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Consumer Reports regularly ranks cars on factors like reliability and bang for the buck. The company recently crunched all the data collected on 2012 models, and now it’s announced a list of ten Top Picks for the year.
In compiling its rankings, Consumer Reports looked at three factors: reliability, safety, and a road test. To keep things fair, each data set came from a different source. Reliability was based on surveys of over 1,000,000 vehicles, provided by the magazine’s subscribers. Safety data came from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and government sources. And of course, Consumer Reports conducted extensive studies of its own to determine road test scores.
Retail car buyers have to juggle a lot of factors in choosing a car, including image, family approval, and maybe-one-day-I’ll-drive-across-the-country dreams.
That may preclude a battery electric vehicle like a Nissan Leaf, with its 73-mile range.
Smaller, more efficient engines will be all the rage for the next 15 years, as automakers work to meet gas-mileage standards reaching past real-world averages of 40 miles per gallon.
One of the most eagerly awaited is Ford’s three-cylinder, 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, first shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show last September. It will replace non-turbo versions of its 1.6-liter four globally.
Here in the U.S., vans aren’t typically a big deal, and haven’t been since, oh, the A-Team. That’s a shame, because some are pretty cool. Ford’s relatively new Transit Connect has revived a little van-love, but it has a bigger brother that’s bound our way soon to replace the E-Series van. This isn’t it, but it’s the Transit’s European cousin, or a preview of it.
America’s Transit is coming, however. It will be built in Kansas City in both light-duty and heavy-duty versions, confirmed to Motor Authority by Ford. It’ll also be at least 25 percent more fuel efficient and 300 pounds lighter than the current E-Series. But back to the version that’s coming to Geneva.
If you watched the Super Bowl last night, you probably caught Chevrolet’s ad for the 2012 Silverado pickup. Most saw it as a clever riff on the whole 2012/Mayan calendar/world-ending thing that’s rumored to occur later this year. When the folks at Ford watched it, though, all they saw was red.
The premise of the ad is simple: the apocalypse has arrived on schedule, delivered by a shower of falling meteors, alien space ships, volcanic eruptions, and a plague of frogs. As the dust settles, four friends meet up at a pre-designated rendez-vous point in their Chevrolet Silverados. Backed by strains of Barry Manilow’s 1976 key-change extravaganza, “Looks Like We Made It”, the four briefly discuss their friend Dave, who’s nowhere to be seen.
Ask about green cars and most buyers think only of gas mileage.
But there are other ways to make vehicles greener, including the use of renewable materials to replace petroleum-derived synthetic components.
There’s a lot to like about the upcoming 2013 Ford Escape, including improved overall fuel economy (although we’re sorry to see the end of the Escape Hybrid), and significantly better styling, both inside and out, than its predecessor.
What we didn’t know until now was how much the new Escape would cost. Truth be told, we still don’t have an exact price, but thanks to the Ford Escape microsite, we have pricing “for survey purposes only.”
A bulletin from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration explains that the Escape recall is due to a faulty brake master cylinder reservoir cap. In certain cases, that cap can leak brake fluid, which may drip down onto the wiring that controls the anti-lock braking system. Over time, the leak may cause corrosion of the electrical connectors, which could result in melting of the wires, or in some cases, a fire.
Unlike most cars, the current Ford Fusion is selling better now than it has at any time during its eight-year model run.
That’s a great lead-in for Ford, which is launching the all-new 2013 Ford Fusion at the Detroit Auto Show.
With a sleeker design, a choice of three four-cylinder engines, plus not only a hybrid but a plug-in hybrid model–the 2013 Fusion is Ford’s first mid-size sedan design sold around the world since the 1995-2000 Contour.
In the U.S. market, the vast majority of crossovers and sport-utility vehicles are compact or mid-size vehicles.
That’s about to change, as Ford continues to launch vehicles that can be sold globally, rather than developing individual cars for specific countries.
Today, Ford unveiled its EcoSport subcompact crossover at the Delhi Auto Expo–and we have all the photos for you.
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