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A Closer Look at the 2013 Ford C-MAX

An all new crossover SUV or multi-purpose vehicle enters the Ford line up this year. The C-MAX, a model that has been sold in Europe for several years, will be sold in the United States and Canada beginning this fall. Based on the platform underpinning the all-new Ford Escape, the Ford C-MAX will be offered as a hybrid only, sold as a conventional and plug-in hybrid editions.

Price Check

The standard C-MAX Hybrid will retail from $25,995, about $1,300 less than the competing Toyota Prius V. Its estimated fuel economy is 47 mpg, beating out the Prius V by 3 mpg. Expect Ford and Toyota to battle heavily for customers in this hybrid niche.

Ford powers the C-MAX with a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that runs on the efficient Atkinson cycle and pairs it with a continuously variable transmission. This model also features a lithium-ion battery that is smaller and lighter than the previous generation nickel-metal-hydride batteries used in previous Ford hybrid models. The C-MAX makes use of regenerative braking to harness electricity and store it for later use.

Ford is building the C-MAX at its Wayne Michigan Assembly Plant. Another model, the C-MAX Energi, will also be released, the latter a plug-in variety that will yield even greater fuel efficiency.

Economy Aids

The C-MAX allows drivers to benefit from SmartGauge with EcoGuide, a feature that offers real-time information that allows drivers to enjoy improved fuel efficiency. SmartGauge “teaches” drivers how to best maximize fuel economy, by displaying what driver actions help fuel economy and which ones hurt it.

The five-passenger C-MAX is equipped with seven airbags including a driver’s knee air bag. This vehicle features an advanced roll stability control system and offers SYNC with MyFord Touch, a voice-activated telematics system that controls the cell phone, navigation, climate and entertainment functions.

Advanced Technologies

Advanced technologies can be found in many of today’s Ford vehicles and the C-MAX is no exception. This model features active park assist, an available option that uses sonic radar to help drivers find a suitable parking space and automatically steer the car into its place. Curve control ensures that the C-MAX always stays planted on the road and electronic power-assisted steering improves handling.

One feature that is sure to please people with full hands is this model’s hands-free liftgate. The way that this works is that as long as the driver has her proximity key on her person or in the purse that she is carrying, the rear liftgate will automatically open when a simple kicking motion is performed under the rear bumper. Just kick and the trunk or liftgate automatically opens.

C-MAX Dimensions

The front-wheel-drive C-MAX seats five passengers and sits on a 104.3-inch wheelbase. This vehicle is 173.6 inches long, 72.0 inches wide and 63.9 inches tall. Weighing from 3,682 pounds, the C-MAX offers 99.7 cubic feet of total passenger volume, 24.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seat and 52.6 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.

Interior Design Is More Than A Career, It’s An Art Form

Interior design is much more than just a career; it is almost an art form. Interior designers are amongst the most creative, imaginative and artistic people in any industry. However, a good interior designer must be extremely disciplined, organized and skilled in business. Interior designers professionally combine their knowledge with aesthetically pleasing visions to design solutions that are safe, functional, and attractive.

As with any professional career, the practice of interior design can be a very rewarding and fulfilling job as long as hard work and self discipline prevails. Mastering interior design as a career requires time, energy, technical proficiency, vision, and dedication. Like the members of any professional service, an interior designer’s success depends entirely on her ability to satisfy her clients’ needs. Therefore, she must understand both the artistic and technical requirements of a project.

Communication is a must-have skill for professional interior designers, as they will be meeting and dealing with many different kinds of people throughout their careers. They must be able to communicate clearly and effectively, as well as be attentive listeners. Because interior designers often work side by side with other professionals such as architects, contractors, and other service providers, interior designers need to be both good team leaders and good team players. Negotiation and mediation skills are also very important attributes for an interior designer to possess.

Education is the single most important start in becoming an interior designer and involves enrollment in a college or university program followed by several years of professional experience, typically under the direct supervision of a senior interior designer in the industry. It generally takes around six or seven years to become a fully qualified interior designer. Courses of study may include but are not limited to:

-Business management
-Debate and problem resolution
-Art Appreciation
-Frequent lectures and field trips
-Computer Graphic design

Just like many other professional careers, such as lawyers, accountants, and many healthcare professionals, there is an entrance examination that all interior designers must pass. This interior design examination provides a method for identifying interior designers who have met the minimum standards, and it is a more formal way of making certain an individual is qualified in particular knowledge and skills. This examination also protects potential clients by assuring competent professionals. The National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) is the organization that is responsible for administering the examination twice annually throughout the United States and Canada.

The NCIDQ also conducts regularly scheduled research and uses the information gathered to update the examination. Twenty five states require interior designers to obtain licenses and certifications upon successful completion of the NCIDQ examination to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of the public. In order to be eligible to take the NCIDQ examination, interior designers must have taken interior design education and have actual full-time interior design experience totaling to at least six years, with at least two of those years being postsecondary education.

Face of the Investor Has Changed to Higher End Product

More and more investors are looking into investing in higher end products like upscale properties in premier locations in Arizona. As a state that mostly run on real estate properties for retirees, empty nesters, and winter vacation homes for snowbirds, investors see a thriving and potential market for the affluent. Luxury Retirement Homes in Scottsdale In a recent poll, most empty nesters and retirees from up north Canada prefer to settle in Arizona for several reasons. One of the foremost reasons is that Arizona enjoys a warm, sunny weather for seven months of the year. The remaining five months of the year won’t exactly be as warm – but you won’t find any Arizona homeowner shoveling through knee-deep thick snow either. Rich and affluent retirees like former professional athletes and stars, and the elderly also love the fact that almost everything is just a few minutes away. Almost every neighborhood has with it a neighboring golf courses, shopping mall and grocery, posh recreational town centers, business offices, and schools. Complete in amenities, Arizona as an ideal home is not only exclusive to the elderly, but to young families with school-age kids, too. Luxury Vacation State Being a largely vacation state, the Arizona lifestyle generally suits the laid-back rich and famous – a fact that most investors are using to their advantages with the shift from high-end to an even higher-end products. And why should one invest in an Arizona higher end product now more than ever? Gone are the days when investors had to take and invest in whatever property was available whether it suited them or not. Sales of foreclosed and distressed properties have decreased as an increase of new housing permits is seen. Now, there are more Arizona properties – non-distressed properties and new houses – to choose from than there are investors. Canadian snowbirds and winter visitors now have more than enough properties to select from. That’s not to say average property pricing is beyond affordable. In any case, real estate properties are still sold at minimum prices. Average home prices, however, have significantly gone up in a rebound from the crisis and have gone back to the average pricing of more than a decade ago. This presents the high-end investor with the opportunity to purchase properties at low prices while providing a promise of the property appreciating in value over time to its highest average price peak from nine years ago. Add to that the fact that interest rates are low and real estate property taxes are minimal at Arizona, you get a flocking of investors. What’s To See in Arizona? Similar in size to Nashville and San Diego California, areas in Arizona like Phoenix, Scottsdale and Glendale offer some of the best natural sceneries, outdoor recreational activities, and cultural hubs in the country. The diversity in these outdoor activities – ranging from nature trail hiking, biking, swimming, trekking to more relaxed golf clubs – and vibrant, pulsating, and thriving malls attract both end of the age pole, from the young to the elderly. Investors, whether individual Canadian winter visitors or out-of-state families trying to relocate to a new Arizona home, however, would do well to employ the assistance of a realtor. Even at minimal prices, major decisions involving high-end real estate property purchases can result to errors with great repercussions when done in haste and when done without the necessary information that makes for a well-informed decision. How Real Estate Agents and Realtors Can Help You Get Your Higher End Investment With properties outnumbering qualified investors, the choice between the best real estate property purchases could be among hundreds or thousand of listings. A real estate agent and an Arizona realtor can help you narrow down your choices from hundreds of listings containing hundreds of higher end properties to choose from. Not only do real estate agents, brokers, and realtors know some of the most premier and prestigious properties within their area, and contacts to some of the most luxurious foreclosed properties selling at rock-bottom prices, they also know the ins and outs of selling and buying a property from its preliminary stages, to the taxes, to its renovation and, for some investors, to its renting out. It might be helpful to note, however, that not all realtors are the same. To get the best higher end investment bargain, find a realtor with experience.