The Focus Titanium truly represents the race to ubiquitous premium spec. We’ve crossed the event horizon towards the black hole of ever-increasing technology and complexity up to the point where every day cars will soon be driving themselves. But we’re a little way off that being in your mid-priced family hatchback. Continue reading “Ford 2015 Focus Titanium EcoBoost review” »
It was a case of better late than never when the new generation of Ford Mondeo arrived on New Zealand soil in April this year.
The car made it’s U.S debut as the Fusion in 2012, but European production, where cars for right-hand-drive markets are sourced, was moved from the previous factory in Genk, Belgium to a more modern facility in Valencia, Spain. Continue reading “Ford: 2015 Mondeo Titanium Ecoboost hatch review” »
When I was in my teens in the late ‘80s our 80-year old neighbour, Mrs Moss, had kept her 1950s Morris Minor because she didn’t like all these new cars that were too low for her to get in and out of. Her aging hips wanted a seat she could slide across into rather than fall into. It was the second thing that this Ford EcoSport reminded me of; the first thing was Tweetie Pie, the yellow bird, from the cartoons of the 1940s and ‘50s. Continue reading “Ford: EcoSport Titanium 2014 review” »
It was 2008: the start of the global financial crisis, petrol hit US$100 per barrel and General Motors reported a record US$38.7 billion loss but arch rival Ford provided me with my first Mondeo experience. Since then, the Mondeo seems to have changed about as much as the attitude of the major banks: not very much. Continue reading “Ford: 2014 Mondeo Titanium EcoBoost hatchback review” »
It’s about time we got the Kuga, but I didn’t used to think that. To be honest, I was wondering whether we need yet another compact SUV. Now I’m certain we do. The Ford Kuga entered into my world last week, put a smile on my face within 30 seconds and now I want one.
It’s not something I say often about the cars we get to drive. A car is a personal decision and of all the cars I’ve driven (many hundreds) there are probably only 15-20 that I would consider based on performance/value/gut feeling. Notable examples include the Lotus Elise, the Audi S5 and FPV’s F6. They are cars which also made me smile, and the fun derived from the dollars spent comes in great surpluses.
Why is the Kuga favourable to me, then, given that I don’t need all five leather-clad seats (the front two of which have 5-stage heating), I only drive 3km to work on 50kph roads and with my child-free life I rarely need to carry anything more than some light shopping? It’s because Ford has captured some of the visceral essence of the fun of driving in a car that screams practicality.
Since its release in 2004 the Ford Territory has become one of the success stories of the Australian car manufacturing industry. It’s found a home in the garages of many families here in NZ as well as across the ditch and has even performed duties as an emergency response vehicle. But after seven years cruising the streets how can the Territory stay desirable in a SUV market that’s packed with machinery from Japan and Europe? By offering a diesel engine option for the first time for starters, backed up by a modernising facelift, equipment upgrades and a greater emphasis on refinement. Has Ford’s $230 million dollar investment in the new Territory paid off? Car and SUV was certainly impressed by the 2011 Territory at its launch event earlier this year and got some more seat time to take a closer look.
Looks are a good place to start because in terms of styling the Territory has really shifted up a gear. The familiar proportions remain but there are now some calculated injections of Ford’s current kinetic design language. At the front there’s an all-new face with new upper and lower grilles, the headlights, bonnet and front bumper have also been replaced. These fresh touches give a wider and more muscular frontal appearance. At the rear Ford has deftly wrapped the three quarter glass around to the rear windscreen, hiding the D-pillar and giving it a slick look. New horizontal taillights replace the previous vertical design and also wrap into the rear guards. There are some more subtle general tweaks as well, like vents on the front fenders and indicator repeaters in the wing mirrors. Our tested top-spec Titanium model was dressed up further with chrome trim on the front grille, LED front lights, tinted glass and 18-inch Y-Spoke alloy wheels. In terms of design it’s a very successful facelift, the 2011 Territory looks ‘right now’ modern and dynamic while retaining its same staunch road presence. Continue reading “Ford Territory Titanium 2011 Review” »
The Mondeo needs little introduction. Since it took over Ford’s medium size sedan duties from the Telstar in the mid nineties it’s become a popular fixture on NZ roads. With strong four- and six-cylinder engines and broadly appealing styling the Mondeo has clocked up impressive sales through the years. But at times during its four generations, the Mondeo has taken criticism for being dull, vanilla and a bland sales rep’s car. When the current model Mondeo was released in 2007 it neutralized these complaints with fresh dynamic design and new technologies scored during Ford’s ownership of premium brands Volvo and Jaguar. For 2011 Ford has pushed the Mondeo a step further into the fun zone with tweaked ‘kinetic’ styling a twin-clutch transmission and more equipment than the NASA space program. So will the facelifted Mondeo spin sales reps and private owners into a frenzy? Car and SUV saddled up a top dog Mondeo Titanium hatch to find out.
When it comes to exterior styling the fourth-gen Mondeo was already a looker, so Ford has understandably played it safe with the cosmetic updates. Changes on the Titanium include new front and rear bumpers, a new bonnet and grille, revised taillights and modernizing LED daytime running lights at the front. The result? It’s the meanest looking Mondeo yet. The front aesthetic is particularly aggressive with its bulging bonnet line, wide-mouthed air dam and thin, blackened-out grille. At the rear, jeweled two-piece tail lamps and a low air diffuser extend the kinetic design. Continue reading “Ford Mondeo Titanium Hatch 2011 Review” »
Ford New Zealand has just announced that it will be putting the Ford Kuga small SUV on sale in NZ. The European-built Ford Kuga, will be available in top-spec Titanium trim and is expected to arrive at Ford dealers from November to join the already launched Mondeo, Territory and Focus Titanium models. Pricing for the Kuga Titanium is $53,990.
“This is big news for us and we’re very excited,” said Chris Masterson, Marketing Manager, Ford New Zealand. “The Kuga has done very well in Europe since its introduction in 2008, often topping sales charts. Locally, the small SUV market has seen substantial growth in the last few years and now with a European-proven design we have a highly compelling offer for customers in this market. As an attractive, well-designed and fully-capable crossover vehicle, the Kuga Titanium will be hard to beat. Customers will be impressed, as will our competition.”
The Ford Kuga is based on Ford’s acclaimed C-car architecture which it shares with the Ford Focus. Standard specification includes a full-time AWD system and safety tech like an Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) that combines Anti Rollover Mitigation (ARM) and ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Continue reading “Ford Kuga Titanium coming to NZ – November arrival” »