2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
I rented this car for a week and can't figure out who would buy one. We wanted a vehicle that could comfortably seat 4 people and 2 children in car seats. We could not install the car seats and have access to the rear seat. The middle seat does not slide. Rear seat too small to hold car seats.
My 6'4" son had to crawl in thru the liftgate. My Ford Touch System - Overly Complex. Transmission had a constant wine. Turn signals needed to be pushed 2 clicks up or down to stay on. Large Turning radius made parking a chore. I own a Mazda CX9 - this SUV can't compete with it. Check out and drive the competition before you buy this. Beauty is only skin deep.
That sounds more like your car rental company didn't do their job and walk you around the Explorer showing you how to use its features. Allow me.
Installing the car seats is a breaze. Simply run the hook under the LATCH system and clip from underneath instead of from the top. While it can be a pain to have to remove a car seat so you can flip fold one of the 60/40 cushions forward allowing easy access to the third row seats, ford built the Explorer with passenger safety ever in mind and the outboard seating positions are considered the safest. Besides, there's a third LATCH system in the third row so there was no need for your tall son to crawl in through the lift gate regardless of whether he was sitting in the second or third row.
In the spirit of safety, a seat secured to the vehicle is safer than one mounted to rails. Tighter turning radius can be nice, but most of us can stand to walk a few extra steps from the parking lot.
MyFord Touch isn't complicated, but like all technology takes a little getting used to. A thorough explanation here would have served well too. In fact the only real issue with this system is that it has some glitches that still need to be ironed out. To that let me just say there's a reason most people have iPhones and not not Window Phones (and a reason why I had to google what the Microsoft phone is called...).
The turn signals do take a bit of getting used to, but here again telling you how they work and why they work that way would have given you a different opinion. The Explorer utilizes one touch electronic blinkers. Push the handle up once, allow it to rebound to its position, and your blinker is activated. The reason for this is that it eliminates the old metal canister style relay which sometimes overheated. It's also less expensive.
I'm not going to pretend to know a lot about the CX9. The info I have on it came from resources on Mazda's website. The pictures I see online of the interior make it appear pretty cramped. I really feel for the adult who has to ride in the third row for any distance. The leg room there on the CX9 would put Usain Bolt in leg braces after a trip from Houston to Dallas.
As to the transmission- it's a rental car! How do you think those who rented it before you drove it and what all they used it for that exceeded its limitations, like towing over 5000 pounds. There's a funny Jeff Foxworthy quote about looking to buy a rental car comparing it to a house of ill repute.