One of the most convenient technology features in a new car is a smart key that automatically unlocks your doors, truck and includes a push button start. All of this works while the smart key is in your pocket so there’s no need to fumble around when you’re in a rush.
We spent the last week using the Ford smart key in the 2014 Ford Focus ST, which is a fun and sporty small car that offers a practical alternative to sports cars thanks to a large are of storage in the truck.
Read: Ford Focus ST Review
The Ford smart key is officially known as Ford Intelligent Access, but like a smartphone can do more than a regular phone this smart key can do more than a regular key.
Ford packed MyFord Touch and other tech features in the 2014 Ford Focus ST, but the Ford smart key solution is one standout feature that is too amazing not to share.
In the video below we show what the Ford smart key can do, if you equip your car with Intelligent Access when buying it. This is how the Ford option works, but you can also find similar smart key options from other manufacturers.
The Ford Intelligent Access key actually looks like a remote found on most cars, but it is all you need to unlock and start the car. I use a similar smart key on my Ford Fusion and combined with a smart door lock I only need to carry a keyfob when I am around town. No keys to jangle in my pocket and scratch up whatever gadget I am carrying.
In order to get a Ford Intelligent Access key you’ll need to opt for a higher trim level like the Ford Focus ST in this demo or a Titanium or Limited option where Ford packs in more options for the user. It may also be available as an upgrade on some other trim levels.
A Ford smart key delivers four main features on cars with automatic transmissions, and three on a manual transmission vehicle like the Ford Focus ST.
- Unlock doors when you touch the front handles.
- Open the trunk or hatch when you touch the handle.
- Push button start feature included.
- Remote Start by pushing a button on automatic vehicles.
The only frustration with a Ford smart key is that most vehicles don’t equip the rear doors with sensors, so you’ll need to remember to grab a front door handle on your way to the passenger door before putting in cargo or kids. If your passengers re faster than you, they’ll often arrive at a locked door assuming you’ve unlocked the car with a remote press, but that’s not an issue that bothers me during daily use.
On the 2014 Ford Focus ST, the push button start proved even more handy than on an automatic. While getting used to the sport clutch and stalling a few times I discovered a push button restart was easier than grabbing a key and cranking. On the Ford Focus ST and other manual cars you’ll push the brake and the clutch to start. On an automatic, like most cars, you just push the brake in and press the start button.
There is a real key hidden inside the Intelligent access key that you can use to get in if the battery is dead. And you can place the key in a special spot on the steering wheel where a normal key would go, or in the console, where you can hold the key to start the car, as outlined in the video above.