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Auto blogWed, 24 Sep 2014
Between the Taurus-based Police Interceptor, the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility and the F-150 and Expedition special service vehicles, Ford has no lack of offerings for law enforcement. And now it has one more in the form of the new Transit PTV.
Based on the fullsize Transit van, the Prisoner Transport Vehicle can move as many as 12 prisoners in three separate compartments between detention facilities. Created in collaboration with Pennsylvania-based Havis Prisoner Transport Solutions and with input from Ford's Police Advisory Board, the Transit PTV takes advantage of the Transit's considerable configuration options that include three roof heights, two wheelbases, three lengths and four body-styles - not to mention engine options that include the flex-fuel 3.7-liter V6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.2-liter Power Stroke diesel.
"Transit PTV is the latest example of Ford's deep commitment to helping provide law enforcement agencies with capable vehicles. This concept proves Transit is upfit-ready and designed to Built Ford Tough standards," said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford police marketing manager. "Many Police Advisory Board members have had the chance to drive this vehicle and they are excited about it. This new vehicle is tough, smart and efficient - ideal for the needs of law enforcement agencies."
Ford is following up on a report we posted a few weeks back that the Blue Oval would be adding stop-start technology to its entire model range. Now, the Dearborn-based automaker has announced that the fuel-saving feature would be available on 70 percent of the company's range by 2017.
Ford claims the technology will improve fuel economy by around 3.5 percent, although its actual effect will vary based on how the owner drives - apparently up to a 10-percent improvement is possible for those who sit in heavy traffic (Los Angelenos, this means you). The latest recipient of the technology is the updated 2014 Ford Fiesta with the company's three-cylinder EcoBoost powerplant.
Part of the reasoning for the new addition has to do with cost. Ford claims the tech is affordable and easy to implement. "Simply put, Auto Start-Stop helps customers use less fuel, which is an important component of Ford's Blueprint for Sustainability," Ford's global powertrain vice president, Bob Fascetti, said.
When people ask us what car we would recommend for them, it's usually not easy to answer. To make a useful recommendation we must consider which of the numerous vehicle segments fits their needs best, and then choose one of the many vehicles offered in each segment. For some people, new cars don't meet their expectations of value, because they lose so much of it the moment they are purchased and driven off the dealer lot. For them, there's always the used-car market, where great deals can be found, but cars' histories of reliability and maintenance records - and perhaps that Certified Pre-Owned warranty - become ever-important factors playing into purchase choice.
To help out, Edmunds has done us the favor of assembling a list of the best used vehicles money can buy, covering model years 2006-2011, according to what it considers the most important criteria when shopping for used autos: reliability, safety, value and availability. That means unreliable, unsafe, super-expensive or limited-edition models don't appear on the list, but instead cars from each segment that are more likely to satisfy the general population.
There are some real goodies on the list, including but not limited to vehicles such as the capable Honda Fit, the cultish Honda Accord coupe (which can be had with a 240-horsepower V6 and a six-speed manual transmission some years), and the powerful Chevrolet Corvette. While Edmunds' choice of the Volvo C70 for best used convertible baffled us at first (not that it's a bad car), it redeemed itself by stating that the Mazda MX-5 still is an unofficial top choice if you don't require more than two seats.