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.
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.
This is a special road test for me. I’ve been desperate to get behind the wheel of the All-New 2019 Ranger since it was announced back in 2017/18. Although it’s “all-new” for North America, it isn’t actually new – it debuted in Australia back in 2012 and hasn’t been upgraded since, so it’s certainly not “all new” and not even close to being “new,” unless 7 years is considered new. Oddly enough, there is an all-new version arriving in 2020 for Australia, Asia and Europe – but not for North America. But all this doesn’t really matter because the 2019 Ranger is All-New for us and that’s all that matters at this point. Two questions come up right away: 1) has it been worth the wait for its return? and 2) is it better than the previous Ranger? Short answers are YES and YES
Time waits for no one and in the automotive world 7 years is a lifetime. That’s the last time I drove a Ford Explorer. Back in 2012 I came away impressed with the SUV but appalled with the fuel consumption – that was with the 3.5 L V6 and during its initial ground-up re-design (2011-2015). Now, in phase 3 of the current model, have Ford made any improvements not only to the fuel economy but also the Explorer overall? Let’s find out before the new 2020 hits the streets…
It’s been a number of years since I last tested a Ford Escape. I’ve always liked the look of the Escape, but every time I’ve driven one I came away completely unimpressed and very disappointed. That changed this week when I jumped behind the wheel of the 2019 Titanium. My immediate first impression was “gotta get me one of these!” So why this Escape? What’s different – what made it so much better? Let’s take a look…