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2013 Ford Mustang V6 Review

Thursday December 6th, 2012 at 9:1212 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: V8 Performance at V6 Price
Gripes: Illegible Speedo, Chair Flop Annoyances

Most people think V-8 when they think Ford Mustang. To be sure, the brand’s identity is based on the architecture of the 8 cylinder engine. But with gas nudging the $5 per gallon mark, maybe it’s time to rethink the basic Mustang equation. Back in 1964, when Ford introduced the Mustang, the base model’s inline 6 cylinder engine was a weak-kneed shadow of the optional V8. Today, however, the base V6 is a sophisticated triumph of compact engineering, with coil-on-plug electronics and a 12.4 quart oil sump that is just half a quart shy of the 5.0 liter V8’s 13 quart oil pan. Best of all, the latest 24 valve, DOHC V6 makes 305hp and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, and earns an EPA overall fuel rating of 22 MPG.

If you’re going to go the V6 route, then you’ll really want to back up the engine with Ford’s sweet shifting 6-speed manual transmission, which features hill-hold for 2013. This gearbox will help you extract every last ounce of performance from the high-revving V6. The stubby aluminum and leather shift knob glides from gate to gate with just a nudge. Performance off the line is particularly explosive if you stipulate the V6 Performance Package ($1,395), which provides extra initial surge through a 3.71:1 rear axle ratio with Limited Slip differential gears. The “track pack” which for 2013 is available on automatic transmission V6 Mustangs, also brings you distinctive looking painted and machined 19 inch diameter alloy rims fitted with premium Pirelli P Zero tires measuring 225/40ZR19.

These 220 Treadwear Rated Pirellis contribute prodigious amounts of side bite to the Mustang’s athletic cornering ability. If you select the correct gear to keep the V6 on full boil, this economy Mustang will run with much more expensive, higher powered sports cars on any backroad. Of course, with an out-the-door price of just $32,025, you’ll have to accept a few shortcomings in the mix. The spring tension on the clutch release mechanism is so strong that the Mustang will leap forward on the 1st to 2nd gear upchange even before you feed in throttle. This can be disconcerting at first, but you quickly learn to adapt your driving style to this eccentricity.

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2013 Ford Fiesta SES Review

Tuesday October 9th, 2012 at 9:1010 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

Hypes: Cute, Practical, City Parking Champ
Gripes: Auto Gearbox Kills the Buzz

The newly reissued Fiesta is small, practical, affordable, and cute. But along with those virtues, it also never lets you forget that it is cramped and underpowered. On the positive side of the ledger, the Fiesta is short enough to slip into any parking spot you can find. It’s even a pleasure to parallel park since side and rear vision is unrestricted. Its diminutive 98 inch wheelbase is 6 inches shorter than that of the Ford Focus, which itself is hardly a limousine. Hence the agile Fiesta is a lot of fun on twisty roads, willingly following your steering wheel command to flick it from side to side. Appealingly grippy performance rubber – 195/50/R16 Hankook Optimo H426 tires – underline the Fiesta’s innate balance and proclivity to carve corners.

The interior appointments of the top line SES model are soothing and handsome. The cloth trimmed seats feature tone on tone inserts that look like they belong on a tapestry in the museum of modern art. Their branch-like patterning contributes an air of Zen simplicity to the cabin. Even the pebbly dash top finish, which resembles compressed shipping cardboard, does a good job of quelling reflections and looking starkly modern. The center stack of the dash, constructed in a V-pattern to replicate a smart phone faceplate, works well with one exception. There’s a center volume control knob for the entertainment unit, but no matching knob to access station settings. This lack requires you to resort to an infuriating scan of the various push buttons, none of which accomplish the simple task of changing radio channels.

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2013 Ford Explorer Review

Saturday September 22nd, 2012 at 11:99 AM
Posted by: AKramer


By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Excellent highway cruiser
  • Spacious, well-appointed interior
  • Decent handling for a large SUV
  • Loads of available technology and safety features

Cons:

  • 3.5 L V6 needs another helping of torque
  • More soft-roader than off-roader
  • My Touch system still needs work
  • Slurps gas

It’s been a while since the Ford Explorer captivated the minds of American car buyers. Once the SUV sales king, the truck-based Explorer has been passed over in recent years for more modern looking, better performing car-based crossovers. Even Ford seems to have recognized this shift in consumer behavior, offering its own competition to the Explorer in the form of the Edge and Flex crossovers.

Rather than let the Explorer die out, Ford decided to transform the vehicle into a more road friendly, yet still off-road capable SUV. With a unibody chassis borrowed from the Taurus and Flex, and an all wheel drive system that features terrain management and hill-descent control, the 2011 Explorer promises to be the best of all worlds. We took the new Explorer on a trip high into the Sierras to find out if this really is the rebirth of a champion, or just a rehash of what the rest of the industry has already been doing for years.

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2012 Ford Focus Hatchback Review

Friday August 3rd, 2012 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman

Vitals Statistics:
$19095      Focus 5dr HB SE
4-Door Front Wheel Drive , 160 bhp, 146 lb-ft, 5-sp Manual, 26/36 mpg
5 passengers, 2900 lb, 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine, 18.1 lb/bhp

Likes:

  • Euroslick styling
  • Gem-like interior fittings
  • Razor sharp handling
  • Eager engine that is happy to work hard
  • Hatchback model has added utility over sedan and looks great
  • Long list of upgrades and high-tech options

Dislikes:

  • Lack of paddle shifters for dual clutch automatic
  • HVAC dials where radio controls should be and vice versa
  • Driving concentration distracted by Ford Synch GUI

YouTube Preview Image2012 Ford Focus Test Drive & Car Review. This video is brought to you by Autobytel

If you think of the Focus as Ford’s VW Golf beater, you’re aiming too low. Golf was just the low hanging fruit in Ford’s quest to redefine the sport compact sedan. The real target was Audi’s A3, a loftier goal indeed. Has Ford succeeded in outdoing the A3? Not quite, but close enough to give Audi reason to be concerned. If you want to build a better sport sedan than Audi, you’d best hire Germans to design it, and that’s just what Ford has done. The Focus was conceived in Germany, and has been on sale across Europe for more than a year. It has already established a successful track record in World Rallye competition as well as World Touring Car track contests. While Focus may be new to the US, it is by no means an unproven entity abroad.

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2012 Ford Edge SEL FWD Review

Thursday May 3rd, 2012 at 3:55 PM
Posted by: AKramer

 

Likes:

  • High-output V6 engine
  • Well-balanced suspension
  • Solid build quality
  • User-friendly SYNC system

Dislikes:

  • Hefty 4,300 pound curb weight hampers handling, acceleration, and fuel efficiency
  • Huge wheels = lots of unsprung weight and road noise
  • Transmission lacks manual shift option
  • Edgy exterior styling

YouTube Preview Image2012 Ford Edge EcoBoost Limited. This video is brought to you by CNET

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2012 Ford F-150 Platinum and Lariat Editions

Wednesday February 1st, 2012 at 10:22 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2011 Ford F-150
By Alex Kramer

Pros:

  • Smooth, powerful 5.0L V8 engine
  • Surprisingly luxurious interior
  • SuperCrew cab means plenty of room for passengers
  • Decent fuel efficiency, especially for such a large truck

Cons:

  • Ride gets choppy over rough pavement
  • Shorter bed length limits cargo capacity

The big news for Ford truck fans this year is an entirely new engine lineup for the best-selling F-150. Replacing the underperforming 4.6 and 5.4 liter V8 engines is a quartet of new motors, including two new V8s, a new base model V6, and even a turbocharged V6.

Although putting a turbo six in a full-size truck is a risky move for Ford, the 3.5L EcoBoost engine has the goods, producing 355 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, and up to 22 mpg on the highway, a potent combination with gas still close to $4 a gallon. The base 3.7L V6 engine is also an overachiever, making 302 hp and earning 23 mpg on the highway. With numbers like these, even hard-core truck owners might be convinced to abandon their V8s.

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2012 Ford Focus 5-Door Hatchback Review

Sunday October 23rd, 2011 at 11:1010 PM
Posted by: berrichondanny

2012 Ford Focus Kinetic exterior design
By Danny Chang

Vitals Statistics:

$22,765      Focus 5dr HB Titanium
4-Door Front Wheel Drive , 160 bhp, 146 lb-ft, 5-sp Manual, 26/36 mpg
5 passengers, 2900 lb, 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine, 18.1 lb/bhp

Pros

  • Smooth ride and crisp handling
  • Automated parking system
  • Sporty Euro styling
  • Eager engine that is happy to work hard
  • Hatchback model has added utility over sedan and looks great
  • Long list of upgrades and high-tech options

Cons

  • Rear leg room is a bit tight
  • Decent acceleration
  • MyFord + Microsoft Sync works as well as a Windows PC

It’s been over ten years since Ford has brought its world-class compact sedan and hatchback to America. During this time, those of us in the U.S. completely missed out on the second generation of the Ford Focus that the rest of the world had access to, and instead we had the misfortune of an updated Mk 1 version with poor styling in being peddled as the second generation North American Focus. At least now we get the same world compact car as the Europeans do in the new Mk III Ford Focus. Having actually owned a 1996 Ford Escort way back when, I can actually say that this new Focus is like night and day when compared with the old Escort. One, I like the sporty styling. Secondly, I enjoyed the tight handling on this compact car. Thirdly, I was really wowed by the automated parking system. More on that later.

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2011 Ford Mustang GT Review

Monday October 17th, 2011 at 3:1010 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2011 Ford Mustang GT
By David Colman

Likes:

  • Incredible Bang for the Buck
  • Everyday Practicality

Dislikes:

  • Limited Rear Vision
  • No Separate Gas Cap

The latest iteration of the long-lived Mustang GT has to be the bargain performance sensation of the year. When correctly optioned, this $36,000 evolution of Ford’s original pony car of 1964 is a ferocious street fighter capable of punching twice its weight.

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Video: Ken Block’s Gymkhana Four – The Hollywood Megamercial

Tuesday August 16th, 2011 at 1:88 PM
Posted by: Derek

ken block gymkhana four

Ken Block, Ninja Warriors, Jaws, and Bacon Strips

Like any good sequel, the action gets bigger and bigger as Ken tries to raise the bar with his Gymkhana videos promoting his DC Shoes brand and high powered Ford Fiesta. Now close your office door, crank up the speakers, and prepare for some high-octane Hollywood fun.

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Posted in Ford, Press and News, Viral Video |Tags:, , , , || 3 Comments »


2011 Ford F- 250 Super Duty Diesel Review

Thursday May 26th, 2011 at 9:55 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty
By contributing editor David Colman

Pros:

  • Enough torque from the diesel-powered dinosaur to move mountains
  • Super comfy interior

Cons:

  • 8 grand extra for the diesel engine option
  • No 4-wheel-drive

There are still a few escapees from the LaBrea Tar Pits roaming our highways, and this brutal Ford is one of them. At over 20 feet long, and 7 feet high, this F-250’s skeleton ought to be on display at the Museum of Natural History. Joking aside, though, if you plan to tow a big boat or mobile home, the Super Duty Diesel is just exactly what you need. The F-250, with a minimum tow rating of 11,800 pounds, will rise to meet any occasion, especially if you equip it with the new 6.7 liter Turbo V8 Diesel, which produces an amazing 735 lb-ft of torque at just 1,600 RPM. With that much grunt on hand so low in the RPM spectrum, you need to take extra care not to spin the rear wheels, especially when the eight foot cargo bed is empty. In fact, the F-250 really needs 4-wheel drive to maintain traction in damp conditions, because it’s way too easy to get this rig sideways in the wet in rear wheel drive.

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