IMPRESSIONS OF THE CAR THUS FAR

I can certainly nitpick with the best of them, so I’ll get that out of the way first, then get into the raves.

The sun visors could’ve been designed a little differently such that there isn’t a small gap at the top outermost portion when they’re flipped down. It lets in a sliver of light. They did it so that when flipped over to the side window, it would conform to the curvature of the A pillar, etc. I think it could’ve been done a little better. The slit of light is about 4 inches long and maybe 3/8″ tall.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a car that didn’t have a factory wrapped real leather steering wheel. The plastic on this is meant to have a bit of give and is stitched to look like leather, but it feels like “decent” plastic. Kind of dry to the touch, especially as my hands are dry all the time anyway. I may figure out some kind of conditioner to put on it to give it a bit more grip to be a bit more like real leather. I have stuff around for both leather and plastic.

There are 3 spokes on the steering wheel. The horizontal spokes are fine, but I have a bit of an issue with the spoke aiming downward. The outer portion is metal, the part that attaches from the back is plastic. For some reason where they meet, the plastic is slightly larger than the metal. The end result is that if your fingers move or scrap forward against the plastic, it feels like a hard edge. My hands are around the horizontal spokes a lot and weren’t inclined towards the bottom anyway. But now my hands are always away from it, and it’s not a problem. Just annoying that it shows a lack of quality control or design, or something. It could’ve been better. Maybe the front and back were clamped together too tightly.

My salesman went around the car with a business card checking the fit of the gaps. Overall, not bad at all. No obvious problems that are readily visible. The gaps themselves are fine, don’t really get skinnier to wider as you go from one end to the other. However IF you have a card, the height of panels parallel to each other can be off a little bit. All over the car, maybe 20% is noticeable IF you have a card. So no complaints. I’d have complaints if I paid $120k for the car.

The dealer prep was good, nice polish and wheel prep. However I don’t know if they did a good job cleaning the inside of the windshield or not. It may have been clean initially, but a few days later driving directly into bright sun, there were some obnoxious smears. The car is so new that maybe the volatiles in the plastic contaminated the inside. So I can’t really say the dealer prep was at fault, especially since I didn’t notice anything right away. I did a clean up. A bit of it may be coming back, not sure. We HAVE had hot weather here, or enough to cook the inside of the car to make those volatiles come out fast. Still has that new car smell.

I’m still playing around with the 6 way seat position, am most of the way there now. Initially I was getting some adverse muscle tension in my right leg and foot. This was enhanced by the width of the center console, and the gas pedal being a little further to the left than what I’m used to in the Buick. The Buick also has no center console; all the room in the world for the leg. However I like having the console to brace with when flying through twisties.

I got rid of the muscle tension after playing around with the seat. The lumbar support is where I like it now, at about 80% inflated. The hood is high so if sitting low and going up and down big whoopdy doo’s, you can’t see the road for a moment. I have it a bit higher now. I like to sit with the seat cushion really angled back, the seat back tilted back a bit as well. So the back of the cushion is as low as it goes. But I have it a little bit higher now.

The steering wheel has tilt but no telescope. If I think about it, I always wish it was an inch closer to me. But when I’m driving, I don’t think of it at all.

The trunk space is quite good, especially if you flip down the rear seats. The cloth liner for the trunk area is a little on the cheap side as it’s a bit thin, but lays down okay enough. I don’t see it as a problem unless I was to be putting all kinds of heavy awkward stuff in there all the time. But a rigid, grippy trunk liner tray is available if needed.

The spare tire is an actual small spare that’s always inflated, easy to get at with the jack as well. No fix-a-flat can of spray like on some cars.
As reviewers say, plenty of hard plastic on the sides of the doors. The rest is soft touch plastic. The console/armrest is barely adequate for the elbow, but again, not really noticing it while driving. I already looked on Amazon and there remedies if I think I actually need them.

Overall, Ford gets good marks for saving money in some places and spending money in the places that really count, like the performance of the car. I think getting the armrest a little more plush and redesigning the sun visors could’ve only added $60 or$100 to the cost of the car, maybe only $40. But what do I know? It’s obvious that the Camaro and Mustang are really competing closely for price.

NOW FOR THE GOOD POINTS:

As reviewers have said, the more you drive it the more you like it: true. The 3 way settings for steering feel I think are done just right. I’ve taken on twisty roads that are smooth and not so smooth and the car sticks really well. I’m not sure how much the stability control comes into play, but I’ve yet to have any tire squeal. A few times a tiny bit of singing. But surprisingly good grip. The sticky summer tires must be really amazing. I have yet to care that the rear doesn’t have an independent suspension.

I’m still breaking it in and have about 510 miles on it. I don’t really go over 4000 rpm’s, and when I do, it’s briefly. I have yet to really lay into the pedal. So far I like the throttle response. You can be gentle and get the car to move gently when you need that, which is just as important as being able to jump quick. I’ll feel ready to go to any rpm’s fairly close to the 7000 rpm redline by the time I get to 2000 miles. I’ve done a good job keeping the car from constant rpm’s for any length of time on a highway. My salesman said to vary speed by plus or minus 4 mph.

I’ve been on swoopy, twisty, up and down roads. It doesn’t really care or complain.

I like the auto transmission. Drive position keeps things as economical as possible with its logic, but you can still belt with it when you get on it. Sport position waits longer to upshift and downshift. The shifts themselves may be a tad crisper, but I can’t verify that at this time, need more time to evaluate that. While in Sport, you can tap the up and down toggle to shift manually. As long as you plan for a bit of delay, I don’t really mind using it. I’m thinking there are times where I might want to override the shift logic and put it in manual for extra economy when applicable.

The engine will certainly allow that. The shift logic allows rpm’s as low as about 1100 rpm’s, and the engine doesn’t lug, it doesn’t really care. The car really does pull great in any gear. And the power band really is as even as you could possibly expect. I can’t imagine too many cars at any price doing much better. From what I’ve read, many cars that are much more expensive aren’t as even as this one. Ford did a great job with this engine as reviewers have said.

I can’t wait until it’s broken in!

This car has likely all the performance I could use around here. I can’t possibly imagine getting bored with this car.

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