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ford, forever

Everyone makes sacrifices in a marriage. Because Tom’s dad worked for Ford almost his entire life, Tom has insisted from the moment we began commingling funds that we drive only Ford or Ford-owned brands. For twelve years, I’ve been happy to oblige, because I’m a giver. Actually, as a Korean, I’m predisposed against Japanese cars anyway. I feel similarly conflicted about Japanese food, although I’ve managed to choke down vast quantities of tempura and green tea ice cream over my lifetime. Anyway, buying Ford felt patriotic, like baking an apple pie in cutoff jean shorts.

Now that I’ve cruised around in two successive Ford Escapes for the past twelve years, I feel that I’ve done my time. The mandate is starting to chafe a little. Especially since Ford sold off Volvo and Land Rover. I don’t need a status car, because I need that money for clothes, but I’d like something a smidge nicer. The need for a new car became more dire last week when Finn asked me why my car is “so old,” and “so small.” Which immediately made my armpits break out in a cold sweat, and led me to start asking the same questions of Tom.

My need for a new car is no longer about me. It’s about the children.

It is my weakness that I love new, shiny things. My disenchantment with everything I own begins as soon as I tear off the price tag. Which just goes to show how much I have suffered for the cause. Because not only is my current Escape not new, it is actively falling apart. The outside trim is coming unglued, and makes a jarring clanging noise when I close the back doors. While the outside is rusted out and old, the inside is a hothouse, teeming with life. I refer to the car as “the Biosphere,” because flies have been born inside of it, and lived full, rich lives, feasting on the apple cores and bagel crusts that my children leave to rot under the seats. If you think I’m kidding, I’m not. Here’s a fly I recently killed, on my dashboard. We coexisted peacefully for weeks until he started flying directly in front of my face while I was driving. I mean, they can live in my car, but they can’t DRIVE.

Anyway. I want a new car. It needs seating for seven. Best if it’s a Ford. What should I get?

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27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Have you looked at the Ford Flex? It’s got your seating for seven, is made by Ford, and doesn’t look like every other car on the road. It’s also got all kinds of gadgets and technology built in that it should feel fairly shiny and new for a while.

    http://www.ford.com/crossovers/flex/

    May 4, 2012
  2. The Mazda / Ford relationship is tricky but we bought a Mazda CX-9 last year and we couldn’t love it more. We have a 2 little ones and there is room for both of them and their sticky crumbs. While we have tried to keep it clean, it appears to have excellent capacity for transition to an ecosystem of its own as well.

    May 4, 2012
    • that car was not even on my radar–thanks for the lead!

      May 7, 2012
  3. I have friends who swear by Hyundai and a sister-in-law who loves her Expedition to pieces and still manages to look sassy in it. As for myself I am a Prius champion – a brand that meets exactly zero of your qualifications. Suggesting a Chevy Traverse/GMC Acadia will probably make Tom hiss.

    May 3, 2012
    • nothing makes me happier than hearing a hyundai love story. i looked at the vera cruz but it was a little small for my needs. the thing i love best about a prius is how they appear out of nowhere because they are so quiet. they remind me of the shark in the old SNL skits

      May 7, 2012
  4. hallerwoman #

    Pretty sure the CRV does not have a third row – we were interested in that one – I also guarantee that it is not bigger than your Escape. We love our Odyssey. We sat in the new Explorer, but did not test drive. It was pretty nice – as was the Flex. The minivans are significantly better on gas – which, it seems, will continue to be a consideration with gas over $4. In my mind, a comparable Ford is less expensive than a Japanese car – in reality, that is NOT true. Good luck!

    May 2, 2012
    • i am generally shocked at how expensive minivans can get once you add the fur seats and everything.

      May 7, 2012
  5. the only ford i’ve ever sat in was the Ka. i don’t think it fits 7… 7 ants might be a squeeze.

    May 2, 2012
    • the ka sounds like one of those fancy fords you only find in europe. i’m always surprised when i travel overseas and the fords look like bentleys. why can’t we get those here??

      May 7, 2012
  6. The author. #

    I had a Ford Expedition for five years when my kids were little and we felt like we were rolling in style. I still love an Expedition but not the mileage. Seating seven is tough — limits your choices. My friend has a Honda minivan (CRV? I’m not sure) and she loves it. If I felt like dropping 30 grand (which, hello college tuition, I’m driving my beater for 10 more years) I’d buy a Hyundai Genesis.

    May 2, 2012
    • there is something lovely about not having a car payment. i was just talking about this the other day with a friend. and you had me at korean car.

      May 2, 2012
  7. Maria Elena #

    Toyota highlander

    May 2, 2012
  8. I love the Subaru Outback although they kind of suck gas. doesn’t ford have a nice minivan/suv thingy?

    May 2, 2012
    • i live in a subaru town. they are everywhere. probably for good reason.

      May 2, 2012
  9. Michael #

    Highly recommend the Honda Pilot. Ours is 2006 – and the 3rd row seat works great for extra kids. If you need to cram adults back there though I’d look elsewhere.

    Love the biosphere tagline – pretty sure that applies to ours as well.

    May 2, 2012
    • you know ford could have made this really easy by not exiting the minivan market. honda pilot is on the list.

      May 2, 2012
  10. Eric Shoemaker #

    You can buy my F-150 4×4 crew cab and then tow a trailer with your kids in it – two birds with one stone if you ask me. I make you nice price!

    May 2, 2012
    • oh man. two birds with one stone indeed. thanks for the morning laugh

      May 2, 2012
  11. Tom's Sis #

    So the overheat light came on my wagon Friday night. Had to rent a car to go to a soccer tournament in Asheville. Rented an SUV. GMC Terrain. Loved it. Repair of wagon: $300. The new SUV I think I must now buy: Unfortunately not priceless. So it’s an Explorer Limited if I adhere to Johnson Law. But otherwise am so tempted at others . . .

    May 2, 2012
    • we went to look at an explorer. compared to my escape it felt like one of those escalades you see on “cribs.” we are probably leaning that way as well. but here’s my question: why doesn’t ford make a minivan?

      May 2, 2012
  12. CRV is awesome, my family swears by them!

    May 2, 2012
  13. I’ve got a Mazda 5 which comes in ford flavour as the C-Max although I don’t think the C-Max gets 7 seats when the Mazda does, I’m very happy with it.

    May 2, 2012
    • the ford/mazda thing freaks me out. i sat in a tribute once and i was like, “waaaaiit a second. i’ve been in this car.” which just goes to show how hard it is to escape an escape

      May 2, 2012
      • I was looking for a Ford when I found the Mazda, just buy the car that fits you best

        May 3, 2012

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