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Ford: What's new for 2009

Big changes are on the way


2009 Ford Focus Coupe front view

2009 Ford Focus Coupe

Photo © Ford


CROWN VICTORIA/POLICE INTERCEPTOR: Still only available for fleet sales. The base model has been dropped, leaving only the LX.

EDGE: 2009 will see the addition of the Edge Sport model, which gets a sporty body kit, improved interior trim, and standard 20" wheels, with optional 22s offered as an option. All Edges get a new driver's side mirror with an integrated convex blind-spot mirror in the upper-left corner. New options include ambient lighting, and next-generation navigation and SYNC systems, the former with SIRIUS Travel Link and the latter with 911 Assist, which automatically dials 911 through your cell phone if an airbag deploys.

ESCAPE: A 171 horsepower 2.5 liter four-cylinder engine replaces last year's 153 hp 2.3 as the base engine; the Escape Hybrid uses an Atkinson-cycle version of the 2.5. The optional 3-liter V6 has been updated for more power (240 hp, up from 200) and better fuel economy. New low-rolling-resistance tires, electric (in place of engine-driven) power steering, refined aerodynamics and a 6-speed automatic transmission (which replace last year's 4-speed) also help improve fuel economy. Ford's EasyFuel capless refueling system is now standard, and the suspension has been tweaked to improve ride comfort and handling. The Escape Hybrid is offered in a new, upscale Limited model, with 16" wheels, updated leather-lined interior, and other enhancements.

E-SERIES: Ford's venerable full-size van, which received a Super Duty-like nose job in 2008, gets an all-new interior for 2009, plus a mess o' high-tech wizardry: An in-dash personal computer with mobile broadband Internet connectivity; a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) asset tracking system that allows instant inventory of tools and equipment stored in the van; and a GPS navigation with SIRIUS Travel Link, which provides real-time traffic, weather and fuel price info. Talk about your office on wheels!

EXPEDITION: Ford's biggest SUV gets flex-fuel capability for its 5.4 liter V8. Standard equipment now includes rain-sensing wipers, heated second-row seat, a perimeter alarm, and the EasyFuel capless fuel filler; Eddie Bauer, Limited and King Ranch models get Microsoft SYNC as standard. The optional GPS navigation system now features SIRIUS Travel Link, which provide real-time traffic, weather and fuel price information.

EXPLORER: Trailer Sway Control is now standard. Trailer Sway Control detects yaw movements that indicate a swaying power and reduces power or applies the brakes as needed to help bring the trailer under control. XLT models get a new Sport appearance package, and the optional navigation system gains SIRIUS Travel Link (see EXPEDITION, above). A new version of the Explorer, with lighter-weight unit-body construction and significantly improved fuel economy, is coming in 2010.

EXPLORER SPORT TRAC: Gains standard Trailer Sway Control and optional SIRIUS Travel Link -- see EXPLORER, above.

F150: Ford's smallest full-size pickup gets a thorough makeover for 2009, with new styling, a lighter and stronger chassis, and a new top-of-the-line Platinum trim level.

F-SERIES SUPER DUTY: Ford's big pickups will offer a factory-installed sprayed-in bedliner.

FIESTA (2010): Ford will go head-to-head with subcompacts like the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit with their new Fiesta. Actually, the Fiesta is only new to us; it's been a staple of Ford's European lineup for decades. The Fiesta hatchback goes on sale in Europe as a 2009 model; America will get a hatchback and a sedan as 2010 models.

FLEX: This bold, boxy seven-seat crossover arrives in dealer showrooms as a 2009 model.

FOCUS: The Focus was all-new for 2008. For 2009, electronic stability control joins the options list, and stick-shift Focuses get a 3-horsepower boost to 143 hp. (A 130 hp PZEV [Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle] version is available in states that use California-compliant emissions.) A new top-of-the-line SEL model gets leather seats, chrome door handles and mirrors, 16" alloy wheels, and SYNC; the now-second-best SES sedan gets revised suspension tuning intended to make it more fun to drive. Focus coupes gets sportier-looking front and rear fascias, and SES versions of the coupe get 17" wheels, a roof-mounted spoiler, a meaner-sounding exhaust, and -- for automatic-transmission models -- a new final-drive ratio that provides quicker off-the-line acceleration. A new Ford Focus -- which, like the 1999 original, will be similar to the Focus sold in Europe -- is expected in 2010.

FUSION: Electronic stability control is now optional, and 4-cylinder SEL models get ambient lighting, SIRIUS satellite radio, and a 5-speed automatic transmission as standard. SE and SEL models offer a new Blue Suede package, which includes blue Alcantara suede inserts on the seats and door trim, blue stitching on seats, steering wheel and armrest, and blue, black or silver exterior paint. (Now you know what Elvis was driving when he left the building.) An updated version of the Fusion -- including the long-anticipated Fusion Hybrid -- is due in early 2009 as a 2010 model.

MUSTANG: The big news this year is a panoramic glass roof, optional on both V6 and V8 models. The Premium trim level adds ambient lighting, an upgraded interior with "satin" instrument panel trim, and SIRIUS satellite radio. Both the Bullitt and Warriors in Pink models return for 2009. A new GT Security Package includes an alarm and wheel locks. A revised Mustang is coming in mid-2009 as a 2010 model. Rumors about the updated Mustang abound, and they include updated front and rear styling, a bigger (5.0 liter) V8, and the addition of Ford's upcoming EcoBoost turbo V6.[/

RANGER: Unchanged.

SHELBY: The GT has been discontinued; the GT500 and GT500KR continue unchanged.


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