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Pros
Cons
3 out of 5 stars

Great features but build quality is lacking

Sawgrass Road Ranger, 02/12/2021
2021 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A)
33 of 34 people found this review helpful

As someone who has driven a 2020 Dodge Durango, GMC Acadia and the Ford Explorer over the past year, I got a pretty good comparison between the different models. The Ford Explorer just reached 30,000 miles around a month ago. First the good. I think the Explorer handles nice, the Ecoboost 2.3L engine gives you enough power and the fuel economy was pretty good, I averaged around 26Mpg on the highway cruising around 75Mph. I think Ford is definitely ahead both GM and FCA in technology and features. The LED headlights were great, the Adaptive Cruise with Lane Keeping Assist keep the vehicle in the lane and a comfortable distance from cars ahead. I really like the Auto Hold feature which holds the brake pedal at stop lights, the kick to open tailgate I used quite a bit, the ambient lighting was a nice feature. Overall, the vehicle is definitely well thought out with nice technology features throughout. Now for the bad. There is little mystery that Ford was having major quality control issues building this vehicle, with significant numbers requiring rework at their IL plant. This vehicle is a all new design and we all know cars are known to have issues in the first couple of years of a new model. Mine was no exception. I had random gremlins pop up on the vehicle. Here is the list: Auto Hold would fault out at random. It would then recover on its own with no explanation. The backup camera started working intermittently, then mostly not working at all. The camera quality is definitely poor, especially at night. I could barely see my driveway at night when backing up when it was working. It was so snowy and grainy at night it was practically unusable. The GPS on the car would randomly stop working. Looking at built in Navigation system, it was comical seeing that I was driving over water and out to see or into the Everglades. I just got used to seeing a GPS with a Red circle and a line through it at random. I have always been neutral on the SYNC system Ford uses in their vehicles. It was never stellar but never bothered me much either. This one uses SYNC Version 3. This one however is painfully slow. I'm not talking about nit picky slow. I'm talking sloooooooow. Countless times I had started the car and left the parking lot, and was literally driving down the road, and the system was still booting up. It is obvious the system CPU is completely inadequate to run this system. Bluetooth system. Since travel a lot on the road, I transition in and out of the car on the phone a lot. The Bluetooth on this car would most of the time pick up the call and transfer it to the car system, but you had no audio. You would have to disconnect and then reconnect the call most of the time. It was clunky, unreliable and frustrating. Compare than to the GM cars I have driven, and the Bluetooth transfers calls seamlessly, every time. And now the worst part. The 10 speed transmission on the Explorer is brand new and untested. I thought it was a bit busy but mostly competent, although a tad sluggish and reluctant to up shift in Normal mode. Its main function in life is to keep the fuel economy respectable, and it accomplishes that. It has one major problem however. It is notoriously unreliable. The transmission on my car started making grinding and howling noises around 27,000 miles. Mostly in the lower gears, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The problem got progressively worse over the next 3000 miles. At around 30,000 miles on a chilly day (upper 30's), the car gave me a Transmission Fault and refused to go into gear. It eventually recovered after I let the engine run and drove with its usual noises. I drove it another 300 miles or so and it got progressively worse until it sounded like metal crunching and was dropping out of gear and slipping. It basically had a complete transmission failure at 30,000 miles. Since this vehicle was a company issue and I would have swapped it out at around 36k miles, I ended up switching early to another vehicle. So, I just wanted share my experience with it here. I drive mostly highway miles and the miles reflected about a year worth of driving. My personal opinion is that the transmission would have lasted fewer miles in typical city driving and I never towed anything with the vehicle and it mostly carried only myself on board, so minimal passenger load. I hope Ford figures out the issues, especially the transmission problem. Until they do, I can't recommend anyone buying this vehicle or owning it out of warranty. These transmission issues are common and well known. Hope this helps for anyone considering putting this vehicle on their shopping list.

Safety
4 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
4 out of 5 stars
Reliability
1 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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1 out of 5 stars

Serious issues

Jarrod , 02/22/2021
2021 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A)
140 of 152 people found this review helpful

Hit 660 miles Feb 9th, check engine light comes on with every warning the truck could possibly give. Grinding noise, steering wheel shaking and lost all acceleration. Coasted to almost stop and truck abruptly stops and completely shuts off. Will not restart. Towed to dealer they couldn't find anything wrong. Hit 890 miles today and boom exact same issues. Recorded it this time. Truck towed to different dealer due to where it broke down. Not happy

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3 out of 5 stars

Lots of BUGS, but generally a Good truck.

M King, 04/29/2021
2021 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A)
30 of 32 people found this review helpful

High level takeaway- it’s fine. Comfortable, plenty of power when you need it, lots of room for a family of 5 road tripping and the hybrid system gets decent mileage. It’s not “fun” to drive, but it’s comfortable and confident on the road. With more than 2,500 miles in 2 months the average mpg has settled at 25mpg of both highway and local driving. I drive in the eco mode 90% of the time. The hybrid function feels clunky compared to the standard turbo 4 or the 6. Not a big deal, and it’s nice when the engine shuts down for a few miles of the low speed/low rpm driving. Cons - I returned the truck 3 times in the first 3 weeks I had it. It spent 18 of its first 30 days at the dealership. They finally figured out the amp was bad and cutting all audio (gps, radio, phone, etc). The electronics have issues occasionally- I’ve learned to never plug in my phone until the onboard computer has warmed up - and just stop working. It’s like an old PC that you have to pull over, shut down, wait and then restart. Pro- The seats are very comfortable, lots of room fir the kids and adults can sit in back without a problem. Storage is better than our MDX, even though they are similar in size. Conclusion- I wouldn’t buy it again, but it will be good for a couple of years and then I will happily trade in for a plug in hybrid. And if they don’t have the bugs of those worked out yet, I’d just go with the turbo 4 Limited or platinum.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Interior
4 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
3 out of 5 stars
Value
4 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars

In Love with my Explorer Hybrid

Doug G., 08/23/2021
2021 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A)
11 of 11 people found this review helpful

Shopping for a good SUV I've always held Explorer near the top of my list from past experience — and because no one (other than the VW Atlas) seems to give the driver enough basic space. Explorer's do. What I didn't expect was to fall in love with the Hybrid. This car is smooth, quiet, fuel efficient, runs like a dream, well built, and all around great. That means I get really mad when I see the reviews which didn't like it. Seems that the reviewers are one dimensional — where EVERYTHING is about the highest possible gas mileage. I am particularly confused by all the reviewer argument about noise. Perhaps it's our hybrid version in particular. But this is the quietest care I've ever driven including some Cadillacs. What I wanted was a great car with roominess and style and solid gas mileage without having to accept lackluster HP like in the Toyota lines. This SUV delivers it. Drove 300 miles yesterday with about half on backcountry roads and half at 70 mph on the freeway. Net MPG: 28.1. Personally, I recommend — and it's time to ignore the professional reviewers. They seem to be stuck in a rut.

Safety
5 out of 5 stars
Technology
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Interior
5 out of 5 stars
Comfort
5 out of 5 stars
Reliability
5 out of 5 stars
Value
5 out of 5 stars
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1 out of 5 stars

Nightmare

Shadi s, 01/25/2021
2021 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A)
131 of 150 people found this review helpful

Brand new 2021 limited explorer out of commission with less than 200miles😩 car says overheating won’t drive.. take it to Ford dealer they tell the tow truck they have no space😡 so they sell the vehicles but don’t want to service them... they blamed COVID

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