2015 Lincoln MKC at the 2013 L.A. Auto Show

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Competes with: Audi Q5, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Looks like: An almost exact copy of the Detroit auto show's MKC concept
Drivetrain: Standard 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or an optional 275-hp, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder
Hits dealerships: Summer 2014

Ford's premium brand is entering the luxury compact crossover fray with the 2015 Lincoln MKC. The concept version debuted at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and the production version will meet the public at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show.

By Jennifer Geiger | November 13, 2013 | Comments (11)

Neil Young to Talk about LincVolt at SEMA (Photo Gallery)

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Rock 'n'roll icon Neil Young is scheduled to speak today about the LincVolt at the Specialty Equipment Market Association Show, an automotive aftermarket event held annually in Las Vegas.The LincVolt is a 1959 Lincoln Continental convertible that has been converted into a plug-in electric hybrid. The technology under the giant hood is similar to that in the Chevrolet Volt, an extended-range electric vehicle, but with a few significant differences.

By Patrick Olsen | November 7, 2013 | Comments (5)

Road Trip Detour: Bonnie and Clyde's Final Car

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Earlier this year, we encouraged readers of the Cars.com Advice section to avail themselves of some of this nation's countless car-themed oddities and attractions that are just off the interstates and off the beaten path. One of those was the official "Bonnie and Clyde Death Car" at Primm Valley Resorts' Whiskey Pete's Hotel & Casino in Primm, Nev., about 40 miles outside Las Vegas on Interstate 15.

I recently had the opportunity to take our own advice and visited the honest-to-goodness Bonnie and Clyde death car this past summer while driving from Las Vegas to Los Angeles. The free exhibit took only the time of an extended gas stop to explore, and it is well-worth the minor detour to the oddball, off-off-off strip casino cluster that is Primm.

By Matt Schmitz | October 10, 2013 | Comments (2)

Recall Alert: 2005-2011 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury Sedans

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Ford is recalling 370,000 model-year 2005-2011 versions of the Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car sedans due to a steering problem, the Detroit News is reporting.

In the affected vehicles, the lower intermediate steering shaft could corrode, resulting in a possible loss of steering. Ford said it's not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the recall, the paper reported.

States where corrosion is more likely to occur include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Dealers will inspect and replace the affected parts for free. Owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332.

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By Jennifer Geiger | August 30, 2013 | Comments (5)

Amid Complaints, Ford to Drop C-Max Hybrid to 43 MPG

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Ford will lower EPA mileage on the C-Max hybrid to 43 mpg in combined city/highway ratings — a drop of 4 mpg compared with today's 47-mpg rating. The automaker will announce full details at a press conference later this afternoon, and we'll update you as more information becomes available. Citing two unnamed sources, the Detroit News reported the matter minutes ago. EPA rules allowed Ford to issue the same rating for the C-Max as it did the Fusion Hybrid because the two cars had family similarities, the newspaper reports, but the decades-old procedure doesn't suit hybrids as well.

Loopholes and Fuzzy Math: The Tangled Science of MPG Ratings

The move comes amid a string of criticism. Consumer Reports said in December 2012 that its fuel-economy tests rendered mileage in the high 30s for both the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max. The same month, a California law firm filed a class-action lawsuit that claimed real-world hybrid mileage for the C-Max fell well below EPA numbers. However, one Cars.com editor achieved the stated EPA mileage on the C-Max in his commute, and we logged mileage in the low-40s over more than 100 miles of testing.

By Kelsey Mays | August 15, 2013 | Comments (1)

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)

Cars.com Reviews the 2013 Lincoln MKZ

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Getting back into the luxury game could be a tricky proposition for Lincoln, Ford's last brand standing after the economic downturn of recent years. But Cars.com reviewer Aaron D. Bragman says if the all-new 2013 MKZ sedan is an indicator of what's to come, a triumphant return could be nigh. Sweeping exterior styling succeeds in evoking a high-end image, while a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder provides impressive power for all occasions without sacrificing fuel economy. Although the interior looks great, cheap vehicle controls undermine the design quality. Read Bragman's review below.

2013 Lincoln MKZ Review
By Matt Schmitz | July 22, 2013 | Comments (0)

Ford Hybrids To Get Mileage Boost After Complaints

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Beginning in August, Ford will recalibrate various drivetrain, climate-control and accessory systems to improve real-world gas mileage in the 2013 C-Max Hybrid, 2013 Fusion Hybrid and 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The changes should help drivers "see the most improvement at highway speeds, during air conditioner use and operation in colder climates," product development chief Raj Nair said in a statement.

The move comes amid widespread complaints that Ford's hybrids aren't hitting their lofty EPA marks: 47 mpg combined for the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid and 45 mpg for the MKZ Hybrid. The automaker faces at least two class-action lawsuits over too-high mileage claims. In December 2012, Consumer Reports said the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid fell well short of their 47 mpg EPA figures during the magazine's metered tests. And in February 2013, the EPA said it would review how it tests hybrids — and scrutinize Ford's numbers in particular.

Changes include:

By Kelsey Mays | July 18, 2013 | Comments (1)

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)

GM Rises, Nissan Plummets in New J.D. Power Quality Study

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Voice recognition systems and faulty Bluetooth pairing are as aggravating as ever, J.D. Power and Associates' new Initial Quality Study reported today. Tech-focused Ford remains well below average in the agency's 33-brand ranking, but GM's four brands — Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet and GMC — all rated above average.

The influential study, which enters its 27th year for 2013, rates overall problems per 100 vehicles — categorized as objective defects and subjective (but specific) dislikes — in the first 90 days of new-car ownership. Missed commands with voice recognition and Bluetooth pairing led overall problems by a significant margin, J.D. Power's David Sargent told reporters at an Automotive Press Association lunch in Detroit today.

Porsche, GMC, Lexus, Infiniti and Chevrolet ranked as the top five brands in this year's IQS; from the bottom, Scion, Fiat, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Mini had the worst rankings. GMC has never broken ninth place before, Sargent noted. Nissan fell from 13th place last year to 30th this year, hurt by a slew of redesigns to some of its most popular cars.

By Kelsey Mays | June 19, 2013 | Comments (2)

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