Ford & Lincoln Models Win Big in Kbb's 2015 5-Year Cost to Own Awards

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The Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own Awards are based on our renowned and trusted analysis of the

ownership costs of virtually all 2015 model-year vehicles available for sale in the United States. As you'd expect from Kelley Blue Book, their analysis considers every key criterion that figures into the overall cost to obtain and operate a motor vehicle, presented in the context of a typical five-year ownership period. Included among the factors are financing, insurance and state fees plus the anticipated costs of fuel, scheduled maintenance and repairs. Also included are the critical factors of purchase price -- in our analysis the exclusive Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price -- and projected depreciation, derived from our industry-standard residual-value analysis. Overall, Subaru was named the Best Brand and Lincoln the Best Luxury Brand in the Cost to Own Awards. But several Ford and Lincoln models were also named winners:

Best High Performance Car: 2015 Ford Mustang GT

The 2015 Ford Mustang revitalized the venerable muscle car nameplate. Not only does it modernize the Mustang with new technology under the hood, in the chassis, and in the cockpit, but it does it all without sacrificing any of the essential "Mustang-ness" that's so vital to the car. New on the 2015 is a the first independent rear suspension on a Mustang, a choice of three different engines -- including a 310-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder -- standard pushbutton start, Ford's Sync infotainment system, and a plethora of options to make your Mustang more comfortable, faster, or both.

Topping it all off is the V8-powered Mustang GT's best-in-class Cost of Ownership, which handily beats its closest rival by several thousand dollars. Credit the new Mustang's lower entry price for unseating the Camaro in our cost-to-own calculations. That, coupled with very good projected resale value, gives it the edge over its rivals.

If the V8-powered GT isn't to your liking -- or if you just want to save on gas -- the 2015 Ford Mustang also offers a standard V6 engine with 300 horsepower or the new EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. All of it is wrapped in stylish new sheetmetal that admirably walks the line between retro and modern. If Ford had kept the Mustang's original silhouette in the same manner Porsche stayed with the original 911 shape, this is what it would look like. Couple the classic looks, excellent performance, and low cost to own, and you have a bona fide winner.

Best Full-Size SUV/Crossover: 2015 Ford Explorer

For the second time in as many years, the Ford Explorer has earned the top spot on Kelley Blue Book's 5-Year Cost to Own Awards in the Full-Size SUV/Crossover segment. Originally debuting in 1991, the Explorer was an immediate hit, with more than one million units sold in less than four years. To date, more than seven million Explorers have been purchased by adventuresome consumers.

The 2015 Ford Explorer doesn't have the off-road chops that those before it had but instead rides more car-like than ever before. This is because Ford moved the Explorer from a traditional body-on-frame to a more modern unibody back in 2011. The 2015 model offers three different engine choices including a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 rated at 365 horsepower and a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that's capable of reaching 28 mpg on the highway.

With seating for up to seven, the Explorer still manages to offer exceptional cargo room even when all of its seats are spoken for. Available entertainment options include a rear-seat entertainment system and MyFord Touch with Sync. The former is good for keeping the kids occupied on long road trips while the latter is a more essential option (and one we recommend springing for) that offers navigation and radio controls. Other functions like climate control and Bluetooth are also dictated through MyFord Touch with Sync.

The Explorer has grown in overall size over the years making it a bit less handy in parking structures and crowded parking lots. However, a backup camera and available blind spot and lane departure warnings can alleviate some of the stress of navigating congested areas. In its present form the Ford Explorer offers something for everyone and with its low cost of ownership, this segment stalwart will go easy on your wallet.

Best Luxury Mid-Size SUV/Crossover: 2015 Lincoln MKX

The 2015 Lincoln MKX has a decidedly upscale cast to its exterior design, creature comforts and features, including such standard items as heated/cooled seats, leather upholstery and a strong V6 engine. A starting price of less than $40,000 also helps this vehicle achieve its class-leading 5-year Cost-to-Own number.

Ford's luxury division has shown an all-new Lincoln MKX that will debut later this year with styling that's patterned after the new compact MKC model. The fact that the new one is coming as a 2016 means the dealer body will likely be looking to clear out their stocks of 2015 Lincoln MKX models, and these deals will further reduce the 5-year cost of ownership.

As part of Lincoln's drive for better fuel economy, the standard 3.7-liter V6 in the MKX, which makes 305 horsepower, will give way to a turbocharged 4-cylinder base engine in the new models. So by buying a 2015 model, you'll get the tried-and-true V-6 with the option of either front- or all-wheel drive.

The 2015 Lincoln MKX offers comfortable 5-passenger seating in a spacious cabin along with the utility of a 60/40 split folding rear seat that, when down, accommodates up to 68.6 cubic feet of cargo. The high seating position provides great visibility, making the MKX easy to drive and park. In all, the Lincoln MKX is not only sized right for its mission, but also priced right to make it a good value.

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