The Review of Ford Explorer – The Big and Powerful


Explorer ever was and remained an excellent car, large and spacious, with powerful engines. Update in 2015, and then the mild facelift of 2017 made the car even better. How much? Let’s try to figure it out.

Bigger, Better, More Convenient

“Two new USB ports from the rear and, and by the way, it’s much more spacious here. ” – That’s the impressions of rear passengers. The space for the feet of the rear passengers, according to passport characteristics, increased by 1.5”. In this case, the car itself has added only 0.5” in length, narrower by 0.7” and lower by 0.6”. By the way, the volume of the luggage compartment (with the folded second and third rows of seats) increased by nearly one cubic foot. The fifth door now opens like in Escape – it’s enough to hold a foot under the rear bumper, provided that you have a key in your pocket.

The most noticeable step towards convenience is, of course, the replacement of touch buttons by physical ones. On the previous Explorer it was simply impossible to control, for example, climate control in winter with gloves. Now everything is simple: do not drag your finger across the display, but just press the real key. The question with the sensors, according to representatives of Ford, is still closed. Back they can only after a significant improvement in technology.

Inside the SUV there are little things that you do not notice right away. For example, another plastic in the finish. To the touch and visually it is much more pleasant than before. On the instrument panel, the numbers are now better read, but our passenger has again noticed the changed shape of the front pillars. Later at a press conference, representatives of Ford confirmed that it had changed. This was done to improve visibility. It really got better, but the racks are still massive and because of them you can not see the pedestrian crossing the street, and there is not enough visibility at maneuvers.

Authors of restyling claim that now the car is deprived of all unnecessary details and the weight of the car has decreased due to this by as much as 100 lbs. The real mass of cars is 4878 lbs.

New strokes

Outwardly, it is not difficult to distinguish the updated crossover from the previous version. Explorer replaced the old optics with a diode, and this is very important, because in the previous version, even paying two prices for a new car, the buyer could not get anything but halogen lamps. Another SUV got other bumpers and a stylish grille, got huge fog-lights, which moved closer to the hood, new lights and a different form of the fifth door. The last change is visible if you look at the Explorer in the profile: restyling produces only other moldings and a pattern of wheel rims.

High mounted inserts of unpainted plastic closing the bumper and doors visually make the big crossover more compact and dynamic. This is also promoted by large headlights and C-shaped fog lights. Rear lights in contrast, have a fairly complex shape and a small size (relative to the total area of ​​the stern).

Buttons again

Interior decoration Ford Explorer continues the ideology of simple functionality. A small steering wheel is equipped with a large number of keys to control the multimedia and other systems of the car. The eight-inch touch screen, conveniently located at the top of the center console, allows you to configure multiple parameters through a user-friendly interface.

Managing music, air conditioning and heating is also possible using a classic keyboard that is located under the main monitor. On the center tunnel is the selector of the automatic transmission, which is shifted to the driver’s side, and behind it is the all-mode shifter for transmission modes.

The abundance of black leather and opaque plastic in the cabin is diluted with chrome inserts. The driver and the front passenger share a wide armrest, under which a voluminous glove box hides. Feeling of premium adds a black finish of the ceiling and racks.

One of the main advantages of any large crossover is the abundance of space inside the seven-seater cabin, and in this regard, the Ford Explorer is no exception. Passengers of the second row have their own climate control, as well as 2 usb-ports and a socket for 220 volts. For passengers of the third row, only cupholders are available.

If necessary, to transfer more cargo, the rear row in automatic mode is added to the flat floor. To do this, just add the head restraints by pulling on a special loop in the back of the seats, and press the button on the side panel of the luggage compartment. The maximum cargo volume of the Ford Explorer with a folded second and third row is 81.6 cubic feet.

How does it drive

The car is started on the button quietly, and at idle the engine works almost imperceptibly. Under the hood of our Ford was working a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 with a capacity of 290 horsepower.

Taking into account the dimensions of this seven-seater (weight is almost five thousand pounds, length more than 16 feet, width more than six) you do not expect any quickness. And indeed, with a leisurely movement and a smooth increase in effort on the gas pedal, the Explorer behaves a bit stalled, although it does not mind showing a well-placed “voice” of the engine when the rpm is raised.

Automatic gearbox in traffic jams or smooth acceleration grieves noticeable jerks when switching on the first three gears. But it’s worth decisively to stamp on the gas pedal – and the machine with a menacing roar briskly rushes forward, and hesitations with the change of gears practically disappear.

According to the experimental measurements the acceleration from 0 to 60 miles per hour takes 7.9 seconds for the Explorer. For a relatively inexpensive large crossover – very good.

In the sports mode, automatic acceleration reactions are aggravated even more, especially when starting from a stop line and then embedding in a fast moving multiband line. At the same time, Ford is not in a hurry to switch to a higher gear and stops thinking about whether it’s worth accelerating at all if the driver has just added gas. If this is not enough, you can go to the manual mode to change the steps of the automatic transmission with the help of paddle shifters.

The Explorer brakes do not inspire confidence. The pedal is heavy and requires a lot of effort to make the car somehow start to slow down. Over time, you can adapt and even say that in regular situations, the Explorer does not brake so badly, but from a deep peck when stopping from highway speed can not get rid of.

However, the movement on the hilly terrain clearly demonstrates that Ford does not have enough brakes: it’s rather difficult to stop the Explorer near the end of the descent. These are subjective sensations. According to measurements to stop at a speed of 60, the car on a flat surface needs 143 yards dry and 158 yards on a wet surface.

Crossover does not feel like a stranger on a serpentine. Although in dead zone plump steering wheel and is empty, the driver finds with the machine a common language with a half-word.

Great Ford is brisk on the freeway during lane changing and reliable in narrow “mother tongues” on a winding road. Let the noticeable banks do not frighten: Ford, shod in the Hankook Ventus S1 Noble 2 tires, quietly passes the turns at such a speed that some car representatives of the modern American car industry frankly squeak tires.

In addition, the diameter of the turn of the car is less than what you expect, which is a great help in parking lots. Again, the figures from the tests of Consumer Reports: the safe speed of the “elk test” (here it is called avoidance maneuver), that is, a sudden detour of a sudden obstacle with a subsequent return to its lane – 50 miles per hour.

Absolutely serene the steps of the car cannot be called. The Explorer filters the road irregularities well and in most cases dissolves them somewhere at the floor level, as a result of which a small jelly-like tremor runs along the body with a constant wave. I can not say that this is very annoying, especially since only the driver senses it most clearly through the controls, and the passengers are in ignorance. However, a slight swinging to the right and left does not make you forget that you are traveling on a heavy, heavy crossover.

All Electronic

At the head of all electronic assistants Ford Explorer is the system of adapting to the road conditions of the Terrain Management System. It allows you to choose the most effective car settings and increase grip with the road depending on the type of surface. In total, five preset operating modes are available, adapted to individual types of coverage: “normal mode”, “dirt / gauge”, “sand”, “grass/gravel/snow”, “assistance in descending from the mountain.” The rear axle is connected by an electromagnetic coupling quickly, but it can not be forced – TMS redistributes traction at its own discretion depending on the driving mode.

In addition, as standard, all Ford Explorer 2016 model year includes: LED tail lights and direction indicators, a proprietary fueling system without a fuel filler cap, a rear spoiler, two 4.2-inch color displays on the dashboard and an 8-inch touch screen On the central panel. Also the interior of the Explorer is ennobled with velor rugs for the 1st and 2nd rows of seats, the leather trim of the rudder and the shift selector for the automatic.

For additional convenience of passengers and the driver of the new off-road Ford, there are: sun visors with backlight, auto-dimming rearview mirror, roomy armrest box, ceiling shelf, 4 12V outlets, cargo hold fasteners in the trunk, rear window defroster and headlight switch off timer With the doors closed and the lack of people in the cabin.

A bit of downgrade

The main power unit is 2.3 liters Eco Boost, which is borrowed from the Mustang and fitted for an off-road vehicle. Its power will be 273 horses at 299 lb ft. It is worth noting that the power increased by 12.5%, the torque is by 11%. Markedly improved fuel performance.

In the XLT and Limited will still be installed V6-shaped engine with a volume of 3.5 liters, and a output of 294 horsepower. In the Sport and Platinum under the hood, we will see the V6 EcoBoost with an increased power of 360 horses and a torque of up to 350 lb ft.

In all trim levels Explorer are equipped with a full drive and a 6-speed classic automatic. This couple gives the car a very impressive acceleration, just enough for a car of this class. At the same time, a large “SUV” with a powerful engine consumes relatively little fuel: 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway (for the Sport version, these figures are 16 and 22, respectively). With such a flow, a 18.4 gallon tank allows the owner to refuel not more often than it does on any budget lightweight car.

All about trims

The car is offered in 5 versions: Base, XLT, Limited, Sport and, appeared for the first time, Platinum. The difference of the last configuration consists in elegant two-color twenty-inch wheel rims.

The top equipment is trimmed as much as possible: wooden elements, aluminum and ash; Seats trimmed with Nirvana leather; Digital appliances and a roof-panorama with a hatch. The armrests are now positioned higher, thereby providing even greater comfort. As an audio system – SONY. Steering wheel with heating. There were also new rugs marked “Explorer”, the style of which is sporty.


Still, the novelty, most likely, will be hard in the struggle for new customers. Explorer really has changed more seriously than it seems at first, has eliminated most of its shortcomings, but now it is more expensive than almost all competitors.
Editor's rating
4.5 overall
  • Safety4.5
  • Performance4.7
  • Design4.6
  • Features4.6
  • Fuel economy4

Such updates are more common in the world of smartphones - everything become better, bugs and inconvenient moments are fixed.

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