Whole Lotta Room - 2012 Ford Explorer Long-Term Road Test

2012 Ford Explorer Long Term Road Test

2012 Ford Explorer XLT Ecoboost : Whole Lotta Room

February 07, 2012


Made some noise with friends at a house party this weekend to kick off Super Bowl weekend. We exhausted nearly every tune we knew and plenty more we didn't. Everyone was psyched for Sunday's game, finding their singing voice, and having a good time. The cops didn't even respond with a noise complaint until almost 2 am, which blew everyone's minds; we'd expected them by midnight.

Afterwards I packed the Explorer, then considered a few options. I could drive home, crash on some well-trod carpet in the house, or catch a few zees in the Explorer until the sun came up.

Having driven more than 400 miles since that morning (Northern California to Orange County), I was done driving. I also didn't want to lie down in a puddle of pale ale. No worries. The Explorer takes a full drumkit in the cargo, a half-dozen stands, hardware and cowbells - lots of cowbells - on the floor and front seats, and leaves enough room to throw out a sleeping bag. If the Explorer only fit in tighter spaces, it might be a city musician's dream car.

From the driver's seat, the Explorer feels pretty expansive. But it's crowded by panels, consoles and bulkheads. You feel like there's room, but don't see how it's possible. I was actually surprised I had as much room as I did, bedded down with my old mahogany beater kit, and all the bulky stands and metal pokey pieces safely away from my ribs. That cupholder/console shock tower shroud was only a minor, knee-knocking annoyance.

Next time I'll demand that the promoters provide, at the bare minimum, a room at the Courtyard Inn. But bunking in the Explorer was nice enough that even Henry Rollins probably would've found it too soft and bourgeois.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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