The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 13, 1996 · Page 81
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 81

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Sunday, October 13, 1996
Page 81
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EXPEDITION—This new sport-utility is bigger than the Bronco it replaces, and it has two more doors. The styling is shared with the new '97-model F- series pickups, but the front suspension . is unequal-length control arms and the rear is sprung by coils, meaning it's intended to be a wagon, not a truck. Two V-8 SOHC engines are available, with four-speed automatic transmissions being the only power-delivery choice. The transfer case on four- wheel-drive models has a position for full-time four-wheel drive, in which a computer-controlled clutch in the transfer case transmits power to the front wheels when rear slip is detected. Conventional high- and low-range locked positions are still available. A third-row bench seat means you can get nine people in an Expedition if you want. Naturally, Eddie Bauer leather is available on the seats. RANGER—With the optional 4.0-liter pushrod V-6, the Ranger also gets the new five-speed automatic. The 3.0-liter V-6 is now standard on all four-by-fours. F-SERIES —Introduced as a light- duty F-150 model last January, the swoopy-looking new F-series pickup is now available in a heavier-duty F-250 chassis with a gross vehicle weight rating of up to 8500 pounds. The over- 8500-pound brutes still look like the square Ford pickups you're used to and continue on in F-250 Heavy Duty, F- 350, and Super Duty chassis versions. The new slinky-shaped pickups get the beefed-up 5.4-liter SOHC V-8 added to their lineup of 4.2-liter V-6 and SOHC 4.6-liter V-8 engines. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on these two engines; the 5.4-liter is available only with a four-speed automatic. Other mechanical changes include a load-leveling system for the new F-250, locking tailgates, larger front brakes, and standard dual airbags. The 7.3-liter turbo-diesel engine gets a five-horsepower boost to 215. It's available for the older-looking trucks, which lose a couple of engines—the 4.9-liter in-line six and light-duty V-8—and their corresponding three-speed automatic transmission. ECONOLINE/CLUB WAGON—Ford's first V-10 makes its debut on the heavier- duty models, and light-duty versions come standard with the new 4.2-liter V-6 engine. The seats were moved farther outboard to make the passenger compartment roomier, the instrument panel was made more carlike, and tinted glass is standard on all rear windows. METRO—The Suzuki-based, Canadian- built minicar carries on with no changes. PRIZM —The base model of this California-built Toyota Corolla clone gets power steering standard. TRACKER—No big changes to the little mudder, whose sales are rising. SAFARI—This midivan gets softer front springs on four-wheel-drive models. SAVANA —Two airbags are standard. JIMMY—Same as the Chevy Blazer, but add a Gold Edition with distinctive exterior trim. YUKON —A tighter turning circle on four-wheel-drive models is new. SUBURBAN —It gets the same steering improvements as the Yukon. SONOMA —Minor chassis refinements this year. SIERRA—Like Chevy's C/K, a passenger airbag is standard. J E E P WRANGLER —Introduced last winter, the new Wrangler features a coil- spring suspension like the Grand Cherokee's, a body that will take both hard and soft tops, plus an interior that looks like a real car's. The new Wrangler has been on sale since summer. CHEROKEE —Coming next spring is a rebodied Cherokee; it looks basically the same but for rounded edges. Powertrains also carry over, but an all-new interior with a gauge cluster borrowed from the new Wrangler updates the looks inside. The door handles are the same as the Grand Cherokee's, and the front side glass is one piece. The hatch hinges are now hidden. A rear exterior spare-tire carrier, however, won't be available until the 1998 model year, according to Jeep. GRAND CHEROKEE—No big changes to the popular luxowagon of the woods. LINCOLN CONTINENTAL—Last March, Ford's RESCU system made its debut in the Continental, consisting of a cell phone matched to a satellite global-positioning system. Coupled with optional run-flat tires, the Continental becomes the antiterrorist's choice of getaway cars. Buyers also convinced Lincoln to add traction control as standard, and the front air springs have been replaced with steel coils to keep the car from being too floaty. TOWN CAR—Following the Continental's lead in strengthening its legs, this huge sedan gets thoroughly reworked steering, promising better feel and precision. You can still get a Cartier model, however, with its nomenclature etched into the rear quarter-windows. MARK VIII —Puddle lamps and a neon brake light that come on 198 milliseconds faster than incandescent bulbs mean "you won't miss this car in the evening," says Dave Hall, vehicle line director for the Mark VIII. Blue-looking high-intensity-discharge low-beam headlights are standard on Mark VIIIs, as are a tighter steering gear, a more buttoned- down suspension, a new instrument-panel support structure, and lots of styling changes. The new aluminum hood is bulked up, the bumpers have been smoothed off, and the 4.6-liter DOHC standard V-8 is tuned to sound better. MERCURY TRACER —It gets the same changes as the Ford Escort, although we hear a

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