Posted tagged ‘Ford’

Ford Expedition

May 23, 2017

Last week during our trip to Boston, Paula and I rented a car. Generally, when I rent a car I like to get a model that I might be interested in buying.  This gives me a better feel for the vehicle than a 10 minute test drive. This trip I had reserved a Ford Escape through Avis Rent-a-Car. I tend to like the small SUV’s. Currently, I own a 2007 Jeep Liberty with 115K miles on the odometer, so it’s getting to be the time that I need to be looking at new cars.

Ford ExplorerSo we get to the rental counter last Tuesday night and hand over my driver’s license and credit card. The woman at the counter types in the info on her computer and proceeds to tell me that they don’t have any Ford Escapes available. She then tells me that she can rent me a Ford Expedition for the same price. Thank you very little, I say.

A Ford Expedition is not what one would call a small SUV. I argued for a few minutes to no avail. Either I took the Ford Expedition or we were walking to Boxboro.

The Expedition is HUGE. It’s about the same size as a GMC Suburban. It seats 7 without getting crowded. One needs to step up on the running board to get on board. It is very roomy and comfortable. Backseats are probably comfortable too, but I didn’t try them. Gas consumption is huge. When I filled it up on Monday before I turned it, the fuel gauge was pointing to 1/2 and it took 20 gallons to fill. Luckily gas prices in MA are a good deal less than LA. There is no way in this world that I would ever consider buying one of these. I don’t know how many miles per gallon it does (or maybe gallons per mile?).

One of the other issues that I had the other night. You are in a dark garage and you get into new (new to you) car. You want to get going so that you can get to the hotel and hit the sack.  It takes a long time to get oneself familiarized with all of the controls and systems. New cars these days have much more complicated controls that take a bit of getting used to,

Explorer interior

As you can see, there are a lot of buttons and switches to push and turn. This isn’t just a problem with the Expedition. All of the new cars have this sort of problem.

How do you turn on the lights, windshield wipers, adjust seat, etc. The model I was driving had the Apple Car Play system. This allows one to connect your phone to the car’s entertainment system. You can use it to play music that is on your phone or to make phone calls, etc. It’s kind of neat, but I didn’t have near enough time to get it all figured out. I plug my phone into the USB port and instantly the phone’s apps appear on the screen.

All in all, I would have been a lot happier if Avis had given to me what I had asked for and not a huge tank to drive for a week. Next time, I will try a different car rental company.

 

Ford Edge

June 26, 2014

One of these days we will be buying a new car. Our Jeep Liberty is 7 years old and has 102,000 miles on it. Beginning to show it’s age. But it is paid for.

One of my favorite ways to decide what kind of car to buy is to rent one for a week or so. This week while we are up in Salt Lake City, we are renting a brand new Ford Edge. It has only about 500 miles on the odometer. In May 2013, we had rented a Ford Explorer. You get a much better feel for the vehicle than a 10 min test ride.

So the Ford Edge is the next size down from the Explorer. The Explorer is a wicked huge SUV. Back in the day when the Ford Explorer was the only SUV in the Ford lineup it was much smaller. The Edge is only slightly less huge.


The Edge is probably just a bit too big for my taste. Probably the Ford Escape might be a better fit. I had a little trouble parking. It was hard to see the yellow lines. As you see in the above picture, it’s not exactly centered in the parking space. It has a back up camera that comes on when you shift in to Reverse. It gives you an excellent wide angle view. I can see more than I can see with the mirrors. Very handy for backing out of a diagonal parking spot.

View of backup camera

So the Edge that we are driving is the “Limited” trim package with all the bells and whistles. The only thing it doesn’t have is the navigation package. Avis probably gets them that way so that they can upsell a GPS system for you to use for an extra $10 a day.

So it has the “Sync” system loaded. You can connect your iPhone by Bluetooth. You can make a phone call using the menu on the screen. It can play music from my phone. When I stop and get out, the phone pauses the playback and resumes playing exactly where you left off when you get back in the car. You can download (or is it upload) your entire contact database into the Sync system.

It has dual thermostat controls for driver side and passenger side vents. That would be a hit with Paula, seeing as I like cooler than she does. It has heated seats. Don’t need that feature in SoCal. Nice feature in cold climates like Boston, though.

Drive is very smooth. Doesn’t feel like your hitting 75 mph on the freeway. Has all of the steering wheel controls, cruise control on one side, audio system on the other.

It gets lousy gas mileage. The performance display says that we are averaging about 15 mpg on local driving. With gas prices in LA north of $4 per gallon, I might look at the hybrid version.

One feature that I find the Ford SUV’s lacking is that of a grab handle on the driver’s side door. There are handles on all of other doors. My Jeep Liberty has a grab handle on the driver door. I have trouble getting into and out of cars. For me, the handle is a “sine qua non”. Back in 2007, when we bought the Jeep, it was one of the features that swayed us from the Ford Escape to the Jeep Liberty.

Passenger Side

2014-06-27 11.13.48

Driver’s Side

Trunk space is huge. Back seats are comfortable. The Ford has a lift hatch that opens pretty easy. Closing it is more of a challenge. Our Jeep has a door with the spare tire mounted on it. Which makes it kind of clunky. Ford has managed to hide the spare somewhere. Don’t know where they put it and for this adventure I don’t care.

It probably comes with a tow package, but I don’t need that. Don’t have a boat or RV anymore. That ship has sailed long ago. This Edge has all wheel drive rather than part time 4 wheel drive. I don’t particularly need either. I don’t see much snow these days living in LA. And I don’t intend to be taking it off-road either.

So the bottom line is that Ford Edge is not the car that we will be buying.

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