Ford Escape Again Walks Away With 'Most-Stolen' Title

2013FordEscape

As stolen SUVs go, crooks are still most likely to abscond with the Escape. Once again, the Ford Escape topped the National Insurance Crime Bureau's list of most-stolen SUVs and crossovers. The Des Plaines, lll.-based nonprofit today released the 2014 SUV hot list, which examines model-year 2011-13 SUV and crossover thefts that occurred between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2013.

Ford Escape Tops List of Most-Stolen SUVs

According to the NICB, a total of 21,711 SUVs and crossovers were reported stolen in that time; that's up from just less than 20,000 on the list released in February 2013. The consistently coveted Escape did its share in making up the difference in the increase. At 1,421 thefts, the Escape logged 407 more thefts than reported in the 2013 list, a nearly 29 percent spike. Ford also dominates the balance of the top three, with 1,140 Edge thefts and 958 Explorer thefts.

By Matt Schmitz | June 16, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2011-2013 Ford Explorer

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Vehicles Affected: About 177,500 model-year 2011-13 Ford Explorer SUVs

The Problem: A potential electrical issue in the steering gear may result in the loss of electric power steering assist while driving. This could cause the steering system to default to manual mode, making the vehicle more difficult to steer, especially at lower speeds, and increasing the risk of a crash. According to the Detroit News, Ford said drivers will hear a chime and see a message in the instrument cluster if electric power steering assist is lost.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will either update software for the power steering control module or replace the steering gear for free.

What Owners Should Do: Ford has not yet issued an owner notification schedule. Owners can call Ford at 800-392-3673 for more info.

Need to Find a Dealer for Service? Go to Cars.com Service & Repair to find your local dealer.

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By Matt Schmitz | May 29, 2014 | Comments (0)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

2014NissanRogue

The entire first half of our list of most-read reviews goes unchanged from the previous week, with the 2014 Nissan Rogue once again leading the pack and the other members of the top five holding their same spots. The lone newcomer to this week's roster is the 2014 Ford Explorer, which returns after dropping out of sight since December. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Nissan Rogue
2. 2015 Honda Fit
3. 2015 Audi A3
4. 2014 Honda CR-V
5. 2014 Subaru Forester
6. 2014 Buick Regal
7. 2014 Infiniti Q50
8. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
9. 2014 Chevrolet Cruze
10. 2014 Ford Explorer

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

By Matt Schmitz | May 4, 2014 | Comments (1)

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

HondaTopsMostStolenList

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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Ford to Add More Physical Buttons to MyFord Touch
Living with MyFord Touch on a 3,500-Mile Road Trip
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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.

Related
Research the Ford Taurus
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By Jennifer Geiger | July 9, 2013 | Comments (0)

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