Two Offerings From Ford

There was a time not too long ago when the idea of shopping for a domestic car was about as appealing to me as jumping into Lake Ontario in the dead of winter. For a reasonable period of time they were simply not as well constructed, as reliable or as fun to drive as their competition from Japan and Germany. Their only saving grace was that they would typically be a bit less expensive, and in a lot of cases this cheaper price helped bolster their sales.

Over the past five years, the game has changed significantly. All of the domestic makers have been improving in leaps and bounds, especially Ford. With each model redesign, they have managed to make significant improvements in the look and feel of their product all without having to increase pricing in any significant way. With these improvements in mind, here’s a quick look at two of the brand’s new offerings in 2014.

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Ford’s long-standing premium brand has also been winning some serious points in the style department as of late. The MKZ ditches that stodgy Lincoln look from the ’80s and ’90s in favour of a more aerodynamic body and an elegantly penned front grille. The MKZ Hybrid presents a solid alternative to the usual hybrid offerings from Toyota and Lexus without asking for a premium for acquiring the hybrid powertrain. It also takes great pride in offering a good number of standard features; however, if you’re looking for a panorama sunroof, an upgraded audio system and safety systems like blind-spot detection, you can expect to shell out a little over $45,000 for the Hybrid Preferred Package. That being said, to get this same level of equipment out of a Lexus ES Hybrid, you can expect to spend at least an extra $8,000.

General Specs
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Engine options: 2.0-L Atkinson-cycle
4-cylinder + electric motor
Fuel economy: 5.1-L/100 km (city),
5.3-L/100 km (highway)
MSRP: $37,960

Ford Escape Titanium

The new Ford Escape is a very stylish offering in the compact crossover segment, and in Titanium trim it offers up plenty of creature comforts to keep its occupants happy. A leather-trimmed interior, push-button start, SiriusXM satellite radio and Ford’s new MyFord Touch infotainment all come as standards on the Titanium, whose starting price is still just under $30,000. The other great option that comes as a standard on the Titanium is Ford’s 2.0-Litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. This peppy unit is good for 240-horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, all while delivering respectable fuel economy. When I tested the Titanium last year, I was hugely impressed with the car’s performance, especially when compared to the base-model’s 1.6-L engine.

Ford Escape Titanium
Engine options: 2.0-L EcoBoost, 240-hp and 270 lb-ft of torque
Fuel economy: 9.8-L/100 km (city), 6.9-L/100 km (highway)
MSRP: $29,764

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