Future Ford Taurus, Flex Set To Get Simple Knobs


  • 2013 Ford Taurus Picture

    2013 Ford Taurus Picture

    Look for simple knobs and buttons on your future Ford Taurus. | June 18, 2013

Just the Facts:
  • Ford will restore simple knobs the cabin controls of its future vehicles, including the Ford Taurus, Flex and Lincoln MKS and MKT, in response to consumer complaints.
  • The current versions of those vehicles skip traditional controls in favor of touchscreen-based controls.
  • Ford announced on Monday that it will "balance" touchscreen capability with traditional buttons and knobs on "future Ford vehicles."

DEARBORN, Michigan — Ford will restore simple knobs to the cabin controls of its future vehicles, including the Ford Taurus, Flex and Lincoln MKS and MKT, in response to consumer complaints.

The current versions of those vehicles skip traditional controls in favor of touchscreen-based controls.

Ford announced on Monday that it will "balance" touchscreen capability with traditional buttons and knobs on "future Ford vehicles."

While the automaker has not formally announced which specific vehicles will see the return to the traditional controls, a company insider listed the aforementioned vehicles as being in line for the change.

While younger customers for vehicles such as the 2014 Ford Fiesta are embracing touchscreen controls, older customers for vehicles like the Taurus often find themselves fumbling around to perform simple tasks such as adjusting the volume of the radio.

A Ford spokesman told Edmunds that this latest action does not mean that Ford is abandoning new technology. The 2014 Fiesta is just now getting MyFord Touch, the company's touchscreen-based infotainment system, for the first time. The MyFord Touch/Sync system on the Fiesta is a $1,000 option.

Ford issued a statement on Monday saying that MyFord Touch and Sync are sold on 79 percent of 2013 Ford vehicles. The company says 53 percent of 2013 Ford Escape owners say the touchscreen is a top purchase reason.

Ford singled out the Ford F-150 as a vehicle that "blends touchscreen capability with traditional buttons and knobs, a similar balance planned for future Ford vehicles."

The announcement comes two days before J.D. Power and Associates will announce its annual Initial Quality Survey. Ford has been knocked for overall quality in the survey in the past two years, largely due to its complicated infotainment system controls. Ford has continued to say it is addressing the consumer concerns.

Edmunds says: It's a compromise solution as consumers will see some high-tech controls and some old-fashioned ones in their future Ford cars and trucks.

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