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Friday
Oct242014

2015 F-150 BoxLink

We could bore you with tedious descriptions of the BoxLink cargo management system available in the 2015 Ford F-150, but we’d rather show you a video that shows what it can do. It’s a pretty neat system that allows users to attach to the BoxLink cleats in four locations, or hook directly to the  reinforced plates located on the truck bed sidewalls. The cleats can accommodate a cross-box load of 275 lb. and a diagonal load of 600 lb.

The new F-150 also offers LED bed lighting, and the availability of power tailgate locking and release, as well as available telescoping cargo ramps that can be stowed on the sides of the box with die-cast zinc the BoxLink cleats. F-150 XLT models and above get a standard power locking tailgate, as well as the option of a power release. This works via a button on the key fob, and unlocks and releases the damped tailgate. Like a remote release for a car trunk, it opens on its own, dropping down to a flat position. In addition, Lariat Mid or Luxury, King Ranch and Platinum models have the remote tailgate release and feature an LED spotlight integrated into the release handle that illuminates the trailer hitch.



If that’s not enough, A.R.E. Accessories has adapted its LS II Series fiberglass tonneau cover to the 2015 F-150. It features an OEM-quality standard lock and latch, and a lift assist system that makes opening and closing he cover easier. Both the tonneau and its painted finish are warrantied for the life of the original pickup on which it is installed. — CAS


Friday
Oct242014

First Run: 2015 Toyota Camry

By Christopher A. Sawyer

We know what you're thinking, but handling has improved as has the ride.The seventh generation Camry that launched in late 2011 as a 2012 model was an improvement over its predecessor, but continued to play it safe with a handsome interior, attractive-but-bland exterior, and driving dynamics designed to appeal to folks for whom self-driving cars are an object of near erotic desire. It was good at everything, but did nothing especially well, making it as inoffensive and useful as a napkin. As the top-selling mid-size sedan for nine consecutive years, Toyota wasn’t about to offend the nearly half a million people in the U.S. who buy this car every year; that would be bad business. And so it launched in late 2011 as a worthy successor to its predecessors, and proceeded to rack up top sales honors for the next three years. A funny thing happened on the way to the Camry’s mid-cycle refresh, however. Instead of of playing its traditional conservative ground game, Toyota decided to take to the air, and gain some yardage with a few well-placed passes.

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Friday
Oct102014

2014 Kia Soul !: So Much Better and Yet…

By Christopher A. Sawyer 

In the year that has elapsed since we last had a Kia Soul in or test fleet, many things have happened to Kia’s funkiest vehicle. The most important of which is that the second generation Soul launched not long after we tested the 2013 model. Despite having similar styling and being about the same size, the latest Soul is a big step up in terms of fit and finish, materials, equipment and driving dynamics. Nearly all of the faults of the previous generation have been excised. In doing so, however, Kia may have gone a bit too far. Don’t get me wrong, the new car is handsome, capable, rides better, is quieter, has a better navigation interface and more. However, it is missing one ingredient that made the first generation so inviting: personality. 

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Friday
Sep262014

2015 Ford Mustang: Big. Bold. American.

By Christopher A. Sawyer 

West Hollywood traffic at 9:00 a.m. moves as quickly as molasses on a cold day, especially when you have the promise of a run up the Angeles Crest Highway ahead of you. Yet here we were stuck behind half a dozen other 2015 Mustangs and a city bus, attempting to make a left turn against bumper-to-bumper traffic that refused to make any openings. Far from taxing my patience, it became an unexpected opportunity to see how far Ford’s revamp of the Mustang extended. No matter how much I would learn about the car on the tight two-lane road north of the Los Angeles Basin later that morning, this is where buyers will spend most of their time with the car: in traffic. Say what you will about the advantages of independent rear suspension over a live axle, or of the increased brake size, or even of the 5.0-liter’s ability to pull to its rev limit, this traffic snarl would tell if the 2015 Mustang is a car you can live with day-to-day. 

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