When most people imagine a vehicle that’s ‘fun to drive’, they envision something low, swoopy, with two doors and just two seats. Sadly, for most of us a vehicle like this just isn’t practical for daily use. We need something that seats four (or more) with plenty of space for all our stuff, and won’t charge an arm and a leg at the gas pumps.
Thankfully Ford gets it, which is why it offers a great selection of cars, trucks, and SUVs that not only offer all the practicality you need, but also provide that fun-to-drive character you crave. Here are seven of the top offerings that balance these two contrasting points:
#7 The Ford Fusion
Nothing says ‘practical’ like the typical family sedan; but then, the Ford Fusion is anything but typical. With its handsome, aggressive good looks, the Fusion certainly stands out from the crowd. It’s also practical, thanks to spacious seating for up to five, a commodious trunk, and excellent standard features like a rear view camera, Bluetooth, automatic headlights, full power accessories, and the excellent Sync 3 system.
But the Fusion also offers a more engaging drive than any of its rivals, along with a powerful yet efficient 240 hp 2.0L turbo four that creates easy speed. For extra style there’s an “Appearance Package” which adds sporty 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and red interior stitching to stir your soul.
#6 The Ford Focus ST
We’ve spoken about the Focus ST before, but this engaging hatchback deserves all the attention it can get. Based on the standard Focus hatch you get seating for five, gobs of cargo space, excellent fuel efficiency, MyKey parental controls, keyless ignition and entry, a rear view camera, a 4.2-inch display screen, and the latest Sync 3 system – everything you need for the daily school run.
With the ST however, you also get serious performance touches like 252 hp 2.0L motor, sport-tuned suspension, bigger brakes, 18-inch alloy wheels, a limited-slip differential, and an engaging six-speed manual transmission. Of course, the exterior also gets a through reworking to ensure nobody mistakes the ST for a ‘normal’ Focus. The school run will never be so much fun.
#5 The Ford Taurus SHO
If you want a sedan but need more space and luxury than even the Fusion can offer, then the Taurus is your answer. This full-sized sedan offers plush seating for five, keyless entry, automatic headlights, the latest Sync 3 system, Bluetooth, and a 4.2-inch colour display – everything you could ask of a modern family sedan. The standard 288 hp V6 will also satisfy most drivers with its combination of power and efficiency.
Those who want more however will love the SHO, which transforms the Taurus from a competent cruiser into a serious road-rocket. The 3.5L EcoBoost V6 chucks out 365 hp for a major dose of speed, while standard all-wheel drive, specially tuned suspension, upgraded brakes, and sport-calibrated steering all ensure the SHO is always under your control. Audi’s and BMW’s beware.
#4 The Ford Edge Sport
The standard Ford Edge is a hugely competent midsized SUV with space for five, active grille shutters for increased efficiency, keyless entry and ignition, an acoustic windshield for reduced cabin noise, a 4.2-inch infotainment display, Ford’s latest Sync 3 system, and Bluetooth connectivity. You also get the commanding driving position and excellent cargo space expected of an SUV.
The Edge Sport takes all this and turns the wick up with a 2.7L EcoBoost V6 that delivers an energizing 315 hp to the road through an advanced all-wheel-drive system. Unique front and rear styling, 20-inch wheels, and heated leather-and-suede seating visually differentiate the Sport from other Edge’s. Sport-tuned suspension and driver-adjustable steering also help you enjoy the drive – even if it is only to the shops and back.
#3 The Ford Explorer Sport
Just like the Fusion and Taurus, if the Edge isn’t enough then the Explorer is standing by. This full-sized SUV offers seating for up to seven passengers, and swaddles them in niceties like rear privacy glass, a rear view camera, separate climate controls for front and rear passengers, Bluetooth connectivity, soft-touch materials, and a serene interior. There’s even a 2.3L EcoBoost engine for those who still want sedan-like fuel efficiency.
For those who want more go however, the Sport uses the 365 hp EcoBoost V6 for V8-like power with far great efficiency. Attractive 20-inch wheels add style without sacrificing ride comfort, while sport-tuned suspension helps you maintain control. With the Sport you also gain even more luxury treatment in the form of a heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, a hands-free power liftgate, and other touches.
#2 The Ford Flex
If you need more space than your typical sedan but don’t want an SUV, then the Ford Flex is what you’ve been looking for. The Flex can seat up to seven passengers, carry all your luggage, and navigate through snow and mud with its available all-wheel-drive. It also offers features like automatic headlights, rear parking sensors, keyless entry, rear privacy glass, Bluetooth, and Ford’s latest Sync 3 system.
Those seeking a performance edge will love the available 365 hp 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine from the Taurus SHO and Explorer Sport. An available Appearance Package also ups the Flex’s performance credibility with 20-inch gloss black wheels, black beltline molding, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Shadow Black centre grille bar and liftgate appliqué.
#1 The Ford F-150
Your typical Ford F-150 is North America’s best-selling pickup truck for a reason. Solidly built and extremely capable, yet also comfortable and refined at the same time. The latest F-150 offers better a long list of standard equipment like automatic headlights, trailer sway control, Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry, MyKey parental controls, and the latest Sync 3 system amongst other features. The SuperCrew option extends the F-150 so it can comfortable carry up to five passengers along with all the cargo they can muster with its standard 5-1/2’ box.
Those seeking greater thrills from their F-150 will be ecstatic to hear that in fall of this year the all-new Ford Raptor is launching. With a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 promising more power than the 411 hp 6.2L V8 and matched to a 10-speed transmission, the Raptor promises on and off-road performance unlike anything else on the road. Yet in spite of its hyper-aggressive looks, it also promises to be practical with a SuperCrew version, 360-degree camera, and comfortable leather seating.
Those were our choices for fun family vehicles. What did you think? Was there anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!