2019 Lincoln MKC – Automotive Review

2019 Lincoln MKC – Automotive Review

Premium design features make the 2019 Lincoln MKC enjoyable for all - except for your wallet.

Overview

Stemming from its Ford Escape counterpart, the Lincoln MKC holds a more driver-focused orientation. With refined exterior styling, enriching comfortability, and adaptive technology, the MKC is ideal for those looking for a more premium small utility vehicle. Although starting at $42,150 CND, buyers have to consider, is the extra cost worth more than competitors highest model.

Styling

Visually the MKC is very appealing; equipped with an improved grille. It has a reminiscent of the Lincoln Navigator luxury, separating its appearance from the Escape hidden under the shell. Inside the cabin, Lincoln has dressed the MKC Reserve exquisitely. Comfortability comes standard with a heated and cooled 12-way power-automated front seats, heated rear seats and steering wheel, and dual-zone temperature control. While the seating package may not stack up to the Lincoln Navigator or Continental in term of luxury, but it’s a substantial improvement on the Escape. Additionally, features like the hands-free power liftgate, a voice-activated navigation system, and a breathtaking panoramic vista roof provide that required pop for consumers.

Exterior wise, the Lincoln MKC looks compressed, considering the seating capacity is for five comfortably, and the cargo space is sufficient; the outside doesn’t reflect upon the headroom. The front end, as I mentioned has received a facelift, and the rear still wears the cyclops style taillight cascading across the back, with Lincoln outlines overtop.

Driving

While the Lincoln MKC could be replaced next year by the emergence of the 2020 Lincoln Corsair, the end of Lincoln’s smallest crossover is adequate. The base model 2.0-litre four-cylinder is shared with the Escape. That said, the MKC also has a 285-hp 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine as an option in the Reserve badge.

The transmission shifts smoothly and delivers power when needed in all circumstances. Thanks to the adaptive all-wheel drive the turbocharged engine’s power is transitioned thoroughly to avoid any slips or mishandling. While acceleration isn’t much of a standout, there seemed to be little lag when the pedal hits the floor. However, it’s tough competition like the Audi Q5 launched much quicker. During testing our fuel consumption ran about 12.5L/100km with a smaller fuel tank capacity. Completely full, the range will grant you just under 500km depending on which of the three driving modes you prefer to operate.

Summary

Lincoln has delivered a luxury crossover capable of fulfilling the lack of amenity in the Escape, yet the MKC still has its issues. The price is unreasonable for the overall return from Lincoln, and overall execution wasn’t as strong as I’ve seen from competitors. A buyer may want to look towards the Infinity QX50, Acura RDX, Volvo XC60 or perhaps wait for the Lincoln Corsair.

Key Features:

  • MKC 2.0L Select – starting at $40,098 CND
  • MKC 2.0L Reserve – starting at $43,875 CND
  • MKC 2.3L Reserve – starting at $45,737 CND
  • Turbocharged 2.0L I-4 (AWD)
    • Horsepower: 245 @ 5,500
    • Torque: 275 @ 3,000
  • Turbocharged 2.3L I-4 (AWD)
    • Horsepower: 285 @ 5,500
    • Torque: 305 @ 2,750
  • Fuel Economy
    • Est. L/100 Km: 12.3 City / 9.3 Hwy
  • Head Room
    • Front Seats 39.6 in.
    • Rear Seats 38.7 in.
  • Leg Room
    • Front Seats 42.8 in.
    • Rear Seats 36.8 in.
  • Cargo Volume Behind Front Seats 53.1 cu. ft.
  • Cargo Volume Behind Rear Seats 25.2 cu. ft.
  • Total Passenger Volume 97.9 cu. ft.
  • Towing Capacity Optional: Class II Trailer Tow Package – tow up to 3,000 lbs./2.0L and 2.3L Engines
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Automotive Reviews SUV

2019 Ford Edge – Review

2019 Ford Edge – Review

“Savvy dimensions, exquisite comfortability, and sharp dynamics; The 2019 Ford Edge sits in that sweet-spot between the Expedition and Escape.”

Parked in a crowded Ford SUV line-up, the 2019 Edge satisfies the mid-sized demand of consumers that are finding a lacking of space in its little brother the Ford Escape. While the Expedition has few flaws, the size will drive some buyers to consider the Edge. Often overlooked in the past, as sales have never been a Ford standout, change is coming with its new renditions. Stamped with a new Sports Technologies (ST®) badge to go along with its existing trims, this crossover has every flavor covered for every driver’s taste.  

The twin-turbo V6 engine in the ST model provides exhilarating power and pick-up.  While the base turbocharged four-cylinder engine offers some relief in fuel consumption. With a combined rating of 10L/100km for our Titanium model tested, which was followed by the ST which tested at 11L/100km. All models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and Ford co-Pilot360 as the new foundation for safety features and assistance in all models.

The Edge models begin with its SE starting at $34,099. At an impressive price point, the Ford Edge SE sets its bar for generous value. Equipped with 18-inch aluminum wheels, push-button start, hill assist, emergency braking, and much more driver assistance features, Ford has loaded up its base model to put pressure on the competition.  Adding more luxuries such as dual-climate control, silver roof rack rails, LED fog lamps, leather accents, and SYNC® 3 comes with the $34,599 SEL model. Ideal for weekend warriors on a budget, this model provides an excellent return for what you pay. Luxury seekers will have to look at shackling another $5,400 for the Titanium. Leisure features outline the Titanium model. With heated leather seating package, hands-free foot-activation liftgate, wireless charging pad, and 19-inch aluminum wheels.

Known as the Sport model, Ford has finally introduced the ST trim to the Edge. Accompanied by the only V6 turbocharged engine available the Ford Edge ST has some unique exterior styling. Reminiscent of the Ford Focus ST, the black mesh addition to the grille and 20-inch aluminum with gloss black painted rims is engaging. Tight leather-trimmed seats with Miko® cloth inserts compliment the interior nicely and enhance the drive experience. The cabin is spacious for a full trip, and cargo room for baggage is acceptable and improved with the rear seating foldability. The infotainment is lackluster at its base with one USB charging port and smaller control screen. The upgraded model gains Sync®3 software, an 8-inch display screen, with Apple and Android connectivity added. While it’s a simple interior design layout, some may be wishing more was revamped this year. I found it less clunky then some interiors I have seen and overall easily functional by not cluttering the control dials with nobs or rotaries.

Drivability is reasonably enjoyable. The base model handling and power are pleasant from what I’ve seen compared to other crossovers. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine generates 250 horsepower, giving some casual get-up comparative to its Volkswagen Atlas counterpart. Conversely, the Ford Edge ST stands alone when you’re looking for an SUV to also hang with the Volkswagen Golf GTI acceleration. Its 2.7-litre turbocharged V6 engine produces a whopping 335 horses on 380lb.-ft of torque making it one-of-a-kind for speed enthusiasts.

While I was tremendously impressed with the new Ford Edge ST, it is undoubtedly more of a unique option for buyers. Consumers will be more than satisfied with what they get from Ford in the ST, but it’s a model that isn’t suitable for anyone not already having a sportier model already in mind. A more practical option, in my opinion, sits with the SEL model. You get a plethora of features at a generous value by Ford.                   

Key Features

  • Trims available
    • 2019 Edge SE Starting at $34,099
    • 2019 Edge SEL Starting at $34,599
    • 2019 Edge Titanium Starting at $39,999
    • 2019 Edge ST Starting at $46,199
  • Twin-scroll 2.0L EcoBoost® I-4 turbocharged, direct-injection engine (SE,SEL,Titanium)
    • FWD: 10.9 L/100km city/ 8.0 L/100km hwy/ 9.6 L/100km combined
    • AWD: 11.4 L/100km city/ 8.3 L/100km hwy/ 10.0 L/100km combined
    • 250hp @ 5,500rpm
    • 280lb.-ft @ 3,000rpm
  • 2.7L EcoBoost® V6 twin-turbocharged, direct-injection engine (ST)
    • AWD: 12.6L/100km city/ 9.2 L/100km hwy/ 11.0 L/100km combined
    • 335hp @ 5,550rpm
    • 380lb.-ft @ 3,250rpm
  • Warranty
    • Basic: 36 months / 60,000 km
    • Powertrain: 5 years / 100,000 km
    • Corrosion: 5 years / unlimited distance
    • Safety Restraint: 5 years / 100,000 km
    • Roadside Assistance: 5 years / 100,000 km
  • Capacities: Interior Volume
    • Passenger Volume 3225l.
    • Cargo Volume Behind First Row 2078l.
    • Cargo Volume Behind Second Row 1111l.
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2019 Ram 1500 Rebel – Automotive Review

2019 Ram 1500 Rebel – Automotive Review

“A Rebel With a Cause: Ram has produced their most practical off-road truck yet.”

Stemming from its leaked photos of a TRX off-road hellcat soon after the emergence of the Ford Raptor; Ram has tapped into that backcountry market we so dearly appreciate in Canada. The Rebel has often come up short, with Ford capturing the interest of gravel-runners towards the hefty price tag on the Ford Raptor. So many driving enthusiasts compare these two juggernaut companies; the off-road market is no different. After gaining more attention from a teased concept in 2016 of a Rebel TRX off-road monster; Ram has instead continued to develop a more sensible truck for all types of terrain.

While I am pleased to know that concept TRX is gaining traction for its release by the year 2022, however, the 2019 Ram Rebel is no slouch itself. Equipped with an angry vented hood, black fender flares, and a gaping opening in the grille with outlined RAM interlocked. Dodge has beefed up the wheels 32-inch on/off-road tires on 18- or available 20-inch on Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac tires. Changed from the previous year; Ram strived to improve the amount hum produced by the tread.

The 5.7L we tested boasted a 395 horsepower-V8 engine, producing 410 lb-ft of torque. This is trumped by Ford’s prized pony with the twin-turbo 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 Engine producing 450 horsepower and a 100 more foot-pounds of torque. However, that would cost you another $25,000 CAD, and the V8 Rebel ride still feels particularly responsive. I always felt with the Ford EcoBoost, while it delivers tremendous power, it does suffer from some lag response.

A beefy upgrade comes to the Rebel in the form of a new off-road package. As stated earlier the tires have been improved as well as a host of other included features. Dodge’s offering includes a one-inch suspension lift, with or without the available four-corner air suspension. The electronic-locking rear differential and Hill-descent Control provide increase control off-road. The Rebel off-road package also includes new Bilstein shocks with remote reservoirs, a black powder coated bumper, with a heavy skid plate and tow hooks. Driven within its limits, the Ram Rebel is a solid light-duty pick-up. Moreover, the Ram Rebel should be more of a Toyota Tundra TRD comparison. Enough to handle some rugged trails and have the appearance to do so.

The interior of the Rebel radiants simplicity, ruggedness, and stylish choices in terms of design. The bulky knobs are literally handy and useful to use and give that beefy look to the inside to match the exterior. The red accent styling to the dashboard and door panel is a really distinguished touch. As well as the intertwined cloth and vinyl seating makes for any long journey a comfortable trip. I also marvel at the additions of the Rebel stitched and imprinted into the dashboard to only appeal the eye as you prepare to sit in the cab.

With this genre of trucks ever growing in popularity, the level of competition is going to be fierce in the coming years. While the Ram Rebel has made strides in the right direction it still falls short of the prized Raptor. It’s going to be intriguing to see where this all heads to in the coming years as concepts and variations are becoming more demanded. As well as General Motors looking to unleash their own version very soon. One thing is certain. You can never have too many trucks in the sandbox.

Key Features:

  • 7-LITRE HEMI® V8
    • 395 hp (291 kW) @ 5,600 rpm
    • 410 lb-ft (556 N•m) @ 3,950 rpm
    • City -16.1 // Hwy – 11.0 // Combined – 13.8 // L/100 km
  • Brakes 378 x 30 mm (14.9 x 1.2 in) vented disc with 57 mm (2.2 in.) two-piston pin-slider caliper and anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • QUAD CAB PICKUP
    • Front Headroom 1,038mm
    • Front Legroom 1,040mm
    • Rear Headroom 995mm
    • Rear Legroom 903mm
    • Box Length 6Ft. 4In.
  • CREW CAB PICKUP
    • Front Headroom 1,038mm
    • Front Legroom 1,040mm
    • Rear Headroom 1011mm
    • Rear Legroom 1,147mm
    • Box Length 5Ft. 7In.
  • 151 litres of interior storage volume
  • Five-year/100,000-Km Powertrain Limited Warranty
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Automotive Reviews

2018 Ford Ecosport – Automotive Review

2018 Ford Ecosport – Automotive Review

“Introducing the 2018 Ford EcoSport, a combination of no eco and zero sport.”

Seriously though, the 2018 Ford EcoSport is a complete head-scratcher. I don’t know who this vehicle is intended for. With engine options varying from lawnmower to large pressure washer, I was surprised at how fast my fuel tank seemed to disappear. Entirely I wasn’t even pleased with some of the design choices Ford went with. In the ever-expanding crossover market, Ford has missed the mark with the 2018 EcoSport.

Whether it’s the 123-horsepower 1.0L intercooled turbo or the 166-horsepower inline-four, the EcoSport struggled to keep up with traffic on higher density roadways. I often felt the need to have the peddle completely down to the floor, with the RPM’s maxing out, just to keep up with the flow of traffic while commuting up and down Highway 1.  The measly 123 hp featured in the standard Ecosport is significantly lower than its direct competitors such as the Toyota C-HR, Kia Soul, Mazda CX-3, and Hyundai Kona, yet has a very similar fuel rating. As consumer desire for sub-compacts grows every calendar year; in 2018 Ford has failed to impress or stand out from the rest.

As you may not get there in a hurry, you will hopefully get there with ease. The suspension controls a great degree of the body weight around corners, and with a smaller wheelbase, this was a pleasant surprise. The steering response isn’t particularly as energetic as vehicles with the electric power steering, (which I almost expect from newer vehicles) but it’s also not sluggish either. Simply the EcoSport will go where you point it without any resistance.

Although this Ford model was introduced to North America in 2017; the EcoSport is not new. It is designed for South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In terms of size, the EcoSport is the smallest of the bunch. While still having a seating capacity for five, the EcoSport is about half a foot shorter than most competitors and has a smaller wheelbase. We unfortunately tested the seating capacity, and as you can imagine it’s a tight fit for five full-grown occupants. The storage in the rear is decent for a sub-compact, as it has 20.9 cubic feet of available storage and another 30 additional cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. There was a complaint from everyone on our team that tested this vehicle, related to the design in opening the rear hatch. It’s pretty well hidden in the rear passenger-side taillight. Once found it looks like it’s was designed as a pull-latch, but it’s not, instead it’s a small sensor button. I kept trying to open the hatch pulling on the latch, but of course not getting a response until I felt the small little button. And judging by how loose the piece I was pulling on… I think many of the other journalists had the same problem.

Ford has always stayed with the Sync software in their infotainment system, and it’s no different in the EcoSport. With a touch 6.5-inch screen Sync3 with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, and additional features like; power sunroof, automatic climate control, heated seating, push-button start, and rear-sensor parking assistance provided in the tested EcoSport SE at $27,599. Optional upgrades would be features like lane assistance, heated steering, 17-inch wheels, and a 1.5-inch increase in the touchscreen navigation are available. The base model S at $21,099 grants you the basic Sync, a backup camera, with rear-mounted spare tire capability at an additional cost. The Titanium starting at $27,599 is outrageous for what you are getting in my opinion. As the saying goes, “you get what you paid for” Ford is going against the grain with that saying. I recommend looking elsewhere at this premium price point, as all the competitors will be offering more hp with better fuel efficiency while providing more legroom.

Finally, common sense would tell you with a name that features synonym for economical that it would be in fact economical. Well, there is no common sense here. With a fuel economy rating of 8.6L/100km city and 8.1L/100km highway as per fords website. We tested this first hand by resetting the gauges based on how we drove. With a combination of highway driving and city travel, we had a rating of 10.6L/100km of actual fuel economy. For a 1.0L subcompact SUV these are terrible numbers, and fuel economy was obviously sacrificed due to the lack of power, but we weren’t purposely stepping on the gas to increase the consumption, it just happened to be the consequence of driving in BC traffic

Key features:

  • Starting at
    • $21,099 for the Ecosport S
    • $24,099 for the Ecosport SE
    • $27,599 for the Ecosport Titanium
    • $28,399 for the Ecosport SES
  • 1.0L EcoBoost® engine with Auto Start-Stop Technology
    • Est. L/100km 8.6 City / 8.1 Hwy
  • 2.0L Ti-VCT I-4 engine with optional Auto Start-Stop Technology
    • Est. L/100km 10.2 City / 8.0 Hwy
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD) with optional Intelligent 4WD System
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Available FordPass Connect™ Powered by FordPass™ in-vehicle WiFi
  • Capacity
    • Passenger volume 2580.9 L
    • Cargo volume behind first row 1414.9 L
    • Cargo volume behind second row 592 L
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2018 Hyundai KONA – Automotive Review

2018 Hyundai KONA – Automotive Review

There’s a trembling brewing up from Hyundai’s core, spewing out like an eruption is the all-new 2018 KONA. This is Hyundai’s first global entry to the B-SUV segment and is the smallest crossover in Hyundai’s lineup, however, this little KONA sure packs a wallop.

“Get a friendly aloha from this Mecca to you…”

– Beach Boys Kona Coast

Hyundai chose some interesting styling compositions. The decision to mold clunky plastic fender flares looks bad in my opinion and I would have preferred a continuation of the body paneling to be over the wheel-well like a typical vehicle. I understand the decision to look different and new, but I feel it missed the mark. The wide front grille is appealing, and combined with the slim aggressive LED headlights, gives the KONA the look of eye squinting focus. The rear end starts to lose that appeal and looks messier and more disorganized compared to the tight sleek front. Below the rear taillights are additional lights with indicators located separately. With the addition of the bulky molded plastic, the rear end looks too busy and doesn’t really catch the eye in a good way.

However, that is where my complaints end as equipped with the 1.6L turbo GDI engine this KONA provides a fun and practical amount of power. Ideal for zipping around town, the KONA wasn’t as gutless as it’s opponent the Honda HR-V. The transmission is a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and it shifts very smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised with the drive overall, as the all-wheel-drive combined with the multi-link rear suspension performed firmly and responsively. It’s particularly less top heavy then the Kia Soul, providing more control through corners. Also available is a turbocharged 2.0-litre. Having an estimated zero to 60 mph in 9.2 seconds is almost 2.5 seconds slower than the 1.6L GDI but combined with no AWD saves you about $7000 CND.

The interior will not blow you away, but that is not Hyundai’s intention. It was a safe design, giving every it features its occupants will need and making available all the features many will want. Nothing looks clustered, or busy, it just looks standard and typical. The infotainment screen can be between seven to eight inches in size depending on chosen spec. The inclusion of Apple CarPlay and/or Android Auto is great when in use. With so many options available on the KONA compared to the competition, ensure to choose things like the heads-up display or the wireless charging, which can be worthy and useful upgrades.

Up against the likes of the Nissan Juke, Kia Soul, and the Mazda CX3; the fuel economy of the KONA is on par with the competition. With such small engines, it becomes hard to break out in this category. With that considered, showing that it’s close to identical in this category; this is an advantage for Hyundai. The KONA was a more pleasurable driving experience with the combination of swiftness and power without sacrificing fuel economy.

Overall, I was impressed with the Hyundai KONA. I can see a small family living in the city will find this vehicle ideal. It’s ability to keep up with traffic, being affordable, and under-sized for parking will delight its owner. With everything you need and want bundled into a small package at an affordable price point, it’s no wonder that these types of crossovers are an ever-growing in popularity amongst the public. I’ll say that I’m positive you will be seeing many KONA’s zipping around your city for sure.

Key Features:

  • 2018 KONA is Hyundai’s first global entry to the B-SUV segment
  • Starting from $20,999 CND
    • 0L four-cylinder engine
    • 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque.
    • 0L FWD City/Hwy/Combined 8.6/7.0/7.9
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • Starting at $27,274
    • 6T GDI engine.
    • 175 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque
    • 6T AWD City/Hwy/Combined 9.0/8.0/8.6
  • BlueLink telematics service
    • Accessed from: buttons on the rear-view mirror, the web or via a smartphone app
    • features like Remote Start with Climate Control, Local Search powered by Google, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Find My Car and Enhanced Roadside Assistance
    • *included in the Ultimate trim and is activated for a 5-year term from the date of purchase.
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