2015 Ford Fusion: Car Seat Check

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There's a lot to like about the Ford Fusion, from its turbocharged four-cylinder engine to its distinctive looks. However, after installing child-safety seats in the 2015 Fusion equipped with optional inflatable rear seat belts, I can't say that I like the Fusion's lower Latch anchors.

The lower Latch anchors sit nearly 3 inches into the seat cushions. Other automakers place their anchors either out in the open or about an inch into the cushions. Occasionally, I'll encounter anchors that are 2 inches into the cushions; this deep placement makes it difficult to connect to the anchors. Trying to reach the Fusion's anchors was, well, trying, but what made them even more difficult was the lack of space around them, so maneuvering was challenging. While I had some trouble connecting to the 2013 Fusion's Latch anchors because of seat belt buckle interference when I last tested this car, it was nowhere near this difficult. The 2013 Fusion had a traditional rear seat belt, while the 2015 test car had the optional inflatable seat belts. Perhaps that explains the difference.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Jennifer Newman | October 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

2016 Ford Explorer to Debut at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

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Ford announced this week that a redesigned Explorer will bow next month at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show in advance of the popular SUV's 25th anniversary. The 2016 version of the SUV will make its debut Nov. 19, during the media-only days of the auto show, which opens to the public Nov. 21-30. Ford said the SUV will arrive in U.S. showrooms in 2015 with a new look, added capability and additional driver-assist technology.

Related: Is This the Next Ford Explorer?

There's no official word yet on the extent of the revisions the Explorer will receive. The last time the SUV had a full redesign was in 2011, when it went from a truck-based platform to a unibody one. For the 2014 model year, it received upgrades to its brakes, additional standard equipment and new available exterior colors.

By Matt Schmitz | October 30, 2014 | Comments (0)

Recall Alert: 2007-2008 Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX

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Vehicles Affected: Nearly 205,000 model-year 2007-08 Ford Edge crossovers and Lincoln MKX luxury crossovers manufactured between June 15, 2006, and Sept. 22, 2008, at Ford's Oakville Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada, and registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C.

The Problem: Rust under the reinforcement brackets where the fuel tank is mounted could cause a fuel odor, leak or check engine light, and increases the risk of a fire, according to The Detroit News. Ford said it is aware of one fire related to the condition, but no accidents or injuries have been reported.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fuel tanks and repair or replace them for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 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 | October 29, 2014 | Comments (1)

Ford Adds Auto-Braking, Pedestrian Detection to Collision-Warning System

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Ford plans to add pedestrian detection and auto-braking to its forward-collision warning system with a network of radars and windshield-mounted cameras. Dubbed Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection, the technology debuts on the 2015 Ford Mondeo in Europe and will roll out to "other Ford and Lincoln products around the world," the company said Thursday in a press release.

Related: Ford's Driving Skills for Life Makes Big Impression on My Teen

Pre-Collision Assist reads a lot like Subaru's EyeSight system, which uses a pair of windshield-mounted cameras to detect pedestrians, lane markings and other obstructions. EyeSight, which includes auto-braking, scored the highest in a 2013 test by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety of various collision-warning systems for the 2013 and 2014 model years.

At the time, IIHS also tested the optional forward-collision warning systems in the Ford Edge, Explorer, Flex and Fusion, as well as the Lincoln MKT, MKX and MKZ. Since then, the institute tested systems in the Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKS, but without auto-braking capabilities, all nine cars earned a basic rating — the lowest of three grades — under IIHS' frontal-crash prevention scores. Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker confirmed to Cars.com that Ford's forward-collision warning system today still lacks auto-braking.

PCA will change that.

By Kelsey Mays | October 24, 2014 | Comments (6)

Ford's Driving Skills for Life Makes Big Impression on My Teen

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While my 14-year-old daughter isn't old enough to drive yet, I jumped at the opportunity to take her to Ford's Driving Skills for Life, an internationally touring program that teaches teen drivers and their parents about road perils that may not be addressed in traditional driver's education programs. I figured there was no better time to start exposing her to some life-saving lessons.

Read More #FamilyCarAdvice

There was one lesson in particular that my daughter learned at the event, and it wasn't even a lesson the program intended to teach: Among the modules that teens rotate through in this half-day program, drivers get behind the wheel wearing "fatal-vision" goggles. They're designed to simulate the effects of impaired driving, and participants wear them while attempting to navigate at low speeds through a driving course. Since my daughter couldn't drive the course, she got into the backseat while I drove.

By Kristin Varela | October 24, 2014 | Comments (1)

What Cars Are Included in the Takata Airbag Recall?

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This week saw the latest expansion of airbag recalls that began 18 months ago from Japanese supplier Takata Corp. and is now linked to at least four deaths. As of today, the recall affects some 7.8 million vehicles in the U.S. from 10 automakers based in three continents. The bulk of them — 5 million — are from Honda. Takata issued a statement earlier this year that noted the incidents of airbag malfunction — where a faulty inflator can send metal and plastic shrapnel into occupants if the front passenger airbag deploys in a crash — have occurred in warm areas like Florida and Puerto Rico, and it suspects that high humidity plays a role in the problem. Returned airbags from Toyota confirmed as much, USA Today reports.

Related: NHTSA Urges Quick Fix of Defective Airbags

USA Today reports most owners should have already received recall notices by now, and some automakers — namely, Toyota and BMW — have advised keeping the front passenger seat clear of occupants until a dealer inspects the car for a faulty inflator and, if there is one, replaces it.

What cars have been recalled? And what should you do if you get a notice? We've compiled everything we know so far below:

By Kelsey Mays | October 23, 2014 | Comments (6)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi Real-World Cargo Space

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The two versions of Ford's C-Max — the Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid — drive similarly but the Energi sets itself apart with its ability to drive an EPA-estimated 20 miles on electric power alone. The Energi's extra stamina comes from a larger lithium-ion battery stuffed in the cargo area that unfortunately, eats into cargo volume; the resulting space is much smaller than the hybrid version's.

Related: 2014 Ford C-Max Energi Review

Cars.com reviewer Aaron Bragman says in his review that "The C-Max Energi replaces the normal hybrid's 1.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack with a much larger, 7.6-kwh battery in the cargo area, which does indeed cut into the rear storage area. It also eliminates the regular C-Max's flat floor when the rear seats are folded."

The C-Max's cargo volume decreases from the Hybrid model's 24.5 cubic feet to 19.2 cubic feet behind the backseat of the C-Max Energi. Below, see how well common items fit in the C-Max Engergi's cargo area.

By Joe Bruzek | October 23, 2014 | Comments (1)

Ford Drops Focus Electric Pricing Another $6,000

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Ford dropped the starting price for the slow-selling Focus Electric by another $6,000 for 2014 and 2015. Effective for all remaining 2014 Focus Electric hatchbacks, the starting price is now $29,995 including destination. The same sub-$30,000 price also applies to the incoming 2015 Focus Electric, which received some of the interior changes but not the visual updates or new steering wheel of its gasoline-powered sibling.

Related: More Electric Cars Than Ever, Still Not Available Everywhere

Those prices come before a maximum $7,500 federal tax credit, which means a Focus Electric could start as low as $22,495 if you have sufficient tax liabilities. That’s right in line with the Nissan Leaf, whose price dropped $6,400 in 2013. After applying the maximum tax credit, a 2015 Leaf starts at $22,360.

By Kelsey Mays | October 22, 2014 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2015 Ford Mustang

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Vehicles Affected: About 50 model-year 2015 Ford Mustang sports cars manufactured between Aug. 18 and Oct. 2 at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan

The Problem: Ford issued the voluntary recall due to an issue with the front-passenger seat-belt buckle assembly. The buckle tension sensor, included in the assembly, may not have been calibrated at the supplier. This could result in misclassification of the front passenger-seat occupant, which could lead to improper airbag deployment, increasing the risk of an injury in a crash.

The Fix: Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the front-passenger seat-belt buckle assembly for free. The automaker has not yet announced a notification schedule. Ford said it is aware of no accidents or injuries related to the condition.

What Owners Should Do: Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more info.

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

More Recalls

By Matt Schmitz | October 17, 2014 | Comments (1)

2014 Ford C-Max Energi Video

Cars.com reviewer Kelsey Mays says the 2014 Ford C-Max Energi is a lot like the C-Max Hybrid — but with a plug-in port. "This hatchback is fun to drive but kind of cramped, and did we mention it's also sort of expensive?" Mays said. "So the real question is, is it all worth it?" Watch the video and decide.

Watch on YouTube

By Matt Schmitz | October 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

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