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Fords Explore the Fun Niche

They're buying them because they're reliable and they're buying them because they get great mileage. But people are also buying Fords , says Joe Scuiletti, general sales manager at Colonial Ford in Danbury, because "they're just so much fun to be in, no less to drive."

These Fords in no way recall your great, great grandfather's Model T any more than they resemble earlier iterations of models introduced just a few years ago. The Explorer , Scuiletti explains, is a fine example of Ford's automotive evolution. "This car, which was awarded best in its class for fuel economy, has been completely redesigned, front to back," he says. "And it's just a beauty."

Among the changes Scuiletti refers to is a better ride for a less-than-a-truck and more-like-a-car driving experience, as well as better space efficiency throughout the cabin. There's more storage room as well. The new Explorer still rolls with a third-row seat and can accommodate seven passengers. Its 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower V6 is standard but a more fuel-efficient 237-hp turbocharged four-cylinder is optional. Both are powering a six-speed automatic transmission that can be yours with either rear-wheel or all-wheel drive.

But what you notice about this car when you step into it is a distinctively upscale interior, with details – such as a sleek dashboard design and high-quality leather seats – that make it reminiscent of some of its German competitors. And there are abundant high-tech features, such as the unique MyFord Touch , its fantastically intuitive and integrated navigation, climate control, phone and entertainment system, which responds to voice commands (nearly 10,000 of them) as well as the steering wheel-mounted control center. This means your eyes never have to veer from the vicinity of the steering wheel and road in order to control these functions (what a novel idea!). The technology is so advanced, says Scuiletti, that some of the more technologically savvy buyers are seriously impressed with it. "It's a real selling point," he says.

Scuiletti is exuberant about Ford's new fleet of vehicles, which he says are flying off the proverbial racks. "People want to buy Fords now," he says. "Part of it stems from the fact that we were able to make it out of the recession on our own. And that's a testament to the quality of the vehicles we make."

Are you considering a Ford for your next purchase, or have you recently bought one? Please let me know here.

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