When reviewing a new car, it’s the details that make it stand out from the pack. Models are getting good at all-round driving ability. The Focus is no exception.
Apple Car Play should be a standard in all vehicles now and the Focus’ sound is brilliant; I connected in less than eight seconds. Avon City Ford’s Hemi Peek gave me the rundown as always, but it really was me playing around in the car that made it fun.
I ask friends what they think. Charlotte didn’t like the passenger seat flooring but loved the big mirror on the visor; I guess that’s a woman’s prerogative. My son Tom loved the panoramic sunroof as did I. It was a good solid drive at 134kW, and 240Nm made it agile and fast off the mark, plus there was plenty of room inside for real estate gear and family materials.
It has pretty good lines too and tinted glass gave it a sexy look. The heads-up display (HUD) felt like a nice addition but the price was a great one at $41,990 plus ORC. The one thing I loved was economy. You don’t really notice it when you’re driving around, but I took a couple of friends up to play in the snow at Porters Pass and it hardly made a dent in the petrol. Add the fact that despite a boot full of food and sleds we were still all comfortable and it just goes to show what a great little runner it is.
So, overall impression of the Ford Focus? A bloody good car.
I asked Hemi Peek at Avon City Ford what he thought were the three top features of the Ford Endura Titanium; “A solid drive with a luxurious cabin, hands-free automatic power tailgate opening and easy interactive display”.
Well he wasn’t wrong. The 2-litre turbo diesel is also packing some punch in acceleration; with 140kW and 400Nm torque, it’s good off the mark. There’s plenty of room in the back and, coming in at $69,900 plus ORC, it’s competitive for like-minded models on the market.
I drove the hell out of it and hardly touched the full tank in a week. I did struggle with the dial gear change at first but soon got used to it. Its simple but elegant interior was a pleasure to sit in, as were its luxurious seats. I guess the catch phrase of ‘Affordable Luxury Awaits’ really says it all. It “feels” good; two-tonne towing capacity and a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty are added bonuses.
It might be my aggressive Christchurch driving, but the pre-collision assist and pedestrian detection work really well! The driver’s and passenger’s seats come with a rear seat entertainment screen for watching movies on the long drive for the kids and, as a family SUV, it fits the bill well. The week I had it was glorious and sunny, so I got to enjoy the sunroof for all that it is. |
The Ford Endura Titanium is everything it says it is; loaded with features you just don’t get on every SUV model, even the more expensive adversaries.
The chance to drive the new Ford Endura range around Queenstown earlier this month was a great opportunity to put the five-seater, twin turbo, 2 L performance diesel through its paces on some great terrain.
Winding through the Crown Range to Wanaka, I got a real feel for how smooth the new generation platform will run in New Zealand conditions.
Called the ‘Edge’ in the northern hemisphere, the Endura is an SUV that can provide the power and torque needed for a great drive and will fill an important space in the Ford product range.
Refined and spacious, yet with a very capable boot space, I could see a strong resemblance to the Landover Discovery Sport in both looks and performance, with a price tag starting at $73,990.
The high profile of the bonnet and the 20-inch rims make for appealing eye candy but with an 154kW/450Nm engine and electronic stability program (ESP) that made cornering and drive through very pleasurable on such a challenging drive, it’s much more than just a good looker.
I was going to try it on the rough gravel road to Cardona ski field but was way laid at the Cardona Distillery, a must see when in Otago, testing the orange liqueur, vodka and gin. The silver-lining of this hold up was that I got the opportunity to find out what the passenger experience is like while my companion on the trip drove back.
Key features include leather trim and seating, Apple CarPlay, eight-inch colour touch screen, heated seats – great for those cold Queenstown mornings – and with a great satellite navigation system in such a quiet cabin, you hardly heard the drive. Overall the experience was brilliant; a worthy addition to the Ford line-up and a great option for someone looking for a quality SUV.
Last year’s Cup Week I was selected by Hertz as an Ambassador for the 2017 Ford Mustang. It was a great insight into the passion Ford owners have for the iconic motor vehicle. All week questions fired at me would have me running to Ford to fill the gaps of knowledge.
There’s Facebook pages dedicated to owners, fun events and drives every month and a real respect amongst owners for different versions. From 1965 to the present, the Ford Mustang is a pop culture icon. The debate over what is was named after, the horse or the P51 plane, still rages on, but in the end it’s a work of art.
This year’s model is on the way and I can’t say I’m not excited to get back in the hot seat. Ford’s legendary 5.0-litre V8 engine has been thoroughly reworked, with more power and the ability to rev higher than any Mustang GT before.
The 2018 Mustang GT has 33kW more power than its predecessor, delivering a peak of 339kW – around 450 horsepower – as standard. This power increase has been achieved with the first application for Mustang of Ford’s new dual-fuel, high-pressure direct injection and low-pressure port fuel injection on a V8 engine.
The 5.0-litre Coyote V8 also packs 556Nm of torque, while the EcoBoost delivers 224kW with 441Nm torque. This made an impressive combination as I took last year’s model around Ruapuna. It’s a stable performer on handling, cornering and steering. This year’s model is out soon. Keep an eye out, you’ll notice it.