For those of you who also live in Saskatchewan, you know what a long winter this has been. Although the calendar may say it is spring, the photo below shows you a current picture outside my home. Doesn’t look like spring, does it? This week we had the opportunity to drive a Ford Explorer and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Right now we’re in the stage where the snow melts a bit, then freezes again, then snows, then rains and then freezes again. As you can imagine, the driving conditions right now are less than ideal. The ice and snow ruts in our street have been so bad that vehicles have been getting stuck in them. My husband drives a small car so he was happy to have the larger Ford vehicle to use this week.
Ford Explorer Test Drive:
The Ford Explorer is a SUV packed with a lot of power! For those of you not in Saskatchewan, I’m trying to think of how I can describe the driving conditions right now. With all of the ice and packed snow, it’s kind of like driving over potholes and slippery speed bumps. Needless to say, it is not a very fun time to be on the roads. Although the road conditions are bad, the Ford Explorer continued to be a smooth ride offering stability in slippery conditions. It had the power to drive through the rough terrain where other vehicles on our street were getting stuck.The interior of the vehicle was loaded with all the amenities you’d expect in a luxury vehicle. The heated seats and steering wheel were perfect for our current weather conditions although I was really wishing it was warm enough to try out one of the two sunroofs. That’s right – two sunroofs!My husband fell in love with the satellite radio. There were so many cool features on the touchscreen system and this vehicle was also set up with SYNC technology. SYNC technology is an intelligent voice recognition system that makes it easy to stay connected to the world around you. On the touchscreen pad you could see things such as the weather forecast, local fuel prices, movie listings and more!
When you place the vehicle in reverse, the screen turns into a camera showing you what is behind you and alerting you of anything that may be in your way. Perfect for parallel parking or even pulling out of your driveway when your view is blocked by huge piles of snow like ours currently is.
A small but cool feature are the cup holders that light up. Perfect for early morning commutes so you can find your coffee cup!
In the vehicle, there were both front and rear heating/cooling systems. The front controls were on an easy to use touch pad along with a large radio & sound dial.
This Ford Explorer used the new push-button start & stop system. It took me a minute to figure it out but easy to follow instructions come up on the dash when you are ready to start the vehicle.
This vehicle had leather seats which are great for car seats and kids because they are made of a stronger material and they are easy to wipe clean. Installation of car seats is made easy with clear instructions and easy to find hooks.
This Ford Explorer was fully automatic with the windows, door locks, seat adjustments and more. Another feature that I haven’t seen in a vehicle before was the Terrain Management System that allows you to dial in specific terrain settings to maximize vehicle performance in all conditions.
We loved this vehicle and all it has to offer. It is spacious, comfortable and has a very smooth ride. There are so many other great features in the Ford Explorer and you can read all about these on the Ford website.
How Ford is Helping with Spring Allergies:
After I had my son, I noticed that I started having allergic reactions to various lotions, foods and just something in the air. I haven’t quite figured out what it is yet (allergy specialist appointment coming soon!) but I know that it does get worse in the spring. Ford is looking to help eliminate some of the common airborne and touch-based allergens.
Ford engineers have been busy testing more than 100 materials and components on the new 2013 Ford Fusion and other Ford vehicles for allergy issues. Engineers avoid – or minimize – some of the most materials that can produce an allergic reaction in some people such as natural latex, hexavalent chromium and nickel. The components requiring allergen testing include common high-touch areas such as the seats, steering wheel, armrests, door handles and shifters.
Linda Schmalz (a supervisor of Core Material Engineering for Ford) says “Allergies affect large numbers of people, so anything we can do to reduce potential allergens inside Ford vehicles we do through rigorous, controlled testing”.
Ford is testing its vehicles and installing cabin air filters that help prevent airborne particles such as dust, spores, fungus and pollen from entering the vehicle. Cabin air filters improve driving comfort by reducing particle concentration, improve cleanliness and protect climate control components from particle deposits. These filters also capture soot, smog and tobacco smoke. Many customers may not realize they have a cabin air filter but Ford dealers change the filters as part of the recommended maintenance for all vehicles.
From dust to hexavalent chromium (a chemical sometimes found in dyes, paints and plastics), natural latex to pollen, almost any material or substance can be a potential allergen. Ford testers make sure dyes and formaldehyde are strictly limited to levels that are acceptable even for clothing. Just one more way that Ford is working to keep their customers safe!
*Disclosure: We were given this vehicle for a test drive for review purposes. All opinions expressed here are my own.