2012 Ford Explorer XLT: Ecoboost is Enough
October 06, 2011
The idea of turbocharging a big ol' family SUV would have been unthinkable in the early days of the Explorer. All that technology and cost for nothing more than some extra fuel mileage? And whoever heard of turbocharged truck anyway?
Well, now these days turbos are the wave of the future, or at least the near future and our Explorer is on the front end of the wave. After a good chunk of miles behind the wheel I'm liking it more than I thought I would.
It is not a quick crossover by any means. There are times on the freeway when it struggles to build speed and your average family sedan will smoke you away from a light every time. Then again, most of that doesn't matter. In most driving situations our Explorer feels adequately powered without any noticeable peaks or valleys in the delivery. The engine is pretty smooth, too, so it doesn't feel or sound like a typical four-cylinder either.
I'm guessing it would be just fine for the average family, although I don't see the average buyer paying up for it. That little badge on the back isn't that cool.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com