2013 Ford Explorer Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
Having considered an Explorer Limited since the 2011 redesign, my wife and I are glad to have waited a couple of years for the Explorer Sport. Trading off a 2007 V8 Explorer XLT, the Sport's Ecoboost V6 and Taurus SHO driving dynamics made us completely forget the V8.
This is a fully modern, refined and fun-to-drive vehicle that exists on a completely different plane from the body-on-frame Explorers of yore. It's tight, solid, carefully constructed and (to our eyes) very handsome.
The dual-panel glass roof, ambient lighting and Star Trek dash layout create an interesting and special interior environment, especially at night.
It feels upscale for a Ford. And at nearly $49K, it should!
The V6 Ecoboost does a GREAT job hustling this very heavy SUV. Power is immediate and ample, though a heavy foot results in a very thirsty engine. Driven sanely, we are seeing ~ 20 MPG in combined city/highway driving. Not bad for the size and performance level of the vehicle.
The quality of interior materials is first-rate. Ford has come a long way here.
Tons of technology here - perhaps too much. It's easy to get lost in the MyFordTouch screens. Interestingly, our pre-teen kids (ages 4-10, all of whom are iPad masters) seem to be more comfortable navigating the screens than Dad.
Other reviews report wind noise around the windshield, but our Explorer Sport is quiet and cozy.
Within 10 minutes of driving off the dealer lot, we had to turn around and take it back to get the navigation system to work. Turns out they had to replace the SD card.
MyFordTouch is every bit as cumbersome as everyone says: Simple things require a lot of tapping on a slow screen (and it's hit or miss with gloves in the winter). I am sure these types of systems will one day inherit the earth, but for now, it's technology for technology's sake.
Seems like the interior wastes a lot of width by placing the passengers so far inboard and leaving an uncomfortably large gap between one's outboard arm and the window sill.
And at nearly $49K, there are a lot of worthy alternatives out there.
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