2019 Ford Expedition – Automotive Review

2019 Ford Expedition – Automotive Review

First light on a sunny summer Saturday morning, a hint of smoke in the air from the wildfires burning in the North, We set out on our Expedition to Vancouver Island in the 2019 Ford Expedition.

Enough room for six of us to fit quite comfortably. I like the fact the second row had the optional bucket seats without a center console; third-row passengers can quickly get out without having to move the second seat. The seats did have the tilt and slide option, but it wasn’t required. Arrived at the Horseshoe bay terminal early and gave them our reservation number, I can’t imagine taking a chance without reservations especially these days with so much traffic coming and going from the island. A short wait, and we soon found ourselves on board the Coastal Renaissance ferry. After a few hours we had crossed the Straight Georgia and were ready to disembark. Using the Ford voice-activated navigation system, I entered our next destination, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville. Heading through Nanaimo and onto the island highway I noticed how smooth the acceleration was and how quick the ten-speed transmission shifted. Powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost engine the Expedition produces 400hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, which provides plenty of power for this vehicle. The Rathtrevor Park is 347 hectares in size, which includes 2 kilometers of coastline and a magnificent sandy beach.

We spent some time just walking along the shore and looking at all the views, but there was more to see, so off we went. Heading west we entered Cathedral Grove and were surrounded by 75m tall Douglas Fir trees. I could only imagine what the first explorers thought when they first came across these magnificent trees. The first Ford Expedition came out in 1997 to replace the full-size Bronco. The base model came with a 4.6L V8 that produced 215hp and fuel economy that would have you thinking twice before you drove it. Despite this the Expedition has been one of the longest-lasting vehicles on the road. We were hiking along the trails through all the green moss and boston ferns with the towering trees going up what seems like forever. Nature gives us a sense of being at peace, and everybody was silent as we walked just taking in all the beauty. We passed a few people, and I don’t think they even noticed us as they too were in awe with the scenery.

We followed the trail back to our vehicle and continued with a quick stop in Port Alberni to get some supplies and then on to Tofino. Following the Pacific Rim Highway we made our way to Sprout Lake, which is home for the Martin Mars Water Bombers. If you find yourself with some time on your next trip to Tofino, stop at the visitor center on Bomber Base Road, and you will be amazed at how big these planes are. Just before Tofino you drive through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve with great views of beaches and ocean waves. A few minutes later you enter Tofino. Lots to see and do here, walks along the beach, hiking trails through the forest and just hanging out with people that know how to take life more relaxed and enjoy, I wish we had planned for more time but our day has come to an end, so we headed back to the grind. The hustle and bustle of our daily lives, which is Vancouver, but we will never forget to reflect on our Expedition and look forward to our next.

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Automotive Reviews SUV

2019 Ford Ranger – Experience

2019 Ford Ranger – Experience

We all know the saying, ‘Built Ford Tough” and we’ve seen that proven in the Raptor and F-series, but can the new Ranger live up to this? I take the new 2019 Ford Ranger on an epic journey through the back roads of the Whistler valley to find out if little brother has what it takes.

Photo Credit – Mike Markov

Our journey begins in Richmond, BC, with a tour around the different available models. I have to say the styling is very sharp; it is a similar shape to the F150 but proportioned down perfectly to create an all-new vehicle. With three different trim levels, XL, XLT, and Lariat, and surprisingly no stripped-down base model with a hand-cranked window lever and a bench seat here. All very similar models with a few added features make this Ranger good at all price levels.

Driving through city traffic, the Ranger is quick to accelerate and very easy to stop which I learned first-hand having to brake hard as a driver decided to turn left in front of me with no signal, oh yes did I mention I was in Vancouver?  After a short time later, we were through downtown and into Stanley Park. The Ranger is equipped with a 2.3 Litre EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbocharged engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 270 horsepower and generates 310-pound-feet of torque.

The first stop on the trip is the Sea to Sky Gondola, which if you have never been before it is a must see when traveling highway 99.  Incredible views of Howe Sound, Squamish, and the surrounding Coast mountains. There are plenty of things to do at the top; a restaurant with a large deck to sit out and take in the views, some hiking trails, a suspension bridge, and even rock climbing. Word of advice make sure you’re well hydrated first before attempting the rock climbing, especially on a hot day. You don’t want to be hanging off a rock only to find your head spinning and heat exhaustion taking over, which was a situation I unfortunately found myself in, adding insult to injury by having a toddler pulling on my pant leg asking me to leave the playground. 

Back on the road and heading through Squamish on the way to Whistler, this highway has gone through many upgrades leading up to the 2010 Olympics, and I was amazed how quick it is to reach Whistler. The hotel for the night is the Nita lake lodge which is very different from a typical hotel you would find in the village; this luxury lodge is just 5 min away from the village nestled next to Nita Lake with beautiful views of Whistler Mountain. This resort has world-class dining, and the staff are exceptional. Morning brings on great anticipation, as today is the day we get to take the Ranger out off-roading. 

A short drive away I find the entrance to the Callaghan Valley which leads to the many forest service roads that first cut through this valley. Plenty of new growth forest throughout and some of the trails are covered in brush making it tight for a full-size truck to get through but manageable with this mid-size truck. Traversing the switchbacks, the elevation gain becomes apparent, and the views are incredible. Some steep sections with a lot of loose rock. I switched on the terrain management system and selected the gravel function. The choices are; gravel and snow, mud and ruts, or sand. Each mode alters transmission gearing, throttle response, and steering control to help navigate the terrain. This is very similar to the Ford Raptor and provides excellent traction without wheel hop or loss of control. The road had a few sections that were washed out from the melting snow. The hill decent feature allows the truck to control the braking so you can concentrate on steering and avoiding obstacles as it descends some 28-degree hills. The Ranger I was driving featured a rear differential lock that came in handy when I noticed one wheel hanging in midair.   After a long day of four wheeling it was nice to be back down and back on the pavement. The transition from off-road to the pavement is quite an effort for most vehicles and to have the ability to provide firm but agile suspension off-road, and a smooth, comfortable ride on the road was seamless in the Ford Ranger.

It looks like little brother might even have a few tricks that big brother doesn’t know about. The 2019 Ford Ranger, Ford tough certified.

Key Features

  • Models
    • XL – Starting at $30,596
    • XLT – Starting at $35,139
    • Lariat – Starting at $41,389
  • Fuel Efficiency
    • 11.8L/100km City
    • 9.8L/100km City
  • Engine
    • 2.3L EcoBoost
    • 270hp
    • 310ft/lbs. torque
  • Towing
    • maximum 1650-lb. payload
    • 7,500-lb. tow ratings
  • Optional FX4 Offroad package, with Terrain Management System and Trail Control
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Automotive Reviews Experiences Truck

2019 Ford Fusion Energi – Roadtrip

2019 Ford Fusion Energi – Roadtrip

After taking the 2019 Ford Fusion - Energi on an extended road trip around BC. Our conclusion; Ford is providing some much needed relief at the pump

The new Fusion Energi is projected to offer an electric-only range of 40 km, which is an almost 20% improvement on previous generations. Ford’s engineers have accomplished what all our bosses regularly ask of us; do more with less, in the form of a new 9.0-kilowatt-hour battery with higher energy capacity, and no change to the physical size of the cell.

With the highway robbery that happens at a gas station these days, it’s great to see manufacturers offering more fuel-efficient technologies. The week we had the new Ford Fusion Energi coincided with the unaffordable $1.60+ a litre gas prices in Metro Vancouver. So, we decided to put this car through the paces and take it on an extended road trip to put the fuel savings to the test. In our previous experiences, we have found that the PHEV, fits more closely with our lifestyle, as we often must use the vehicle beyond the capabilities provided by an all-electric car. (Unless you have access to the proper charging infrastructure) 

With the 20-degree weather, we had this spring; it was a perfect time to do an extended trip up the Fraser Canyon. Leaving the house with the sunrise, we left the valley and headed out to Hope. Here in the shadows of the mountains, we filled up the car and our stomachs to get ready for our little adventure. Driving north through the canyon is a sight that is quite amazing, with steep vertical mountain cliffs, twisting highways with dark tunnels, and lush wet green forests; you see the BC that I picture in my head.

Upon leaving the canyon, you exit the Trans-Canada and turn off on to the Cariboo highway leaving the mountains behind as the landscape slowly turns to the rolling pasture land for the cowboys. Much of this highway follows the route of the original Cariboo Wagon Road, which in the early 1800s was a critical part of BC’s gold rush history. There were many neat little historic markers dotted between the small rustic farming and logging communities. A sad thought throughout the trip was seeing the devastation caused by the recent terrible wildfire years.  There were many times where on one side of the highway was a green forest, and out the opposite window, the view was kilometers and kilometers of charred stumps with not much else.

Our first day ended in Williams Lake, which presented us with one of our most surprising insights of the trip. But to get that I should first start with, a few months ago, we were visited by some family from Saskatchewan. They loved seeing so many electric cars driving around Vancouver, but lament the fact that without the proper infrastructure, they couldn’t see many people in their community adopting to them anytime soon. When they said this, I agreed and thought that made sense, however now after this trip; I think I might disagree! Most Canadian cities provide access to power for their block heaters! When we parked at our hotel in Williams Lake, we were surprised to see each stall had a wooden post with 120v power access. Now while it won’t solve all the world’s problems at once, this does seem like something that might actually give those more electric resistant places a leg up in terms of charging infrastructure. The power required to start your cloud spewing diesel truck in the dead of winter, might also just help speed up the adoption of a greener alternative. In our situation, it provided us with a free 40kms! (one full charge of the Ford Fusion Energi).

After another day on the road and a night in Quesnel, we were on our way home. Having never driven the 99 through Lillooet, we decided to take the scenic route and turned west just before Cache Creek. Boy were we happy that we did that, Highway 99, must be one of the most beautiful drives in BC. I thought the canyon was stunning but, on the way home we were pulling over what felt like every 30 minutes to try and take in the breathtaking view. The twisting mountain pass must have also been one of the quietest, as we must have only seen a dozen vehicles as we drove through the emptiness between Lillooet and Pemberton. The only thing we regretted about the detour (and we did regret it at the time,) was after a late lunch in Whistler; we arrived in North Vancouver just in time for the horrible Friday rush hour traffic.

After all, was said and done, we had spent almost 24 hours and drove nearly 1500 km’s in the Ford Fusion. Having carefully tracked our fuel receipts, we calculated that we spent only $150 on the gas for the entire trip, stopping in 100-mile House both ways.  The onboard computer gave us a trip average of 5.7l/100km, which was pretty impressive real-world numbers.

Lineup

  • Fusion SE
    • Starting at $24,090
    • 1.5-litre EcoBoost
    • 10/7L/100km
  • Hybrid SE
    • Starting at $29,695
    • 2.0-litre 188hp Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder
    • 5.5/5.6L/100km
  • Hybrid SEL
    • Starting at $30,890
    • 2.0-litre 188hp Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder
    • 5.5/5.6L/100km
  • Energi SEL
    • Starting at $32,590
    • Electric-only range of 40 km
    • 2.3/2.2L/100km
  • Hybrid Titanium
    • Starting at $34,540
    • 2.0-litre 188hp Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder
    • 5.5/5.6L/100km
  • Energi Titanium
    • Starting at $35,590
    • Electric-only range of 40 km
    • 2.3/2.2L/100km

Key Features

  • Ford Co-Pilot360™ Technology
  • Standard 17” Aluminum rims, with available 18
  • Electric power-assisted steering (EPAS)
  • SiriusXM® Radio with Traffic and Travel Link®
  • SYNC® 3 with 8-in. LCD touchscreen and Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™
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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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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 Ford F150 Power Stroke Diesel – Automotive Review

2018 Ford F150 Power Stroke Diesel – Automotive Review

Introducing the 2018 Ford F150 Power Stroke Diesel, Yes that’s right Power Stroke Diesel in an F150. If not for the badging you wouldn’t know and as for the many fellow drivers that did a double take when looking at the vehicle, yes it is! With an estimated rating as low as 10.8L/100 km Highway it can tow up to 11,400 pounds without as much as a whimper.

Looks

Bold stance, sculpted LED headlights and stylized grille complete the front end of this truck. The aluminum body is stamped and bent into shape to create strength but it also generates the unique shape that makes Ford trucks standout from previous versions. Optional tailgate step, lift assist and remote tailgate release makes real-world tasks much easier and soon people will ask how they managed to do without these improvements.

Interior

As you climb into the cabin you immediately notice the refinements that have been made. Things such as; soft touch buttons, easy to use touch screen and accessibility of everything from a comfortable driving position.

It’s clear Ford designers have taken everything into consideration to give you the best driving experience possible. Now that doesn’t exclude passengers who also have easy access to everything needed including temperature controls and seat adjustability. Our tester featured a premium B&O audio system that has 10 speakers, AM/FM stereo, and a single CD/MP3 player

Safety

Front driver and passenger airbags, side curtain and seat-mounted airbags. Power four-wheel vented disc anti-lock brakes. Pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking is standard. Available adaptive cruise control, pro trailer backup assist, a 360-degree camera with split view display, FordPass connect with WIFI modem to connect up to 10 devices are some of the safety features in this F150.

Engine

3.0L power stroke V6 with 250 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. Biodiesel capability to B20. This engine features a larger turbocharger that accommodates high air flow to maximize power and maintain performance at high altitudes where the air is thinner than at sea level. Add a high-pressure common rail fuel injection system, high-pressure fuel pump, lightweight aluminum cylinder heads, and fuel injector tips designed to deliver precise fuel atomization you have one sweet motor.

Fuel economy

  • 10.8L /100km City 8.0L /100km Highway  (4×2)
  • 11.8 /100km City 9.3L /100km Highway   (4×4)

The Drive

Close the doors and you would swear you’re driving with a gas engine, very little noise thanks to the engineers that designed this motor in England. You will find similar motors powering SUV’s all over Europe. This F150 is smooth and comfortable to drive, climbing hills with no effort powering its way up without dropping in speed. Excellent visibility to see all around and with the accident avoidance technology, you can be reassured this Ford has your back as you drive. With great fuel economy, tremendous power and outstanding towing capabilities I would say this truck a winner and it gets my vote as the truck of the year.  

Price

$86,129.00 as tested

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Automotive Reviews

2019 Ford Transit – Automotive Review

2019 Ford Transit – Automotive Review

The 2019 Ford Transit is a multi-purpose cargo van that makes a great addition to any size business. The all-new van was presented to fleet customers at the National truck equipment associations Work Truck Show.

Looks:

The Transit Connect looks small, but with 3,670 liters of cargo volume and rear doors that open 180 degrees (optional 255 degrees), there is lots of room for people and materials. The cargo van version is available with no side windows in the sliding side doors and privacy glass in the rear doors. You can also order it with no side or rear windows.

It also lends itself to becoming an office on wheels. Ford Work Solutions is a system that runs Windows CE 6.0 designed to access an office workstation computer remotely to download customer information or view a work order or delivery invoice. You can send and receive text messages. The Navigation screen pinpoints your delivery locations and the system allows hands-free calling via the Bluetooth. The in-dash computer tracks your tools through a program called Tool Link, by De-Walt. Using a radio frequency identification tag attached to each tool you can scan them as you load them into the van and know exactly what is on board and what you left behind.

In The Cab:

The driver’s seat is manually adjustable (six-way) with built-in armrest, while the passenger has a four-way manually adjustable seat. Just like most cargo vans of today, the cab has all the features once reserved only for a car. An AM/FM radio with a bonus CD player and audio input jack. Available SYNC system to make hands free calls, embedded 4G LTE modem,(WIFI for up to 10 devices) rearview mirror backup camera, reverse sensing system, forward sensing system, and a 4.2-inch productivity screen that keeps you informed on fuel economy numbers as well as towing information. When you open the split rear doors, you get a true sense of this van’s functionality. The cargo areas floor to ceiling height is 150 centimeters and the width is 121 cm between the wheel wells. The load length is 184 cm and additional access is offered via the dual sliding doors. The cargo payload is an incredible 726 kilograms, more than some full-size pickup trucks. Optional second row, three passengers, split folding 60/40 cloth bench seat, and optional third row two passenger seating.

Safety first:

Standard front and side airbags will keep you safe in the event of a collision. Pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection, lane keeping system that can alert you if the vehicle drifts into another lane. You can select between steering vibration option or directional steering torque that guides you back into the lane, four-wheel anti-lock brakes and a tire-pressure-monitoring system are standard. For security, Ford has developed a locking latch shielded door lock system to help keep your contents safe. Ford MyKey technologies allow you to set speed limits and restrict audio volume.

Power:

This vehicle is powered by either a 2.0L GDI I-4 engine or a direct injected 1.5L EcoBlue engine, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It puts out 162 horsepower and 144 lb-ft of torque.

Pump Frequency:

  • 12.75L / 8.7 L/100 km (city/highway)  1.5 Litre Diesel
  •  2.0L TBA

Roadworthy:

While driving this Ford Transit Connect you feel like you’re driving a 2WD Ford Ranger. You’re able to maneuver around vehicles in tight parking lots and park in small parking spots, the only difference is you have a walk in cargo box on the back. This van would be perfect to convert into a special purpose van; it would be easy to add a wheelchair ramp or a lift without having to do too much modification.

Verdict:

Although this van has been available in the UK for many years it has only been available in North American since 2011. The popularity has increased and judging by its versatility and size, I think it is here to stay.

Sticker Price:

  • XL Van  $26,329
  • XLT Van $27,589
  • XL Passenger Wagon $28,399
  • XLT Passenger Wagon $30,109
  • Titanium Passenger Wagon $34,159
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Automotive Reviews
2018 Ford Expedition Exterior Front

2018 Ford Expedition – Automotive Review

2018 Ford Expedition Exterior Front

2018 Ford Expedition – Automotive Review

First opportunity to drive this redesigned 2018 Ford Expedition and I decided to take the family on its own expedition.

Early Saturday morning involved motivating everybody to get up and grab their things as we make our way out the door at 6:30 am. First stop was the local gas station to top up the tank to make sure we start on a fully prepared to make it to our destination, Pemberton valley, and more precisely the beautiful Joffre lakes.

Heading over the Port Mann bridge with little to no traffic, I thought this is going to be a breeze. Hit the Ironworkers memorial bridge and then a full stop, where did all this traffic come from? Inching our way up the cut and it finally started to open up again. The Expedition was equipped with an Eco, Normal, and Sport mode settings. I put it in Eco to save on fuel, and instantly it felt like we were driving with an underpowered 4 cylinder engine. Switching back to normal was a noticeably improved driving experience. Driving through upper West Vancouver on a clear sunny day with a beautiful view of mountains on Vancouver Island, entering the Sea to Sky highway I switched to sport mode to tighten up the suspension as we head into our first curve paying close attention to the speed limit to make sure we avoid the temptation of pushing the vehicle to its limits.

It is amazing how fast people drive this highway, at the speed limit I was being passed by vehicles that are 15 years older with blue exhaust smoke pouring out of them. Anyway as we just passed through Lions Bay we come across an accident on the side of the road where two cars swapped paint as they jockeyed in for a better position. The police were there handing both of them tickets. Short delay and back to driving. The new 10-speed transmission on the Expedition is paired with a 3.5L EcoBoost engine producing 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque and the transition from full stop back to highway speed was smooth and seamless. In Sports mode, there is very little body roll for a full-size SUV. We entered Squamish in what seemed very little time, much of which was attributed to this fun to drive SUV.

A quick stop for some food and supplies and we were off again. Climbing a little higher with the breathtakingly picturesque Tantalus Mountain range to the left. Dropping down into the Cheakamus Canyon and around Daisy lake to Whistler where a different form of traffic appeared as many people were out riding their bikes on this warm spring day. Green lake comes into view; I know why they named it green lake wow is it ever green! At this point, I asked everybody how they felt the trip was going so far.. the kids were sleeping and my wife kept saying I was driving too fast.

I decided to rid myself of this annoying cabin noise and put the Expedition into cruise control where the vehicle took over with its advanced technologies including a lane assist reducing unintentional drifting of the vehicle. The adaptive cruise control utilizes radar and cameras to monitor traffic to maintain a set distance between vehicles. Collision avoidance systems help to avoid other vehicles or pedestrians, blind spot system that monitors outside the driver’s view. The cruise control was certainly put to the test with the steep mountain grade and the accelerating and deaccelerating caused by the barely roadworthy Volkswagon van we got stuck behind. As we entered the town of Pemberton and stopped for lunch at the Pony restaurant which was a great choice that my daughter made, we decided that was enough and headed back without ever making it to the final destination of our expedition.

Key Features

  • Fuel economy
    • 13.8/10.7 L/100 km
  • Seating for 7/8
  • Standard 3.5L EcoBoost
    • 400 hp and 480 lb.-ft of torque
  • Up to a maximum of 121.5 cu. ft. (3,440 litres) in the MAX model
  • Best-in-class 9,200 lb. (4173-kg) maximum towing capability

Price CND $

  • XLT   $60,149
  • Limited $73,149
  • Limited Max $76,149
  • Platinum $81,349
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Automotive Reviews Experiences
Brown Bros Racing 2017 F150 XLT Front and Logo

2017 Brown Bros Racing – Ford F150

Brown Bros Racing 2017 F150 XLT Front and Logo

2017 Brown Bros Racing – Ford F150

2017 Ford SVT Raptor is in hot demand; customers are flocking to the dealers trying to get their hands on one of these. Brown Bros Ford racing division has the answer.

They have started a Raptor factory and are cranking out their own version of the Raptor, based on a 2017 F150 XLT Supercrew 4×4 FX4.  The factory F150 starts out with a 3.5L V6 Ecoboost engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission. This motor produces 375 horsepower at 5750 rpm with 470-pound feet of torque. The 10-speed transmission allows you to save fuel for your everyday driving. Shifting more often means less time putting the twin turbos through their paces. Save that for the off-road.

Factory installed voice-activated navigation shown on a 4.2” productivity screen plots your desired drive route although does not work when you yell “get me out of this mud hole” unless you are talking about the one you created washing your truck outside your house.

The convenience package includes backup sensors, rearview camera, power sliding rear window, remote starter, 400w power inverter, LED box lighting. The truck is then customized by their in-house tech department.

Ford factory trained mechanics install a 4” Zone suspension lift with off-road shocks. This lift will enhance the truck’s abilities off-road, very similar to a Raptor the shocks will absorb the terrain without catapulting the truck in either direction; it will also give you a firm but smooth ride on-road.  The exhaust is changed in favor of a Magnaflow performance system that not only improves performance but sounds great too. The grille is replaced with an aftermarket Raptor grille that looks right at home on this truck. Addictive desert design front bumper is added with Rigid LED lights all across the front. Night becomes day with this many lights.

You can start to see the Baja race-inspired vehicle starting to claw its way out. Bushwacker flares provide ideal coverage for the new Toyo MT 35X12.5X18 tires with 18”x9 Fuel Maverick wheels. I personally have had a set of these tires and found them to be terrific on and off-road. The tires increase your ground clearance and give you much more ability to climb over obstacles such as rocks, falling trees or that futon bed your wife dragged to the curb. The interior is not overlooked, with the addition of Katzkin leather seats with custom stitching.  Add that to the already great factory interior you have yourself a sweet ride.

The 5.5’ truck box is covered by a Bakflip matte black tonneau cover that can open in two sections to allow larger items to be transported.

This truck is ready to play and looks good doing so.  Head down to Brown Bothers Ford and check them out.

Price $75,607

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Product Reviews
2017 Ford Raptor

2017 Ford Raptor in Squamish BC – Video

2017 Ford Raptor - Video

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Toyo-Tires-BJ-Baldwin-Cover-Photo

Toyo Tires – Open Country H/T II- Review

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd., distributes a complete line of premium replacement tires for high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks, and SUVs as well as commercial trucks, buses, off-road vehicles, and construction applications.

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