2012 Ford Explorer

The 2012 Ford Explorer is a top selection in the category of large SUVs. It comes with a classy cabin, improved fuel efficiency and road stability.

It inherits the standard excellence that Ford continues to strive for.

Without a doubt, the new Explorer is among the best SUVs in its class.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: SUV Base Price: $28,280.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.6 gallons (70 liters) MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 197.1 in. (500.6 cm) Wheel Base: 112.6 in. (286 cm)
Height: 70.4 in. (178.8 cm) Width: 78.9 in. (200.4 cm)
Curb Weight: 4557 lbs (2067 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.6 in. (19.3 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 21 cu ft Maximum Seating: 7 people
Performance
Engine: 3.5L V6 DOHC Compression Ratio: 10.8: 1
Horsepower: 290 HP Max RPM: 6500 RPM
Torque: 255 lb-ft @ 4100 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Shiftable Automatic
Max Towing Capacity: 5000 lbs (2268 kgs)* Maximum Speed: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:XLT MSRP: $32,345; MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy
Option:Limited MSRP: $37,855; MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy

* With Towing Package

Engine

The new Ford Explorer has a V6 3.5 liter engine that delivers 290 horsepower and 255 lbs/ft of torque. It comes with the standard front wheel drive and an automatic 6-speed transmission system. Optionally, car owners can go for Ford's Terrain Management System.

This four-wheel drive technology offers a four mode system selection that electronically optimizes traction for specific road conditions. The Terrain Management System also includes the hill start assist and the hill descent control.

Performance

It takes just 8.3 seconds for the four wheel drive model to run from 0 – 60 mph. That is not something stellar because it is common in its class, but is shows that the new Explorer is up for the competition.

The front wheel drive variant has a fuel efficiency rating of 18 city and 25 highway mpg is average for its class. With the proper equipment, the V6 Explorer can tow up to 5,000 lbs.

The handling of the Ford Explorer feels more like you are driving a car and not a truck. This aspect impressed the market. But because of its size, it may not do well for very tight and precise cornering. Overall, the new Explorer behaves well in different conditions. It also has strong brakes that make the SUV even safer.

Exterior

This Explorer has a fresh new look that complements its power. We can say that the SUV combines muscle and sport together. The looks are not very far from the appearance of its forerunner, but the changes are profound enough to let you know that it is indeed a new model.

Interior

One noticeable lapse from Ford is the poorly functioning MyFord Touch Interface. Perhaps this advanced technology is something that we still need to get used to. If you do not pay particular attention to top of the line devices and technology, you can choose not to have the MyFord Touch Interface.

Nevertheless, the MyFord Touch Interface will remain smart because through it, you can control seat heaters, audio, and everything that you need to tweak inside the cabin.

The front seats of the new Explorer provide enough room for the driver and the passenger. The second row sports LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) connectors to seat children. Two adults or three small children can sit comfortably in the third row. A third adult can be seated for short distances.

Safety

The new Explorer scored well in crash tests performed by the federal government. It is also a Top Safety Pick for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for scoring "good" in all the tests that were conducted.

There are other safety features such as MyKey, a smart system that lets you limit the vehicle speed and the audio volume. It has traction control, inflatable seatbelts, curve control, blind spot warning system and an optional rear view camera.

Reliability

The new Explorer comes with a 3-year limited warranty (bumper to bumper) and a 5-year powertrain warranty.

Pros

The new Explorer is more fuel efficient, has lots of safety features and has enough room for growing families.

Cons

The MyFord Touch Interface responds slowly and can be cumbersome.

Competition

The Ford Explorer has set the marketing standard when it comes to SUVs, it is no wonder that the likes of the Toyota Highlander (MSRP $33,850; 18 city / 24 hwy), Honda Pilot (MSRP $34,720; 18 city / 25 hwy), and the GMC Acadia (MSRP $38,910; 17 city / 24 hwy) continue to improve in order to stay ahead of Ford.

The 2012 Ford Explorer is among the best in its class and there is no reason not to consider it if you are looking for an SUV for the family.

Overall Rating
76 out of 100

What others say:

“Whether you call it a crossover or a sport-utility vehicle, or even a truck, one thing's for sure: the 2012 Ford Explorer isn't as off-road ready as the last-generation ute was, and it's better for it in nearly every way.”Car Connection

“Explorer offers near-luxury levels of noise isolation. When you hear it (which is only during full-throttle acceleration) the V6 engine is not as refined as in rival SUVs. It's virtually silent at cruise. The 4-cylinder gives up almost nothing to the V6 in terms of quietness; it emits a reasonably refined whir in fast acceleration and recedes to near-silence in steady-state cruising. With either engine, there's impressively little coarse-surface tire thrum, and wind noise is also very well suppressed.”Consumer Guide

“The 2012 Explorer is exceptionally well mannered, has a beautifully designed interior and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.”KBB

“Upscale cabin; abundant high-tech features; excellent ride and handling balance; available fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder.”Edmunds