Edward Willett

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Ford Green Driving Event…and a week with a C-MAX hybrid

My Ford-driving adventures continue, because Ford continues to see fit to let me drive media cars and blog about them. Which is very nice. (Any other car companies want to do the same? Ferrari, perhaps? :)) Ford held a special event in Regina on June 18 to showcase its "green driving" efforts. A number of media types gathered in the parking lot of the RCMP Heritage Centre to learn about the latest Ford efforts in fuel efficiency and sustainability, take short test drives, and have a very pleasant lunch. Then, just this past week, I had the opportunity to spend a week driving one of the cars highlighted at that event, the ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 12:10, July 9th, 2013 under automobiles, cars, Ford, Test Drives | Comment now »

Test Drive: 2013 Ford Explorer Sport

I’m really, really late in writing this review of the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport I had the opportunity to test-drive. How late am I? So late that when I drove it, one of the things that impressed me the most was the way it handled the deep, icy ruts that plagued the streets of my neighborhood, thanks to this year’s record snowfall. (Oh, okay, actually deep, icy ruts plague the streets of my neighborhood every winter, but the record snowfall certainly didn’t help.) Those ruts are now but an unpleasant memory: yesterday it was around 28 Celsius. And though it’s cooler today, it does appear spring really has sprung in Saskatchewan at ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 18:01, May 8th, 2013 under automobiles, Blog, Car & Driver, cars, Ford Explorer, Test Drives | Comment now »

Test Drive: Ford Escape Titanium 4WD

I've driven quite a few Fords now since I started this series of car posts, and I have to say that the Ford Escape Titanium 4WD is pretty much my favorite of the lot (always excepting the Mustang convertible, but this time of year I'd much rather be navigating our icy, snow-choked streets in the Escape than in the Mustang.) As I've noted before, I'm not a big-vehicle guy: I've found things like the Explorer (and the F150) just too humongous for my taste. This one, though an SUV, hits the sweet spot in size. I felt like I was driving a ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 23:48, January 18th, 2013 under Blog, cars, Ford, Test Drives | 1 Comment »

No need for gas-price conspiracy theories

[podcast]http://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/07/Gas-Price-Conspiracies.mp3[/podcast] There’s a public perception that somebody must be pulling the strings on gas prices, that somewhere in some shadowy secret lair mustache-twirling oilmen are gleefully conspiring to raise prices across the board just in time for summer holidays. It’s such a popular perception that it has sparked any number of public inquiries around the world...which generally turn up no evidence of any such conspiracy. (Of course, to some that just proves there’s a conspiracy: the complete lack of evidence is all the evidence you need, in conspiracy-world.) A new study reveals why: you don’t need a conspiracy to generate cartel-like behavior in the prices of a commodity. That behavior can arise ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 17:20, July 5th, 2012 under automobiles, cars, Columns, Science Columns | Comment now »

A Tale of Two Fords: Edge Limited & Fiesta SES

Ford, for reasons best known only to itself, continues to provide me with the opportunity to drive media cars a they come through town. Which is how, in the past few weeks, I've had the chance to drive a Ford Edge Limited and a Ford Fiesta SES. Both fine vehicles, but both quite different. And for my taste (not to mention my size) there's no question the Edge has...well, the edge. I've noted in previous test drives that I'm not a huge fan of giant SUVs. But the Edge, though an SUV (well, I think Ford calls it a "crossover"), is on the smaller end of the scale (and nowhere near that ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 14:40, May 28th, 2012 under automobiles, cars, Ford, Test Drives | Comment now »

Test Drive: Ford Focus

Week before last Ford graciously provided me with the opportunity to drive a brand-new Ford Focus for a few days...which I found amusing for reasons that had nothing to do with the car. See, in my YA fantasy Song of the Sword, set here in Regina, one of the villains, who tries to abduct my young heroine, drives a Ford Focus. Which is not to say that only bad guys drive Ford Focuses (Focii?). But, you know, he had to drive something, and I just like the sound of the name: very alliterative. Fortunately, my fictional bad guy's Focus was white, and this one was silver, so I didn't feel too ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 9:23, March 27th, 2012 under automobiles, Blog, cars, Ford, Test Drives | Comment now »

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication

[podcast]http://edwardwillett.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/01/Communicating-Cars.mp3[/podcast] Do you talk to your car? I know I do (perhaps not as much as I, um, “talk” to other drivers, but some). I think I inherited the trait from my mother: all of the cars of my childhood, I knew from her, were named “Suzy.” These days, your car may even listen to you, if you have a voice-activated music system or phone. But generally, cars don’t pay much attention to what you say to them. It could be that you just don’t have anything to say they’re very interested in. Perhaps what cars would really enjoy is conversation with others of their kind...and it may not be too long ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 16:06, January 27th, 2012 under automobiles, cars, Columns, Ford, Science Columns | Comment now »

Driving green for fun and prizes

As regular readers of this blog will by now realize, Ford keeps letting me drive their vehicles in exchange for writing about them. Which is a sweet deal, you have to admit. Even if the vehicles aren't always to my taste (hello, giant red F150 pickup!), I enjoy driving them. Recently, though, the driving-Fords gig took a slightly different twist: I was invited to take part in a Green Driving Challenge. I and four others from Regina spent a couple of days each with a Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The goal was to get the best gas mileage (er, kilometrage?) you could manage. The drive with the best results would win ...

Posted by Edward Willett at 11:10, October 11th, 2011 under automobiles, cars, Test Drives | Comment now »