2012 Ford Explorer Long Term Road Test

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2012 Ford Explorer XLT EcoBoost: Wrap-Up

September 23, 2012

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Whenever we take our long-term cars to get appraised at Carmax, a few of our editors make friendly bets on what the offer will be. When we think a car will get a solid offer, we call it a "Carmax Car." These cars, like our departed Toyota Sienna, are easy for Carmax to sell and so it can make us a better offer.

Our 2012 Ford Explorer has left the fleet. We spent 12 months and 20,000 miles with the large SUV, its new turbocharged EcoBoost engine and the MyFord Touch system.

Did we like it? Did you like it?

Read the full wrap-up of the 2012 Ford Explorer on Edmunds.com.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Ford Explorer: Totally a Carmax Car

September 13, 2012

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Whenever we take our long-term cars to get appraised at Carmax, a few of our editors make friendly bets on what the offer will be. When we think a car will get a solid offer, we call it a "Carmax Car." These cars, like our departed Toyota Sienna, are easy for Carmax to sell and so it can make us a better offer.

Edmunds trade-in TMV was $27,683. I was the optimist of the group and said Carmax would offer $28,000. Phil Reed said $27,500. Mike Magrath was like that guy in "The Price is Right" who says "One dollar." He guessed $27,000.

Take a guess for yourself before you click to the next page.

Turns out I was right on the money. Carmax offered us $28,000. This was $317 more than trade-in TMV. Here are some other numbers to put it into perspective. MSRP on this car was $38,485. We paid $35,402 before taxes. The Explorer depreciated about 21 percent in a year. This is about average for a car.

Carmax made us a good offer and we would have trouble beating it if we tried to sell it ourselves. Private party TMV was $29,689. That's too close to $30K which is a big psychological barrier for a used car. It's too close to the price of a new car -- albeit one with fewer options.
I called Abe at Trade-In Solutions, to get a second opinion. I read him the VIN and told him the Carmax price. "Take the money," Abe said.

If we sold the car ourselves, we would probably have to price it at $28,900. Then, after negotiation, we'd end up at $28K or potentially less. We saved ourselves the trouble and sold the Explorer to Carmax.

And so the Explorer leaves our fleet. It was a car that drove big, had an engine that was too small and a MyFord Touch interface that acted up on us a few times. That said, it was a comfortable car and had no problems finding its way to 20,000 miles.

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor

Final odometer: 20,130 miles

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2012 Ford Explorer: Child Seat Report

September 3, 2012

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The second row seatbelt receivers in our 2012 Ford Explorer XLT EcoBoost tuck so nicely into the seat bottoms that they are nearly flush with the surface. That is great until it comes time to install a rear-facing child seat in the center position.

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2012 Ford Explorer: Scheduling Service Online, Part 2

August 29, 2012

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Yesterday we scheduled service for our 2012 Ford Explorer XLT EcoBoost online with Huntington Beach Ford. The system seemed like a slam dunk. Click here, click there, fill in some basic info and that's it. But as it turned out, HB Ford wasn't up to speed quite yet...

If you recall, our appointment was made for 7am, which was when the service department opened. The appointment page online failed to mention that mechanics arrive at 8am. Why would it allow us to schedule a 7am appointment? I don't have the answer. I could see this being a complete time-suck if I hadn't brought my laptop. There was another glitch.

I spent a few minutes entering the year/make/model, VIN, transmisison type, engine size and contact info on the scheduling page. I even entered my email and phone number, which I hope doesn't come back to telemarket me into madness later. After all of this, the advisor informed me,"You know what? We updated our computers about a month ago. I don't have access to the information you entered online. Sorry." So he entered it all again.

The service itself was the high point. Our advisor was polite and professional. He did not try to upsell us, and he was sympathetic to our failed online scheduling attempt. We were in and out before 8:30am with fresh oil, a tire rotation and a wash. We would come back. But we would avoid the online scheduling process, which at this point, appears to be a work in progress.

Total Cost: $52.76

Total Days Out of Service: None

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 19,811 miles

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2012 Ford Explorer: 2013 Explorer Sport Certified At 365 Horsepower

August 28, 2012

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The Explorer Sport is the high-performance version of the Explorer, and Ford recently revealed exactly how much horsepower it will have on tap for 2013.

From Edmunds.com News: "The 2013 Ford Explorer Sport is certified at 365 horsepower, Ford has confirmed. The Explorer Sport, the high-performance version of the popular SUV, is equipped with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. Ford originally predicted that the Explorer Sport would produce at least 350 hp. It shares the engine with the Ford Taurus SHO sedan."

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Ford Explorer: Scheduling Service Online

August 28, 2012

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We decided to try something new for the 20,000-mile service on our 2012 Ford Explorer XLT EcoBoost. Rather than call by phone to schedule a service appointment, Huntington Beach Ford offers an online scheduling feature. We've seen this from other dealer websites but have yet to try it until now.

The process was simple enough. Fill in your vehicle information and available service slots appear on the calendar. Click one and it is done. Our appointment is for 7:00 am. A confirmation page follows the one above. This, we hope, will save the extra time spent waiting while the advisor enters the VIN and vehicle info prior to our visit.

We will let you know how it works out.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 19,811 miles

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2012 Ford Explorer XLT Ecoboost: MyFord Touch Takes A Beating

August 23, 2012

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The MyFord Touch system seen in our Ford Explorer hasn't exactly been a hit with our editors and owners in general. Yesterday, Consumer Reports weighed in.

In a blog post entitled "Why the MyFord Touch Control System Stinks," it criticized the system for being "distracting," saying it "wouldn't recommend dealing with the frustrations of MyFord Touch on a daily basis even to an adversary."

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Ford Explorer XLT EcoBoost: Fan

August 20, 2012

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The Explorer's fan knob bugs me. Not because it's a knob--I like that. What irritates me is that neither the knob nor the display screen tell you the current fan speed. Or what you're changing it to. If you want to see that then you have to go into the Climate-specific screen.

And that's silly. It's at least one too many steps.

There should either be some delineation on the knob, or anytime you change the fan speed it should show up somewhere. Even just for a few seconds. Could be on the central screen or the instrument panel, whatever.

Why? Because that's the way it should be. And because if I'm already at the lowest fan speed, I'd like to know I'm at the lowest fan speed.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 19,737 miles.

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2012 Ford Explorer XLT EcoBoost: Nice Detail Work

August 18, 2012

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May not seem like a big deal, but I think it's cool that Ford took the time to put this "Explorer" detail into the side of the SUV's headlights. That's the kind of subtle touch that I could see owners getting a kick out of. Particularly the ones that get up close and personal with their vehicle, like when they wash it by hand.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 19,600 miles.

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2012 Ford Explorer XLT EcoBoost: Easy Fit

August 17, 2012

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Needed to pick up some shelving for my garage, and the Ford Explorer was totally up for the challenge. And, it took the shelving without any need to fold down the second row of seats.

Turns out you can fit 48.5 inches of whatever behind the second row.

Handy.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 19,599 miles.

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Ford Explorer in VA is:

$130 per month*
* Explanation
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