Rialto Ford, or Bright Ford as it is known now, has been delivering cars and vans to loyal customers in Dublin since as far back as I can remember and will continue to do so until December 2023.
From then on, the dealership will move to a new dedicated facility which the company are in the process of building. Customers will also be able to visit Bright Ford dealerships in Phibsborough, Airside and Bray.
In fact, Rialto Ford was where my wife purchased her first car many years ago and many Fords after that.
It saddens me greatly to think how such an iconic brand — one that has had a cult-like following in Ireland for the past five or six decades — has slipped down the pecking order.
Many industry observers point the finger at Ford’s corporate strategy, highlighting the lack of financial investment in a hugely-competitive market. Take for example the Ford Mondeo.
This was one of Ford’s best-selling models across Europe when it originally hit dealer forecourts back in 1993. The second, third and fourth generation models that followed were equally as popular — then bang.
The fifth generation was almost 10 years in the making and received mixed reviews when it eventually launched. Nowadays, Ford is playing catch up to the likes of Hyundai, Skoda and Kia — and I just hope they are not too late.
On a positive note though, having recently been behind the wheel of the all-new electric Mustang Mach-E and the ever popular Focus, Ford is still producing some of the best and most reliable cars on the market and we shouldn’t forget that.
The Mustang Mach-E is as good as an electric gets and is currently receiving rave reviews all over the world. It’s so good that part of me hopes that this could be the model that puts Ford back on the podium where it deserves to be.
This may be Ford’s first offering in all-electric SUV form but I think they have nailed it in all departments. It ticks all the right boxes in terms of looks, technology and its enormous amount of space for a family of five. I won’t dwell too long on its exterior looks as you can see from the photo below how stunning it is.
I will say that there is not a door handle in sight and the Mach-E is fitted with four, round illuminated circle push buttons that pop the doors open for you.
The driver door also features a numerical 10-digit keypad if you have somehow misplaced your keys. But it’s on the inside where the real magic begins and the Mach-E features an interior that is head and shoulders above the rest.
The enormous 15.5-inch touch-screen is the first thing that greets you as you step inside and I was only short of ordering popcorn and ice cream thinking I had my own personal drive-in movie screen.
The system itself is operated by Ford’s SYNC 4 software. Unfortunately it does control absolutely everything — including the climate control, which is a particular hate of mine. Having said that, it is definitely one of the best out there and I hope to see it fitted in future Ford models.
On the road, the new Mach-E handles superbly. It does feel really strange that an SUV sporting the famous pony badge is as quiet as a church mouse.
You won’t find the big-block 5.0-litre V8 petrol under here, just a 91kWh lithium-ion battery pack that won’t have your bank card going into meltdown like it would if you were filling it up with petrol these days.
My test model for the week was the AWD version with the extended range. The claimed figures on a full charge are 510km but I couldn’t get over 500km after charging it for more than 12 hours at home.
However, the range was very accurate, unlike some other EVs out there and even the RWD version will get you close to 400km on a full charge.
My best advice is to opt for the RWD version as it costs from €53,100, whereas the AWD will having you strangling the bank manager for an extra €23k. Overall, I think Ford has nailed it with its first all-electric SUV.
It may be late to the electric party but it’s a show-stopper. I hope it’s the model to put this much-loved brand back on top where it belongs.