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Despite soaring fuel prices, North America’s growing distaste for foreign oil dependency and the general greening of our collective consciousness, pickup trucks are doing quite nicely, thank you. In fact, sales are through the roof.
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It pays to be careful with the products that bring in the dough. Ford learned its lesson about that with the Five Hundred and Freestyle, the cars that (temporarily) replaced the Taurus in 2007. Those two tanked big-time, and it’s debateable whether the Taurus, which has since been redesigned (again) into a very well-sorted full-size sedan, has ever recovered from that gaffe.
The 2011 Ford Edge is available with a bunch of high-tech comfort and convenience features, including SYNC, MyFord Touch, and touch-sensitive centre stack controls, all designed to reduce driver distraction without reducing the vehicle’s functionality. What does it say about me, then, that my favourite part of the redesigned interior is the big, analog speedometer that anchors the instrument cluster?
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Since its introduction in 2001, the Ford Escape has been the best-selling compact crossover utility vehicle in Canada. Save for mild styling and mechanical updates in 2005 and 2008, the current Escape is little-changed compared to the original 2001 model. Its sales success is a testament to the strength of the Ford brand, and perhaps to the Escape’s design, which, while dated in many ways, is obviously still attractive to shoppers in a crowded market segment.
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The Ford Focus was something of a sensation when it first went on sale here in 1999. Bred in Europe, it was an instant hit for its edgy styling and sharp handling. The same enthusiasts who were so keen on the original were disappointed when a second-generation Focus was launched in Europe in 2004 , but never made it here.
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It’s pretty rare that a small car makes the front page in “bigger-is-better North America”, but the 2011 Ford Fiesta has been a highly-anticipated little car since Ford started hyping it nearly two years ago.
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Consider the 2011 Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 as fraternal twins. While they share a platform and were conceived on the same drawing board in 2007, something happened on the way to the showroom.