I like to think that when life deals me lemons, I usually have the ability to turn them into lemonade. And so, about two weeks after my wife and preschool-age son were in a serious auto accident (they were hit by a tractor trailer in our old 2008 Sienna, but miraculously walked away from the accident), we went back into debt and purchased a new van. But, the good news is that this is the first new vehicle that my family has purchased since Autosavant has begun long-term testing new vehicles that our staff members purchase. So my family’s misfortune means that you will learn what it was like to buy, and what it’s like to live with a new Toyota for the next several years. Hopefully this time, it will last us more than five years, and give us as trouble-free of a life as its predecessor gave us.
I’m long overdue for an update on the Long Term Flex Limited EcoBoost. Purchased in September 2011, the first update happened after 3 months and 3000 miles had elapsed. In the last update I talked about wanting to add better all-weather interior mats and a roof rack to facilitate carrying bikes and other loads. I addressed mats in the cargo area by purchasing a$70 Husky Liner for the well under/behind the third row seats. As we tend to travel with the third row seats deployed, that well is where our cargo ends up a majority of the time. When the third row is stowed for carrying larger loads that might be dirty or damage the carpeting, we use an auto blanket to protect the interior to avoid the nuisance of needing to remove a rigid cargo protector. The low-pile carpeting Ford specced for that cargo area grows fuzzy with vigorous vacuuming, so preventing it from getting dirty is important.
It seems like just yesterday that our long term Ford F-150 Ecoboost FX4 SuperCrew hit the 5000 mile mark. Here we are with a truck that has rolled past the 10,000 mile mark. Since our last update, we have had our first service, been through one warranty repair and have seen fuel economy fall off from the first report. We are still looking to demo some products for the truck and are interested in your questions and comments. Read on for all the news and use the comments to let us know what you would like to see. Continue Reading →
By Kevin Miller
It has been about three months since the 2011 Ford Flex Limited EcoBoost joined the Miller family and simultaneously joined the Autosavant long-term test fleet. During that time we have gotten to know some of the big family hauler’s strengths and weaknesses, so it’s time to give readers an update.
By Kevin Gordon
Recently our friends over at TTAC have been on a (much welcomed) rampage about automotive journalists being overly fair to those cars that they cover in order to maintain a good relationship with the manufacturers. As a smaller site that works hard to get interesting cars and products to review, it can be challenge to remain balanced. With that in mind, when I began to gather my thoughts about the TonnoPro tonneau cover I had to take second look and double check all of my judgements. Could it make through my freshly renewed journalistic vigor? Read on to find out.
By Kevin Gordon
I would be remiss if I did not apologize to all of the readers of Autosavant for the delay in getting this first update to you. Since, we purchased the truck at the end of June, we have added 5,000 miles to it. Since the miles are being added so quickly, we plan to provide updates at 5,000 mile intervals going forward. As most of the questions we have received about the truck focus on fuel economy that will be first after the break. If you’re interested in more frequent updates on the life and times of the truck, please follow @autosavantkg on twitter.
By Kevin Miller
Autosavant’s Editor Chris Haak is a big proponent of minivans. If you need proof, just read any of his reviews of three-row crossover vehicles; nearly all of them state that a crossover is a compromised choice when compared to a minivan. That being said, the Miller household recently made the determination that our 2004 Volvo V70R was not cut-out for soccer carpooling duties (thanks to car seat requirements), so it was time to shop for something with a few more seatbelts. Mrs. Miller is “minivan averse,” which led us to a shopping list full of three-row crossovers.
By Kevin Gordon
I constantly find myself cringing when I am at a car dealership and I witness the following happen: Kenny “The Sap” Consumer walks into his local Honda dealership and is greeted by “slippery” Sam the salesman. Kenny says he is interested in a Honda Pilot, one “with the DVD system”. Sam the salesmen says that he thinks he might have one or two of those available, but immediately begins to explain how popular they are. Both people walk off to make a copy of Kenny’s license and Kenny the poor sap has taken his first steps towards paying thousands more than he needs to when purchasing a car.
By Kevin Gordon
After having the chance to spend two weeks with the new EcoBoost motor in a Ford F-150, we were left wanting more. After coming to the conclusion that this engine and truck are something special, we have added our first long term test car to the Autosavant Garage. We are pleased to introduce a 2011 Ford F-150 FX4 EcoBoost 4×4 145″ SuperCrew that we will be driving, testing, and documenting for the next two years. We plan to provide a full view into daily life with this truck. Additionally, we hope to use it as a test bed for some select after market items.
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- Long Term Test: F-150 FX4 Ecoboost Update 2 April 2, 2012
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- Complaints About the Names of Cars January 27, 2012
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- Review: 2013 Volvo S60 T5 AWD May 23, 2013
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