2021 FORD BRONCO SPORT TEST DRIVE

Think of the Bronco Sport as the Escape’s country cousin. Built South of the Border upon a unibody, front-wheel drive platform that’s significantly shorter than the Escape’s but about 3” taller, the Bronco Sport is equipped with standard 4-wheel drive and carries a starting MSRP of just over $28,000. Ford has given the trim levels cool names like Big Bend and Outer Banks but it’s this Badlands model that they deem the pinnacle of off-road performance. So if you want the more powerful engine, the better 4-wheel drive system, the differential lock, more drive modes, all-terrain tires, off-road tuned suspension, an extra inch of lift and more aggressive off-road geometry, then this is the only model for you. $34,315 is where the pricing starts and this one with the amenity-laden Badlands Package and Co-Pilot360 Assist + driver tech checks in at $37,705; slightly less than a loaded Jeep Compass Trailhawk which serves a similar purpose in life and about $12,000 less than a comparable Bronco Badlands.
The best part of the Badlands is that it kicks butt off-road while providing a really, sophisticated, softly-sprung ride on-road. And the cabin’s quietness adds to the sense of it being more substantial than the price would indicate. The turbo’s strong too and Ford has made it sound good from in here. I’m less impressed with the heavy dose of Escape interior bits which felt old and less-than right out of the gate when it was last redesigned. But all told the Sport makes for an excellent, more affordable companion to its bigger brother. And those who choose this Badlands model are getting one tough little SUV.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2021 FORD F-150 TEST DRIVE

The all-new F-150 is finally here and though it doesn’t look radically different there are a number of innovations Ford is debuting on their most important model making it smarter, more efficient and electric quick. If you can afford a $76,000 ½-ton pickup, then you likely have expectations for your truck that go beyond work. And this loaded King Ranch trim is impressive in its offerings. The gas-electric hybrid is one of 3 optional V6 powertrains you can choose for this specific truck. As tested, the price is $76,110 which at first seems almost absurd but then when you start to factor in how great it drives and all of its capabilities and features, well, then it starts to make some sense. Though I don’t love the King Ranch look, there are 11 different grille options depending on trim level so there’s likely at least a few that’ll appeal to you. It doesn’t fit in my garage but if it did I’d love to have one.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,

2021 Ford Ranger Tremor First Look

2021 Ford Ranger Tremor First Look By Car Critic Steve Hammes. 2021 Ford Ranger Tremor
Following the recently released off-road oriented Super Duty Tremor comes a Tremor package for Ford’s smallest pickup. When equipped with the Tremor Off-Road Package, the 2021 Ford Ranger gives customers a truck with even more capability, taking it several notches beyond the already-capable FX4 Package. A lifted suspension provides nearly another inch of ground clearance which combined with the new 32” Grabber tires improves the Ranger’s off-road metrics for tackling tougher angles. FOX shocks with external reservoirs at the rear and hydraulic rebound stops keep things comfortable even over severe terrain. A steel front bash plate, skid plates, 2 new recovery hooks in the rear, a locking rear differential and Terrain Management System round out the package. Even the traction control system has been recalibrated for improved acceleration while driving on loose surfaces. Inside, you’ll find a bank of auxiliary power switches to control accessories such as a winch and lights and special Tremor accented seats. Powered by a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder turbo producing 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, the Tremor Off-Road Package is priced at $4,290 and is available on XLT and Lariat grades in the SuperCrew 4X4 configuration.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

2021 Ford Bronco FIRST LOOK

2021 Ford Bronco FIRST LOOK By Car Critic Steve Hammes | TestDriveNow. Capping off what feels like the slowest striptease in automotive history, you’re finally looking at the all-new 2021 Ford Bronco. A hundred bucks payable at Ford.com reserves yours today with deliveries scheduled to begin next spring.
Series range from a base Bronco, a no-frills SUV for those who want to customize their own, to Big Bend™, Black Diamond™ and Outer Banks™ with a variety of options and colors, topping out with Wildtrak™ and Badlands™ for more extreme off-road adventuring. A limited-production First Edition™ will be offered at launch.   
So the Bronco is back and it’s even brought with it a little brother, known as the Bronco Sport – a subcompact 4X4 for those with less adventurous intentions. 

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,

2020 Ford Escape Hybrid

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.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
MENU