As an owner of many SUV's, I feel qualified to provide a helpful review. I was worried about 4 cyl., but so far its pep has been a pleasant surprise.
It has plenty of zip to merge safely onto freeways; it maintains 70 MPH with ease up steep grades. As a trade off, the tranny is noisy through first 3 gears. It makes an odd noise if you jump on the throttle from a stop. Once at cruise it is quiet.
The front seats are awesome...don't know how Ford did it, but feels like the seats have their own suspension.
Fuel economy is great...almost 30MPG on freeway.
The Sync system is best built-in voice command system I have tried...and I have used many. It does have a few quirks...mentioned bellow
Overall Sync is excellent. Takes some effort to learn, but worth it. It pairs easily with many phones, incl Droid. It reads incoming text messages over stereo; it will not let you dictate a text reply when driving.
Oddly, it has built-in text replies, but this only works when parked?
The "sync services" mode provides directions and other services. Only 1 registered user can access extra services.
If someone else uses car, they will be able to make hands free calls, but they won't have access to extra services, like navigation.
If you share the car, you can pay for a 2nd account, otherwise you will have to go online and change the registered number each time someone else takes the car.
The 6 speed tranny is geared to get the best performance and fuel economy from the 4 cyl. engine, but it performs oddly out of the hole and through first 3 gears.
I don't expect it to be as smooth as a 6 cyl, but I am concerned how the tranny is going to hold up over time.
I'm crossing my fingers because the 4 cyl. economy was hard to pass up. Some interior plastic seems cheap.
I am not confident it will hold up either.
Lastly, Ford should let more than one driver register for the extra "sync services".
Otherwise, I like the vehicle, especially the fuel economy, seats and the Sync.
If it turns out to be a dependable vehicle over the long all, I would likely buy another.
Jeff, I will tell you why the built in text replies only work when you are parked............it's called liability...........Ford doesn't want the driver fooling with text replies while driving..........
If you think like a lawyer, many mysteries reveal themselves...........