2015 Ford F-150 appearance guide takes the truck from mild to wild with options

By Chris Bruce

2015 Ford F-150

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We already know that the 2015 Ford F-150 has a base price coming in at just $395 more than the 2014 model, despite all of the new standard tech and aluminum-intensive construction in the upcoming version. Now the Blue Oval is finally giving us an idea of what that extra money actually buys customers, with the release of the appearance guide for its latest pickup.

The guide basically explains everything you could want to know about what changes occur among the multitude of trims on the 2015 F-150. There are five levels for the new truck. Although, that is something of a misnomer because most of them are also available with either Sport or Chrome packages, plus the FX4 Off-Road option with Hill Descent Control, an electronic-locking rear axle, off-road shocks and skid plates. With 13 available colors, including 4 new ones, and 14 wheel designs in various sizes, pickup buyers should have no problem specing one to fit their style.

The lineup starts out with the base XL with a black grille and fascia and 17-inch wheels. However, across most of the range the Sport and Chrome packages are also available to add either body-color or …read more    

Honda asking used-car buyers to sign liability document [w/poll]

By Pete Bigelow

AUTO SALES OUTLOOK

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New cars under recall must be repaired before a dealer can sell them but used cars are under no such mandate.

When it comes to informing the car-buying public about potential safety hazards on used vehicles, there are two emerging schools of thought among used-car dealers.

In one camp: those who disclose as little as possible. Used-car giant CarMax leaves it to customers to check to see whether a car is under recall. Consumer groups filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission last month, because they believe the lack of information amounts to deceptive advertising.

In the other: Honda, which has gone in the opposite direction. The company recently started disclosing possible recalls related to airbag malfunctions in certain vehicles. Honda is asking customers buying those used cars to sign a document that acknowledges they’ve been made aware of the issue. Buyers may be better informed, but such a signature could also shift liability away from the automaker.

It’s a vexing issue on several fronts.

New cars under recall must be repaired before a dealer can sell them, under rules imposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But used-car sellers are under no such mandate. Honda’s disclosure …read more    

GM gives China 7-seat minivan, still won’t offer MPV in US

By Brandon Turkus

Baojun 730

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General Motors and its Chinese joint-venture partners, SAIC and Wuling, have announced a new seven-passenger minivan for the world’s most populous country.

Called the Baojun 730, the budget-minded people mover will be available in four trims (Standard, Comfort, Luxury and 1.8 Comfort) and with two available engines. The base mill is a 1.5- liter four-cylinder, which GM says was developed specifically for “economy passenger vehicles.” Although mum is the word on power, it can return impressive fuel economy, netting 7.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (33.1 miles per gallon). The other engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, although there’s not a lick of info available on it. Regardless of engines, the sole transmission is of the five-speed manual variety.

Considering its primary purpose is to haul people and stuff, the 730′s three rows of seats look reasonably spacious for a vehicle that rides on a mere 108-inch wheel base. There’s no word on total passenger volume, although GM claims that even with seven passengers, there’s nearly 12 cubic feet of cargo room.

Despite its status as an economy entry, there is a reasonable level of connectivity in the 730. An eight-inch touchscreen looks to be running some form of <a class="colorbox" …read more