I’m a Ford Man
I’m a Ford man, I really am. We are a Ford family. Growing up in the U.K. Ford was THE car. We had a Ford Cortina (purple), followed by a Ford Cortina station wagon. My dad had a Ford Transit cargo van and my first car was a red 1976 Ford Fiesta. When I was 18 my dad and I bought a 1959 Ford Zodiac with the bench seats & column shift gears. I still have it. It never came with seat belts. Chicks dug it.
|My Ford Family with my Zodiac.|
So when Ford offered to loan me their new Explorer for a family trip to Vermont it seemed like a perfect fit. (To be honest, I would have preferred the Mustang, but it’s not exactly kid friendly.) Right now we drive a minivan. It seats seven and my wife doesn’t like driving it — it’s too big. So I was hoping our trip to Vermont for a week of skiing and beer would be made smooth and easy with the Explorer. We had the kids in the back with all their stuff: DVD players, colouring books, Nintendo DS, blah, blah, blah and off we went in the wee hours of Saturday morning. But I’m not here to tell you of the car sickness and the tantrums the kids had, I’m here to tell you about mine.
|On the ferry!|
The car was a great drive. It has electric stowaway seats, which beats lifting the super heavy ones out the back of the van, electrical outlets for all of the kids stuff and satellite radio. (My wife LOVED the satellite radio.) But it seems to me that the more technical a car gets, the more frustrating it can be.
We encountered a few problems:
Problem Number 1 — Car Seats. My kids are 4 & 6. I installed the car seats no problem the day before we left. The morning we left, as my kids sleepily got into their seats, the seat belts wouldn’t reach because big console between the seats restricted my hand getting in. So every time we got in the car the entire vacation it was a big deal getting them into their seats. We take for granted that we can get right into the back seats in our mini van. A huge convenience with little ones.
Problem Number 2 – Cruise Control. On long journeys, I love cruise control. I’m able to set my speed, relax my feet and I can estimate the time of arrival. Set it & forget it. No no. The cruise control kept slipping out and then accelerating without warning. When it finally stabilised, the sensors stopped working. The one thing on the car that I wanted to work didn’t. Give me back my mini van!
Problem Number 3 – GPS. The GPS was built into the car, which is great, but it couldn’t find the resort we were staying at. Luckily we were prepared with an actual paper map.
|Lost in the land of snow.|
It was fantastic to have the kids closer to us in the vehicle, it made it much easier for my wife to cater to their needs. And there were a lot of them! The kids loved that their windows opened, something that they are not used to in our mini van. It was also great to have a GPS built in to the car. The screen was easy to read and knowing where we were and what was coming up ahead was an advantage when we were driving through unfamiliar territory.
Overall, it was a great drive. It’s a great looking car and maybe after a sit down with the manual and a couple of drinks I would know how to maximize the features. Maybe when my kids get a little older it will be an option for us. Until then, I think it’s time to test drive the Ford Flex because my wife keeps bustin’ me for one!