Heavy-Duty Dream Machine

By Derek Price

For those who genuinely need the immense capabilities of a heavy-duty truck like the Ford F-350, the top Limited trim represents the pinnacle of what’s possible.

This opulent behemoth spares no expense in delivering supreme towing prowess paired with first-class accommodations.

After a week testing an F-350 Limited 4×4 crew cab, one thing is crystal clear: it’s an absolute dream machine for the right buyer. Just be prepared for sticker shock.

The example I evaluated was optioned to the hilt, carrying an eye-watering $104,755 price tag after a host of niceties like a spray-in bedliner, tonneau cover, and Ford’s clever Pro Upfit integration system for operating accessory equipment.

That six-figure window sticker is enough to cause whiplash, especially for a vehicle designed to haul payloads of dirt, steel and lumber.

Still, if you’re in the market for this level of heavy-duty truck and want luxury amenities to match, the F-350 Limited delivers in spades.

The handsome cabin is awash in premium materials like real wood and leather, plus all the latest tech including digital widescreen displays and generous infotainment systems.

With its imposing dimensions and premium details like LED lighting and bold wheels, the luxurious F-350 Limited cuts an undeniably commanding presence.

Sublime features such as cooled and massaging front seats provided a surprisingly serene experience while towing up to 22,000 pounds with a conventional trailer.

That said, the Limited’s cabin didn’t quite achieve the same sophistication and sense of occasion as the plush Ram 1500 Limited I tested earlier this year. The Ford has the right features but lacks that final degree of design cohesion and material execution to truly feel like a $100K interior. It’s lovely, just not luxurious in the most modern sense.

What the F-350 Limited absolutely nails is outright capability and performance. Thanks to its new 6.7L High Output Power Stroke diesel V8, this rig tows with incredible ease and unflappable confidence.

The inline-six unleashes 500 horsepower and a skyscraper-leveling 1,200 lb-ft of torque, enough brute force to make child’s play out of lugging massive trailers up grades. A responsive 10-speed automatic and standard 4WD put that muscle to the ground effectively.

The powertrain’s refinement also impressed. The hulking F-350 proved smoother and quieter than expected, with the rumbling diesel fading into silent oblivion at highway speeds.

The F-350 Limited’s well-appointed cabin blends premium materials with the latest tech like digital widescreen displays and massaging leather seats.

Credit sublime sound insulation and aerodynamic optimization that help deliver an experience more reminiscent of a luxury SUV than a commercial-grade truck.

Some concessions are inevitable with a vehicle of this size and mission, mind you. Maneuverability is understandably poor given the F-350’s gargantuan dimensions, with tight parking lots being an outright ordeal requiring careful planning.

By the end of my loan I’d grown skilled at doing “final approaches” into open spaces, treating each parking job with the same precision and forethought as landing an airplane.

For those legitimately needing the extreme capabilities of a Super Duty truck, it’s hard to imagine a more compelling option than the F-350 Limited. It combines incredible towing and hauling capacities with a luxurious, tech-savvy cabin and the smoothest, most confident driving experience in the heavy-duty class.

Just don’t faint when presented with the window sticker.

At over $100K as-tested, the financial sting is profound, especially if your needs align more with an F-150 or midsize truck. But for private users, commercial fleets or ranchers who demand the biggest, baddest truck possible, it’s impossible to overlook the ultimate “do anything” appeal of Ford’s premium Super Duty hero.

This F-350 is a no-compromise, no-excuses machine built to conquer the toughest jobs with exceptional comfort and capability. For the right buyer, that makes it a dream come true, regardless of price.

At A Glance

Info Box

What was tested? 2023 Ford F-350 DRW 4×4 Crew Cab Limited ($99,280). Options: 3.55 ratio limited slip axle ($385), Ford Pro Upfit integration ($400), tonneau cover ($2,200), spray-in bed liner ($595). Price as tested (including $1,895 destination charge): $104,755
Wheelbase: 175.9 in.
Length: 266.2 in.
Width: 105.9 in.
Height: 81.5 in.
Engine: 6.7-liter High Output Power Stroke Diesel V8 (500 horsepower, 1,200 ft. lbs. torque)
Transmission: 10-speed automatic
Fuel economy: Not rated


Style: 7
Performance: 10
Price: 2
Handling: 4
Ride: 6
Comfort: 7
Quality: 7
Overall: 8

Why buy it?

For buyers who need maximum heavy-duty capabilities combined with first-class accommodations, the lavishly equipped 2023 Ford F-350 Limited represents the ultimate “do anything” dream machine.

Posted in Ford

Genesis Concept Turns Heads

By Derek Price

While automotive dreamers were likely drooling over the latest speed machines at this year’s New York International Auto Show, nothing on the floor could match the sheer fantastical appeal of the Genesis X Gran Berlinetta Vision Gran Turismo concept.

Recently making the jump from virtual video game rendering to full-scale physical model, this wildly ambitious Genesis concept car isn’t just a pretty computer design. It’s the physical embodiment of the brand’s lofty ambitions.

First unveiled last December ahead of its inclusion in the latest Gran Turismo 7 racing sim, the X Gran Berlinetta VGT stunned in the metal at the New York show.

A true “what if” from Genesis’ global design team, this low-slung gran turismo is the stuff of automotive fantasies, despite having precisely zero chance of entering production.

“Our goal was to create a timeless design rooted in the essence of motorsport,” Genesis Senior Chief Designer John Krsteski explained of the X Gran Berlinetta last year.

Looking every bit like a purebred endurance racer, the Genesis X Gran Berlinetta VGT melds seductive curves with functional aerodynamic elements in an impossibly alluring package.

One look at the concept’s aggressive, race-bred form makes that objective resoundingly clear. From its muscular proportions and functional aerodynamics to that ferocious hybrid powertrain, this machine exists solely to conquer racetracks.

The X’s shape seamlessly blends curvaceous, elegant body lines with unmistakably sporting intentions. A new front fascia interpretation flows into sculpted fenders and boldly creased bodysides, the dramatic look culminating in an aggressively tapered rear end capped by functional spoilers. Bathed in a radiant Korean-inspired Magma red, the X’s bodywork appears molten.

While denied the opportunity to experience its searing performance in real life, Genesis claims the X Gran Berlinetta would devastate any circuit with its thundering 1,071-horsepower hybrid drivetrain. A mid-mounted 6.5L V6 generates a wailing 870 hp and 790 lb-ft of torque, augmented by an additional 201 electric horses and 196 lb-ft from the car’s E-SC electric motor system.

Sadly, those rapturous performance figures will remain theoretical, as the X Gran Berlinetta is destined to stay a non-drivable design study.

The X Gran Berlinetta’s stripped-down cockpit and race-inspired details like a panoramic digital interface illustrate the concept’s uncompromising focus on driving performance.

Still, its minimalist yet race-focused interior allowing total driving immersion offers a glimpse of the sporting ambitions lurking within Genesis. A panoramic digital interface and steer-by-wire controls provide total connection between driver and machine.

So while the X Gran Berlinetta may never turn a wheel in anger, as an idealized manifesto for the Genesis brand’s performance intentions, it’s utterly captivating.

This race-bred fantasy’s marriage of elegant yet aggressive styling and uncompromised performance could influence future Genesis models to come. Count me among the many enthusiasts hoping elements of this scintillating concept make it to the street.

For now, enjoying the X Gran Berlinetta’s virtual thrills on Gran Turismo 7 is the closest we’ll get. But breathing life into such a tantalizingly bold concept bodes well for Genesis unleashing more attainable — if slightly tamer — sporting machines in the years ahead.

A A Glance

What is it: A design concept built for the Gran Turismo video game series, turned into a full-scale model.
First revealed: Dec. 2, 2023
Made available in Gran Turismo 7: January 2024
Shown in New York: March 29, 2024
Gasoline engine: Lambda 11 V6 (870 hp, 790 lbs. ft.)
Electric motor: Yasa E (201 hp, 196 lbs. ft.)
Total combined output: 1,071 hp, 986 lbs. ft.

Predicted Ratings

Style: 10
Performance: 10
Price: 1
Handling: 10
Ride: 3
Comfort: 2
Quality: 8
Overall: 9

Why buy it?

While this concept car isn’t for sale, it would compete with some of the most exciting supercars available today if it were slated for production. Sadly, it will likely only exist as a design study.

Posted in Genesis

New Equinox Brings Bold Style

By Derek Price

After over 20 years and 3 million units sold, Chevrolet is rebooting its popular Equinox compact SUV for the 2025 model year with a complete redesign aimed at rejuvenating the nameplate’s appeal in one of the auto industry’s most fiercely competitive segments.

While I have not yet driven the redesigned 2025 Equinox, details from a press release by General Motors paint the picture of a major improvement over the outgoing model.

The all-new fifth-generation Equinox ushers in a fresh exterior design with more expressive bodylines inspired by Chevy’s truck lineup. It adopts a wider, more planted stance with pronounced wheel arches and a distinctive C-pillar design. Three distinct front fascia treatments allow for more personalization across the LT, RS and new ACTIV trim levels.

The ACTIV brings an outdoorsy, off-road-inspired look with rugged styling cues like a unique grille, trim accents and all-terrain tires. It’s a first for Equinox, giving buyers an option tailored toward active lifestyles.

Inside, the Equinox continues the more modern design language found in recently updated Chevy crossovers and SUVs. An overhauled interior trades the outgoing model’s budget-focused aesthetic for improved materials and a tech-focused layout with a push-button transmission.

The redesigned 2025 Chevrolet Equinox showcases an expressive new exterior with bold bodylines, pronounced fender flares and a distinctly truckish profile.

The centerpiece is an all-new 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen — over 30% larger than the current Equinox’s biggest display.

It runs Google’s native automotive software and connectivity features, bringing cloud-based user profiles and over-the-air update capability.

Under the hood, Chevy is employing an updated 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 175 horsepower and up to 203 lb-ft of torque with all-wheel drive. That torque rating does outmuscle segment stalwarts like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

The new Equinox comes standard with a full arsenal of driver assistance technology bundled in Chevy’s Safety Assist suite. Features include automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

The overhauled 2025 Equinox interior brings a modern, tech-focused layout highlighted by an all-new 11.3-inch infotainment touchscreen running Google’s automotive software.

On the road, a choice of selectable drive modes (including an off-road mode for ACTIV AWD models) allows tailoring the Equinox’s performance personality. The cabin aims for a premium vibe.

With its modern tech, bold styling and varied trim choices, the 2025 Equinox appears poised to revive Chevy’s fortunes in the critically important compact SUV space. Its improved infotainment system and available driver aids keep it competitive with segment leaders.

However, the Equinox may still fall shy of buyers seeking a truly upscale cabin experience or higher levels of interior roominess and utility. Its driving dynamics remain a question mark as well.

Whether those potential shortcomings matter in the real world remains to be seen. The outgoing Equinox was Chevy’s second best-selling model, indicating the nameplate’s enduring appeal despite its flaws. The 2025 redesign elevates the Equinox’s packaging and features, which could be enough to keep it toward the front of an immensely popular pack.

At A Glance

Wheelbase: 107.5 in.
Length: 183.2 in.
Width: 74.9 in.
Height: 65.6 in.
Engine: 175 horsepower, 203 ft. lbs. torque
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Trailering capacity: 800 lbs. FWD, 1,500 lbs. AWD
Fuel economy: Not yet rated

Predicted Ratings

Style: 8
Performance: 7
Price: 8
Handling: 6
Ride: 7
Comfort: 7
Quality: 8
Overall: 7

Why buy it?

The redesigned 2025 Chevrolet Equinox blends fresh, bold styling with more personalization, improved technology and the versatility of an available off-road-inspired ACTIV trim.

Posted in Chevrolet