Top Road Trip Desinations in Virginia

Forest Wander/Flickr Creative Commons

While summer is almost over, that doesn’t mean the road trips have to end. Stop by Richmond Ford to get your car serviced before a new round of late summer and early fall road trips start up. One of the things that you just have to do – especially if you’ve never done it – is to take a trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway to catch the fall colors.

October is the peak visiting month for the Blue Ridge Parkway as the leaves are in full color. You’ll see orange sassafras, scarlet sourwoods and golden poplars – all backed by green conifers. The actual viewing season starts in late September – this is when the dogwood, black gum and sourwood turn red. Maples also turn red a bit later. Toward the end of October, the oaks turn brown or red.

Start off in early October in Shenandoah National Park near Waynesboro, Virginia for the best view. Head south along the Parkway for the best views. If you have the time, drive all 469 miles of the Parkway into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Cherokee, North Carolina.

Waynesboro hosts the Virginia Fall Foliage Festival, right at the start of the Parkway, during the first two weekends in October. Check out the arts and crafts and explore Main Street and the historic district while you are there.

Head over to Linville Falls Visitor Center, located off US 221 between Linville and Marion. Hike up to the waterfalls to watch them drop 2,000 feet into the Linville Gorge. Pictures of the falls with colorful foliage would make a perfect postcard picture.

Travel the Parkway to Mabry Mill at milepost 176.2 to see the most photographed site on the Parkway. Visit the sawmill, the gristmill and the blacksmith shop. If you keep going, stop at Little Switzerland at milepost 334 for shops and resorts with a Swiss theme. The scenery looks like something right out of Switzerland.

At milepost 382, stop to visit the Linville Caverns. Hike 2,000 feet underground and into the caverns. And, be sure to stop in Asheville to see the childhood home of Thomas Wolfe. While you’re there, be sure to visit the Biltmore Estate.

Back up in Virginia, turn off the Parkway onto Route 56 to visit the McCormick Farm in Steeles Tavern. Visit the museum, gristmill and blacksmith show in the town.

Before you head out, be sure your vehicle has been serviced at Richmond Ford – or if you are in the market for a new vehicle, pick up the new Ford for your trip.

2015 Ford Explorer XLT

Stop by Richmond Ford today to test drive the new 2015 Ford Explorer XLT. The Explorer XLT features a 3.5-liter engine with a flexible fuel system. It is backed by a six-speed SlectShift automatic transmission and has four-wheel drive.

Entertainment features include an AM/FM stereo, CD/MP3 player, nine speakers, a media hub with an auxiliary hub, MyFord Touch, two 4.2-inch color LCD displays in the cluster and an 8-inch LCD color display in the center stack, two USB ports, an SD card reader, audio/video input jacks, steering wheel-mounted controls, Bluetooth, and Sirius satellite radio.

Safety and security features include a rearview camera, auto-dimming rearview mirror, turn-by-turn navigation, ABS brakes, four-wheel disc brakes, brake assist, rear defroster, variable speed intermittent wipers, fog lights, automatic head lights and an engine immobilizer.

Additional features include a security system, electronic stability control, traction control, a tire pressure monitoring system, child safety locks, a rear parking aid, front side air bags, driver air bag, passenger sensing air bag, front head air bag and rear head air bag.

Convenience features include a power lift gate, trailer tow package, a seven-pin wiring harness, engine oil cooler, aluminum wheels, all-season tires, heated power door mirrors with integrated turn signals, power front seats, adjustable lumbar on the front seats, a pass-through rear seat, adjustable leather steering wheel, keyless entry, cruise control, front and rear air conditioning, illuminated vanity mirrors for the driver and passenger, and floor mats.

To learn more about the 2015 Ford Explorer XLT and all of the convenience, entertainment safety and security features, stop by Richmond Ford today to take a test drive. Be sure to ask your salesperson about any specials that might be running on the Explorer, and about any additional options that may be available. Our dealership has the Explorer XLT in many colors, so stop by today and choose your favorite!

Build Your Own Ford

When you visit Richmond Ford, you can choose any of the vehicles on the lot, or you can use’s car builder to build the vehicle you want, then take the print out to our dealership where we will order your custom-built Ford.

Start by picking the type of vehicle you want. In this case, we chose the Ford Super Duty pickup. On the next page, choose Build Your Own. Enter your zip code – 23230 – and click Continue to Style. We chose the F-450. Choose Select a Model on the next page. We chose the Platinum. In our case, it comes with the crew cab and the 8-foot box only, the 6.7-liter Powerstroke engine, one transmission choice and four-wheel drive only. Click Continue to Packages.

For this model, you can select from several packages, including the Camper Package, FX4 Off-Road Package, Heavy Service Front Suspension Package, and a Snow Plow Prep Package. The Power Equipment Group is standard on this model.

Once you choose your packages, you can then choose exterior options including a fifth wheel hitch kit, fifth wheel/gooseneck trailer tow/prep package, bed mat, Cable Lock System by Master Lock, a drop in bedliner, engine block heater, exterior backup alarm, extra heavy duty alternator, gooseneck hitch kit, power moon roof, rollup tonneau cover, splash guards and many more. The exterior options that come standard on this model are already marked off.

Once you’ve chosen your exterior options, continue to interior options. As you work, you’ll notice the price below and how added options change the price. After choosing the interior options, continue to accessories. Once you’re finished, click Continue to Summary where you’ll see the price and the cost of the options you chose.

If you click Get an Internet Price, a price will show up, plus a form to email your local dealership (us!) for a price. You can fill out the form or you can print your options and bring us the print out. Our price may beat the MSRP by quite a bit depending on the specials we are running at the time.

If you don’t want to use the Build Your Own online app, you can always stop by Richmond Ford and have us build your truck or car for you.

Top Features to Add on Your Vehicle

Shorin Sean/Flickr Creative Commons

When you are buying a new truck, one of the things you look at is the features. This is great if you are buying something to drive and not a work truck. Several features should be added to even the base level trucks as these features would make life much more convenient. When you stop by Richmond Ford to test drive a new vehicle, look for some of these features.

While keyless ignition is on just about every newer vehicle, some of the base models and many trucks do not feature this option. While fleet owners might still like metal keys due to the ease of tracking a key and the lower cost of using a metal key, all vehicles should have standard keyless ignition.

One huge problem with vehicles designed to tow, whether it is a truck, SUV or large sedan, is that it is difficult to hitch a trailer by yourself. Dynamic trailer hitch assist should be standard on all tow vehicles. The feature superimposes an imaginary line on the LCD screen. Using the backup camera, you can now see where to line up the hitch and the ball. Instead of looking for another person to help or trying 57 times to get it right yourself, you can do it on the first try. Ford now has this feature, but it is not standard on all vehicles.

Grab handles were great while they lasted. Many trucks are removing them completely – but they need to come back. These are great, especially for trucks and SUVs that are high – or for people with shorter legs. While many people grab the steering wheel, that is not a viable option – you could loosen the column enough so that it rocks when you try to steer.

A 360-degree camera would be great standard equipment on all vehicles, but especially bigger trucks and SUVs. This system provides four cameras – one on each corner of the vehicle. This helps the driver see to get into tight spots, helps with towing larger loads, driving off road, and can even benefit the driver at a job site. It also helps the driver see things before he or she runs over them – sometimes, it’s just difficult to see what’s in front of the truck if something is low to the ground and close to the truck.

Ford has implemented many of these features in many of its vehicles. Stop by Richmond Ford to test drive your next new vehicle today.

Discover Virginia in Your Richmond Ford


After you buy or lease your new Ford or get your current vehicle serviced at Richmond Ford, it’s time to head out for some Virginia fun. The state is full of different landscapes for sightseeing, including mountains for hiking. Before the cold hits, head out in your new vehicle for some camping and hiking.

Drive up the Appalachian Trail to Mount Rogers, the highest point in Virginia. Mount Rogers is 5,729 feet above sea level. The actual hike begins at Elk Garden Gap and is 9 miles round trip. The trail you are looking for is the white blazed AT trail heading north.

If you really want to do some hardcore hiking or biking – or even horseback riding – take the Virginia Creeper Trail. Mile 0 is in Abingdon. You can also start in Alvarado (mile 8.5), Damascus (mile 15.5), Creek Junction (mile 25), and Whitetop Station (mile 32.3). The entire trail is 34.3 miles long and ends on Whitetop Mountain.

If you want a great valley photo op, take the Mountain Farm Trail to Humpback Rocks at mile marker 5.8 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trail also has a 19th century interpretive farm. If you hike out to the rocks, you’ll get one of the best views of the Shenandoah Valley.

If you are looking for waterfall pictures, hike the Whiteoak Canyon trail. It’s one of the more popular trails because it has six waterfalls. The falls range from 35 feet to 86 feet. Each one also has a swimming hole, so be sure to bring swimwear. You can park your new Ford off of Route 600 at the Boundary Trailhead. You can also access the trail from Skyline Drive at mile marker 42.6.

If you want to hike but are not into doing a strenuous hike, then choose Cold Mountain Loop. This is a moderate 5.7-mile loop that starts on Rt. 755/Wiggins Spring Road at Hog Camp Gap. The trail head is about a half mile past Hog Camp Gap.

Because some of these places are way out of the way, you’ll want to be sure your Ford is running perfectly – or have a brand new vehicle. Stop by Richmond Ford today to test drive a truck, sedan, coupe or SUV.

The 2015 Ford F-150 at Richmond Ford


The new 2015 Ford F-150 will be available in the Fall of 2014 at Richmond Ford. The F-150 has been fully redesigned, including a new look, a lightweight body and improved fuel efficiency and overall performance. Even with the redesign, Ford still kept all that was great about the F-150 including the chunky grille, headlight design from the Atlas concept truck and hood creases.

The new model year is also a bit wider than the outgoing 2014 model, but has slimmer doors, giving an additional 2 inches to the cabin. Speaking about the cabin, the interior styling is new, including different materials to give it a premium passenger car feel. The interior also features an 8-inch screen between the two main gauges. The screen can be customized by the driver.

The all-new aluminum body panels ride on a high-strength steel frame. This major change lightened the F-150 by over 700 pounds. That means a decent increase in fuel economy, though Ford hasn’t yet released mpg ratings yet.

The engine is a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The engine in the 2014 model was a 3.7-liter engine, so you’ll also see some fuel savings there. The 3.5-liter engine makes 283 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. It will tow up to 7,600 pounds. Ford will also use a 2.7-liter EcoBoost V-6 engine that makes 325 horsepower and 375 pound-feet of torque. The EcoBoost engine will tow up to 8,500 pounds. It also features a stop-start feature to help with fuel economy.

Furthermore, Ford will also offer a 5.0-liter V-8 engine. While power ratings have not yet been released, it is expected that it will be rated the same as the 2014 model, making 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The auto manufacturer will also offer a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with the turbocharged EcoBoost technology. states that only one transmission will likely be offered: the same six-speed automatic that Ford is currently using.

You’ll be able to choose from three cab configurations: regular, the SuperCab and the SuperCrew. The SuperCab will keep the reverse-hinged door. The SuperCrew comes with a 5-foot, 7-inch bed or a 6-foot, 7-inch bed while the SuperCab gives you a choice of a 6-foot, 7-inch or 8-foot, 1-inch bed.

The regular cab comes with only the 6-foot, 7-inch bed, plus the overall length of the truck decreased by 4 inches. Most of the space was removed from the storage area behind the seat. It is not known as of yet whether Ford will offer special editions of the F-150 for the 2015 model year.

Keep your eye on this space or stop by Richmond Ford for more information about the 2015 F-150 as it becomes available.

2014 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback


If you are in the market for a vehicle that has great fuel economy and is practical, stop by Richmond Ford to test drive the 2014 Ford Fiesta SE hatchback. The Fiesta SE features a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine backed by a six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift.

Convenience features include power steering, aluminum wheels with all-season tires, power door mirrors with integrated turn signals, power door locks, an AM/FM stereo, CD player, MP3 player, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, an auxiliary audio input, a pass-through rear seat, Bluetooth, a leather steering wheel and cruise control.

Additional features include keyless entry, driver and passenger vanity mirrors, a cargo shade, stability control, traction control, light tinted glass, a lip spoiler, lift gate, SYNC Communications and Entertainment System, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, Selective Service Internet Access, front and rear cup holders, under-seat air conditioning ducts, an illuminated glove box and a mini overhead console with storage and two 12-volt DC power outlets.

Convenience features also include a systems monitor, outside temperature gauge, electric power-assist speed-sensing steering and hill hold control.

Security and safety features include front disc brakes, ABS brakes, variable speed, intermittent wipers, daytime running lights, automatic halogen headlights, an engine immobilizer, child safety locks, a passenger air bag sensor, front and rear head airbags, a passenger air bag, driver air bag, front side air bag, a tire pressure monitor, rear wiper and defroster, delay off headlights and perimeter/approach lights.

Additional security and safety features include a perimeter alarm and the MyKey System.

To learn more about the 2014 Ford Fiesta SE hatchback, stop by Richmond Ford for a test drive. Ask your salesperson for a full list of standard features and additional available options. Also ask about any ongoing lease or purchase deals we may have running at our Richmond dealership.

The Ford F-150 Tops List


The Ford F-150, of which many models are available at Richmond Ford, was named the leader on the American-Made Index. It beat out the Camry, which is made in the United States with parts that are mostly from the U.S.

The American-Made Index is now 9 years old; it rates vehicles on only two pieces of information: the final assembly point and how many domestic parts are used to build the vehicle. This information is on the window sticker of every vehicle. The label, by congressional mandate, shows the percentage of parts from Canada and the U.S. The label also tells you where the engine and transmission were built.

Ford is already the top-selling truck in the U.S., and being made in America will help it keep that standing. After the Camry, the American-Made Index lists the Buick Enclave, Chevrolet Traverse and the GMC Acadia.

This year, only 10 cars were eligible for the list, and that is the fewest number of cars in the list’s history. Other vehicles include the Corvette, the Honda Ridgeline and Crosstour, and the Dodge SRT Viper.

In 2014, only 13 models that were assembled in the United States had 75 percent or higher domestic parts. Three of those models were disqualified because they are being discontinued. In 2013, there were 14 cars that qualified; and in 2012, 20 cars qualified, and in 2011, 30 cars qualified.

You can get a Ford F-150 XL with a regular cab for under $18,000 at Richmond Ford. This is perfect for those who need a pickup truck for hauling things or towing a light trailer or toy hauler since you don’t have to spend a ton to get the versatility of a truck.

The 2014 Ford F-150 XL features a 3.7-lite r V-6 engine backed by an electronic six-speed automatic transmission with a tow/haul mode. The truck features ABS brakes, four-wheel disc brakes, steel wheels, all-terrain tires, variable speed intermittent wipers, an engine immobilizer, a tire pressure monitor, tinted glass, aero-composite halogen headlights, a 40/20/40 split bench seat, a tilt steering column, a transmission fluid temperature gauge, cabback insulator, 12-volt DC power outlets, an anti-theft ignition, oil cooler for the transmission, towing harness and trailer sway control.

For more information on the F-150, stop by Richmond Ford for a test drive and a full list of features and options.

The 2015 Ford Focus

The 2015 Ford Focus is expected to be at dealerships, including Richmond Ford, within a couple of months. The new Focus will have several powertrains to choose from, a stunning interior design, a brand new look for the exterior, stylish wheels and a new appearance package. We’ll keep you updated on the appearance of Ford’s new Focus, so keep an eye on this space.


Ford provides you with plenty of engine choices in the 2015 model year including a 2.0-liter Ti-VCT inline four-cylinder engine that runs on unleaded or E85 – or a combination of the two; an all-electric Focus; a 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine for the ST trim level; and the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost inline-three-cylinder engine.

The 2.0-liter EcoBoost is backed by a six-speed manual transmission that gives you tons of power – and it’s got a unique sport suspension so the vehicle handles well without sacrificing power.

The electric Focus is powered by a lithium-ion battery – it never needs gas or an oil change. And it has zero CO2 emissions.

Exterior and Interior

The Focus got a new look for the 2015 model year. The design features clean-flowing lines and grabs attention. The interior is just as impressive as the new exterior. A newly-designed center stack and more technology, combined with a new lineup of seats for the S, SE and Titanium models, bring the interior front and center.


You have a choice of several options for wheels on the S, SE and Titanium models including 15-, 16-, 17-, and 18-inch wheels. The ST features 18-inch Rado Gray painted aluminum wheels as standard equipment with 18-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted black pockets as optional equipment.

SE Appearance Package

Also new this year is the SE Appearance Package, which features an eight-way power driver’s seat, leather-trimmed seats, 17-inch aluminum wheels, LED signature lighting and more.


The Focus will also feature SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated technology, as standard equipment on all models. Some models will also feature a rearview camera, blind spot information system, keyless entry and a heated steering wheel.

MyKey, another piece of Ford technology, allows the driver to limit top speeds, decrease audio volume and more – perfect for when the teenaged son or daughter want to take the Focus for a spin.

Stop by Richmond Ford or keep your eye on this space for more information about the 2015 Ford Focus and it’s release date.

2014 Ford Expedition EL Limited

If you are in the market for something that can carry several people yet is functional at the same time, stop by Richmond Ford to test drive the 2014 Ford Expedition EL Limited. This four-wheel drive SUV is perfect since you can take it just about anywhere, plus you have tons of cargo space – or can haul the whole family to the movies or on a trip.

The Expedition features a 5.4-liter V-8 engine that runs on regular unleaded fuel. It is backed by a six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive. The engine will also run on E85. When running on ethanol, the fuel mileage is 9 mpg* in the city and 13 mpg* on the highway.

Interior features include second row bucket seats, dual headrest DVDs by Invision, voice-activated navigation with HD radio, running boards, heated power mirrors with integrated turn signals and memory, a rear window defroster, AM/FM stereo, satellite radio, a CD player and MP3 player, rear seat audio controls, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, an auxiliary audio input, Bluetooth and front power leather seats. The front seats are also heated and cooled; and the rear seats are also heated.

Additional features include a heated steering wheel, a universal garage door opener, keyless entry, cruise control, climate control and multi-zone air conditioning, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, illuminated vanity mirrors and adjustable pedals.

Exterior features include 20-inch polished aluminum wheels with P275/55R20 BSW all-season tires, white platinum metallic tri-coat paint, four-wheel drive, a tow hitch, power steering, a conventional spare tire, tow hooks and a luggage rack.

Safety and security features include ABS brakes, four-wheel disc brakes, brake assist, variable speed, rain-sensing intermittent wipers, security system, traction control, stability control, an engine immobilizer, a tire pressure monitor, back-up camera and several airbags.

Stop by Richmond Ford today to take a test drive and to get a full list of standard features plus additional options available for the 2014 Ford Expedition EL Limited. While you are visiting, be sure to ask about any specials on leases, purchases and service.