Archive for the 'SUV' Category


2013 Ford Explorer Sport The twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 helps the Explorer explore its limits.


Although “sport” is right there in the term “sport-utility vehicle,” those vehicles’ inherently heavy weights, higher centers of gravity, and blocky shapes usually preclude sports-car fun, no matter how much power you shoehorn under the hood. Most SUVs are little more than shuttle buses, a task for which they are well-suited.

Still, there are some loons who want their family hauler to haul ass—witness the chariots of lunacy in our most recent hot-rod SUV comparo. To tap this market, Ford has just introduced the Explorer Sport.

In a nutshell, the Explorer Sport is simply an Explorer fitted with the Taurus SHO’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6, that makes 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Hit the throttle, and it’s pretty clear this is not your usual seven-seat Ford—it rockets up to 80 mph before the acceleration starts to tail off. Zero to 60 times fall from about eight seconds for the naturally aspirated V-6 Explorer to around six in the Sport.

The powertrain is quiet and very smooth. Only at low speeds do you hear much engine noise, and what you do hear sounds angry enough for a family vehicle. To handle the elevated engine torque, the Explorer Sport only comes with all-wheel drive and Ford’s system allocates the power as needed to maximize traction. Even so, a full-throttle launch reveals traces of torque steer, although this disappears once the transmission shifts into second gear.

Continue reading ‘2013 Ford Explorer Sport The twin-turbo EcoBoost V-6 helps the Explorer explore its limits.’


All-New Ford Escape with EcoBoost Engine EPA-Certified at 33 MPG, the Most Fuel Efficient Small SUV on Market

The new Ford Escape is certified by the U.S. EPA as the most fuel efficient small SUV with an automatic. The Escape’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost® engine is certified at 33 mpg – 2 mpg better than the Honda CR-V and 5 mpg better than Toyota RAV4.

All three engines in the new Escape are EPA-certified at 30-plus mpg on the highway. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost, certified at 30 mpg on the highway, beats the Toyota RAV4 by 3 mpg and the Chevrolet Equinox by 6 mpg.

“The fuel economy of the all-new Escape showcases the continued success of Ford’s development of smaller, yet more powerful engines,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. “Ford understands people want fuel-efficient vehicles without sacrificing power and space requirements.”

Escape’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine – offered for the first time in North America – delivers 33 mpg highway and 23 mpg city, produces 178 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, topping the Mazda CX-5 by more than 20 horsepower and 30 lb.-ft. of torque.

Those looking for maximum power coupled with solid fuel efficiency can opt for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost with 30 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city. The 2.0-liter EcoBoost delivers 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque. It is also rated at 3,500 pounds towing, which leads the pack for small, turbocharged SUVs.

The Escape’s 2.5-liter offers 31 mpg on the highway – a 3 mpg improvement over the outgoing standard engine – and 22 mpg in the city.

EcoBoost engines are standard in the SE, SEL and Titanium editions. The SE and SEL models come with the 1.6L standard and the Titanium comes with the 2.0-liter.  The 2.5-liter is available in the S edition.

With the EPA certification, the Escape is the latest vehicle to join Ford’s fuel-efficient lineup. Ford now offers eight vehicles with 40 mpg or more and 11 vehicles with fuel-efficient EcoBoost engines.

Continue reading ‘All-New Ford Escape with EcoBoost Engine EPA-Certified at 33 MPG, the Most Fuel Efficient Small SUV on Market’


Ford and Toyota to Collaborate on Light Truck Hybrids News at AutoTalk

Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation will be joining forces in the development of hybrid technology for light trucks and SUVs. The two manufacturers will also be co-developing advanced telematics and other on-board Internet services.

The announcement comes as corporate fuel-economy requirements are on the verge of doubling to an average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. The Obama administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) proposal will force automakers to revamp their line-ups with lighter, more fuel efficient models such as hybrids. Under the new policy, cars produced between the 2016 and 2025 model years will require a 5 percent increase in fuel economy. Full sized pick-ups produced from 2016 through 2019 will be exempt from this standard. After 2019, full sized pick-ups will have to meet a standard yet to be determined.

Automakers have struggled in the past to meet fuel economy standards for full sized trucks. Ford and Toyota’s collaboration is hoped to help ease these troubles while maintaining consumers’ demands.

Ford and Toyota will sign an official agreement next year and plan to release new hybrid systems on rear-wheel drive SUVs and light weight trucks later this decade.


Ford to debut curve control system in new Explorer

Ford Motor Co. is upgrading the electronic stability control system on its 2011 Ford Explorer to help the SUV perform better if a driver takes a curve too quickly.

The curve control system uses the same sensors as Ford’s stability control system, which monitors the steering wheel angle, wheel speed, tilt of the vehicle and other inputs 100 times per second. Stability control cuts the engine’s power and applies the brakes to individual wheels if it senses a driver going off-course. Curve control adds another layer of monitoring and can cut power even more quickly if it senses the SUV isn’t turning as fast as the driver wants it to. Curve control will be able to drop the Explorer’s speed by as much as 10 miles per hour in a second.

Continue reading ‘Ford to debut curve control system in new Explorer’


2008 Lincoln MKT Concept


Growth opportunity: The Lincoln MKT concept shows a new potential vehicle for Lincoln, demonstrating the brand’s new design language works as well on a spacious luxury utility vehicle as it does luxury sedans like the new 2009 Lincoln MKS.

2008 Lincoln MKT Concept2008 Lincoln MKT Concept-22008 Lincoln MKT Concept-3EcoBoost power: Ford’s global solution for improving fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions for millions of customers – EcoBoost engine technology – powers Lincoln MKT.

Responsible luxury: The Lincoln MKT concept reaches a new level of responsible luxury with the use of more environmentally friendly materials that offer a premium look and feel.
DETROIT, Jan. 14, 2008 – Lincoln today pulls the wraps off a new premium utility concept vehicle – unsurpassed in its balance of spaciousness, comfort and fuel efficiency – that shows customers a new way to tour in style.

The Lincoln MKT concept features a 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine with turbocharging and direct injection that produces the power and torque of a V-8 engine with the fuel efficiency of a V-6. EcoBoost – combined with advanced transmissions, electric power steering, weight reductions and aerodynamic improvements – is a key part of Ford Motor Company’s vehicle sustainability strategy.

The company is introducing EcoBoost engines that will deliver up to 20 percent better fuel economy on half a million Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles annually in North America within the next five years. Ford will first introduce EcoBoost in the Lincoln MKS next year. The luxury sedan will feature a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V-6, delivering an estimated 340-horsepower and more than 340 lb.-ft. of torque on regular gas.


‘Swap’ News

  • A Miami consumer featured in one of the “Swap Your Ride” ads has decided to ‘Swap’ her Armada for an Expedition and is taking delivery of her new vehicle this evening. 
  • Consumer research firm IAG’s newly released list of Top Ten Most Recalled New TV Ads for the past month includes the Swap ad featuring Taurus. 
  • Our Web metrics indicate consumers are very interested in hearing what real people have to say about our products:  The Ford Challenge Swap Your Ride site is drawing in more than one third of the overall traffic to Through the third week of the campaign, we’ve had more than 900,000 unique visitors to the Web site — about five times the traffic we saw with the successful Fusion Challenge.  More than 80 percent of visitors are watching the videos in their entirety.
  • Share Your ‘Swap’ Successes!   Let us know what your customers are saying about the ads and tell us what you’ve done to capitalize on Swap.  [Contact Lydia Cisaruk at (313) 337-8299 or at ]
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    2008 Ford Escape Hybrid

    2008 Ford Escape Hybrid

    Test drove: 7/17/2007 to 7/31/2007

    Just Like Grandma’s Sofa

    When my grandma moved from Virginia to Colorado to be closer to our family, not only did she have boxes full of knick-knacks that were incredibly appealing to my pre-teen self, she also had an unforgettable sofa: Gold velour with a hateful green and blue floral pattern on it. This sofa’s tacky factor rivaled velvet Elvis paintings. Even worse (because, honestly, a velour sofa could have redeeming characteristics, like being super comfy to lounge on in skimpy summer PJ’s), the entire thing was covered in protective plastic.

    Plastic. Not comfy to lounge on, and no fun to drive in. Even if you could get past the Escape Hybrid’s cheap materials, driving it felt like trying to Flintstone Grandma’s plastic sofa up to speed on the highway. I was thrilled the kids were still on summer break while I had this car, as that minimized the number of highway miles I had to log. The continuously variable automatic transmission (a fancy-pants term meaning, among other things, that you don’t get a kick in the butt as the vehicle changes gears), was incredibly frustrating and even louder than Grandma when her hearing aid battery failed.

    2008 Ford Escape Hybrid

    I did appreciate the rear park assist on this car (you can imagine how important that would be when driving a plastic sofa), as well as the touch-screen navigation system, the sunroof and the easy-to-use Latch connectors.

    The modern amenities in the Escape Hybrid would probably make Grandma’s head spin — God rest her soul — if she were around to experience them. I loved the standard auxiliary input jack to plug in my iPod for some serious mood-altering audio therapy, and for the kids’ books on tape (or, rather, books on iPod). The 110-volt outlet in the front would also boggle Grandma’s mind; imagine what she’d think of being able to plug in any number of modern amenities, most of which would best be used when the vehicle is not in motion — laptop, vacuum cleaner, espresso machine with frothing wand … anyone? Anyone?

    The center console in the Escape Hybrid has an adjustable cubby-like system to help keep all my mommy things organized. This was a huge benefit and compensated for the inadequate, narrow rectangular pockets in the rear doors, which seemed to fit nothing. Well, not exactly nothing — my sage green travel portfolio, about which I receive numerous compliments, fit perfectly. Why I’d want to store this in the rear door pockets, however, I have yet to figure out.

    Attempting to fold the backseat to store antiques, possibly of the smelly velour variety, was also a pain. The 60/40-split folding rear seats required a two-step process to go down. Why Ford uses this mechanism rather than a one-step process — or, better yet, electronically via the push of a button, saving me time and grief — is a mystery. Almost as big a mystery as grandma’s collection of smutty paperback romance novels (eewww!).

    Last but not least, trying to close the tailgate on the Escape required near superhuman strength. I’ll be lucky if my muscle tone is still sharp enough to close this tailgate when I’m 80, at which time I hope that the plastic sofa-cover gene will have eluded me, along with the get-my-hair-set-weekly-at-the-$5-beauty-school gene. Grandmas — you gotta love ‘em. The Escape Hybrid? Not so much.

    *For more information on the Ford Escape Hybrid and its safety features, visit With questions or comments regarding this review, write to


    Latch Connectors: 2

    Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5


    Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair

    Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair


    Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair – Great

    Fun Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove On): None – Some

    2008 Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD
    Base price: $27,015
    Price as tested: $31,915
    Engine: 133-hp, 2.3-liter I-4
    Fuel: 29/27 mpg
    Length: 174.7”
    Width: 71.1”
    Ground Clearance: 8.6”
    Turning Radius: 18.3’
    Cargo space: 27.8 – 66.0 cu. ft.
    NHTSA Crash-Test Ratings
    Frontal Impact
    Driver’s side: 3 Stars
    Passenger’s side: 5 Stars
    Side Impact
    Front occupant: 5 Stars
    Rear occupant: 5 Stars
    Rollover resistance: Not rated

    News and Events for the Ford or Lincoln owner and enthusiast.

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