2012 Ford Explorer Long Term Road Test

2012 Ford Explorer XLT Ecoboost: Ecoboost Payback Period

December 16, 2011

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Our Explorer has a four-cylinder turbocharged Ecoboost engine, an option for those who want better fuel economy than a V6 without excessive performance compromises. Combined EPA-rated fuel economy with the Ecoboost is 23 mpg; with the V6, that figure drops to 20 mpg. The one big drawback to signing up for this four-cylinder is, of course, its price; with our XLT, choosing the Ecoboost engine adds a price premium of $995.

This begs the question: Is it worth it? I was curious as to how long it would take for our Explorer's Ecoboost to pay for itself via fuel savings so I tapped the expertise of one of our crack Edmunds analysts.

He assumed that an average of 15,000 miles would be driven each year, and used a gas price of $3.29. The Ecoboost engine netted annual fuel savings of $321 which translates into a payback period of 3.1 years. Note that this includes only the $995 price premium and doesn't take into account any additional tax expense.

What do you think? Does this payback period make the Ecoboost engine worth the extra coin in your eyes?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$134 per month*
* Explanation