2012 Ford Explorer Manchester NH
The Ford Explorer entered into a new generation last year with a complete model redesign and a switch to a car based platform. For 2012, the Explorer gets a new 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. The new Explorer is offered in Base, XLT and Limited trim levels. This Ford model can hold up to seven occupants when equipped with a second-row bench seat. Second-row captain's chairs, optional on the Limited, reduce capacity to six. The optional 4WD Terrain Management System uses no transfer case. The driver selects the terrain with a knob (Normal, Sand, Mud/Ruts, or Snow/Gravel), and the car does the rest, flawlessly. The system includes Hill Descent Control, which could save your life on an icy street.
Powering the 2012 Explorer
The 2012 Explorer's standard 3.5-liter V-6 makes 290 hp and 255 pounds-feet of torque; it's available with front- or all-wheel drive. On front-wheel-drive models, the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder makes 240 hp and 270 pounds-feet of torque. The front suspension uses short and long arms with a fat 32mm stabilizer bar. Engineers gave the rear suspension a name, SR1, because for each wheel movement, the shock absorbers are tuned to make the same motion in the same cadence, which they say eliminates undesirable ride motions. The Explorer will tow 5000 pounds when equipped with the tow package. There's trailer sway control, which works with the stability control; there's also a rearview camera with zoom, which will guide you to position the hitch ball directly under the trailer hitch cap.
'12 Ford Explorer Design
The Explorer includes the MyFord Touch system, with touch-sensitive controls similar to those in the Edge crossover, as an option. All three come with V-6 power; the turbo four-cylinder is optional on front-wheel-drive models. The Explorer projects a squatter, more carlike stance when compared to the previous generaiton. The headlights and taillights narrow the lower you look, and the grille uses Ford's familiar three-bar design. It's gray on base models, silver on the XLT and body-colored on the Limited. Inside the 2012 Explorer the third row folds down in a 50/50 split, with available power folding seats on the Limited. The Explorer's dashboard can come outfitted with touch-sensitive controls and LCD gauge screens.
2012 Ford Explorer Lineup
The Explorer comes standard with cloth seats with 6-way power driver including lumbar and recline; 60/40 split rear and 50/50 third row; tilt/telescoping steering wheel with controls; 6-speaker AM/FM/CD MP3 sound system, air filtration, speed-sensitive wipers, power windows, power locks, power seats, overhead console, cargo hooks, four 12-volt outlets, privacy glass, LED taillamps, halogen projector-beam headlamps, folding sideview mirrors, roof rails, hill start assist, 175-amp alternator, 17-inch steel wheels with wheel covers.
The Explorer XLT adds upgraded cloth seats, leather steering wheel and shift knob, 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, automatic headlamps, heated sideview mirrors with LED turn signals and security approach lamps, backup and perimeter warning beepers, and 400-watt Sony sound system.
Explorer Limited adds leather seats, SelectShift manual mode for the 6-speed automatic transmission, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, power folding sideview mirrors, ambient lighting, adjustable pedals with memory, cargo net, dual zone climate control, 10-way power driver seat, rearview camera, remote start, 110-volt outlet, push-button start, garage door opener, and last but not least MyFord Touch driver connect technology. Second-row captain's chairs are available.
The 2012 Ford Explorer sits squarely in the crossover realm, pitting it against competitors like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Traverse. Front-wheel drive is standard, and the Explorer can seat up to seven people in three rows. All-wheel drive with Ford's Terrain Management System is optional. Antilock brakes, side curtain airbags and an electronic stability system with Ford's Roll Stability Control are standard. The stability system employs Ford's Curve Control feature, which aims to cut speed should a driver head too fast into a corner. For more on this model, visit the official 2012 Ford Explorer website.
Some information for this review was obtained from NewCarTestDrive.com