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Car Tech: 2013 Ford Escape..lots of tech available
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Car Tech: 2013 Ford Escape..lots of tech available

I really liked the look of the bright red 2013 Ford Escape when I picked it up..I love the design changes and this all new model is overall a much more comfortable ride that its predecessor. I was slightly disappointed to see it was a lower trim level with very little tech..in fact it actually required you to insert and turn a key to start it 🙂

My tester did have the latest version of My Ford Touch with navigation. The basic sound system features CD Player, AM/FM and Sirius Satellite Radio and Bluetooth A2DP for streaming music from mobile phones. In the centre console you will find an Aux input, two USB ports and a SD card containing maps for the navigation system. This is the basic radio setup with only 6 speakers…it sounds pretty good but I noticed the absence of a subwoofer.

The upgraded My Ford touch is a definite improvement. Ford engineers have spent a lot of effort to make the complicated system more intuitive…they still have a ways to go but as you will see in this video general commands are a lot simpler.

http://youtu.be/AiF4ezUygYo

It is still not conversational enough and you have to remember too many command sequences. That said Ford has made great strides with the voice commands for the navigation system which wan almost unusable in the last version..while you still have to remember command sequences this version supports grouping of commands..check out the video.

http://youtu.be/-jzgXcQPjXI

As I said, a considerable improvement..but, in my mind there is still a long way to go. I realize automobile voice command systems have specific challenges but when you consider all the money and manpower that is thrown at these systems I wonder why they can’t be as simple as my $199 google Nexus 7..take a look at what I mean in this video.

http://youtu.be/6o9hHLpz37s

Ford engineers tell me they are aiming for “natural speech” commands but obviously they have a long way to go.

My Ford Touch was the only tech available in the SE model I tested. As I drove it the MSRP was $26,899. To trick it out Hometechmtl style you have to step up to the SEL trim level with added options bringing the MSRP up to $31.599. For that you get Passive Entry/Passive start (no key), Upgraded Sony Radio with 10 speakers, Auto Park, Front park assist and rear view camera, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross-trafic alert and my personal favourite 🙂 the hands free liftgate..just stick your foot under the bumper and up it goes.

Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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