The news release from Chrysler touted its new Ram as the only compressed natural gas-powered truck in North America. And that would have been true, but GM announced its bifuel capable pickup truck the week before.
Either way, it’s good to have more options, and the Ram is certainly a viable entry to the market, and a bit different from the GM model. The model will accommodate 1,580 pounds of payload in its 4-foot 8-inch bed. Towing capacity is 7,650 pounds.
Designed for fleet and commercial customers, the new Ram 2500 HD CNG pickup offers reduced fuel costs and emissions benefits. According to the release, America imports 60 percent of the oil it uses. By contrast, 98 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. comes from sources in North America.
“Commercial customers are extremely important to Ram Truck,” said Fred Diaz, Ram Truck president and CEO Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico, Chrysler Group LLC. ”Adding a hard-working, fully capable CNG-powered truck to the Ram lineup makes a lot of sense—both economically and environmentally.”
Chrysler is already accepting orders for vehicles it expects to begin delivering in July of this year. The Ram 2500 CNG is available exclusively as a Crew Cab 4x4 model with 169-inch wheelbase, in either an ST or SLT trim level.
The Hemi-powered truck features an 8-gallon gasoline fuel tank in addition to the CNG storage tanks. The CNG tanks provide a gasoline-gallon equivalent of 18.2 gallons. Canadian customers also can get an optional 35-gallon gasoline tank. According to the release, range on CNG alone is 355 miles and 367 total miles with the backup supply of gasoline.
The system is automatic, with no need for manual switching. The truck does use a small amount of gasoline for startup, then runs solely on CNG. The transition is seamless to the driver. When the CNG tanks are emptied, the vehicle automatically switches to burning gasoline. Two fuel gauges are included in the instrument cluster.
Base MSRP is $47,500, including $995 destination charge. The engine is covered by a five-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, including internal components such as upgraded valves, the valve seats, fuel injectors and rail and the specially designed spark plugs. The rest of the truck is covered by the standard three-year/36,000 mile bumper to bumper limited warranty.
The vehicle is so new it does not yet appear on Ram’s commercial vehicle website. When it does, it should appear here:
March 17, 2012 — If you choose a van for towing, understand that an extended van with a longer wheelbase will be more stable than a van with the cabin extended behind the rear axle.
GM Debuts Bi-Fuel 2500 HD Pickup Trucks
March 8, 2012 — General Motors has announced that it will offer in 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD extended cab pickups that will be capable of running on gasoline and compressed natural gas. The Silverado and Sierra will be available in standard and long box in two- and four-wheel drive. Interested fleet and retail buyers can order the new trucks as early as April 2012.
The fuel tank for the alternative fuel is housed in an aluminum box just behind the passenger compartment, right where many truck owners place a locking tool box. GM claims a seamless transition between the two fuel systems, with a combined range of 650 miles.
“The bi-fuel Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra provide customers with choices in advanced propulsion technology, and because CNG is a clean-burning, domestically produced fuel, it has wide appeal,” said Ed Peper, general manager, GM Fleet and Commercial Operations. “The addition of a full-size bi-fuel pickup truck to GM’s fleet portfolio is another milestone in putting the customer first in everything we do – by offering great products, innovative solutions and a great customer experience.”
Using a specially designed 6.0-liter Vortec V8 engine, GM assembles the trucks at its Fort Wayne, Ind., plant then shipped to a Tier 1 supplier for installation of the CNG bi-fuel delivery and storage system. No special ordering processes are required. Chevrolet and GMC dealers can order the trucks just as easily as any standard pickup.
“The bi-fuel truck provides businesses with added re-fueling flexibility and eases consumer range concerns that typically come with CNG, all while reducing emissions and controlling costs,” said Joyce Mattman, director, GM Commercial Product and Specialty Vehicles. “This turnkey ordering process, combined with the best warranty in the industry for a commercial product, makes our bi-fuel truck an attractive option, especially for commercial customers.”
GM’s three-year, 36,000-mile warranty covers the bi-fuel commercial trucks, with a five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and vehicle emissions warranty. The new bi-fuel trucks meet all Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board emission certification requirements.
For more information, visit http://www.gmfleet.com/
Nissan Frontier Listed Among “Least Expensive to Insure”
March 1, 2012 — Turns out there is an award for just about everything. Even, of all things, insurance rates on motor vehicles.
Nissan just announced that Insure.com named the 2012 Nissan Frontier S King Cab and Frontier SV King Cab models to its “Least Expensive Vehicles to Insure” list. We didn’t even know there was such an award.
At least it’s relevant in this economy we find ourselves stuck with, and it could translate to sales for Nissan for consumers cross-shopping against Toyota, which did not make the list. General Motors’ GMC Sierra, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Canyon also made the list. In fact, the full-size GM pickups are cheaper to insure than the Nissans, according to the survey. No other pickup tricks made the list.
“Our annual rankings provide consumers with a view of the best insurance deals of the year,” said Amy Danise, editorial director of Insure.com. “If you want to save money on your insurance bill and you’re in the market for a pickup truck, the Nissan Frontier is an excellent choice.”
The least expensive 2012 vehicles to insure per year, according to Insure.com, are:
1. Toyota Sienna LE: $1,111
2. Toyota Sienna 4 cyl: $1,114
3. Jeep Patriot Sport: $1,116
4. Jeep Compass Sport: $1,118
5. GMC Sierra K1500 Regular Cab: $1,121
6. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Regular Cab: $1,125
7. Dodge Grand Caravan SXT: $1,129
8. Ford Escape XLS: $1,137
9. Toyota Sienna 6 cyl: $1,139
10. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extended Cab: $1,143
11. Dodge Journey SXT: $1,143
12. Honda Odyssey LX: $1,146
13. Kia Sportage: $1,151
14. Hyundai Santa Fe GLS: $1,152
15. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sport: $1,154
16. Nissan Frontier S King Cab: $1,162
17. Nissan Frontier SV King Cab: $1,163
18. Hyundai Tucson GL: $1,166
19. Ford Escape XLT: $1,167
20. GMC Canyon: $1,167
Insure.com also publishes a list of the most expensive vehicles to insure. No pickup trucks or SUVs made that list, but Nissan’s GT-R did. The rest of the list all commonality among them: They are all German sports cars and sedans.
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