Ford’s quality rankings have taken a significant hit as of late, due almost entirely to its push to be a leader in in-car technology. And that says Consumer Reports could seriously hurt the launch of the brand’s all-new 2013 Fusion mid-size sedan.
The new Fusion looks “fabulous” and is “fun to drive” says David Champion, the head of Consumer Reports‘ automotive testing division. However, the use of MyFord Touch could hurt its scores with the magazine and with consumers.
The first model to get the new technology was the 2012 Ford Edge, which prompted CR to downgrade the crossover’s “Recommended” rating, calling it hard to use an distracting.
Since then Ford has upgraded the system in cars with the original software, making it easier to use, while offering the updated system on all 2013 models. “Yes, they’ve done some upgrades to it,” said Champion in an interview with Automotive News. “But it is still a pain in the neck even when it’s supposed to be working properly. It’s still slow. It’s still difficult to use.”
Consumers have struggled with adopting the new technology as well, resulting in Ford’s plummet from fifth in the J.D. Power & Associates’ new-car quality survey two years ago, to 27th.
Still, the system adds plenty of perceived value to Ford models, giving them a high-tech look you might only find in a luxury car.
Thankfully for Ford, the blessing or curse of Consumer Reports doesn’t seem to hold the sway it once did. The magazine has highly criticized the new 2012 Honda Civic as well as the Toyota Prius c, even advising consumers to avoid both cars, and yet the response has been quite the opposite with sales of both models
[Source: Automotive News]