Consumer Reports disdains Ford tech

High-tech gets low score.

Ford Motor Co.’s high-tech in-car communications systems is too complicated and could distract drivers, Consumer Reports magazine said yesterday.

An article in the February issue, headlined “Ford’s frustrating high-tech controls,” stated that the magazine didn’t recommend redesigned versions of the Ford Edge and Lincoln MKX sport-utility vehicles equipped with touch-screen and iPod-style steering-wheel controls known as MyFord Touch and MyLincoln Touch.

Ford has said that its voice-activated “Sync” phone and stereo system is a critical factor in 32 percent of purchases of its models. The newest version, debuting in the Edge and MKX, has an 8-inch touch screen in the center of the dashboard and is aimed at enhancing Ford’s high-tech reputation. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally will speak about it this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

“The real killer is the controls and displays,” David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports auto test center, said in an interview. “The improvements they made to the vehicles in interior fit and finish and ride and handling were negated by the radio … and climate controls.”

Alan Hall, a spokesman for Ford — which is based in Dearborn, Mich. — did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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