2017 Ford Transit Connect Wagon LWB: The Minimalist’s Minivan

2017-Ford-Transit-Connect-PLACEMENT

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At Ford, the name Transit is a trunk from which many branches grow. It’s the core calling card for its multisize, multifunction vans. Transit Connect is the designation for the smaller series, of which there also are multiple versions separated into cargo-carrying work vans and passenger-ferrying “wagons.” The formula aims to provide a wide range of possibilities for how the van is used and who uses it, ranging from a contractor to a large family. But because of this van’s dual-purpose nature, our tested top-of-the-range 2017 Ford Transit Connect Titanium sits at an odd place in the market. READ MORE ››

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2017 Ford Transit Connect Wagon LWB – Instrumented Test

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Ford Recalls 400,000 Cars for Engine Fires, Door Latches, and Driveshafts

2013 Ford Escape Placement

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Ford is recalling the current-generation Escape for engine fires, according to the company and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is the fifth such recall, involving some 400,000 Escape vehicles in the United States, since the compact SUV made its debut for 2013.

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The 2014 Escape, along with the 2014–2015 Fiesta ST, the 2013–2014 Fusion, and the 2013–2015 Transit Connect, have a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that, due to a leaky coolant system, can overheat, crack the cylinder head, and then leak oil. A total of 208,584 cars are affected in the United States.

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A November 2013 recall addressed this same problem on 140,000 Escape models from 2013, the first model year of the car’s redesign and the first application of the 1.6-liter engine. A December 2012 recall, also on 2013 Escape models, addressed the coolant leaks. Ford recalled the 2013 Escape two more times for fuel lines on the 1.6-liter engine that could split and leak gasoline. The company said it is aware of at least 29 reported engine fires in the U.S. and Canada.

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Ford previously modified the cooling system and installed new software to prevent overheating, but this time it doesn’t appear to have a fix to plug the leaks. Instead, Ford will mail instructions to owners reminding them to check their coolant levels, refill the coolant, and schedule service if the coolant “frequently” needs to be topped off. Later, dealers will install coolant-level sensors on all the affected cars.

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Ford showed a bit of its wild side when it redesigned its Fusion sedan for 2013, melding the corporate DNA (and an Aston Martin face) with downright seductive body lines and an eager driving character. The result? People loved it.

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Ford is expanding a September 2016 recall to fix door latches on another 191,432 U.S.-market cars, including the 2013–2014 Fusion and Lincoln MKZ, and the 2014 Fiesta. Pawl spring tabs in the interior door-latch pulls can break, which means the door may not be secured even if it seems to be closed, the company said. The door may suddenly open while driving, rebound while closing, or be difficult to close. Ford said it knows of at least one accident and three injuries within the 2 million cars it recalled in September. Ford has recalled nearly 2.9 million cars for these faulty door latches since 2015.

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2017 Ford F-450 Super Duty

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Certain 2017 F-450 and F-550 trucks need new driveshafts due to a “resonance frequency that may fracture transmission and/or driveline components.” The problem occurs at 75 mph and above, Ford said. A total of 509 trucks are affected in the United States. Dealers will swap out the two-piece driveshaft with a new three-piece driveshaft and install two center bearing brackets.

--Ford Edge, Lincoln MKX and Continental Recalled for Airbag Defect -Ford Recalls 2 Million Cars for Door Latches -Ford Recalls 329,000 Escape and Mercury Mariner SUVs for Fuel Leaks--

2017 Ford Edge SEL sport appearance package

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Lastly, 84 brand-new 2017 Edge crossovers may not be completely welded across the top of their windshield headers. This may reduce the vehicle’s structural integrity in a side-impact collision, Ford said. It is not certain how the dealers will repair the headers as filings were not yet posted by NHTSA.

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Evolution Takes Its Toll: BMW 540i xDrive Tested

2017-BMW-540i-xDrive-PLACEMENT

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Call it kismet, karma, or dumb luck, but practically every car line eventually enjoys a day in the sun. Twenty years ago, the planets aligned for the BMW 5-series. The fourth-generation E39 sports sedan arrived with beguiling powertrain, chassis, and aesthetic attributes and driving merits worthy of six straight Car and Driver 10Best awards between 1997 and 2002. Even Consumer Reports agreed with our assessment, naming the 530i its top sedan in 1996, 2002, and 2003. READ MORE ››

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2017 BMW 540i xDrive – Instrumented Test

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Free Review:

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