Sunday, March 20, 2016

New Car Review: 2016 Ford Focus Titanium

I picked up the 2016 Ford Focus Titanium this week. Considering I review “luxury” new vehicles, I’m not sure why. The sale price for this vehicle starts at about $27,000, you’re looking at close to $30,000, at least, for all the bells and whistles.

I guess my point is, you can put all the bells and whistles in a starter vehicle that most luxury vehicles come with as standard these days, and you’re still left with an entrance level vehicle. It doesn’t make it feel any more luxurious. At least in this case.

The exterior of the Focus is very bland; nothing special, no great design, standard size sunroof, no wow factors. In fact, I’d go as far as saying “it’s just plain ugly.”

The center console is actually “ok”. I do like the large touch navigation screen and how neat and clean everything is. Not a whole lot of buttons in the way. Unlike most car navigation programs where you have to select the street number, address, city, etc. separately, with Ford’s system you just type it all on one line and then voila – a map and your vehicle appear in a split screen view. I actually quite like this. It still comes with the drive stick, no modern push-button dial like most luxury vehicles. The leather wrapped steering wheel isn’t very comfortable to handle, and the quality of the material is poor. Even the heated leather seats give off a repulsive cheap scent.

How does it drive? The engine is very sluggish, a lot of hesitation, absolutely no guts. It’s not a fun vehicle to drive. In fact, I barely drove it this week. Both the side mirror motion detector and back-up/front collision camera alert are terrible. The indicator on the side mirror would light up when a vehicle had passed me, not when I might side swipe it, and the collision alert goes off when you’re about 10 feet away from a vehicle in front of you, or behind, when backing up.

However, I can say it’s excellent when it comes to fuel consumption. The Eco Boost engine lives up to its name. According to Ford it gets 9.3 city and 6.72 hwy., L/100Km. I believe it.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Ford’s Mustang Convertible GT and enjoy drifting with Ken Block in a Fiesta, but the Focus? Come on now, Ford you can do better. Forget about not passing as a luxury vehicle, I wouldn’t recommend it as a starter – there are cheaper, better options out there, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Luxury, New Car Blogger – Amanda Risser

Monday, March 14, 2016

Behind the Wheel of the 2016 Lincoln MKC

One week the Lincoln MKX, the next the MKC… I can honestly say there really isn’t much of a difference between the two aside from the size. The MKC is the mini version of the MKX, and for about $50,000, it’s almost a steal!

Closely compared to the Mazda CX-5 in size, that you can get for about $40,000 fully loaded, you’d be crazy not to go with the Lincoln. Better performance, nicer interior, a hell of a lot more bells and whistles, and all the little luxuries for about $10,000 more. Yes please!

What really blew my mind about this vehicle was the interior. The model that I test drove came with cream coloured leather seats, cream coloured leather side trim/glove compartment, and black leather stitched dash and steering wheel. Top that all off with REAL wood side panel inserts. Wow, what a beautiful, classic look. It really took my breath away the first time I opened the door. There’s nothing that turns me off more than when a car manufacturer adds in the faux wood panel, you know what I’m talking about it. I hate it, it screams cheap and old! Lincoln really got this right, incorporating real wood into the look, combined with a cream coloured leather, it’s truly something to see.
You still get the full size panoramic moon roof, power lift gate, push-button shift panel next to the navigation system, etc. The only thing that I think may have been missing was the push-button to the right of the navigation to open the glove compartment. You have to open it the same way as most traditional vehicles.

Luxury, performance, affordability – this vehicle checked off all the boxes for me! It does look a little dinky next to the MKX, but if you don’t mind the compact size, I’d buy it!

Luxury, New Car Blogger – Amanda Risser

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Lincoln's 2016 MKX Appeals to a "Hipper", "Younger" Demographic

Lincoln is now “hip”, “cool”, and “young” – who knew?? Sure as heck not me! Maybe that’s why Matthew McConaughey was chosen as the perfect face for their overplayed commercials.

I must say, I was thoroughly impressed by the 2016 Lincoln MKX, from the moment I laid eyes on her.  The body is very sleek and aerodynamic, its compact size makes it more of a CUV than an SUV. If you like driving fast, you’ll LOVE this vehicle! Its 2.7L, V6 Eco-Boost engine puts out 335 HP – and let me tell you, it packs a mean punch! Put the pedal to the metal and watch what she can do! It’s also equipped with a 6-speed paddle shifter. No problems weaving through traffic at high speeds. Its Eco-Boost engine gives you 14.1 L/100 KM city and 9.7 L/100 KM hwy.

What REALLY impressed me about the MKX that I haven’t seen on any other vehicle, is how you move it from park to drive, or reverse. Older, and some new vehicles, have a joy stick to do this, but most new vehicles now have a dial in its place. Lincoln, on the other hand, has created a push-button transmission. I believe it is exclusive to this model. What do I mean by “push-button”? After you push start the engine, you’re going to then push “D” to put it in drive, which is located on the left hand side of the navigation screen. Yup, way up there! So to go from drive to park, to reverse, etc., you will need to push a button with the letter “P” or “R” or “D”, etc. Pretty cool, huh? I thought so! By the way, the navigation screen is touchscreen only. To open the glove compartment you also press another button on the right side of the navigation screen.

I do have one bone to pick with this vehicle. The 360 camera and parking aid alert reminded me a bit of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Any time I was an arm’s length away from another vehicle or object, it would start beeping like crazy as though I was about to hit it. It happened when I was parking and even while driving on a 4-lane highway. Very annoying and misleading. It’s not a difficult vehicle to park in tight spaces, there’s great visibility and it’s not all that large in size.

In terms of luxury, it has pretty much everything to satisfy any driver and its passengers. Heated seats (front and back), beautiful perforated leather seats with the most comfortable head rests ever, all interior surfaces are padded with premium stitched leather, full length moon roof, lit exterior door handles, fob controlled power liftgate, posted speed limit on the speedometer, and both driver and passenger side mirrors fold in when you lock the vehicle.

What’s it lacking? Heated steering wheel and massage seats. What??! The Evoque has both and more! Back seat is a 40/60 split, there’s a button in the trunk you can push to lay each side down, but you have to bring them back up again manually, and they’re quite heavy.

The 2016 Lincoln MKX has a lot of really cool features and a high quality interior. For about $67,000 it’s a strong contender in the luxury CUV class.

Luxury, New Car Blogger - Amanda Risser