In this week’s “Ask Nathan”
- Is the Ford Fusion Sport a throwback SHO?
- Better tech for my wife?
- Least expensive new car?
This first question comes from a fan who wants to know if the 2017 Ford Fusion Sport is the spiritural successor to the original Ford Taurus SHO.
Nathan. Is the new Ford Fusion Sport a replacement for the Ford Taurus SHO?
I remember how awesome and quick the first Taurus SHO was. All of the subsequent models were terrible.
Is Ford trying to fix their current SHO mistake with this Fusion Sport?
A: Great question Ben.
I have a yes and no answer for you.
This Ford Fusion Sport is a little beast with a 325 horsepower, 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 and all-wheel drive. It’s going to be fast. Ford even built a sport-tuned 6-speed automatic transmission and a beefy, sport suspension as well. Being that it should weigh between 3,500 and 3,700 lbs, it should be about as quick as the most recent Ford Taurus SHO. Love it or hate it, the most recent SHO was stupid fast.
Unlike the raw, angry performance of the Yamaha/Ford original SHO, which had front-wheel drive and an available manual transmission, this Ford Fusion Sport should be a more buttoned-down ride. I’m sorry, but, as far as sedans go, the old spirit of the original Ford Taurus SHO is gone.
Fortunately, if you want the feel of its spiritual successor, and you don’t mind boy racer looks or a hatchback, the Ford Focus ST is right up your alley.
Hope that helps!
This next question is from a fan who is looking to either upgrade or replace a vehicle with tech that can help his wife.
Q: I’m a big fan of your YouTube channel and approach to car reviews.
Wondering if anyone at TFL would be willing to give me some advice regarding cars to consider for my wife.
She has suffered some vision loss in her left eye, and is no longer confident driving at highway speeds for extended time because of depth perception issues. Anything under 50 mph doesn’t seem to be a problem, and I’d actually prefer that she stay off the Interstates. She has commented on cars we have been in with forward collision warning systems, park assist, rear cross-traffic warnings, adaptive cruise control, adaptive headlights, etc. (many of which are on my 2014 Lexus GS350). Who does this type of car tech best in your opinion?
She is driving an Audi Q5 now, and it’s a great, fun to drive crossover, but it’s not very big on tech features (it’s a 2013, Premium Plus w/o Nav, and I had an aftermarket rear-view camera installed).
I am better off trading in the Q5 than trying to retrofit it with some of the features above, correct?
If this is an improper question for you, please let me know if there’s someone else I should ask.
Thanks much, and keep up the good work,
A: Hi Chris!
What you’re looking for are the best examples of adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, collision mitigation braking and vehicle stability assist, among other systems. I totally get what you’re asking and I have a few vehicles that are somewhat in the same league as your Audi.
First, regarding aftermarket updates to her current vehicle: I rarely recommend this. Sure, there are some great aftermarket systems out there, but none of them will work in tandem with your vehicle’s safety/driving system as efficiently/effectively as the automaker’s own systems. When an automaker test one safety system, they (usually) make sure that all of their electronic systems work properly with each other. Usually, one system is tied to another. Even something as trivial as a back-up camera can be tied to several sensors and safety devices.
With that being said, I’m a big fan of the Acura RDX and its safety systems. I highly recommend test driving one on the highway. While the Audi Q5 is a slightly more rewarding to drive, the Acura RDX is a great all-around vehicle. The way Acura carefully melds their tech might interest you too.
The BMW X3 is another standout. Get the right packages, you’ll be very impressed with the tech and safety options. Also, BMW cribbed some tech from Nissan that I am rather fond of. The 360° panorama surround view camera system on the X3 is terrific for slow maneuvering. Also, if driving fun is a priority, the BMW X3 is extremely rewarding to drive.
Hope that helps!
The last question comes from a reader who wants the least expensive new car she can get.
Hello Nathan. I’m sick of getting used cars fixed.
Every time I look at new cars, some “expert” tells me to get a better used car. I’ve done this three times and I’ve had to shell out lots of money for maintenance. I am SO over used cars. I want something that has a warranty and has good space for my six year old. I have a smart phone that works just fine for navigation and entertainment, so just a basic car will do.
I can’t drive anything as stupid as a Smart car, it makes no sense. Do you have a better suggestion?
Most of the least expensive vehicles will run about $13,000 – $15,000 realistically. The Nissan Versa sedan is one of the least expensive cars sold in North America. If you get the base model with the 5-speed manual transmission, add $835 for destination and handling, it will come in at $12,825 – before tax.
The good news is: for a small car, the Nissan Versa sedan is pretty big. Back seat space is quite impressive and its highway ride is not too shabby. The trunk is big too. I usually suggest hatchbacks for families, they are far more utilitarian. If that’s the case, the Mitsubishi Mirage is slightly more expensive, but it represents one of the thriftiest cars in its class.
Hope that helps!
Here’s the next video episode of “Ask Nathan!”
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