Ford Updates Escape Software Amid NHTSA Investigation

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Ford's Escape is no stranger to recalls, but despite a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation of sudden loss of engine power on certain versions of the Escape and Fusion and Mercury Mariner and Milan, the agency is not issuing a recall.

According to the Detroit News, more than 10,000 vehicle owners complained about the loss of power on model-year 2009-13 vehicles equipped with 2.5-liter and 3.0-liter engines. Ford issued a "Customer Satisfaction Program" and sent notices to affected owners in January instructing them to bring their vehicles in for a software recalibration. NHTSA opened its investigation in February, and although an official recall wasn't issued, Ford said it will update the software in 1.6 million affected vehicles as well as extend the warranty coverage on the affected parts to up to 10 years and 150,000 miles.

Check out the full story from the Detroit News here.

Manufacturer photo

By Jennifer Geiger | March 4, 2014 | Comments (0)

2014 Ford Fusion Energi: Car Seat Check

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The plug-in hybrid version of Ford's midsize sedan may sacrifice some cargo room to accommodate its battery, but the backseat's legroom isn't affected. Although space wasn't a major issue in the Fusion Energi's backseat, buried Latch anchors and our test car's stiff leather seats complicated installation.

More Car Seat Checks

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

By Jennifer Geiger | January 28, 2014 | Comments (2)

2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid: Chasing 47 MPG

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Last year, we weren't the only ones to observe less-than-stellar fuel economy from the then-new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid compared to its 47/47/47 mpg city/highway/combined EPA rating. Other publications and owners also reported mileage lower than the EPA ratings. The pile of complaints didn't fall on deaf ears.

In August 2013, Ford released software updates to the 2013 Fusion Hybrid and other hybrids to modify various hybrid parameters for improved fuel economy, especially in cold weather. Official EPA estimates haven't been revised, but we recently tested a 2014 with the updates. Our number to beat was 40.63 mpg recorded with a 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid tested last year. So how did the 2014 model fare during our drive?

By Joe Bruzek | December 12, 2013 | Comments (34)

Camry, Impala Top Most-Stolen List

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Among midsize and large cars, the Toyota Camry and Chevrolet Impala proved most popular among thieves, according to a new report from the crime-stats crunchers at the National Insurance Crime Bureau in Des Plaines, Ill. The report is based on National Crime Information Center vehicle-theft records for a period spanning Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2012, and limited to the 2010, 2011 and 2012 model years. Researchers culled the top 10 list from the 16 makes and 20 models of the midsize class, and the nine makes and 10 models of the large-vehicle class.

During the counting period, a total of 31,586 vehicles were stolen from both car classes combined, with the midsize group comprising the vast majority, with 22,090 thefts, or 70 percent.

The top 10 large/midsize vehicle thefts by make and model are:

By Matt Schmitz | December 5, 2013 | Comments (7)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: November 2013

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With the top seven automakers reporting numbers, November auto sales have gained some 10 percent versus November 2012. Honda was the lone automaker to post a loss, and just -0.1 percent at that. Auto execs can toast with eggnog heading into the holidays, especially if they're at GM or Chrysler.

Buoyed by strong sales from its Jeep and Ram brands, Chrysler posted a 16.1 percent sales gain. Higher purchase incentives fueled the Ram pickup truck's 21.8 percent gain, outpacing increases from its competitors, the Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado. Still, Detroit's full-size pickups gained 15.4 percent as the pickup wave keeps rolling. Jeep's increase was all about the Cherokee. November's numbers should assuage any doubts over the SUV's controversial styling. Chrysler moved 10,169 Cherokees last month, the crossover's first full month of sales. It's the fifth best-selling model among the automaker's cadre of brands — Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, SRT and Ram — not too shabby for a model hampered by production delays with a nameplate that's been absent from the U.S. automotive landscape since 2001.

GM sales chief Kurt McNeil said in a statement that the economy "bodes well for future growth" as the General tacked on 13.7 percent last month. Ford added a modest 7.2 percent on the F-Series (up 16.3 percent) and Fusion (up 51 percent).

By Kelsey Mays | December 3, 2013 | Comments (7)

Which Midsize Sedan Has the Best Resale Value?

"Which midsize sedan has the best resale value?"

Anonymous

By Rick Popely | October 13, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Ford Fusion 1.5-Liter Rated at 36 MPG

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Ford's adding a new engine to its Fusion lineup in the hopes of increasing fuel economy. Turns out, the turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder is slightly less efficient than the current 1.6-liter EcoBoost.

The 178-horsepower 1.5-liter, which is optional on SE models, is rated at 23/36/28 mpg city/highway/combined with the six-speed automatic transmission, according to the EPA. For 2014, the 178-hp 1.6-liter can only be equipped with a manual transmission and is rated slightly higher at 25/37/29 mpg.

Like the 1.6-liter, the new 1.5-liter will be available with stop-start engine technology. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder (22/34/26 mpg) remains standard on the S and SE models, and the Titanium retains a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 22/33/26 mpg (front-wheel-drive versions.)

Related
2014 Ford Fusion: What's Changed
Research the 2014 Ford Fusion
More Ford News

By Jennifer Geiger | October 9, 2013 | Comments (37)

What Does This Button Do?

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Steering wheels provide this series with great content because they're often overcrowded with buttons. The 2013 Ford Fusion's crowded steering wheel seems to have run out of space and relocated one confusing button to the center console. The button in question displays a steering wheel and the letter "P."

Don't worry, we believe the P steering wheel button is sanitary, plus the Fusion doesn't have a clean diesel engine with urea injection. Another more logical and non-bathroom-related guess is a variable power-steering assist system, which on other cars varies the wheel's power-steering assist for comfort or performance; on a button, it's often represented by a steering wheel.

By Joe Bruzek | September 30, 2013 | Comments (10)

2014 Ford Fusion: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: Ford adds a new turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that is available with stop-start technology. Inflatable rear seat belts are available on all models.

Price change: The starting price for the base Fusion S is unchanged at $22,695 (including destination charge), the midlevel SE is up by $25 and the Titanium models are up by $300.

On sale: Since August

Which you should buy, 2013 or 2014? The 2013; changes on the 2014 models aren't significant enough to make them more desirable.

Ford hit a home run with the redesigned 2013 Fusion, which features class-defying styling, competent handling and a roomy, functional interior. Sales took off early, and Ford has had a hard time keeping up with demand.

A new turbocharged 1.5-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder is a new option for the SE model and is sold along the current 1.6-liter. The 1.5-liter and the standard six-speed automatic feature stop-start technology that shuts off the engine at red lights as a fuel economy feature. However, city and highway mileage are rated 1 mpg less for the 2014 1.5-liter compared to the 2013 1.6-liter that had stop-start as an option. For 2014 the 1.6-liter can only be equipped with a manual transmission. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder remains standard on the S and SE models, and the Titanium retains a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four.

By Rick Popely | September 16, 2013 | Comments (6)

Most-Read Car Reviews of the Week

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There was very little movement of note on this week's list of most-read reviews, as the 2014 Jeep Cherokee retained the No. 1 spot. The lone newcomer was the 2013 BMW X1, the smaller sibling of the X3 that Cars.com reviewer Joe Bruzek called "downsizing done right." Bruzek's X1 review checks in at No. 9. Check out what else was popular:

1. 2014 Jeep Cherokee
2. 2014 Infiniti Q50

3. 2013 BMW 3 Series
4. 2013 Toyota RAV4
5. 2014 Subaru Forester
6. 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek

7. 2013 Toyota Avalon

8. 2013 Chrysler 300

9. 2013 BMW X1

10. 2013 Ford Fusion

By Matt Schmitz | August 25, 2013 | Comments (0)

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