2020 Ford Escape Hybrid Review By Car Critic Steve Hammes. The venerable Escape has long since been a small SUV favorite but as you can see Ford has taken its styling in a decidedly car-like direction repositioning it in their reborn, utility-focused lineup.
The Escape is America’s small SUV. Having been on the road now for 20 years, it’s where we’ve turned when the patriotic pangs pull us away from the RAV4, CR-V and Rogue. And now that Ford is almost exclusively a truck and SUV brand they’ve seized the opportunity to morph the Escape into something a little more car-like so as not to alienate shoppers who aren’t SUV crazy. And yes, believe it or not, those people still exist. Lower, wider, longer and more aerodynamic, the new Escape resembles less the tough little SUV it once did and more the bastard child of a Porsche Cayenne and Tesla Model 3. Thankfully, this is the Escape’s worst crime as the rest of it is actually very good.
2021 Ford F150 Review By TestDriveNow Car Critic Steve Hammes. The all-new F-150 arrives this fall and here’s your first look at Ford’s most important model. Though it doesn’t look radically different, Ford says every body panel has been redesigned. There’s a wider stance and 11 – yes 11 – different grille options. And to save fuel through improved aerodynamics, there are active grill shutters and an automatic deploying air dam. But the sexy news surrounds the new optional, range –topping powertrain – a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 boosted by 47 horsepower electric motor making it full hybrid. Integrated into the 10-speed automatic transmission, Ford is targeting a 700 mile driving range and 12,000 pounds max towing. The battery is packaged underneath the truck so passenger and cargo volume is unencumbered. Ford refers to it as PowerBoost and it’s available on every trim level from XL to Limited. And the electrifying news doesn’t stop there. A new feature Ford calls Pro Power Onboard turns gas and hybrid F-150s into a portable generator capable of powering 28 refrigerators or running an entire job site worth of tools. We’ve all been there…the truck as an office. Ford’s solution? The optional Interior Work Surface creates a an ideal space for signing documents or eating takeout. And if your lunch break isn’t over yet, the Max Recline Seats become a sweet place to grab a couple of ZZZs. The tailgate wars continue with Ford’s Tailagte Work Surface which includes integrated rulers, a mobile device holder and more. On the tech side, the all-new F-150 is North America’s first full-size pickup with standard over-the-air updates. These updates are bumper-to-bumper, and can include all-new functions and additional features throughout the life of the truck. And then there’s SYNC4 with twice the computing power of the previous gen system. And that includes wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto. And some real semi-autonomous driving is coming, too. Active Drive Assist is a hands-free experience that works on divided highways much like Caddy’s Super Cruise. It’ll be late availability but customers can add it later via an over the air update and pay for it then. With 3 V6s, a V8, a diesel and a Hybrid, 3 cab styles and 3 bed lengths, Ford’s F-150 looks to be a ground breaker. Look for it this fall with specs and pricing to be released closer to launch.
2020 Cadillac CT4 V Series Review By Car Critic Steve Hammes.
While the auto industry as a whole remains fixated on pumping out more and more SUVs, Cadillac’s showing some love to their car lineup. New names, new engines and a new definition of the letter V, this here is the all-new CT4 V Series.
Much like the AMG-lite models at Mercedes and the midrange M versions at BMW, these new V-Series sedans come with increased output and a host of performance mods to give owners the V look and some V zip without the big V price tag.
2020 Buick Encore GX Essence Review By Car Critic Steve Hammes. As Buick continues their transition away from cars to a premium SUV brand, they’ve got more slots to fill between Encore and Enclave and this new Encore GX takes up residence on the smaller side, capitalizing on their most popular nameplate. The Encore GX should do very well for Buick. Imported from Korea along with its Chevy Trailblazer counterpart, the GX is on sale now. MSRP as-tested: $33,465 https://testdrivenow.com/2020-buick-encore-gx-essence/
2021 Mercedes AMG GLE 63 S Review By TestDriveNow Car Critic Steve Hammes. With a top speed of 174mph and all of the wow factors like heated and cooled cup holders and headlights that turn on like pulling back a curtain, the GLE 63 S is for those who go all in on life and have the means to do so. Mercedes has been producing some crazy fast SUVs over the past 20 years and this one here is the OG. Originally known as the ML 55, this all-new 2021 GLE 63 S carries the brand’s AMG torch into a new decade of decadent speed.