With baby #3 on the way, we're in the market for a different vehicle. Dare I say it - maybe even a minivan. Actually definitely a mini-van. I've long since gotten over the idea of minivan being a dirty word that's an insult to your integrity as a man or barometer of cool. If you're driving around in a vehicle with more than one car seat, you've long since given up on being cool in your vehicle of choice.

But I digress.

I had the opportunity to take part in the Ford Power of Choice Tour driving event at the Farmer's Market in Saskatoon to check out their 2012 lineup of vehicles, focused on the electric and hybrid models. I brought along my 4-year-old son since I thought he might want to check out the new vehicles as well.

Ford Power of Choice Event Semi

Right now with a kid in a car seat and another in a booster and another on the way, we're definitely needing something with more seats than a typical car. As Ford has gotten out of minivans completely it's not likely that any of their vehicles will be great for us as a primary vehicle - though we have friends with a Ford Flex who are certainly surviving just fine. But I'm on the lookout for a second vehicle for work - particularly if I can get it painted a bright yellow. Or at least with a big lemon painted on the side somewhere. :)

We ended up getting to take a pre-production 2013 Ford Edge for a ride.

4 Year Old in the Back of a 2013 Ford Escape

Damien's car seat fit easily in the back with plenty of leg room for him to kick and get in and out of the seat - although at his height right now he might need help getting up into the vehicle, depending on how you're parked.

A Few Thoughts:

  • Push button start is crazy. Obviously the way vehicles are going (and have been for a few years) but it's still neat to use.
  • A very nice, smooth ride. 1
  • Ford's eco boost could be just a marketing buzz word but the 2.0L Escape was surprisingly peppy for a small engine.
  • I love as much natural light as possible and the large sunroof, which Ford calls the Panoramic Vista Roof™, allowed plenty of light in for both the front and rear seats.
2013 Ford Escape Interior

A view of the interior dash and controls.

The Future is Electric

We also got a look at the new Ford Focus Electric. And while I didn't have time to stick around for a test drive, I did see someone else take it for a spin.

Driving the Ford Focus Electric

With see being the operative word. You couldn't hear a thing from the car standing outside at the Farmer's Market. It was crazy. Living in Saskatchewan you're used to big, loud trucks roaring around and cars that have long since lost their muffler and so seeing a car almost float by you without a sound was almost a bit eery. But imagining being in downtown Saskatoon where all the vehicles were as quiet as the Focus Electric is a nice future to look forward to.

Whether you agree or not with the green movement, it is nice to see the vehicle manufacturers being pushed to think about sustainability. And Ford is no exception. There's plenty of recycled components in their new vehicles including dandelion roots in cup holders, floor mats and interior trim. Recycled carpet materials for cylinder head covers. Soybeans for seat cushions and foam. Damien had a great time looking at all the different materials that went into a modern vehicle.

There's an App for That

Ford's got a MyFord Mobile app coming for smartphones - presumably iPhone and Android at least but I didn't ask about Windows Phone or cough Blackberry2. Plenty of features that would appeal to most any modern geek such as the ability to check the battery charge on your car, set the times you'd like it to charge, trip planning, finding a nearby charing station using MapQuest and more.

Slashgear got a hands on look at the app which you can watch in the video below:

Innovate or Die

It's impressive to see the North American auto industry bounce back from near death, listening to what people actually want in their vehicles. And the Ford vehicles are no exception.

The electric and eco vehicles are awesome to see. But I'm looking forward to the 2035 Shelby Mustang that I'll be buying when my kids are moved out and I'm having my mid-life crisis.

  1. Of course, coming from my current 1994 Toyota Camry almost anything would feel smooth.
  2. RIM is having trouble demoing email on their new Blackberry devices. I'd seriously doubt you'd want that thing controlling your car.

Driving a Ford