Posts Tagged ‘Escape’
Ford Motor (NYSE:F) said last week the company will launch 16 new models in North America this year, amid questions about whether automakers are flooding markets with too many cars too quickly.
In an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Ford’s president of the Americas Joe Hinrichs said the No. 2 U.S. automaker was confident that the market could absorb the new products despite mass recalls dogging the auto industry. Recently, Ford was forced to recall its Escape sport utility vehicle, costing the company about $300 million.
“All this new product we have coming in with 16 new launches this year, we’re very confident we have the processes in place to have successful launches,” Hinrichs said.
Meanwhile, the company plans to shut its main F-150 truck factory for 13 weeks this year as part of an effort to make changes to build the 2015 F-150 out of aluminum instead of steel.
On Tuesday, the auto giant posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit as strength in the core North American market offset losses in Europe and South America.
Ford (F, Fortune 500) said it is not aware of any incidents of fire due to the fuel leak, or of any injuries caused by the defect. Ford said it had received 600 complaints about the fuel leak from customers as of March 31.
Last July, Ford recalled 11,500 of its 2013 Escape SUVs because a defect in the fuel line that could cause a fire. At the time Ford took the unusual step of advising drivers not to even drive the vehicles until they were repaired. There was no such warning with the most recent recall.
Ford also announced two small recalls. It has recalled 500 2013 Lincoln MKZ vehicles because the insulation on the engine block heater can crack at extremely low temperatures. Additionally, Ford said that 25 2013 Fusions are at risk of impaired steering or the loss of steering control due the lack of an internal retaining clip.
Small SUVs are one of the hottest vehicle categories. Their good fuel economy, easy access, all-weather traction, and plenty of passenger and cargo space make them an appealing choice for many car buyers. In this crowded segment, it can be challenging for consumers to determine which one is best to buy. That’s where we come in.
Most automakers offer a small SUV in their lineup, but the list below focuses on popular models priced between $20,000 and $30,000. All score high enough to earn a Consumer Reports Recommendation, although not all have proven their reliability to be worthy of the accolade.
The list is organized in rank order of overall test score. While we cover the highlights here, it is well worth visiting their respective model pages to read the detailed road test and review the complete ratings.
Subaru Forester: The straight-A student
The 2014 redesign brings many changes that helps the Forester go to the top of the class, leaving its competition far behind. Improvements include class-leading fuel economy at 26 mpg overall and 35 mpg highway, a standard backup camera, excellent visibility, a roomy interior, and very easy access. In addition, the Forester is the only small SUV to receive a Good score in all five Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests. It isn’t perfect, however. The ride is a bit jittery, and the infotainment system feels antiquated.
Honda CR-V: Easy-going and sensible
Buyers prizing reliability and space will appreciate the CR-V. A flexible and roomy cabin provides plenty of storage and cargo space. The engine is smooth, but fuel economy is falling a bit behind the curve, thanks to Mazda and Subaru. Handling is responsive but emergency handling is less competent. Road noise is excessive. A standard backup camera is welcome, especially as rearward visibility is challenged.
Mazda CX-5: Aimed at fuel-frugal fun-seekers
Combining quick acceleration, impressive fuel economy, and agile handling seems like a tall order, but the CX-5 manages this feat. The new 184-hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine feels more muscular and provides much quicker acceleration than the previous-generation powerplant, now relegated to the base Sport trim. Plus, the CX-5 got the same impressive fuel economy—25 mpg overall—with the bigger engine. However, cabin noise is loud and the price is relatively high. A blind-spot monitoring system comes on most trim lines. A sleeper in this class, the CX-5 is good enough that consumers should wake up to its virtues.
Toyota RAV4: A good all-around package
The RAV4 is a safe overall choice, even if it doesn’t stand out in any one attribute. Its 2013 redesign made notable improvements, such as removing the awkward side-hinged rear gate and moving the spare tire to under the cargo floor. Handling is now more agile, too. Power and fuel economy are good from the capable four-cylinder engine and slick six-speed automatic. Interior trim gained attractive touches in some places but skimped elsewhere. Still, rear-seat room is generous, access is super easy, controls are mostly intuitive, and a backup camera is standard.
Ford Escape: Sophisticated and athletic, at a price
Many small SUVs tend to be loud and stiff riding. But the redesigned Escape is solid, sophisticated, and athletic. Highlights agile handling and an impressively supple and composed ride, plus its cabin is one of the quietest in the class. However, there are a few shortcomings, including controls that are needlessly complicated, such as the optional MyFord Touch infotainment system. You need to pay a lot to get a model with the optional rear camera. Plus, we don’t have reliability information yet. Consider the Escape to be the model reaching for the luxury class, both in refinement and price.
Nissan Rogue: Starting to feel old
Compared to the other models on this list, the Rogue is one of the oldest small SUVs available; a redesign is imminent. Handling is responsive and the ride is supple. The 170-hp engine is raspy at high revs, and fuel economy isn’t keeping up with newer competitors. The cargo area is small and rear visibility is poor. We expect a redesign to bring similar improvements as seen on other freshened models, such as a standard backup camera and improved fuel economy to make it more competitive.
Kia Sportage: Sporty and reliable, but less practical
With appealing styling and nimble handling, the Sportage adds some sport to the small SUV segment. But the styling makes for difficult rear visibility. You also sacrifice refinement for sportiness, with a stiff ride and pronounced road noise. Performance is leisurely, unless you get the optional turbocharged engine, and fuel economy is falling behind newer competition. On the plus side, the Sportage has been very reliable.
Hyundai Tucson: Styling stands out, but little else
Unlike many of its boxy rivals, the Tucson’s more coupe-like styling catches the eye. But the sloping roof robs cargo space and inhibits the view to the rear. Overall, facing freshened competition, the Tucson proves forgettable. Buyers seem to agree, as owner satisfaction is below average. Handling is secure but uninspiring, and the ride is stiff. Road noise is pronounced, making the Tucson feel insubstantial.
On paper, many of the small SUVs look the same, with similar size, features, and power. Through the road tests, we’re able to discern meaningful differences. Continue your research in our SUV buying guide and model pages, then test drive the standouts yourself and see if their personality is a good fit with yours.
For the first time in a long time, this year has seen a surge in the purchase of domestic vehicles with 6 of the top 10 best-selling vehicles made by GM, Ford & Chrysler. Some of the shift can be attributed to the natural disasters in Japan affecting imports, but with domestic producers having really stepped up their game, that void was filled by American-made vehicles.
Surprisingly, two past favorites – the Honda Civic and Honda CR-V as well as the Hyundai Sonata dropped from the top 10, nudged by more popular American-made vehicles. According to Forbes.com, Ford’s F-Series pickups and GM’s Chevy Silverado continue to be America’s sales champs, as they have been for the past 3 years. Pushing their way to the top are the Ford Fusion and Escape and the new compact from Chevy – the Cruze.
Based on year-to-date results through October, 2011, following is the list of best-selling vehicles from Forbes.com:
- Ford F-150 Pickup
- Chevy Silverado Pickup
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima
- Ford Escape
- Ford Fusion
- Honda Accord
- Toyota Corolla
- Chevy Cruze
- Ram Pickup
With new models launching, it will be interesting to see what 2012′s best-sellers will be.
Despite the economy, consumers showed the auto industry some love with auto sales up for some brands by as much as 36% in September.
Pickup trucks and SUVs lead sales in September, with pickups accounting for nearly 13% of new light vehicle sales. Of the seven top-selling vehicles, four are made by the Big Three in Detroit, and three are made by Japanese manufacturers. True to historical patterns, pickup sales are often higher in the second half of the year, and incentives and advertising both contributed to increases in auto sales last month.
For those of you considering purchasing a new vehice this Fall, following is the list of the Top Five hottest-selling vehicles in September, based on sales increases and actual volume, according to The Street.com:
With dealer incentives continuing into October, consumers should still be able to get a great deal on a new car. And when you do get that great deal, we’ll be here to tint your ride.