2012 Ford Explorer Long Term Road Test


2012 Ford Explorer: Is It That Big a Deal?

May 18, 2012

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explorer_ip-warning2.jpg Last night this warning came up in our long-term 2012 Ford Explorer's instrument panel. Oh no, I thought. I probably said it, too, because I talk to myself often. I heeded the little arrow prompt to view the warning which said only "Grade Assist."

Huh? I turned on the hill descent control?

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No, of course not. It turns out Grade Assist is Ford's terminology for "overdrive off," and all I'd done was inadvertently hit the button formerly known as the overdrive-off button on the side of the shifter.

But it took me a few minutes to realize this, because there's no listing for "Grade Assist" in the index of the Explorer's owners manual. Instead, I flipped to page 280 for hill descent control and kept leafing forward until I found something useful.

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I don't think I need a full-on warning if I happen to turn the overdrive off accidentally or deliberately. At most, all that's needed is a simple "O/D off" light in the instrument cluster. There's lot going on in this cabin; no need to elevate the threat level for such a minor issue.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 14,979 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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