Reporting From the 3rd Row - 2012 Ford Explorer Long-Term Road Test
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2012 Ford Explorer Long Term Road Test

2012 Ford Explorer XLT Ecoboost: Reporting From the 3rd Row

January 05, 2012

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The other day I was banished to the third row of our 2012 Ford Explorer XLT Ecoboost. Actually, in all honesty, it wasn't that bad. I had ample legroom in that my knees weren't touching the seatback in front of me. (FYI, I'm 5'5" so those taller than me may have a different experience.) And I even felt comfortable enough to catch some Zzzzs. Mind you, this was only on the way to a mall that was about 30 miles away and there's no way I'd want to sit there for a road trip.

But it wasn't as bad or as claustrophobic as I thought it was going to be. And getting back there was a cinch, after I figured out how the levers worked to move the second row seat out of the way.

Only issue with the third row that I suspect any owner of a large third-row-equipped vehicle can attest to is that the car wash guys tend to neglect it. After we picked it up from Blue Wave we noticed that the guys had failed to vacuum the bits of food particles in the seat crevices and floor. And the following week when I pointed out to them that they missed it last time, even folding down one of the second-row seats for them, it still got neglected. Hm.

In any case, the moral of this story? Don't fear the Explorer's third row (if you're under 5'5").

Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor


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