Updated 2018 Ford Explorer Revealed

2017 Ford Explorer shown. 2018 Ford Explorer will recieve minor updates to design and technology.

2017 Ford Explorer shown. 2018 Ford Explorer will receive minor updates to design and technology.

The refreshed 2018 Ford Explorer was revealed last month, with updates to the grille and fog lamps as well as five new wheel choices and four new color options: Burgundy Velvet Tinted Clearcoat, Cinnamon Glaze, Platinum Dune Tricoat, and Blue Metallic.

The new Explorer was just refreshed mid-cycle for the 2016 model year, so the updates to the 2018 model are fairly minor, but it does have several technology updates that will have drivers gunning for the new model. The Explorer will have a 4G LTE hotspot with Wi-Fi connectivity that can support up to 10 devices with a range of 50 feet around the vehicle, and drivers can use it to lock and unlock the vehicle remotely as well as start it with the FordPass phone app.

The biggest addition to the Explorer is the Safe and Smart Package, which includes tons of active safety features like adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, and more. It will keep the same engine options, which include a 3.5-liter V6, a turbocharged inline-four, and a turbocharged V6.

You can look for the 2018 Ford Explorer in dealerships this fall. Get more information about the upcoming Explorer today at Friendly Ford!

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 Ranger Returning to Lineup?

ford logoIt wasn’t long ago that most heavy hitting automakers cut smaller pickups and truck-based SUVs from their lineups. Times have changed and with General Motors bringing back the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado, it may be time for another midsize pickup to return. Word on the street is that Ford is considering reviving the Ranger.

General Motors and Jeep have been rolling in sales as a result of lower gas and oil prices. Truck sales have been soaring. The full-size F-150 pickup is a bestseller but that still leaves Ford losing out in the midsize truck market.

Ford has discussed bringing a midsize pickup and SUV to the lines at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Detroit. The plant had been transformed during the recession to produce small cars and hybrids. Previously, the plant built Expeditions, F-150s, Lincoln Navigators, and Broncos.

With Ford moving the Focus and C-Max out of the country, that leaves plenty of open floor space. Rumor has it the pickup and SUV could be in production as soon as 2018, although there’s no confirmation on the plan.

While the common belief is that the Ford Ranger returning would hurt F-series sales, that idea seems unlikely. The average transaction price of an F-series truck now reaches over $40,000. That’s quite a bit of wiggle room for the smaller Ranger.

We here at Friendly Ford are ecstatic to see what will come out of the Michigan Assembly Plant!

Millennial Car Shopping: The Young and Active Are Ditching Cars for Crossovers

Millennials are growing up. Gen Y (people born anytime from the early 80s through the early 2000s) are turning in their compact cars that got them through college and their first jobs, and upgrading to something bigger.

millennial car shopping

2015 Ford Explorer

Crossovers and SUVs are taking over this generation’s top car choice, and it makes sense. Sports, active lifestyles, adding pets, and even starting families make a roomier car an ideal choice. Millennials are looking for cars they can see themselves growing into the next phase of their lives in. An SUV is great for throwing their bikes in now, and loading their babies in later.

The older Millennials are about 32, and that means they are more often holding down stable jobs with higher incomes than the generation behind them. Purchasing a new SUV or crossover is not such a far reach for people falling into this category.

A study conducted by Maritz Research surveyed 122,000 participants and found that cars remain top choices for Millennials overall, but the percentage considering a small car has fallen from 13.2 percent in 2008 to 9.7 percent.

According to the data compiled by Maritz Research, Ford has climbed to the top of the list in sales consideration among millennials – meaning that regardless of whether or not Millennials actually have the means to buy a Ford, the automaker is their top choice over any other brand.

millennial car shopping

2014 Ford Flex

“The trend of millennials starting families comes at the same time Ford is updating or replacing nearly its entire product lineup,” said Amy Marentic, Ford global car and crossover marketing manager. “These fastest-growing segments – like small utilities – coincide with Ford’s product strengths.”

Friendly Ford has an entire lineup of best-selling crossovers and SUVs. The Escape, Explorer, and Edge are ideal cars for an active lifestyle.

A Ford SUV Makes a Perfect Family Vehicle

Ford SUV

2014 Ford Edge

Do you and your family take road trips? Do you use your car to store cargo or to take your children to basketball practice or gymnastics? If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, a Ford crossover or SUV may be just the right vehicle for you and your family.

Ford has plenty of crossover or SUVs to choose from. If you are looking for something a little bigger than a sedan, but not too big you may want to check out a 2014 Escape or Edge. These two vehicles are capable of seating five passengers with plenty of room left over for luggage and cargo. Both are rated to tow up to 3,500 lbs.

If you need something bigger than an Edge, the FLEX and Explorer are the next step up! These two vehicles can seat 6-7 passengers. The FLEX can tow up to 4,500 lbs while the Explorer is rated for up to 5,000 lbs.

Ford SUV

2014 Ford FLEX

Finally the largest Ford SUV is the Expedition. This full-size vehicle can seat up to 8 passengers and is able to tow an astounding 9200 lbs. The Expedition is available in six trim levels so you can choose just the right amount of features for you and your family.

A Ford SUV will make your life easier by being able to haul large objects or passengers from here to there. To learn more about a new Ford SUV, stop by Friendly Ford in Roselle, Illinois. Our experienced staff will help you choose just the right vehicle!