This week get some very limited seat time behind the wheel of the Maverick hybrid pickup truck – probably the hottest vehicle Ford have produced in decades. People have ordered their Maverick back in July 2021 and still haven’t received them yet – almost a year later. Due to the shortage of any available, we had to grab a quick test – courtesy of our local Ford dealership, (Grimsby Ford), so a big thanks to them. The order books closed for 2022 Maverick’s in February, so it looks like most people are going to be getting 2023’s…when they eventually arrive.
The present-day Ford Ranger arrived in North America as an all-new model back in 2019, even though it wasn’t actually new – it debuted in Australia back in 2012. Back in 2019 we got our hands on the Lariat version and last year we had the phenomenal Tremor version – probably by far our favourite truck ever. This time we’re driving a Lariat with the FX4 off road package – it sits somewhere between our two previous Rangers. It’s essentially the final time to try the Ranger because the All-New from the ground up version will arrive early next year, as a 2023 model.
We’ve known about the Mustang Mach-E for over a year now, and people are still banging on that “it’s not a Mustang because it’s an SUV.” Those people are morons. They’ve obviously made a judgment based on their small minds fitting into their tiny heads. You have to be open-minded with ANY vehicle and manufacturer. Remember the outcry when Porsche, Jaguar and Lamborghini said they were going to start building SUV’s? That was supposed to be the end of the world as we knew it. Fast forward a couple of years and the SUV’s are outselling the sports cars by a great number.
Having driven the 2020 Ford Explorer a few times this year, although I liked it, I certainly didn’t love it. Truth be told the Hyundai Palisade did it so much better, and for less money. When I picked up the key fob for the Lincoln Aviator Reserve I was thinking it might be equal to the Palisade – but with an even bigger price bump than the Explorer. Two minutes behind the wheel and I knew right away my preconceptions were wrong, oh so wrong.
What happens when the Ford/Lincoln designers forget that they don’t work for BMW/Mercedes? They create vehicles like the 2020 Lincoln Corsair. I’m serious – this Corsair feels and drives just like a BMW/Mercedes. Remove the badges and no one would be able to tell the difference on the inside – especially if you blindfolded them and sat them in the front seats. Ford have really stepped up their game with the Lincoln lineup. No longer is it just a tiny bit more luxurious than the Ford equivalent – it’s a completely different vehicle! They share the platform, but that’s it – everything else is luxury dialed up to 11, but DO NOT call it a grandpa’s Lincoln with thoughts of floaty suspension and overly boosted power steering – those days are thankfully long gone.
The Lincoln Continental is an iconic piece of American automotive history. Once upon a time, anyone that wanted to prove that they had “made it” would buy one (or the Cadillac Fleetwood). Presidents and dignitaries HAD to be seen in them, many were stretched even longer and bulletproofing them was a major industry too. If you wanted a humongous status symbol with a floaty ride and zero cornering ability above 25 km/h – this was your car. But then people discovered the Europeans were building cars that were superior, could corner and handle in a way the Caddy and Lincoln could only dream about. By the mid-80’s only grandpas and stretch limo companies wanted these cars. So why are we testing one here? Why should anyone still be interested in a Lincoln Continental – especially in 2020? Well, believe-it-or-not the Continental is back – smaller, nimble, fast and yes… relevant in 2020. Put your preconceived notions aside and check it out…
The first time I saw a Palisade in the flesh (or should I say metal), I wasn’t paying attention and mistook it for an Infiniti QX80. I jumped into the passenger seat and looked around, thoroughly impressed and could see why the QX80 was priced around $96,500. The driver asked what I thought of it, and how much did I think it was worth. I blurted out – around $85-90k. “Nope – $56k fully loaded.” Came the reply. My jaw dropped. $56k for an SUV like this, just oozing luxury?! What a bargain. “Yeah, pretty nice for a Hyundai – right?” Whaddayamean a Hyundai? “It’s a Hyundai Palisade” No way! Gotta get me one for a test ASAP. And so we have it… for a week.
It’s been a couple of years since I last tested a Nissan. They are never at the top of my list of must-drive vehicles and I don’t know why, because every time I drive them I love them. This week I had the opportunity to spend some serious seat time behind the wheel of the Maxima Platinum. I was expecting a decent enough drive, comfort-wise – what I didn’t expect was how much I really loved this car!
Minivans – the most underrated vehicle on the road today. They can hold and transport plenty of stuff and usually plenty of people too – but most people wouldn’t be caught dead in one, let alone buy one! Why is that? Why is an SUV/CUV ‘cool” but a minivan “uncool” – even though they are far superior in every way? Outside of Canada and the U.S., minivans and even smaller minivans are everywhere but we don’t seem to be interested in them. They are far more adaptable and useful than virtually every CUV. Looking at the interior numbers of the 2020 Ford Transit Connect Passenger Wagon, it’s got more cargo and passenger room than a Ford Explorer!
Last year we drove the gas-powered Kona and came away nicely impressed, but really wondered what the EV version would be like – after all that was the one we were REALLY interested in. With the lease on our vehicle ending soon, we’re legitimately looking to get a new car and we’re both excited about the EV revolution. With so many new EV’s arriving in 2020 it’s going to be a feast of options, but the almighty dollar (budget) is most likely going to be the deciding factor in the end.