2011 Ford Explorer Limited Car Review

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2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4 Photo by: David Arnouts 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4X4. Photo by David Arnouts.

Published on 6/08/2011

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ART DIRECTOR CHERYL L. BLAHNIK: Ever as,because our first-drive tale in the magazine, I've consideration the 2011 Ford Explorer looked actually good. And by means of additional and additional popping up all in excess of the roads, I've person's name charitable forward to heavy one.

As I said, it attention good. It's probably the best-looking SUV so as to Ford has produced, by means of a sporty appearance and a hint of sophistication. The main surprise concerning petroleum was how little it attention as of a distance, but at what time you get inside, you understand so as to it is big and might by means of no trouble grip a big family or a soccer team.

Another pleasant surprise was the interior's spotless design. I'm receiving the hang of MyFord Touch, and I'm certain owners finally determination study to labor by means of it easily. The middle stack is too slick.

When it moderator to heavy the Explorer, it fake sense big. Compared by means of the outgoing model, the 2011 account is 3.7 decrease longer and 5.2 decrease wider. Thankfully, the V6 ,court case abundance of power, the car handles healthy and the ride is smooth.

EDITOR WES RAYNAL: Overall, I similar to the new 2011 Ford Explorer. It's handsome, it attention high-quality inside, and it's composed and quiet on the road, thanks to the rock-solid chassis (the one so as to dates to the Volvo S80).

I consideration the ride/handling mix was close to ideal as utes go, soft but not too soft, and it in fact corners-again, keeping in brain one is in a SUV. Wind and street noise now minimal.

The center was fairly nice by means of at ease seats and high-quality construct quality. Dare I say I'm receiving second-hand to MyFord Touch? Not so as to I similar to it but I can at smallest amount do,carry out rudimentary everyday jobs with no receiving out the owner's physical now. That's actually as shut as I get to a grievance by means of the new Explorer.

Overall, petroleum is a fine populace hauler and stuff hauler. If you favor by means of ute to contain a additional carlike ride, petroleum is a refined choice.

DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: I, too, contain person's name anticipating a twist at the back the wheel of a 2011 Ford Explorer, and I wasn't disappointed. The obsession so as to struck me in excess of and in excess of on one occasion more is how quiet petroleum SUV is on the road, still at pace on Detroit highways. Wind noise, tire noise and street rumble now as shut to not present as I've performer as of no substance which in a extended time. I'm not astonished Ford attempted to make a silent center as its interior custom demonstrate so as to customers equate a quiet vehicle to a high-quality vehicle. What surprises me is how healthy Ford succeeded.

The center is beautifully finished, but if I now to name one my own, it counting contain to be in a color additional supposed black, and probably by means of the panoramic moonroof. Because of the new Explorer's top curvature, the black interior--particularly the headliner--made the in,within extremely dark.

All the improved to see by means of MyFord Touch screens? Perhaps. I'm concerning as recognizable as anybody on staff by means of the three-screen implementation establish on the Explorer and the Edge, and similar to Wes, I discover it attractive simple to get familiar to. Phone pairing was a snap, and I motionless believe the "four corners" in order group is a high-quality way to there things. Finally, as,at the same time as it isn't precisely connected to functionality, the scheme attention fantastic and actually informative a cutting-edge appearance.

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One aside: The inflatable back security belts now a bit of a puzzler at primary as,at the same time as annoying to install my daughter's booster seat. Once I exposed I might drag the belt history the airbag fraction and slip it approximately the belt owner on the booster, it fit fine. The buckle is too unusual and necessary a number of finesse to fasten. Nothing unmanageable, but attention a knowledge curve for back seat belts is one more put anywhere Ford runs the danger of outsmarting its customers.

Overall, the new Explorer is a great-looking vehicle and an imposing wrap up so as to I enjoyed additional by means of each moment at the back the wheel. This is an outstanding redesign.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR--AUTOWEEK.COM BOB GRITZINGER: This 2011 Ford Explorer Limited large humongous. At 4,695 pounds, it's almost as serious as the heaviest of the outgoing Explorers. As noted by Blahnik, it's too approximately four decrease longer and five decrease wider. Didn't the Explorer plug the midsize-SUV niche at a number of point? I parked it after that to our long-term Infiniti QX56 in the AutoWeek garage--a vehicle regularly checkup as a behemoth--and the new Explorer didn't approach eager on view to provide up a great deal in size, still although the mongo QX is concerning four decrease taller and concerning 11 decrease longer.

That emotion of hugeness series inside, anywhere the pillars are obviously intended to protect after that to the type of top crush so as to merely an escapee as of Jurassic Park might administer. Those tree-trunk A- and B-pillars transport new meaning to the utterance "pillar."

Thankfully, all so as to massiveness doesn't hurt the vehicle's ride, handling and steering, construct are nicely tuned and dialed in by means of petroleum new unibody chassis to create the Explorer drive smaller supposed it attention and feels. The vehicle runs quiet and steady, in spite of of street surface.

Though petroleum V6 earth able enough, it starts to thrash at era annoying to get the vehicle going. Clearly there's space for a additional influential turbo engine, but I'm not certain the Explorer make can sustain a senior sticker cost to house a additional luxurious engine. I too establish the throttle tip-in a small too touchy, particularly at what time organization in physical mode.

The lively cruise manage is a varied bag--sometimes it mechanism healthy and holds a high-quality gap, but additional era it large fewer supposed dependable, as although it isn't leaving to transport the brakes close to the beginning sufficient to slow downward in occasion to avoid a rear-ender. It too won't labor at low speeds, similar to Mercedes-Benz's Distronic Plus.

I'm too torn on the audio/nav/HVAC interface. It attention great--like amazing out of Cupertino--and mechanism sensibly intuitively. But the touch-sensitive buttons are a tad too touchy from occasion to time and not sensitive sufficient at additional times, seemingly transfer on the distance end to end of by means of fingernails. The entire obsession large similar to I desire a remote manage for it.

Overall, petroleum is huge new vehicle for Ford, but it's a small additional vehicle supposed a number of strength desire in an Explorer. I deduction that's why the corporation rapidly the Edge, but that's hardly the rugged suburban ute as distinct by the Explorer.

EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR KEN ROSS: I had the possibility to do a back-to-back drive of our long-term Jeep Grand Cherokee and petroleum new 2011 Ford Explorer Limited. Both vehicles contain left from side to side a much-needed redesign as of the ground up inside the previous two years. The Cherokee, motionless collecting alimony as of its history association by means of Mercedes-Benz, has complete attractive healthy for itself by means of a chassis borrowed as of the ML, and after that you fling in the new suspension and it creates a entire new ride and feel. The Explorer on foot on a modified Taurus platform and a reworked back suspension may not be the off-road equal of the Cherokee, but it holds its own after that to the pothole jungles approximately Detroit.

The vehicle specs are approximately identical for together SUVs, so the merely genuine substantial demonstrate up in exterior and center design, and the obvious winner in so as to region is the Explorer. Sure, the Jeep is a huge development in excess of the old replica and is functional and ergonomically correct, but the realism is so as to Jeep has just caught up to the relax of the automotive world. Ford, on the additional hand, has left all Star Trek and proof a scheme so as to you strength require a next official to assist you navigate. Add in the third-row of seats in the Explorer, and it's a winner.

EXECUTIVE EDITOR ROGER HART: I waited a extended occasion to get finally get eager on the 2011 Ford Explorer and came absent by means of varied reviews. I actually similar to the styling. It's one of the slickest-looking game utes on the marketplace today. But I lined get in excess of now how big petroleum obsession drives. The A-pillars are massive, and the vehicle large big in by means of hands, and it drives big.

The overall ride is fairly pleasant for a ute, by means of at ease seats and a comparatively quiet interior. I couldn't, however, discover a at ease seat tallness for heavy so as to allowable me to relax my absent arm on the door armrest. I become paler uncomfortable the ,whole occasion I was driving. Lowering the seat to use the armrest complete it hard to see in excess of the hood and downward the road, as,at the same time as by means of no trouble the seat for the good heavy place complete it uncomfortable. An odd mixture I contain not encountered before.

I'm motionless not downward by means of MyFord Touch. I deduction I haven't yet had sufficient knowledge by means of it to be comfortable, but I'm continually pushing the incorrect buttons. Plus, the buttons on the steering wheel by means of arrows are not marked as to come again? precisely contain are controlling. Again, you'd shape petroleum out heavy it a few existence in a row, but following one night, it wasn't sufficient to shape it out.

While I liked petroleum fairly a lot, I'm not certain I'd fall approximately $50 big on an Explorer. If it now recognized by petroleum and the new Jeep Grand Cherokee--and perhaps that's a poor comparison since the Jeep doesn't contain a come into view row--you'd discover the Jeep in my garage.

2011 Ford Explorer Limited

Base Price: $39,995

As-Tested Price: $46,520

Drivetrain: 3.5-liter V6; 4WD, six-speed automatic

Output: 290 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 255 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,695 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 19/18.8 mpg

Options: Rapid spec 4WD 302A-Limited counting voice-activated navigation system, lavishness seating package, power-fold third-row seat, authority liftgate, lively park assist, adaptive cruise/collision warning, rain-sensing wipers, blind-spot serving system, HID projector headlamps ($4,910); second-row dual bucket seats ($750); trailer tow wrap up counting collection of students III receiver hitch, selectshift routine transmission, engine-oil cooler, tire mobility kit, four- and seven-pin wiring connectors ($570); back inflatable belts ($195); second-row console ($100)

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