No Ecoboost for Me - 2012 Ford Explorer Long-Term Road Test
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2012 Ford Explorer Long Term Road Test

2012 Ford Explorer XLT Ecoboost: No Ecoboost for Me

January 27, 2012

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Let me explain.

Like most of the staff members here, I have been pleasantly surprised by the performance of the 2.0L turbo I4 Ecoboost engine. It pumps out 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque, and gives great low-end response.

But there is no way that if I ever got an Explorer that I would get the Ecoboost I4.

You know why? It is not because it's a $1000 option (although that doesn't help either.)

(Photo by Scott Jacobs)

It's because you can't get 4-wheel drive if you order the turbo I4 engine. That's right -- front drive only with Ecoboost. I also checked for 2013 and it's the same deal -- 4WD with the 3.5L V6 only.

Yeah, I know, most Explorers are used as Mommy cars to go to the mall and the kids' soccer practice. And if I got an Explorer myself I would probably use it 95% of the time for mundane tasks that would require only FWD.

But for this size SUV, even if you call it a unibody crossover or whatever, I want off-road capability. I want to be able to go in the snow, sand, or mud, and 4WD gives greater performance and security in those environments -- of course.

The 4WD Explorer's off-road capability is evident in this video showing the Ford Police Utility in action on a low-friction surface.

So no Ecoboost I4 for me. I won't consider it until Ford makes it available with 4WD.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ ~9,000 miles


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