Is This The Next Ford Explorer?

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Ford appears to have SUVs in its focus this year. First, the automaker unveiled the Edge concept at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, and its latest concept looks suspiciously like the next-generation Explorer. The Everest concept is a larger seven-passenger SUV that could easily replace the Explorer, which was last redesigned for model-year 2011.  

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The production version of the Everest is currently on sale outside the U.S., but in a statement, Ford said "the Everest concept represents our vision of a global Ford vehicle with regional heritage that will allow customers to take on the world." It also called it a "bold new direction that we envision for a midsize, seven-seat SUV."

By Jennifer Geiger | March 25, 2014 | Comments (10)

2014 Ford Explorer Cars.com Review

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The seven-passenger SUV class is a hot segment full of many updated models, and the Ford Explorer continues to be a popular choice. Ford refreshed its SUV for 2014 with an improved driving experience, says Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman, but watch out for an underpowered base model, he warns. Click the full review for more.

2014 Ford Explorer Review

By Jennifer Geiger | December 4, 2013 | Comments (2)

Which SUVs Have Second- and Third-Row Bench Seats?

"Which SUVs have second- and third-row bench seats?"

Teresa P., Richmond, Ind.

By Rick Popely | September 22, 2013 | Comments (2)

2014 Ford Explorer: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: Automatic headlamps, trailer-sway control, larger brakes and new electric power steering rack now standard

Price change: Base models see a $500 increase, XLT models are $80 lower; prices unchanged on Limited and Sport

On sale: Since midsummer

Which you should buy, 2013 or 2014? 2014

Ford's seven-passenger Explorer added the performance Sport model for 2013. This year's changes aren't dramatic, but Ford says the new electric power steering rack should improve steering feel and responsiveness, and the larger brakes should shorten stopping distances.

The Limited models add adaptive cruise control with collision warning and heated second-row seats to the options list.

By Rick Popely | September 12, 2013 | Comments (1)

Honda Accord, Civic Remain Top Targets for Thieves

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If you own a Honda Accord or Civic, or a full-size Ford pickup truck, you might want to take a moment to make sure your auto-insurance payments are up to date. You drive one of the top three most-stolen vehicles in the U.S. That's according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau's just-released "Hot Wheels" list, which examines annual vehicle-theft data submitted by law-enforcement agencies across the country to the National Crime Information Center to determine the makes and models most-frequently reported stolen during the previous year.

As in past years, Honda Accords and Civics by far were the most-stolen vehicles in 2012, totaling 58,596 and 47,037, respectively, with full-size Ford pickups coming in a distant third with 26,770 thefts. Older Accords and Civics eclipsed newer Hondas in theft frequency, which NICB attributes to improved anti-theft technology. Most of the makes and models return from the previous list; the only newcomers were the Nissan Altima (No. 9) and Nissan Maxima (No. 10), knocking the Ford Explorer and Nissan Sentra off this year's roster.

By Matt Schmitz | August 20, 2013 | Comments (4)

Ford Updates Multimedia Systems, Again

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Ford’s latest update to its Sync and MyFord Touch systems aims to streamline voice recognition, enlarge on-screen buttons and simplify smartphone pairing. The updates also apply to MyLincoln Touch from Ford’s luxury division.

The Sync updates should simplify some of the system’s multistep voice commands, and MyFord Touch/MyLincoln Touch will get larger touch-sensitive areas along the four-quadrant home screen to reach specific menus (navigation or audio, for example), the Detroit News reports. Ford should unveil the free online download next week for Ford and Lincoln drivers with the system, the newspaper said.

It’s the latest in a string of updates Ford has sent to owners, either through mailed USB drives or online updates, for its MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch systems. The largest came in November 2011, when Ford tried to simplify the system’s fonts and reduce lag with a major software update. We tested the new system, and it didn’t live up to its billing.

The updates come as Ford weathers criticism — from ours to J.D. Power and Associates’ quality scores — over its touch-capacitive controls. The automaker announced in June it would bring more buttons to future versions of MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch that would follow the layout in Ford’s F-Series pickup trucks. That system retains most buttons, as opposed to the button-avoidant panels in the Explorer and Edge SUVs.

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By Kelsey Mays | August 6, 2013 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2013 Ford Explorer and Taurus, Lincoln MKS

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Ford is recalling 12,569 model-year 2013 versions of the Explorer, Taurus and Lincoln MKS vehicles due to a problem with the child safety door locks, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The affected vehicles were manufactured from Nov. 29 through Dec. 12, 2012; check your vehicle's build date on a sticker on the driver-side doorjamb. The child safety locks in these vehicles may change from active to disabled without notice. If the door is opened by an unrestrained child, an injury could result.

"A child safety lock with low retention torque after thousands of door openings/closings could potentially become inactive without operator input. In an abundance of caution, Ford is taking this field service action," the automaker said in a statement. There have been no accidents or injuries related to this recall, the automaker also reported.

Ford will begin notifying affected owners on Aug. 5, and dealers will inspect the safety locks and replace them as needed for free. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 or NHTSA's vehicle safety hotline at 888-327-4236 for more information.

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By Jennifer Geiger | July 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

June's Fastest- and Slowest-Selling Cars

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June sales soared to the highest rate since 2007 as Detroit automakers piled on the deliveries, but foreign-based companies still had the balance of fastest-selling cars. Detroit automakers built just five of the 17 fastest sellers in June — a list long on SUVs and pickups, which accounted for more than two-thirds of its cars.

The redesigned Acura MDX, which hit dealerships June 20, rocketed to the top of the list. It took just five days to turn. So did the 2014 Ford Explorer and Escape, despite few changes for 2014 to the popular SUVs. Further down the list, perennial fast-sellers from Audi (the Q5 and Q7) ranked alongside new regulars like the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and Hyundai Santa Fe.

BMW's gambit on an entry-level 3 Series appears to have paid off: The new 320i averaged just 14 days to sell. The sport sedan, which has similar equipment to last year's 328i but 60 fewer horsepower in exchange for a starting price that's $2,320 lower, including destination, accounts for 11% of all new 2013 3 Series inventory on Cars.com. It went on sale last spring — and each car stayed on dealer lots about as long as "Pacific Rim" appears likely to stay in theaters.

That's well below the month's overall average of 59 days to sell, which tracks near May 2013's 56 days. It's a bit slower than June 2012's 53 days.

Some slow-moving redesigns fall below that average. Hyundai's full-size Azera sedan, redesigned for 2013, averaged 82 days in June to sell. Ditto the redesigned Acura RDX and all-new Cadillac ATS, which sat on dealer lots an average of 87 days and 90 days, respectively. Sales results, however, were mixed: The ATS was Cadillac's second-best-selling model for the month, and RDX sales rose 30.2%. Only the Azera fell, with sales at a trickle — just 813 cars for the month, or one-eighth as many as the rival Toyota Avalon.

Here are June 2013's fastest- and slowest-selling cars:

By Kelsey Mays | July 3, 2013 | Comments (4)

Cars.com's Issues With MyFord Touch

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The news today that Ford is rethinking its capacitive touch-heavy MyFord Touch multimedia system isn't a shock to our team of editors. Since we first tested it in a 2011 Ford Edge there has been a nearly unanimous cascade of criticism from our team.

Ford to Add More Physical Buttons to MyFord Touch

"While there's plenty to like about the 2011 Ford Edge, its electronics remind me of my not-so-smart phone: bedazzling in theory, befuddling in practice," editor Kelsey Mays said in that first review. "A number of editors got behind the wheel, and the verdict among them was unanimous: MyFord Touch needs a lot of work, and it's worth sticking to an SE or lightly equipped SEL trim to avoid it."

That was in January 2011, a year after Ford introduced MyFord Touch to raves prior to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Our disdain has carried on to the most recently upgraded system found in the redesigned Ford Fusion. "The Sony system is busier with many more capacitive buttons — none of which feature an audible click or send a pulse of feedback through the panel to confirm you've actually achieved the desired result of your finger pressing," said Managing Editor David Thomas in his review.

By David Thomas | June 17, 2013 | Comments (1)

2013 Ford Explorer: Family Checklist

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The Ford Explorer's popularity has always vexed me. There was a time in the late 1990s that it seemed to be everywhere — much like the Kardashians today. Back then, I didn't get the appeal of the Explorer. Thanks to a well-received redesign in 2011, the Explorer started to add worth to its celebrated weight. Now, with the advent of the Explorer Sport model, I get it.

The 2013 Ford Explorer Sport showcases a powerful new engine and sleek styling while incorporating some family-friendly attributes and top safety ratings. I'm no longer confused; this three-row crossover should be popular.

By Courtney Messenbaugh | June 12, 2013 | Comments (3)

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