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Freshened for 2011, the Edge adds Ford’s 240-hp EcoBoost four (front-drive only) for 2012. The turbo four gives the Edge an edge in fuel economy (21/30 mpg city/highway), and two V-6 engines (the standard 285-hp 3.5 liter, or a 305-hp 3.7-liter) continue for those who want a bit more muscle.
The Escape continues to sell well, avoiding—escaping?—the fate of its Mercury and Mazda twins that were killed over the last two years. Still, a replacement is coming for 2013, and it should fix the Ford’s stylistic and motivational problems, with modern sheetmetal and power trains.
The Expedition and the long-wheelbase EL variant are traditional body-on-frame sport-utes that battle the Chevy Tahoe and Suburban with their own mix of interior space, towing ability, and ruggedness. The 5.4-liter V-8 is adequate, but it’s trumped by GM’s engines and due for replacement.
All new last year, the Explorer is no longer an old-school SUV. A slightly lighter unibody platform underpins the three-row Explorer and provides a more carlike driving experience. A 3.5-liter V-6 is standard, but—oddly enough—a less powerful turbo inline-4 is a $995 option.
Last year’s wholesale engine updates made the perennially popular F-150—more folks buy one than any other vehicle annually—even better. The interiors are nice, the chassis is rugged, and enthusiasts can dig the Raptor, which rockets across desert landscapes like a dealer-ready trophy truck.
Absent for 30 years, the Fiesta badge returned for 2011 on this funky five-door. It’s also offered as a sedan, but this is better-looking—and more practical, to boot. You won’t get anywhere quickly, but you also won’t use much fuel. Only the Honda Fit and Mazda 2 are more fun to drive in its class.
The Flex offers seemingly endless cargo capacity with the seats folded and accommodations for up to seven with them up, and it’s all stuffed inside an interesting and rectilinear envelope. There are plenty of options and a burly EcoBoost turbo six to satisfy now, but a refresh is on the horizon, too.
The new Focus is a huge leap in refinement over its predecessor. Ride, handling, and refinement are a class above the rest of the segment. The four-cylinder provides decent power and stellar fuel economy. Later this year, the turbocharged ST will debut for those craving more power.
The 2010 Fusion’s reputation as an Affordable Midsize Car with a nice interior, great fuel economy and a host of features like Integrated Blind Spot Mirrors and HD Radio that appeal to buyers who need the practicality of a well-appointed, well-engineered and crisp-handling family-sized four-door. Get a car loan for it at OpenRoad Lending.
For those looking to purchase the Ford Mustang, look online for your best car loan rates at OpenRoad Lending. The Ford Mustang may look like last year’s model, but under the hood it’s all new and far better. In fact, many critics assert that its recent performance upgrades, including a 305-horsepower V6 engine, crown it king of American muscle cars. If Chevrolet was looking for a fight, it got one. Still hot off a complete redesign, Ford has tweaked the Mustang once more to give it an edge over the sultry Camaro. The result is nothing short of spectacular.
The Ranger is Ford’s smallest pickup, but it holds a big share of the mid-size truck market, thanks to bargain pricing and decent fuel economy. Power and load-carrying capabilities are modest, but it’s affordable, tough, and inexpensive. The four-cylinder engine is thrifty, but we recommend the V-6.
Although Ford announced in late 2006 that it was pulling the plug on the Taurus, its death was short-lived. Perhaps realizing it might have been a bit premature to give up on a name with so much consumer awareness. More recently, the “new” Taurus received a thorough reworking, including all-new styling inside and out and the revival of the SHO moniker, that has made it wholly competitive with other large sedans. Don’t you think you should get a car loan that performs at the same level?