Automotive

The Ford EcoSport is the essential travel buddy for tech geeks

For both beginners and sporty drivers

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For years, automobiles have slowly left the realm of technology. Now, at least in the public’s eyes, cars exist more as a means of transportation, rather than feats of technology.

However, if you were part of the driving public over the last decade, you would have realized two things. Firstly, a great car is just as invaluable as an amazing flagship phone. Secondly, with the number of features packed into a car today, the line between technology and transportation is blurring once again.

Just as how they pioneered the moto industry in the United States, Ford is again leading the charge for technologically capable cars for the modern market. In 1908, it was the first Model T Ford. In 2018, it’s the Ford EcoSport.

What’s under the hood?

Sporting a 1.5-liter Ti VCT 110ps/142Nm engine, the Ford EcoSport is a capable daily driver for both urban stop-and-start traffic and countryside rough riding. For its size, the EcoSport straddles the fine line between sedan and SUV.

Further, this hardy engine is mated to a 6-speed PowerShift transmission (5-speed for manual). From a performance standpoint, the EcoSport transitions smoothly in and out of Sport mode.

Potholes? No problem!

With all this in mind, the EcoSport can blaze through most driving situations you can throw at it. Whether it was for urban trekking through tight roads or riding through tough rural tracks, the EcoSport powered through with barely a hiccup.

Potholes and unpaved roads were no match for the EcoSport’s suspension. Jolts and drops didn’t have as much impact as it usually does with other cars. The EcoSport inspires confidence even for inexperienced drivers.

Even with moderately deep mud pits, the EcoSport can power through with just brute force. Its capable engine can clear obstacles without flooring the pedal. Additionally, its high ground clearance can go through the debilitating floods that usually frequent the metro.

The EcoSport’s confidence carries itself despite challenging situations. A lot of cars today don’t inspire the same confidence as the Ford EcoSport.

Crank it up to 11

As with most Ford cars, the EcoSport carries a welcome Sport mode for accessing that extra boost you need for both smoother and hardier conditions. Sadly, most people don’t access this feature out of fear for what it’s capable of.

As the name implies, the Sport mode brings a sportier vibe to the EcoSport’s drive. Costing a small bit of fuel efficiency, the specialized mode injects improved speed, handling, and traction to everyday drives.

Personally, the Ford EcoSport brought one of the smoothest driving experiences I’ve handled across the industry. The Sport mode handled amazingly well against metro traffic.

All that junk inside that trunk

Besides exemplary performance, the EcoSport is a champ at four- to five-seater space allotment.

There’s nothing more comfortable than a ride that offers a mile’s worth of legroom. While the Ecosport isn’t the most spacious, it offers more than adequate room for even long legs. Riding or driving for hours is a breeze with the EcoSport’s space.

Sporting around twenty slots and compartments for gizmos, the EcoSport can carry an entire storeroom of goodies. Even as a dedicated tech geek, I was able to fit complete rosters of devices. On a road trip, I brought a sizable bag with my huge 15-inch laptop, an assorted yarn of chargers, mice, and mouse pads. It fits snuggly with a hard case for my DSLR and its variety of lenses.

Even then, the EcoSport can still pack in bags of food, gym bags, and more people. Ford even boasts that the back trunk has space for a 560-liter washing machine.

Despite the wide space available, the EcoSport’s thermal control system can cool or heat passengers adequately throughout the cabin.

Jamming to the sync

Sadly, commercially viable self-driving cars are still years into the future. Thankfully, smart technology isn’t limited to intuitive AI.

As always, Ford installs their trademark SYNC technology into the Ford EcoSport. The feature melds the car with the abilities of a smartphone.

Its most popular use is to connect your phone’s media to the car’s entertainment system. Besides through an AUX, USB, memory card, or CD, SYNC’s Bluetooth connectivity adds convenience to jamming through congested traffic.

The feature also adds to your device’s phone features. It takes a hands- and distraction-free approach to managing your phone life.

Additionally, the features boast added support for the most useful apps for driving. With a bit of technological know-how, the car’s infotainment system can access and display Waze for convenient navigating through alleyways and side streets.

Safety first

Ford remains at the forefront of road safety. With a slew of safety features, drivers can rest assured that the EcoSport won’t skid uncontrollably.

The EcoSport comes equipped with an Anti-lock Braking System, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, and Electronic Stability Program. The mechanisms prevent skidding, wheel spins, and understeering.

Further, the rear also has parking sensors to help with all forms of parking.

Pick your colors

Even with the all-in-one package, the Ford EcoSport offers options for how it looks. It comes in four variants (Ambiente 1.5L MT, Trend 1.5L MT, Trend 1.5L AT, Titanium 1.5L AT) and six different colors (Panther Black, Ingot Silver, Winning Blue, Candy Red, Mars Red, Frozen White). Personally, the Frozen White variant is quite the looker.

Further, sportier fans can grab the Black Edition, which offers more style than the six regular variants. Besides black finishing for the exterior grills and tires, the variant also touts roof cross bars, rear spoilers, illuminated scruff plates, and sports pedals.

SEE ALSO: Ford launches all-new Mustang and Expedition at MIAS 2018

Apps

GrabTaxi resumes operations this May

GrabPay will double as contact tracing system

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Grab Philippines is now resuming GrabTaxi operations as more areas in the country ease their travel restrictions. As a safety precaution, the company is also adopting new measures that will be implemented once GrabTaxi’s operations resume.

Grab is implementing cashless transactions for all its GrabTaxi fleet once service resumes on May 22. The company has already trained more than 7,000 drivers in preparation for the change. It has trained and encouraged drivers to use its GrabPay service to minimize physical cash transactions. After all, banknotes and bills encourage the spread of the virus that cause COVID-19 disease.

Using GrabPay will also benefit the public by acting as an efficient contact tracing system. Combined with Grab and Department of Health’s (DOH) contact tracing platform, the service will allow for faster and accurate contact tracing whenever possible.

The first two cities where GrabTaxi will resume operations this May are Baguio and Naga City. Around 400 drivers are to be deployed in these cities as operations resume. Grab is targeting to train more GrabTaxi drivers in handling cashless transactions along with other safety and health practices so they can quickly resume their jobs once restrictions are lifted. Those interested in undergoing the training can visit Grab’s website.

Elsewhere, Grab has also introduced cashless payments for the rest of its services. Grab users can now use GrabPay to pay for their essential goods and services. With GrabPay coming to GrabTaxi, users don’t have to bring physical cash and risk themselves to COVID-19.

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Automotive

Ford launches new Everest Sport

Improved design, more driver-assist tech

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Pandemic notwithstanding, Ford pushes through with the launch of their latest refreshed SUV — the Ford Everest Sport.

The new Everest Sport has an improved design and comprises of more driver-assist tech all in the service of making the vehicle versatile, safe, and capable. There’s also no price increase from the previous model.

Some of the design changes include a new mesh grille design, an embossed EVEREST hood badge at the front, gloss black painted wheels and exterior mirrors on the side, black tailgate applique in the rear and a ‘SPORT’ decal on the liftgate. It also has LED projector headlamps, daytime running lights and 20-inch alloy wheels.

It’s powered by a 2.0L Turbo Diesel Engine which offers 180PS of power and 420Nm of torque and is matched with Ford’s latest 10-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift. That feature helps deliver better acceleration, fuel efficiency, and smoothness across on-road and off-road environments.

For entertainment and connectivity, it’s equipped with an 8-inch LCD Touchscreen, Sync3 with Apple Carplay and Android Auto Connectivity, two USB ports, and 10 speakers.

Lastly, it comes with a host of features for the best driver comfort, convenience, and safety. These are Cruise Control, Electronic Power Assist Steering (EPAS), Rear View Camera, Rear Parking Sensors, and Electronic Stability Control with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), and Roll Stability Control. Adding to all these are seven airbags including side, curtain, and driver knee airbags.

Pricing and availability

The new Ford Everest Sport will come in four colors: Absolute Black, Aluminum Metallic, Arctic White, and Deep Crystal Blue (exclusive to Everest Sport).

It starts at PhP 1,868,000 and will be available in all Ford dealerships in the Philippines starting May 22, 2020. Customers who will reserve the new Everest Sport on or before May 31, 2020 will get a free three-year scheduled service plan.

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Automotive

Honda Philippines to implement safety measures across its dealerships

This applies to all 38 dealers nationwide

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Honda Philippines will finally reopen its dealerships on areas under general community quarantine (GCQ). Branches on these areas will open its doors to guests and customers on May 4. As a precaution, Honda Philippines is implementing safety measures across these dealerships.

All 38 Honda dealerships across the country will implement safety measures for its customers and employees. Anyone entering a dealership has to submit to a body temperature check. Those with a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher will not be allowed to enter.

Those allowed to enter must sanitize their hands first and wear a mask. All dealerships will put hand sanitizers on strategic locations for the convenience of anyone inside. Dealer associates will have to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) for their own safety.

Within the premises, social distancing will be required. Customers and employees will have to observe a proper distance of at least a meter away from each other. Plus, all dealerships will have demarcation lines to ensure proper observance of these measures.

Honda Philippines is also encouraging those who need to have their vehicles serviced to schedule an appointment. This will ensure an efficient servicing of vehicles while reducing contact with other people. After all, these difficult times encourage a more contactless approach to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

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