Ford's new F-150 hits the street with a splash or a thud?
The hidden killer of cars.
And Toyota wages it's green tech cred in a big gamble.
Time to check the tech.
We see cars differently.
We love them on the road, and also under the hood.
But also check the tech, and are.
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This is c|net on Cars.
Hello and welcome to c|net on Cars.
The show all about high tech cars and modern driving.
I'm Brian Cooley.
Well I would say literally millions of words have been written about these guys.
The new Ford F-150.
Due to its radical new aluminum structure, its little bitty 2.7 litre engine that's available and much better cabin packed.
But it's time for the talk to stop.
We got our chance to go not just on the road, but off the road in the 2015 F-150.
[NOISE] Ford has dram- Dramatically recast the F-150.
It may be the biggest gamble you see a MAJOR automaker take in your lifetime.
What are they thinking and why?
Let's dig into it as we drive the all new 2015 F-150 and check the difference.
There are two big stories going on with this vehicle that come under the category of lightness.
It's an aluminum truck.
By that, they mean the outer shell.
The cab, the box, then there's the frame made of high strength steel, this a steel that they get from their suppliers that is particularly strong for weight.
That means it can be pressed very thin in places, but it's not so much strength through bulk.
Now Ford's likely gonna have a lot of company in the aluminium shed.
Soon in fact word is the next Jeep Wrangler might make the switch as well.
According to Ducker Worldwide Consultancy by 2015 the average vehicle in the U.S. will have 394 pounds of aluminum.
Ten years later that'll get to almost 550 pounds.
What use to be rarity in big Jag's and Audi's is now looking like a fact of automotive life.
They can do more work.
This is a game changer for full size pick ups.
The bottom line is they've shaved some 700 pounds of this vehicle off from the last generation.
They've got so far as to even redo the logo on the fender to express lightness.
By hollowing out the F. Now adorning that body, there's some interesting details on the outside.
First of all they got some optional LED headlights for the first time.
LED tail lights are also part of the blind spot technology because the radar sensor is built in to that red lens.
Take a look at how they sculpted out the door here.
They say they brought down the belt line a little bit so you can get that.
Truck pose, even with the windows up, and then they really scoop it down here to give you more visibility down around the corners.
Now, of course, I'm obsessed with the technology under the hood and this is the story there.
The 2.7 liter, little itty bitty, sort of, eco boost V6.
That's a really small engine for a full size pick up.
What they're doing here is applying the turbo charge, direct injection combo, they call it eco boost.
The numbers are pretty impressive.
375 pound-feet of torque.
Turbo engines tend to be torquey.
Now the mpg needs to be pretty good to make a 2.7 engine worth having in the line.
It does 19 city, 26 highway in 4x2.
That's better than a similarly laid out Ram, Tundra, or Silverado powered by gas.
Now the towing capacity when you have this engine is a little bit reduced.
It's the lower end of their range.
Range of 8500 pounds.
Now you think a 2.7 motor's too modern for your full sized truck, hang on.
Park assist will be a Ford exclusive in this truck.
Adaptive cruise is also classic exclusive.
There's forward collision warning, brake assist available, blind spot, cross traffic and lane keep assist also spoken here.
Six feet automatic is your only choice across the whole range.
And of course rear wheel drive or you can buck up to all wheel drive.
Let's call that correctly four wheel drive.
Some more Tech and engineering highlights are around the backend of the F-150.
First of all look that piece of glass on the rear it's all one piece.
They just cut out the glass and reset it against the gasket.
And they motorize it this way.
It's not just slick looking, it also allows your heating coils to be more continuous across the piece and do a better job clearing your view.
Now coming around the rear, nothing too unusual about a rear camera on a truck but this one's also hooked up to what they call a trailer hitch assistant, gives you a special on the main LCD in the cabin, lines up a dotted line right to where you gotta go to hit.
[NOISE] Two hits on the bump right here on the key fob and you can do this little trick.
Brings down the tailgate with a nice soft release on a hydraulic damper.
Now inside the F-150 a my Ford touchscreen greets us.
I'm not gonna go into that.
We've seen it on many Ford vehicles, it basically carries over here.
But notice what is not touch screen, lots of clusters of related controls here that are big and tangible.
Here are the knobs and the buttons for media.
Below that, the very large knobs and buttons for climate, which Ford says they did intentionally, after a lot of research where folks said.
Sometimes functions get scattered all over the cabin and they hate that, similarly your light controls are all down here in a pod, a well, next to your left knee.
What you won't find here on the dash is a bunch of replication of what's on the center screen.
They found that a lot of their F-150 buyers.
Said, why do I need it in two places that are 12 inches apart?
So over here, you've got a physical tack and speedo, and then you've got a bunch of virtual gauges for things like engine oil, pressure, and temperature and fuel level, and then below that is a big region that I would typically use for what they call MyView.
You can click down through your favorite seven displays.
Chosen from dozens.
As I mentioned, all F-150s have a standard six speed automatic.
There's no variation there on those vehicles.
It's a pretty straightforward vertical gate that comes down into manual shift mode, which is handled by a rocker here on the side, no paddles, and obviously a two and a one position.
Rear view camera hopes up pretty good it's pretty it's sharp.
And available on these vehicles are a surround view as well using front left right and rear cam.
Now the cabin is tow inch wider and they took that space and as suppose to giving to you here.
They gave it to you here.
They put two more inch on the center console.
That leaves you with a pretty big box that you can put almost anything in.
It holds a laptop, a whole bunch of laptops.
And Ford says it has something to control glare in this vehicle.
They went through and they said alright, what do you wanna put in here designers in terms of shiny stuff?
Then, they ran that through some computer modeling.
Probably some light ray tracing to say what's gonna glare at the driver and changed it.
We tediously go through every surface and change the shape of it.
So, you don't get those big spots of glare that are annoying as you drive.
It may seem crazy to be auto-crossing a truck but the lighter platform, nothing better than that for a car that handles well, as well as is efficient.
You haven't driven a full size F-150 lately, you're thinking it still drives like your truck, well, no it doesn't, actually.
It drives like a large car.
Now I got the 27 here as you know, and I'm doing manual shifting in this case, but the power is really good and responsive.
That's a thing you might not expect in a car like this.
It's fairly nimble, and the engine is right there where I want it, which is what I really wanted to find out.
Now I'm out here on nice, kind of a simple, two-lane.
Lane country road.
Let's open it up and see how this 2.7 V6 does.
This is a nice delivery of power.
Driving this thing around right now has just an everyday vehicle, this is a very substantial engine.
It's got a nice node to it.
Dude, do you hear that?
Kinda gets down there and snarls.
Cars don't catch fire on their own very often.
But those that do have fire related defects tend to have higher insurance claims even after a recall's been issued.
In a moment, why?
Fire related auto defects are scary.
It's headline-grabbing, and the need to fix them should be real obvious.
So, why don't fire-risk recalls get owners' full attention?
Well, U.S. car owners aren't real good about bringing their cars in for recall work, period.
On average, 65% of recalled cars are ever brought in for the work.
According to a Government Accounting Office study of recalls from 2000 to 2008.
Wheels, tires and brakes seems to get customers' attention the most.
Cruise control, seats and, amazingly, airbag issues have lower compliance levels.
Compare that to Germany where you can't register a car that isn't up on its recall repairs.
Their compliance rate is 100%.
Now a fire-related recall may actually center on something like an electrical switch or a hose clamp or a seal.
So don't try to guess if a recall is serious.
It really pays to double check if there are any fire or other open recalls on your car.
And tend to it.
Because we also differ from Germany in another useful way.
Here the carmakers on the hook to pay for the recall.
Welcome back to CNET On Cars.
I'm Brian Cooley.
You're about see a little theme bubbling up on our show right now.
That of major carmakers putting the crown jewels on the line.
Now, we saw a little bit of that with Ford, taking their backbone vehicle, the F-150, and rather dramatically reinventing it.
Here at Toyota, it's a little different.
They're putting their reputation for green, visionary technology on the line, as they try to come up with what's next after Prius.
They think it's the Marigh Fuel Cell Vehicle, which they believe is the road to the future.
If you're Toyota, your Prius is both a huge triumph and kind of a nightmare.
It set the bar really high.
After you did that,.
And kind of change the auto industry.
What do you do next?
They think its this.
This is called the Marai, Japanese for future they tell me.
It is a production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
At a time when most people think hydrogen fuel cell is either yesterday's failed experiment.
Or distance tomorrow's technological wish.
The Mirai is fascinating because it's a big bet being made by the company with the most to lose in terms of it's cred as a powertrain visionary.
Let's tour the guts of a Mirai.
Now, in the back.
You've got not one, but two hydrogen tanks.
One kind of here around the axle line, and one under the rear seat.
Those are filled at 10,000 PSI with hydrogen gas that gets down to a liquefied level, but it's only about five kilograms total weight of hydrogen, you don't put a lot in here.
Notice it's got a battery, and this is a hybrid but it's an electric electric hybrid.
Sometimes the car will take this hydrogen and run it through this fuel cell stack right here and use that directly to power the electric motor.
But other times, or at the same time, it will also create energy in the fuel cell stack and send some of it to the battery for storage, while also driving the vehicle.
That's why it's a hybrid of two kinds of electricity.
The idea is to be able to have a nice buffer, and not create it all on demand.
And then of course, you've got an electric motor with a power control unit that is relatively like other electric vehicles.
The really interesting stuff is from amidships on back.
The simple version of a fuel cell, is that it takes in hydrogen.
Crosses plates, and as that happens.
The hydrogens electrons are coaxed off in different directions.
Which is where the electronic flow is generated that creates current.
At the final stage hydrogen combines with available oxygen to for H2O in the form of water vapor.
Enough water vapor is produced that the Mirai has a H2O dump button that empties out it's bladder if you will, so you can leave all that outside instead of it puddling on your garage floor.
So you can also use this vehicle to power other things like your home in an emergency.
It's a weird little side angle to this vehicle.
But there's a great big high current port in the trunk.
So if you were to have a power outage in your home they will have accessories that will let you break that out into household current 120 AC.
300 miles of range on a fill.
Three to five minutes to fill up the tanks and no plugging in whatsoever.
Now in the market the key to the Mirai is actually not so much the Mirai as it is Toyota's ability to sell a vision.
And that turns on making hydrogen available.
But, they say, less available than you might think.
If every vehicle in the state of California ran on hydrogen, we could meet refueling logistics with only 15% of the nearly 10,000 gas stations.
Nation that are currently operating in the state based on the assumption that owners would wanna reach a refueling station within six minutes of their home or work.
Okay, what's like driving this advanced technology?
Well, as Toyota is actually kind of proud to point out, it's sort of unremarkable.
If you've driven an electric car before, it doesn't feels that much different, in fact, doesn't feel very different at all.
High torque, very quiet, the occasional wind of motor and reduction gears, but feels like any other electric, which is what they were going for, don't want this to be jarring or something that you have to get used to.
Other than the different way your fuel it.
I'll say this though, it does feel torquer and generally more powerful than a lot of other sort of mid class electrics and plug in hybrids I've driven
There's no lack of power or power assist.
Things like seat heaters and heated wheels, things you'd normally be nervous about in a battery car.
Cuz you wanna preserve that precious charge.
In this car they point out the behavior should be different because you'll be able to charge readily if you can fill it up at all in your area.
And then you won't worry so much about being so parsimonious with the Volt
Size of the vehicle on the outside is kinda closer to Camry than it is to Prius.
And notice in the trunk, you do not have folding rear seats.
And you do have a little bit of a limited trunk space there.
Not bad, but it is some intrusion from where they have mounted the twin [UNKNOWN].
Now if you're just in this to save money, sit down.
Sufficient hydrogen to cover say 300 miles will cost you $50 bucks in a Mirai.
You can do that same distance for about $33 in a four cylinder gas Camry that cost a lot less up front.
And for just $10 in a Nissan Leaf.
But with all the charging stops it might take you days to get there.
And it's anybody's guess where hydrogen prices will go should there be widespread adoption because we're nowhere near that.
Now saying Toyota wants this to be the next, if bigger, Prius is an apt statement.
But the Prius requires no changes in infrastructure.
The world is already set up for it, if you will.
The Mirai arrives on a very different state
Okay the Mirai hits the US fall 2015, price will be around 57 5. That's steep, of course, new technology.
Look for about $13,000 in federal and California credits, the only state where it's going to be sold initially.
Later, they'll expand out to some northeast markets.
They have to follow the infrastructure, of course.
But this is a major stake by Toyota.
A vision not just of a vehicle, but of where they think infrastructure can reasonably go.
And if they're right, this short circuits a lot of the headaches that surround battery electric today.
In a moment, the costs of going electric, and cars that are good choices to be your last.
[NOISE] When CNet on cars returns.
I'm in a Delorean, and the doors open upwards.
And it's made of stainless steel.
And it's one of the coolest cars on the face of the planet.
And it will forever be one.
All terrible, assuming at 40 miles an hour, on the breaks.
Come on, come on, come on, and stop
Find more from the XCar team of CNET UK at cnet.com/xcar.
Welcome back to CNET on Cars.
I'm Brian Cooley.
Time for some of y our email.
This one comes in this week from Eric L, who's asking about EV maintenance.
He says, I would like to see some discussion about the tech of car repair.
He writes, it occurs to me that the ownership.
Costs of some of these electric cars, like a Tesla, may be considerably lower than that of a conventional car, and when you bring an electric car to the shop, what do they look at?
Well Eric, I can generalize here, every EV is going to be a little different, but first of all, certain things go away.
EVs don't have oil, filters, or oil changes, no air filters, no transmission fluid changes, or.
Emission filters to deal with, no belts to wear out, no spark plug wires to get aged and need replacement.
A lot of things go away.
But to be fair combustion engine cars have made amazing strides lately in reducing the frequency of servicing those things as well, so it's not quite as stark as you might think, Electric motors that are the core of an EV, they have a reputation just generally in industry as being incredibly tough and long lasting, The planetary gear boxes that.
Move the power to the wheels and adjust the RPM a little bit.
Those are kind of a mixed bag.
It will vary by make and model of EV and none of them have been on the road that long.
Tires are interesting because EVs tend to be rather heavy and have a ton of torque.
So depending on how soft and grippy a tire they spec, those may wear out rather quickly.
Especially, of they're on the drive wheel.
But all EVs are heavy and put a lot of weight on the tires.
Finally, the brakes are an interesting consideration.
EVs do much of their braking by electromagnetic regeneration.
Basically reversing the motor electrically, not so much putting pads on discs, so your break wear cost should go way down.
Now in this show we take a look at two cars that are turning the page on new chapters in their manufacturer's history, that F-150 and the Toyota Murai.
But a lot of you have asked about cars that are kind of durable evergreen.
Cars that go incredible amounts of miles and never seem to die.
The really durable ones.
So we've got a great top five list for you.
The top five cars that are on the road with incredibly high mileage.
With the average age of cars on US roads these days at record 11.4 years and climbing to nearly 12 years old, by 2019, we clearly no longer have a problem with old cars.
Here are the cars you want to be in 12 years after the purchase.
Cars that seemingly run forever according to data from RL Polk, which is the bible to this sort of thing.
By the way, these are cars.
I'm taking out trucks and big SUVs.
They tend to run forever anyway, and that's a separate video.
Number five, the Nissan Maxima.
The Max can trace it roots back the the mid 70s, when it's father, the Datsun 810 rather gaudily roamed our streets.
By the time it got the oddly Roman Maxima name in 1980, it was one of the first Nissan's to use any American parts, namely from General Motors
Number four is the Honda Odyssey.
This is quite an achievement, because the Odyssey only dates back to 1994.
But that Honda reliability has made up for lost time in the market.
This is where fold flat rear seats were invented, by the way.
Most recently, Odyssey's innovations have veered off toward a built in shop vac.
Which I find oddly wonderful.
Number three the Toyota Avalon.
I have a secret hunch that if you also ranked cars by average owner age, the Avalon might be number one.
It had old school oddities for a Toyota, like a front bench seat, and a column shifter.
Hm, who's that aimed at?
However, your grandparents may have to now shop for a used crown vic, because the Avalon got all sexed up last year.
DUB even tuned one.
Number two is the Subaru Legacy.
Subie's parent company has roots in busses, train cars and garbage trucks.
I don't believe they know how to make something that breaks.
Combine that with the fact that Subie buyers for whom driving something old and worn just fits the look and you have a keg.
Almost surprised it doesn't add up to number one.
Except that would mean bumping the Honda Accord, our number one.
When the Accord launched, it was a sensation.
The question for a year or two wasn't would you be buying an Accord.
Simply how much you were willing to bribe the dealer to allocate you one.
The civic had already established that you'd be getting one tough ride, only now with room and great looks borrowed from the classic Scirocco generation one.
Damn, making myself want one.
By the way, the Camry, the best selling car ahead of the Accord and from the company that most folks equate with durability, wouldn't quite make our list.
It would come in at number six.
Thanks for watching.
Really glad you're here for this episode.
And don't forget, you can find us where you are.
Go subscribe to our channel on YouTube or head over to Roku and just search CNET On Cars across services.
Or go to cnet.com/apps to find us on your device.
I'll see you next time we [INAUDIBLE]
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