Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Red
Model: Other Pickups
Number of Cylinders: 8
Warranty: Vehicle does NOT have an existing warranty
Drive Type: 2 wheel drive
Lake Park, Minnesota, United States
Waiting for a Ford compliment from Consumer Reports these days is like waiting for a low-cost new product from Apple. So we weren't really expecting a glowing review of the 2013 Ford Fusion when CR got its hands on the car. The institute's crew bought three different versions of the Fusion (Hybrid, 1.6-liter EcoBoost and a Titanium with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost) to put through its barrage of tests, and while we aren't too surprised by some of the findings, they're still interesting nonetheless.
CR praises the Fusion for its "eye-catching" design and says that the sportier Titanium trim level is the best-handling midsize sedan they've ever tested, but that's about where the good news ends for Ford. The Fusion Hybrid also posted the best-ever fuel economy CR has recorded in a midsize sedan, but the only problem is that their number was 39 miles per gallon combined - far less than Ford's 47 mpg rating for city, highway and combined. As expected, CR also dinged the Fusion for its MyFord Touch, but some of the other gripes about the car include a cramped cabin and poor fit and finish.
Other Ford products tested this time around include the Focus Electric and C-Max Hybrid. Like the Fusion, CR's observed fuel economy of 37 mpg for the C-Max fell well short of Ford's advertised 47-mpg rating, and both cars were criticized for the use of MyFord Touch. CR notes that the Focus Electric's interior is also cramped, with the battery pack taking up a lot of cargo space.
If you've noticed that there have been more recalls than usual this year, you may be on to something. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the US market is on pace to break a record for recalls. In 2013, 22 million cars were recalled. We're only a third of the way through 2014, though, and we've already halved that figure, with 11 million units recalled. That's wild.
Considering the past few months, it shouldn't be a surprise that General Motors is leading the charge, with six million of the 11 million units recalled coming from one of the General's four brands. Between truck recalls, CUV recalls and the ignition switch recall, 2014 hasn't been a great year for GM.
Other recall leaders include Nissan (one million Sentra and Altima sedans), Honda (900,000 Odyssey minivans), Toyota (over one million units in a few recalls), Volkswagen (150,000 Passat sedans), Chrysler (644,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs) and most recently, Ford (434,000 units, the bulk of which were early Ford Escape CUVs). So while it's been a bad year for GM so far, its competitors aren't doing too well, either.
Photos of the 2015 Ford Focus leaked earlier today, but now we're able to tell you more details of the global five-door hatchback. Bucking automaker's troubling trend of ditching manual transmissions in favor of automatics, Ford says the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will come only in a six-speed manual in the US, because, well, American drivers aren't as sophisticated as our European brothers and sisters.
Ford didn't come out and say it that way, but it has found American drivers are more prone to complain about automatics in smaller-engine cars, Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president of global product development, said at a press conference last week. The recent JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study backs up Ford's claims, pointing out that drivers are complaining about rough transmission shifts, engine hesitation and lack of power, particularly in small cars. In Europe and other parts of the world, drivers seem to understand the quirks of these pint-sized engines, Nair said, so they'll have the option to buy an automatic. Ford is working on tuning its dual-clutch transmissions to make them more amenable to American driver's tastes.
Ford will show off the refreshed 2015 Focus at the Geneva Motor Show in early March. The car is due for an update, having been on sale in its current form since 2012. The automaker said it is jamming the car full of new technology - like a USB port that promises to charge your phone in half the time as a regular USB port. Features like Sync and a rear back-up camera will come standard. For a more in-depth look at the car, take a look at the full press release.