2011 Ford Explorer Review


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Our two week driving experience with the "All New 2011 Ford Explorer Limited"

To be honest, when I was given the opportunity to test the "All New 2011 Ford Explorer Limited," I was immediately thinking that it would disappoint. Boy, was I ever wrong. The reason for my trepidations is having already owned 4 of them and loved each and every one, I certainly didn't think they could get any better.. I was thinking to myself that it would be a case of, yeah it is nice, but I have seen it all before.

Let me be the first to admit, I was totally taken in from the moment I got behind the wheel. The driver cabin, let me rephrase that, the driver cockpit is amazingly set up for any type of driving experience. If you are interested in traversing some rugged terrain in 4-wheel drive or just getting the kiddies off to school, it was a pleasure to drive.

The new Explorer comes equipped with a 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 engine pushing out 290 competent horsepower with surprisingly good fuel economy considering the size of the vehicle. 11.9L/100km (24 mpg) city and 8.0L/100km (35 mpg) highway are very respectable.

There are some very cool safety features that are offered with the Technology Package, such as, Active Park Assist, which will actually park the car for you. Adaptive cruise/ collision warning system, rain sensing wipers and blind spot monitoring system which lets the driver know when not to change lanes due to rival drivers. 20 inch polished aluminum wheels lets you float along the roadway absorbing much of the terrain.

The test truck had the wonderful dual moonroofs for added viewing from under the stars. Power liftgate and rear view camera also prove very handy.

The off-road management system is as good and functional as I remember it from previous years. It is easily switched from normal (everyday) driving conditions to Hill Descent Control or Sand, Snow, Gravel, Grass. No matter the conditions, the Ford Explorer Limited will be up for the challenge. Simply dial in the road conditions on the selector knob. No fuss, no muss.

This Explorer Limited reminds me so much of the ones I used to own. The only difference is the refinements are elegantly played out giving you the feeling of a much more luxurious sedan, say a Lincoln Town Car. Not such a bad problem to have.

The steering column is equipped with several controls, including cruise control and stereo. The My Ford Touch is also administered from here allowing the driver to take command of any voice activated systems. Everything is easily accessible and within reach. The navigation system is definitely state of the art. When backing up the nav. screen quickly converts to the back up camera. Climate and media systems are also operated from here as well. Both convenient and functional.

The one feature that I absolutely fell in love with was also available on our last test vehicle, the 2011 Ford Flex Titanium, the 110-volt outlet for plugging in just about anything you could possibly dream of. Think of how many times your laptop, cell phone, or any other electrical device has gone dead. In my test, I was able to recharge batteries for our camping lantern, which we used at a family function. Very cool!

Anyone looking for the off-road experience and the creature comforts combined should give the 2011 Ford Explorer Limited a try. It is sure not to disappoint. You would be hard pressed not to like this vehicle. It really was a joy to drive and the family hated to give it back.

Being the father of 4 growing girls, we are always on the lookout for our next family car. This could be it.

Here's hoping we can continue our testing of Ford's latest and greatest, they rival many of their European counterparts, which tend to cost substantially more money.

Until next time, Team WonderMoms...