Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted July 05, 2001 10:23
Civic and Altis challenger
Ford recently came up with a car to challenge its 1.6-liter passenger car rivals when it unleashed the new Lynx. While not an exactly an all-new model, it is facelift from its predecessor. Most noticeable about the new Lynx are the projector headlamps and clear combination tail lamps to match, plus its newly designed grille.
Engine performance wise, the Lynx is quite impressive. The torque was well distributed in the rpm range, enough to pull the vehicle in overtaking and uphill roads. There is very good acceleration from 0-100kph. But expect some resistance when the speedo reaches 150kph as it goes to 160kph as the car reaches its max speed at 165kph. There is no evidence of shift shock whatsoever, however there is a delay of almost one second in upshifting and downshifting. The hold switch was very helpful in overtaking situations as it really kicked the revs up to 6000rpm levels before shifting to the next gear. The gear ratios were setup very good as it distributed power evenly to all gears maximizing the engine's powerband.
Although not expected, the handling of the Lynx was impressive as it handled corners pretty well. Being a performance fan, it was leaning towards a bit to ecstasy as it handled like a car with a sport suspension upgrade. The ride would not be exactly on the highly comfortable side as it was quite leaning towards the stiffer sporty side, hence the good cornering ability.
The new projector headlamp design not only looks good but significantly provides good night driving illumination even on dark unlit roads. The standard for lamps (Ghia models) flush-mounted to the bumper meant only for auxiliary lighting is well designed that it could provide enough night driving illumination. Although the front signal lamps were quite hard to see because of its placement.
The newly styled rear combination tail lamps are definitely a different sight. Its new age design exemplifies the styling of newer Ford vehicles. A good plus for the Lynx would be its enormous trunk space that can fit four full size golf bags making for a good trip for the foursome to a 18-hole golf game and back. Safety features include Dual SRS Airbags, parking sensor and an anti-theft system.
Quite out of the ordinary though were the radio control orientation. The power and volume knob is located on the right side. This might be attributed to the radio being a right hand drive model. But the in-dash 6 CD Changer was terrific as it provides easy access when loading and changing CDs. The sound quality of the audio system was quite good for a factory standard system.
Overall the Ford Lynx would give current market leaders Toyota Altis and the Honda Civic a run for their money. The new concept of having dealer options for leather seats, moonroof and a minidisc player is definitely a welcome perk. Its price advantage over the Altis and the Civic are indeed another plus factor as a loaded Ghia A/T model with leather seats and moonroof is priced at Php798,000.