Category Archives: Ford

2013 Ford Focus ST2 Review

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Disclaimer: The interior pictures featured in this article are that of a 2015 Ford Focus ST, not the actual car that is depicted in this review. The 2015 version will appear later in a separate photo shoot article. 

You might be asking yourself, “Is that a bright yellow Ford Focus I see? And why does it look like it came out of a Fast and Furious movie?” Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the Ford Focus ST. After reviewing a 2012 Focus sedan, I was impressed at how far Ford had come. With sharp styling, enjoyable handling, decent levels of equipment, I can see why the Ford Focus was a hit with the consumers. It all started when Ford finally consolidated its global models and started producing the same models for every market. Here in America, Ford previously concentrated its efforts on its sport utility vehicles and its trucks and neglected its passenger cars. Meanwhile in Europe, Ford’s lineup was of high quality and class-leading passenger cars. Europeans got a better Focus and Mondeo (European equivalent to Taurus/Fusion) than we Americans did. After the recession hit, Ford decided to combine its global portfolio and produce the same cars for every market. What this means is that we finally get the good cars that Europeans get which brings me to my point. In Europe, there is a very popular segment of hot hatches: sporty hatchbacks that deliver the thrills and performance of a sporty car while providing the versatility and comfort of a family hatchback. Ford did attempt this here in the U.S with the 2001-2004 Focus SVT, but as a two-door/four-door hatchback that was hard to live with on a daily basis, it never really caught the attention of most consumers except hardcore enthusiasts. There was also a 2004-2007 ST version of the sedan, but it was really a half-baked attempt to inject sportiness in the sedan when in reality it was just a top-of-the-line version with a manual transmission. Ford Europe introduced the first Focus ST in 2005, a sporty version of the Focus with 225 horsepower and a top speed of 152 mph.  For the 2013 model year, a Focus ST version was added to the Focus lineup globally. Little backstory behind this car. This car is owned by one of my good friends, and we both are car enthusiasts as well as manual transmission aficionados. The owner named the ST, “Pikachu.” Let’s see if Pikachu is as exciting as its Tangerine Scream paint and rear spoiler suggests.

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2015 Roush Mustang Stage 1 Review

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Even though this is my 5th Mustang review, I am going to say again that this is not your typical Mustang. In fact, it is not just a Ford Mustang. Rather, it is a Roush Mustang. I should explain. Roush is a separate tuning division that specializes in Ford vehicles, namely Mustangs and F-150s. Jack Roush, a famous automotive figure in motorsports racing, worked as an engineer for Ford. Possessing a passion for hot rods and NASCAR as well as Mustangs, Roush sought to make a car that combined all three. In 1988, Roush presented Ford with the first Roush Mustang which featured a 400 horsepower twin turbo engine. Unfortunately, this car did not take off as costs of mass producing the Roush Mustang was too high for Ford. Roush started his own company, Roush Performance Products. Initially, it consisted of fitting aftermarket packages to Mustangs. The first actual Roush Mustang with the complete Roush package inside and out was born in 1998. Roush sought to narrow the gap between street and track, and as such the Roush Mustangs are fitted with performance and exterior modifications. This is not your ordinary Mustang. The objective behind the Roush Mustang was to give the Mustang the driving dynamics and looks of a racer. The Roush treatment has also been applied to the F-150 truck. As I mentioned earlier, this is my 5th Mustang review. However, I have not reviewed the latest Mustang which came out in 2015. The current third generation Roush Mustang comes in four flavors: RS, Stage 1 (RS1), Stage 2 (RS2), and Stage 3 (RS3). The Mustang in this review is the Stage 1, which comes with the turbo four. Don’t worry, I made sure it was a manual transmission! I was a bit nervous about testing the new Mustang as it looks like a completely different car inside and out.  The latest Mustang is now a global car, so Ford developed the car in line with other markets’ preferences. What that does to the Mustang, I will have to find out. Continue reading

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2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Review

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If you think I do too many reviews of the fifth generation Mustang, you may be right. So far, I have done a 2012 Mustang V6, 2014 Mustang 5.0 GT, and a 2005 Mustang V6 (all manual transmission coupes of course.) Well, now I have an additional manual coupe to add to the list: the 2013 Mustang Boss 302. The history with the Mustang harks back to the 1960s, or more specifically 1964 when Lee Iocacca came up with the idea for a sporty and practical vehicle for the masses. Equipped in many body styles as well as numerous powertrain configurations to suit the American tastes, Mustang sales skyrocketed. In just 18 months after it debuted, the Mustang sold over a million units. For six generations, the Mustang has successfully cultivated its heritage while morphing into a household name. The Mustang also introduced several notable special editions such as the Shelby Mustangs, Bullitt, and the Boss 302. Due to the success of the first Mustang, Chevrolet scrambled to develop a worthy adversary which would become the Camaro. Boasting small and big box V8 engines, the Camaro proved its advantages over the Mustang which featured smaller engines. The original Boss 302 was Ford’s answer to the Camaro. The 302 name is derived from its 302 cubic inch engine. This car was developed in secret, so if anybody asked what car this was, the employees in charge of this car always referred to it as the “Boss’ car”, hence the Boss designation. It was also developed for a racing homologation series, hence the mechanical modifications. The first Boss 302 was sold in 1969-1970, and it was revived in 2012 with production ending in 2013. Think of the Boss 302 as a Mustang 5.0 liter V8 GT with mechanical and visual tweaks. If you want to go for a more extreme version, there was a Boss 302 Laguna Seca edition available. It featured more extreme suspension tweaks, the deletion of the rear seats for a brace to enhance structural rigidity, and it came in four colors with a red roof and red accents. With that said, as soon as the opportunity to review a Boss presented itself, I just knew I had to do it.  Continue reading

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2005 Ford Mustang V6 Premium Review

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Do you ever believe in coincidences? Well guess what, I do. The owner of this car went to the high school I would have gone to had I not changed districts, and as it was unbelievable how well I knew his classmates (I attended the elementary school that preceded the high school). Not having spoken to many of those classmates for so long, the owner filled me in on them, and it was like reading a tabloid about my former classmates. Because of that, we started bonding and became great friends. If that is not a coincidence, I do not know what constitutes as one. Our friendship was made better because he informed me that he is a car fanatic, and he drives a manual car, a 2005 Ford Mustang V6 5 speed. The Ford Mustang was what one would call the starter of the “pony car.” Ford wanted to build a sporty but affordable and family friendly vehicle for the masses. The first Mustang debuted on April 17, 1964, and these Mustangs were regarded as the “1964 1/2 Mustang.” In its first year, it sold over 400,000 copies and sparked the muscle car era. Shortly after, Ford’s rivals Chevrolet and Dodge/Plymouth started getting in the action with the Camaro and the Challenger/Barracuda. The Mustang II, introduced in 1974-1978, was a disappointment compared to the first generation. No longer displaying svelte and crisp lines, the frumpy Ford Pinto-based (Ford Pinto was an economy hatchback) Mustang II was slow and featured ordinary styling. Due to the oil crisis of the 1970s, the Mustang II was fitted with fuel efficient but slow engines. However, the Mustang soldiered on till the fifth generation in which the most significant Mustang since the original debuted in 2005 model year. This generation’s design would borrow heavily from the original Mustang as well as be completely redesigned in and out. I had the pleasure of driving a 2011 V6 and 2014 5.0 GT, but since those were refreshed models of this generation, I thought it would be cool to review a pre-refreshed Mustang, with a manual transmission of course.  Continue reading

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2004 Ford Expedition XLT Review

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In the 1990s, the “SUV boom” was taking place. All of sudden, people started gravitating away from minivans and station wagons to SUVs for their family vehicle. Ford was one of the manufacturers that took advantage of this trend with their midsize Explorer SUV. It was wildly successful as Ford sold over 400,000 Explorers in 1996. However, people looking for bigger SUVs flocked to the Chevrolet Tahoes and Surburbans and their GMC twins. Ford then saw another opportunity for another SUV, one that would be more expensive and bigger than the Explorer. Heavily based off the Ford F-150, the Expedition came to fruition in 1996 as a 1997 model. The Expedition came with third row seating and several features that were not available on the Explorer, as well as more powerful engines for maximum towing capability. The Expedition found many customers, as it was sized between a Tahoe and Surburban yet was as affordable as a Tahoe. The Expedition’s success merited a luxury version for Ford’s luxury division, the Navigator, as well as an even larger SUV, the Excursion. In 2003, the Expedition was redesigned, still based off the Ford F-150. However, this generation was noticeable for being the first body on frame SUV (the chassis and the body are not connected together until the end of the production process) to utilize an independent rear suspension, a sophisticated suspension reserved for sedans. This move was criticized by some as it was thought that the IRS would hamper the Expedition’s towing abilities and off roading ability. Whereas the first Expedition felt like a truck with clumsy handling, jittery ride, and a loud interior, the second Expedition focused on a more comfortable driving experience as well as better interior accommodations.

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2014 Ford F-350 Platinum Review

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As part of the F-Series, the F-350 officially came into existence in the  1953-1956 second generation F-Series (1st generation was the F-3). It was not till the tenth generation of the F-Series that the Super Duty trucks were introduced. Before the Super Duty, anything other than a F-150 had a “heavy load” version which came with heavy duty mechanicals and axles. In 1999, the Super Duty trucks were created as to differentiate the F-150 from the larger trucks. From this point on, the F-150 and the Super Duty trucks were separate models while still being part of the F-Series. As of 2014, that remains true. Continue reading

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1999 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning Review

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As a response to Dodge/Jeep/Chrysler’s SRT and Chevrolet’s SS performance divisions, Ford had SVT (Special Vehicle Team). Created in 1991, the SVT division sought to add high performance vehicles to Ford’s lineup. Every SVT model was influenced by these four qualities: Performance, Substance, Exclusivity, and Value. The first cars to come out of SVT were the 1993 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra and the 1993 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning. The first Lightning was available in only three colors, red, black, and white (white was added in 1994). The Lightning shared the same 5.4 liter V8 with other F-150s, but modifications were made for better response and more horsepower, and it also received improvements to its handling. 1995 was the last year for this F150. In 1999, another SVT Lightning version of the latest F-150 was created, and this time, it would be more than a F-150 with subtle performance and visual modifications. The SVT Lightning employed a supercharger for a horsepower rating of 360 (raised to 380 in 2001), and the exterior was completely altered as was the handling. With a 360 horsepower V8, it received the title as the world’s fastest production pickup truck. When Ford redesigned the F-150 in 2004, it discontinued the SVT Lightning edition. Continue reading

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1993 Ford Bronco Eddie Bauer Review

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Competing with the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout SUVs, the first Bronco debuted in 1966. With no automatic transmission or power steering option, the Bronco was considered very spartan for its time, but proved durable and capable off road. It become a favorite for off roading enthusiasts, and it was used widely for off roading competitions. This generation lasted 11 years, before a new generation of Broncos debuted in 1978. Starting from 1978, the Broncos were divided in two categories: the Early Broncos and the Full-Size Broncos. The 1978 Bronco was based off the F100’s platform, and used the truck’s powertrain and other components. Three more generations followed, and they were all a derivative of the F-Series truck. The last generation (1992-1996) was the most well-known, mostly because it was OJ Simpson’s vehicle in a  highly publicized car chase. When I asked my mother if she knew what a Ford Bronco was, she said yes. I was shocked, and I asked her if it was because of the Bronco’s heritage or its coolness factor. She asked me, “Wasn’t that the car OJ Simpson was driving in that car chase?”. Go figure. Ford discontinued production of the Bronco in 1996.

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2010 Ford Edge Limited Review

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The Ford Motor Company takes pride on its SUVs. As one of the country’s best selling SUV in the late 1990s, the Explorer propelled Ford to the top of the SUV market. Then Ford created the Expedition as a larger alternative to the Explorer. Ford decided to get creative and introduced the Excursion as an even larger alternative to the Explorer. After the Excursion, Ford birthed the Escape as a compact substitute. The SUV market shifted from truck based SUVs to car based SUVs dubbed crossovers. Finally the Edge came to fruition as to give Ford’s increasing SUV lineup a midsize SUV contender to the Hyundai Santa Fe and Chrysler Pacifica. Based off the Ford Fusion, the Edge aimed to combine family sedan virtues while appealing to the SUV market. For 2010, a Limited trim replaced the top of the line SEL Plus.

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1985 Ford F250 XL Review

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In 1948, the F-Series pickup debuted with a variety of cab, chassis, and powertrain configurations. Catering to the industrial population, the F-Series was successful. It was not until 1957 that it underwent a complete redesign. In contrast to the previous F-Series’ circular appearance, the 1957 generation sported a square and modern look. As the years went by, the F-Series gradually changed its focus from the industrial population to the general population. By 1975, the F-Series broke into the F150, F250, F350 versions. In 1980, it underwent its first complete redesign since 1965 with an all new chassis and body. This eighth generation of F-series is now considered the last classic Ford truck.

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