The Savvy Driver – July Edition
Ford is undergoing a global business redesign with product resurgence and a vision to become the world’s most trusted company, designing “smart vehicles for a smart world.”
Ford Expedition Stealth Edition
First and foremost, Ford maintains iconic status for its F-150, one of the most capable vehicles on the road today. With six available engines, there is something for every driver, with their top-of-the-line Limited tester boasting the most powerful option. It sports a 450-hp, 510 lb-ft twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 (borrowed from the Raptor) and a 36-gallon fuel tank. Yet the Limited, as well as the entire F-150 line-up, is also fancy and versatile enough for family duty, with modern, comfortable interiors and more of the latest tech features, including advanced driver safety aids as standard. Forward collision warning with emergency braking was standard on our Limited tester.
Ford says that while the F-150 and Super Duty lineup is meant for towing and working, the Ranger is after adventure. When the all new Ford Ranger launched last January, some were surprised it is larger than other midsize pickups. It boasts better ground clearance than the Tacoma or Colorado and fairly equivalent towing and payload ratings. Bonuses include its high-strength steel frame backbone, proven Ford-built 2.3-liter EcoBoost® engine, and class-exclusive 10-speed automatic transmission. More than two-thirds of all new Ranger pickups are leaving showrooms optioned with either the Sport Appearance package that adds unique wheels and Magnetic Gray-painted accents or the Chrome Appearance package with bright chrome wheels and chrome body accents. Ford also just introduced a new Black Appearance package, helping buyers further customize their Ranger to match their unique personal style.
Large, powerful, and comfortably seating up to eight people, the Expedition sports a strong 3.5L EcoBoost engine and 10-speed automatic transmission that makes it surprisingly quick without sacrificing its unbeatable tow rating. Our Limited model was loaded with hands-free liftgate, keyless entry, remote engine start, power-folding mirrors, heated and ventilated front seats, driver-position memory settings, a power-adjustable heated steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient cabin lighting, a 110-volt house-hold style outlet, front parking sensors, retractable running boards, heated second-row seats, a 12-speaker premium B&O PLAY sound system, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. We were lucky enough to test the new Limited with the Stealth Edition package, adding 22-inch black-painted wheels, lots of gloss black exterior trim, and red interior stitching. If you dare to take this beautiful beast off-road, you’ll appreciate the shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, low-range gearing, lockable rear differential, and nearly 10 inches of ground clearance.
Ford Ranger with Black Appearance Package
Ford Edge ST
The Ford Edge delivers good value to those seeking an economical-to-operate, easier-to-drive, crossover SUV packed with Ford’s cutting-edge safety features and contemporary technology. The Edge excels in comfort and generous cabin and cargo space. Even in base form, it offers many advanced driver safety features as standard, including blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking. The ST AWD model will please the less practical driver, too. It is the first SUV by the Ford Performance team with a 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost engine good for 335 hp and 380lb-ft of torque. Our tester’s 401A package added extra safety and convenience items, and an ST Performance Brake package added 21” premium Glass Black-painted aluminum wheels, front and rear vented disc brakes, and unique front rotors and red brake calipers.
Next to the market is the completely redesigned 2020 Escape, which promises to add substance to the small SUV segment with four new propulsion choices – including two all-new hybrids, a standard hybrid targeting a best-in-class EPA-estimated range of more than 550 miles, and a plug-in hybrid targeting a best-in-class EPA-estimated pure-electric range of more than 30 miles. “In the past two years, we have made tangible progress in improving the fitness of our business, overhauled our regional strategies, created a winning product portfolio, and have worked to transform Ford to succeed in an era of profound change and disruption,” Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett said.
We all may do well to study Ford’s business redirect strategy and apply some of the same principles to our businesses.