Behold the Newly-Expanded Ford Escape’s Storage Space!

Sometimes, it seems like no matter how much storage you have in your car, you always need more. Auto manufacturers are always looking for new ways to optimize storage space for drivers looking to get a little extra out of their vehicle. Recently, Ford did that exact thing with the new Ford Escape’s storage space. Featuring an entirely redesigned exterior, the 2017 Escape is said to have 25% more storage in the front row and 15% more storage overall compared to the previous model year.

2017 Ford Escape

2017 Ford Escape

The most drastic change is that of the center console, which is now 50% larger and is designed to be more comfortable and ergonomically efficient for the driver’s right arm. Additionally, the all-new electronic parking brake system freed up space in the interior for two new storage areas, a larger media bin with power ports, a new glove-box, and improved cup holders.

Ford senior Interior designer Zulf Ali said, “That whole center console area is what we call ‘Manhattan real estate’ because it’s valuable. It isn’t a lot of space to work with, but as a designer, those constraints are exciting. It’s a challenge that forces you to be more creative–to ask yourself, ‘OK, how can we get clever with this?’”

Last year, the Escape—Ford’s #2 best-selling vehicle—tied for first place on J.D. Power’s highest-ranked compact SUV of initial quality. However, designers and engineers who worked on the new Ford Escape are confident that the dramatic changes to the SUV’s interior and technology will help solidify its standing. The 2017 Escape is already available in showrooms with the spacious redesigns and extra storage.

Ford Drives U

schoolThe “broke college student” stereotype exists for a reason. Between the rising cost of tuition and how much money students spend on textbooks every semester, the prospect of purchasing a new car can seem like a distant post-graduation dream.

However, Ford is here to help. With the Ford Drives U program, eligible college students can apply for a $500 incentive and better finance rates; now that distant dream of owning your own brand-new car can become a not-so-distant reality.

You can sign up for the $500 in bonus cash right on Ford’s website to see if you’re eligible for the program. Once you sign up, you’re pre-registered until Ford approves you for great rates through Ford Credit.

In order to be eligible for this program, you must:

  • Be a full-time or part-time student at an accredited four-year college or university, junior college, community college, or trade school
  • Graduate between the dates of May 1, 2014 through January 3rd, 2017 (yes, recent graduates are still eligible!)
  • Be a student in an accredited Graduate School program

The Ford Drive U program began January 5, 2016 and will end January 3, 2017. Only Ford vehicles in the model years 2016 and 2017 are applicable. In order to become approved for the program, you must bring Proof of Student Eligibility, including a copy of your diploma, a copy of your final transcript, a letter of intent, or proof of enrollment status such as a current class schedule, reported card, or a dated letter from the school itself. Applicants must be enrolled in at least two classes or the equivalent of six credit hours.

The Best Family-Friendly Films of Summer 2016

Summer is one of the busiest times of the year for theaters. That’s because there are so many blockbusters coming out! With so many big movies to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones are suitable for the entire family. Fortunately, we’ve assembled a list of the best family-friendly films of this summer!

The Angry Birds Movie (May 20)

Based on the phone-based game of the same name, The Angry Birds Movie follows the adventures of some very perturbed birds on a mission to get their eggs back.

Finding Dory (June 17)

In a follow-up story to 2003’s Finding Nemo, everybody’s favorite forgetful fish Dory must embark on a journey to find her family somewhere beyond the sea.

The Secret Life of Pets (July 8)

Ever wonder what pets do when their owners are away? This animated movie from the team behind Despicable Me answers that question in a hilarious way!

Ice Age: Collision Course (July 22)

The latest installment in the Ice Age series of movies involves the gang looking for a way to stop a huge asteroid that is headed straight for the Earth!

Ford Revolutionizes F-150 Truck Production Using Recycled Aluminum

The Aluminum-Alloy body of the Ford F-150 makes it one of the toughest vehicles on the road today. However, the use of aluminum doesn’t just make the F-150 tougher. It also makes Ford’s signature truck more environmentally-conscious as well.

According to a recent Ford press release, Ford can create 30,000 Ford F-150 trucks a month with recycled aluminum.

2016 Ford F-150

2016 Ford F-150

Ford recycles up to 20 million pounds of aluminum a month during the production of the Ford F-150 fleet of vehicles. That aluminum is then repurposed to help create even more F-150s.

In order to recycle up to 20 million pounds of aluminum, Ford uses a closed-loop manufacturing system to reuse the aluminum that is left over from previous manufacturing.

This use of recycled aluminum helps to avoid 95% of the greenhouse gas emissions that usually result from the production of aluminum in the automotive industry.

For a truck that’s tough, affordable, and environmentally friendly, the answer is clear: the Ford F-150!

How to Remove Scratches from Your Car

Most drivers like to make sure their ride stays in pristine condition for as long as possible. While a few scratches aren’t the end of the world, they can be can a blemish on your otherwise perfect car. Fortunately for you, they don’t have to be. Here’s our advice on how to remove scratches from your car’s paint.

Before you get started, you’ll need to check each and every scratch you plan to fix. Do so by dragging your fingernail over the scratch. If your nail gets caught, the scratch may be too deep to fix.

Once you’ve determined the depth of each scratch, clean them carefully. The last thing you want is dirt and grime caught in your paint. After the scratches (and surrounding areas) are clean, it’s time to get started.

cleaning

Grab a tube of toothpaste and a soft cloth. Dampen the cloth and add a few dabs of toothpaste. Rub the toothpaste over the scratches in small circular motions. The deeper the scratch, the more toothpaste and time this will take.

To check whether the scratch is gone, simply lift the cloth and take a look. If the scratch isn’t visible or you’re satisfied with the result, that’s it. Removing a scratch from your car really is that simple!

2016 Ford F-150 MVP Edition Is a Baseball Fan’s Dream

baseballThe Kansas City Royals are returning to Major League Baseball as the league champions and Ford is celebrating in their own way. Fan Marc Lassalle emailed Ford after the team took the championship with a suggestion for a limited edition vehicle. The Detroit-based automaker eventually invited him to join the company’s executives at the Kansas City Assembly Plant for the unveiling of the Ford F-150 MVP Edition.

The Ford F-150 has been built in Kansas City since 1957. The last time the Royals won the championship in 1985, Ford responded with an MVP edition of the Ranger.

Based on the XLT trim, buyers in Kansas City can choose between white and paint. The truck comes with polished rocker panels and special badging, among other cosmetic additions.

The special edition F-150 comes at the perfect time given the Midwest Ford dealers have just renewed their sponsorship of the Royals for the 2016 season.

Only 300 Ford F-150 MPV Editions will hit the streets. Once those models—60% of which are “flame blue” and 40% are “Oxford white”—are gone, the model will go out of production.

While we here at Friendly Ford are proud to see Ford creating special models to celebrate sporting events close to the company’s heart!

Ford’s Pothole Protection System in Development for 2017 Ford Fusion

potholeOne of the more unfortunate parts of living in a big city is the potholes. Potholes seem to show up on the road all the time. What’s worse is that they can often cause some serious damage to your vehicle! If you’ve ever dreamed of a system that could help you avoid these potholes in the road, Ford has made your dream a reality.

According to a Ford press release, the automaker has developed a pothole protection system for the 2017 Ford Fusion.

Ford’s pothole protection system uses computer-controlled shock absorption to minimize the amount of damage potholes can do to your car.

“The new Fusion V6 Sport substantially reduces the harsh impact potholes often deliver,” says Jason Michener, Ford continuously controlled damping engineering expert. “Our new pothole mitigation technology works by actually detecting potholes and ‘catching’ the car’s wheel before it has a chance to drop all the way into the pothole.”

The 2017 Ford Fusion is just the first vehicle in the Ford lineup to make use of this revolutionary technology. Hopefully, it will spread to other vehicles in the near future in order to help drivers everywhere avoid the constant and irritating potholes on city roads!

Random Acts of Vehicle Kindness to Perform

Here at Friendly Ford, we like to live up to our name. One of the best ways to be friendly to your neighbors is through random acts of kindness. Such actions can vary depending on who you’re doing them for or what needs done, including these random acts of vehicle kindness you could perform.

  1. Wash Someone Else’s Car

car washIf someone you know has a busy schedule, washing their vehicle might be the last thing on their to-do list. Offer to wash their vehicle for them so that they don’t have to take up part of their time to do so.

  1. Form a Carpool to Work

If some of your neighbors work with you or near you, consider hosting a carpool to work in the morning. Not only will it be better for you all, but it will be better for the environment as well!

  1. Help Someone Jump-Start Their Vehicle

The next time that you pass by a vehicle that’s been stalled on the side of the road, consider making a stop to help the driver jump-start their battery so they can get back on the road.

These random acts of vehicle kindness can really help you brighten somebody’s day!

The Fascinating History of Navy Pier

There are so many attractions in the great city of Chicago that it’s practically impossible to see it all in one weekend. But, for those limited on time while in the Windy City, Navy Pier is always a top priority. From its iconic Ferris wheel to its serene Crystal Gardens to its multitude of restaurants, Navy Pier has become a top destination in downtown Chicago.

Navy Pier

But how did Navy Pier become what it is today? Here’s a brief history of Navy Pier.

Navy Pier’s origins began in 1909 when city planner Daniel Burnham had the idea to build several recreational piers in Chicago. Only one was eventually built, costing $4.5 million (a lot of money back then!) and opening in 1916. At that time it was called Municipal Pier. It became a hub of entertainment in the rollicking 1920s and even survived through the Great Depression.

Interestingly, during the World Wars, the US military housed regiments of soldiers, Home Defense personnel, and Red Cross efforts on the pier. That’s why it was renamed Navy Pier in 1927 to honor the Navy veterans.

Over the next decades, it was the site of numerous conventions but after a fire tore through it, the pier fell into disuse by 1971.

Luckily, it was declared a historic landmark by the city in 1977 and the following decades were spent renovating Navy Pier into a $150 million attraction that was re-launched in 1995.

Next time you’re in Chicago, spend an afternoon at Navy Pier. And if you have time for a second place, visit us at Friendly Ford!

Ford Tests Driverless Vehicles in Snowy Conditions

snowy roadSeveral automakers are currently testing driverless technology. However, Ford Motor Company is going above and beyond to test driverless vehicles in a variety of conditions.

One of the biggest questions about driverless cars is how the sensors and cameras will be able to function in snow or other bad weather. Autonomous vehicles use sensors, cameras, radar, and other technology to pinpoint their location, but what will happen when snow covers the cameras and lane markers?

Ford is working to solve that problem by testing a fleet of driverless Fusion Hybrids on a snow-covered, 32-acre, closed-course testing facility in Ann Arbor. Ford has been working with the University of Michigan to develop special 3D maps. These maps will allow the vehicle to precisely understand the road’s signs and markings no matter what the weather.

Fusion Hybrid

Fusion Hybrid

The 3D maps are created to contain useful information allowing the car to localize, even with snowy conditions. Ford is even hoping to enable the program to recognize when the weather is too rough and stop driving.

Jim McBride, Ford technical leader for autonomous vehicles, said in a statement, “Weather isn’t perfect, and that’s why we’re testing autonomous vehicles in wintry conditions — for the roughly 70% of US residents who live in snowy regions.”

We at Friendly Ford are thankful that we are part of a company that cares about the safety of its customers. Being in Chicago, we know about snow and are excited to see the testing of driverless vehicles in snowy conditions!