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The cabin filter is a PITA no question - just a terrible design. The OE filter is definitely easier to slide in, but pretty useless as an actual filter element. Granted it is better than nothing, but that is about what you can say about it. I have switched to WIX multi-layer cabin filters. They are more troublesome to get in, but they are worth the effort to have an actual filter element in place.

For that matter I have switched to the WIX engine air filter too. There are no guide tabs, but who cares?! Those filters slide into place without any crushing or trimming as the Ford part requires. Unbelievable that the OE part would be made TOO LONG! Any of the dealer techs would tell you - mostly what they do is crush them vertically to get them to fit - that is why when the dealer replaces those - if you ever remove them yourself they look all mashed and the pleats are bent wonky sideways.

WIX for the win.
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