Monday, March 30, 2015

Ford Flex Review

The 2015 Ford Flex ranks 8 out of 13 Affordable Large SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford Flex, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Ford Flex is ranked: #8
 in Affordable Large SUVs #13
 in Affordable SUVs with 3 Rows

The 2015 Ford Flex has agile handling and spacious seating for seven, critics say, but they are let down by its small cargo area and confusing infotainment system.

The 2015 Ford Flex comes with a standard V6 engine that test drivers report provides sufficient power. However, they say the available twin-turbocharged V6 delivers quicker acceleration. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with either engine, and reviewers note that it shifts very smoothly. According to the EPA, the Flex gets up to 18/25 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. Auto writers think the 2015 Flex has nimble handling for an SUV, as well as a smooth, quiet ride. They add that the Flex has good steering feel, and that it’s easy to maneuver in tight spaces.

Some automotive journalists think the 2015 Ford Flex’s interior is well-designed and made of high-quality materials, while others note an abundance of ordinary plastics throughout. Test drivers say the Flex has a spacious interior, and that adults can fit comfortably in all three rows. The cargo area is small for the class, but reviewers say that there’s still a useful amount of space. The 2015 Flex comes standard with heated side mirrors, rear parking sensors and Ford’s voice-controlled SYNC system with Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include adaptive cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, navigation, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, a rearview camera, parallel park assist, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, a panoramic sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system and a second-row refrigerated console. Many critics report that the MyFord Touch system is complicated to use and prone to glitches. As a result, some recommend trying the system out before purchasing the Flex.
"Along with space for up to seven passengers and all of their gear, the Flex boasts an available 355-horsepower EcoBoost V6 and love-it-or-hate-it sheetmetal that sets it apart from the crowd." -- Left Lane News
"While Flex's boxy styling may not appeal to everyone, this large, comfortable people mover deserves consideration." -- Consumer Guide
"The 2015 Ford Flex offers a desirable combination of space, versatility, features and solid driving dynamics. It's a top choice among large, seven-passenger family crossovers." -- Edmunds
"It's striking and stylish as well as functional and useful - a fine combination similar to minivans and SUVs in capabilities, but clearly different from both." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Ford Expedition Review

The 2015 Ford Expedition ranks 6 out of 13 Affordable Large SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford Expedition, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Ford Expedition is ranked:#6
 in Affordable Large SUVs#9
 in Affordable SUVs with 3 Rows

Reviewers praise the Ford Expedition’s powerful new engine and roomy seats, but they think it’s due for nicer cabin materials and a more straightforward infotainment system.

The 2015 Ford Expedition is powered by a new twin-turbocharged V6 engine that impresses reviewers with its strong power output and quick acceleration. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission that reviewers say offers seamless shifts in most situations. However, some say that it can be slow to downshift when cornering at lower speeds. The base Expedition earns an EPA-estimated 16/22 mpg city/highway, which is great for a large SUV. Automotive writers report that the Expedition has well-weighted, communicative steering and a comfortable ride. As with many large SUVs, reviewers say the Expedition isn’t very easy to maneuver in small spaces. An available adaptive suspension system lets you choose between comfort, normal and sport modes. Some critics think it makes a noticeable difference in ride quality, while others think there’s no significant difference between modes.

The 2015 Ford Expedition seats up to eight, and test drivers like that its seats are comfortable and roomy in all three rows. They also appreciate its available power-folding third row and sliding second row, which they say makes it easy to adjust cargo and interior space. However, overall, they think its cabin is outdated and its materials don’t match the quality offered by some rivals. The 2015 Expedition comes with a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, a rearview camera, Ford’s voice-controlled SYNC system, Bluetooth, a USB port, rear parking sensors and power-adjustable foot pedals. Available features include remote start, front parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, navigation, a dual-headrest DVD system, blind spot monitoring and the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch-screen display. Some critics wish the infotainment system was more intuitive, and note that the touch-screen system and dashboard controls are not within easy reach from the driver’s seat.
"Ford's EcoBoost engine lineup is a key part of its fuel-efficiency strategy, and for the first time, a turbocharged EcoBoost V6 powers the Expedition. It delivers more horsepower and torque while, according to Ford, using less fuel. That's not the only improvement to the latest version of Ford's largest SUV. Updated styling, new trim choices, and advanced safety and infotainment technology make the Expedition more capable than ever." -- AutoTrader
"Although the ‘refreshed’ Expedition is facing off against completely redesigned GM rivals - which we certainly like - if you're shopping this league, it would be a mistake to overlook Ford's biggest SUV. It may be a distant finisher in the segment sales race, but it just might be a winner for you." -- Consumer Guide
"After years of living in the shadow of GM's fleet of body-on-frame SUVs the Expedition is quietly reasserting itself not only as a rival, but also as a true contender for the domestic full-size-SUV crown. If your vehicular needs include loads of interior space and towing capability in a traditional SUV package, the rebooted and EcoBoosted Expedition deserves a serious look." -- Car and Driver
"If you're in the market for a full-size SUV, the new Expedition absolutely deserves your full attention. The changes made for 2015 are purposeful and effective, breathing new life into this long-in-the-tooth SUV. With its newfound power and refinement, the Expedition is better than ever, and a serious contender for best-in-class status." -- Edmunds

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ford C-Max Hybrid Review

The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid ranks 5 out of 8 Wagons. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford C-Max Hybrid, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid is ranked: #5
 in Wagons #10
 in Hatchback s#6
 in Hybrid Cars

The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid has agile handling and plenty of passenger space, according to critics, but its appeal is diminished by a frustrating infotainment system and small cargo area.

Test drivers think the C-Max Hybrid’s four-cylinder engine and electric motor provide lively acceleration for a hybrid and plenty of passing power on the highway. The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 42/37 mpg city/highway, which is great for a wagon, but a bit low for a hybrid. Reviewers write that the Ford C-Max Hybrid responsive steering, and many say that the C-Max outperforms many hybrids with a comfortable ride and nimble handling.

According to auto writers, the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid’s cabin has an upscale feel, with top-notch materials, solid build quality and a sharp design. They say the driver’s seat offers ample headroom and a great view of the road, while the rear seats have plenty of head- and legroom. However, the C-Max Hybrid has less cargo capacity than most other wagons. Standard features include a USB port, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control and Ford’s hands-free SYNC system. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a fixed glass panoramic roof, push-button start, a nine-speaker Sony audio system, navigation, satellite radio, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, parallel park assist and Ford’s MyFord Touch infotainment system. Test drivers appreciate the C-Max Hybrid’s long list of tech features, though they complain that MyFord Touch can be difficult to use.
"The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid is an interesting alternative to compact crossovers, wagons and hybrids. Its high fuel economy and refined driving manners make it especially appealing." -- Edmunds
"If you're seeking good fuel economy in a green car that doesn't look boring or overly futuristic, the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid deserves a good look. Handsome styling, a detailed interior and great driving dynamics leave little downside to this purchase." -- Kelley Blue Book
"Ford's C-MAX tall wagon/crossover provides a well-appointed interior, useful technology features and an engaging, European-flavored driving experience that stands out from the hybrid norm." -- Left Lane News
"Where the C-Max Hybrid has its most obvious advantage, besides a somewhat lower sticker price, is that it excels as an example of discerning design. It's a very pleasant car to sit in, to drive, or just to lean on." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ford Taurus Review

The 2015 Ford Taurus ranks 9 out of 10 Affordable Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Ford Taurus, as well as reliability and safety data.

While test drivers are pleased with the Ford Taurus’ powerful engines and excellent trunk space, its clumsy handling and confusing infotainment system disappoint.

Powered by its standard V6 engine, reviewers say the 2015 Ford Taurus has a good amount of power and accelerates quickly enough to appease most drivers. Still, they are even more impressed with both available engines. An available turbocharged four-cylinder engine wows reviewers with its brisk acceleration and improved fuel economy, and they say the available turbocharged V6 engine delivers excellent power and the fastest acceleration in the lineup. Models with the standard V6 engine earn 19/29 mpg city/highway, which is about average for a V6-powered large car. However, models with the turbo four earn 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is one of the best fuel economy estimates in the class. Automotive writers are also happy with the Ford Taurus’ silky six-speed automatic transmission, which comes standard with all three engines. While some critics say the 2015 Taurus offers stable handling and sharp steering, others say the Taurus' large size makes for ponderous handling.

Automotive journalists praise the Ford Taurus' cabin for its handsome styling. They say that despite being outfitted with lots of hard plastics, the Taurus' interior materials quality is first-rate. The front seats have plenty of room, they say, but some critics disagree on whether the Taurus’ rear seats are roomy or cramped. The 2015 Taurus comes standard with a rearview camera, a six-speaker audio system, an auxiliary audio jack, MyKey and Ford’s voice-activated SYNC system, which includes Bluetooth and a USB port. Available features include a 12-speaker Sony audio system, the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, active park assist, remote start, push-button start and proximity key. According to most reviewers, the available MyFord Touch infotainment system, which controls audio, navigation and climate settings, is confusing and slow. With 20.1 cubic feet of room, the Taurus has more trunk space than that of nearly every rival, and reviewers report that the Taurus' deep trunk floor and wide opening makes cargo-loading a breeze.
"… the Taurus is outclassed by newer large sedan rivals. Its interior isn't as roomy as expected given the car's size, and outward visibility is poor. There's also ponderous handling indicative of a big sedan and the sometimes frustrating MyFord Touch system's touchscreen controls." -- Edmunds
"Though it isn't as big inside as its looks suggest, the Taurus does offer a broad spectrum of technology and convenience features along with an efficient four-cylinder EcoBoost engine capable of returning 32 mpg on the highway." -- Left Lane News
"Like a prehistoric animal living blissfully without influence from the rest of the world, the 2014 Ford Taurus has had evolutionary blinders on; it simply hasn't changed quickly enough to stay competitive in this class." -- (2014)
"Ford's 2014 Taurus is working the full-size sedan market against newer rivals like the Toyota Avalon and all-new Chevrolet Impala. A tough task considering how good the competition is, but the Taurus has many tricks up its sleeve, starting with its engine lineup." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)