Cooley On Cars
On the road: 2016 BraunAbility MXVBrian Cooley drives the wheelchair-accessible Braun Ability MXV and checks all the cool tech.
[SOUND] [MUSIC] But when I say accessible vehicle you probably think of either a minivan, or maybe a minivan, or a minivan. And honestly, nobody wants to think of themselves in a minivan. [BLANK_AUDIO] Now those who are disabled in a wheelchair don't necessarily have to. That worked nice. That was awesome. Now I'm no expert on accessible vehicles but I know who is. The team at the Center for Independent Living in Berkley. This would be a wonderful alternative for people who just say I really just don't want a van. I had them come out and look at the MXV with me. It's kinda cool that it rolls out. [MUSIC] I think style points count for everybody. You, know Tyler over there, who drives a Dodge charger. He bought that car, not because it's the most accessible, or the most convenient. [INAUDIBLE] They bought it because it was an image thing. Now the raw [UNKNOWN] MXV is based on a 16 explorer. But you look at it and your eye says something isn't right. Is it really an explorer? Yes, proportions are different. Different. And what your eye is being drawn to is the fact that its had its floor between the axil line dropped a large ten inches. Now let's see where that got them behind the other amazing piece of engineering. This is the coup de gras. What used to be a hinged door on this stock, Explorer, now becomes what they call a pop out door. A completely customized, motorized, hinge and projector. That articulates the door out, and then you've got a built-in belly stowed power ramp that comes out in sequence with it. [MUSIC] This looks like it's just enough. Exactly. Just, okay. And you're an experienced operator You know how to get around tight spaces. So it's cozy, but it works. [LAUGH] Yeah. [LAUGH] We need it when we're driving around, wer need it when we're parked get right in, get right out, make it as independent as possible for [UNKNOWN] not rely on others. Now, when [UNKNOWN] gets one of these explorers, they don't just go down to their local dealer and buy a bunch of them and go on their merry way. This is co engineered with four Cuz it's major engineering. Look at this apparatus that had to be invented to create a pop out door out of a hinged door. Similarly impressive is what they did with this b-pillar. Look at how narrow it is now. This is a deceptively big deal They had to carve this back to create reasonable, usable wheelchair access with. I mean, look where the right side of that ramp hits. But at the same time you can't give up crash work. The front seats in the MXV aren't too far from 007 Aston Martin but they don't eject up they just come out. Unlock this rotate this and you wheel them down the ramp. And when they are in the vehicle they retain full power adjustment and their airbag function Thanks to an impressive wiring harness. The MXV is only available in front-wheel drive. Once you drop the floor ten inches, there's no way to get a drive shaft to the back for all-wheel drive. Now as you can see, the MXV is obviously a side-access, a side door vehicle. You do also see accessible conversions That are rear access from the back here, most almost always mini vans of course. If you do that however, you do lose what this vehicle have. Continue to building the top we retain 5,000 pounds towing rate. [MUSIC] Driving the MXB is not much different than driving a Ford Explorer. I mean it's got the same basic underpinnings. You get about the same mpg, suggest we're on maybe a little lower cuz I think we're carrying some extra weight here. But it's a big vehicle to start with. The handling's about the same which was never sharp to begin with but It's not a bad driving vehicle. It isn't Ford's most exciting engine. The base 3.5 liter V6, but you know what? It's fine. It's got good power And it and the transmission are a happy couple. One of the key things here that does succeed is you've got Ford's much better quality interior form recent recent years so you got almost everything that you get an Explorer for with of course [UNKNOWN] of no all wheel drive. This is a 16 so we've got the older [UNKNOWN] system. A 17 would have that replaced with a sync three [UNKNOWN] we like a lot better but will also be available with A sync connect which has a built in data modem for remote telematic services and connecting things like Amazon Echo to control your home from your MXB. But that's not in this model. Braun is not quite sure what their roadmap is to convert 17s just yet. If I have one gripe in this There's quite a bit of maybe you hear it. Chirping and chattering coming from the apparatus behind me, the wheel and door assembly. Because that really rather rudely interrupts the feeling of luxury and quality you have by going to a vehicle like this. Remember you get more room in a minivan. You buy this partly because you want accessibility and more style. And chirping and squeaking isn't part of that. [MUSIC] Okay, pricing this very special version of the Ford Explorer when it becomes the BraunAbility MXV it's about 60 grand. About half of that's the cost of the base Explorer. The other 30, the other half, is the cost of the mods to it. And on top of that you've got to add $5,000, $7,000, $8,000 for hand controls if needed, depending on the owners needs. With destination we're looking at somewhere around 70 grand. Census figures tell me about 3.6 million people in the U.S. use a wheelchair. Large number of those are able to drive and now they've got a little more choice. Driving has really changed my life. I mean it effects every part of My life. [MUSIC] It helped me socially. It helped me with girls. It helped me with jobs. It helped me with school. Now independence is independence obviously. But if you can get there with a little more choice with a vehicle that's a little cooler that looks less a part And has great cabin tech and nice style inside and out that's definitely CNET style. [MUSIC] More cars driven CNET style standing by now at CNETOnCars.com click on the road. [MUSIC]