2011 Ford Explorer Overview
The once mega-popular SUV that started it all has been redesigned in every way in the hopes of a powerful resurgence. A new platform, interior, exterior, engines, and enhanced fuel economy highlight how the 2011 Ford Explorer has evolved.
By switching to the same car-based platform that handles the Taurus sedan, the 2011 Ford Explorer is crossing-over from a traditional SUV to a crossover utility vehicle which seems to be all the rage these days. The bulky V-8 is gone and two new engines with enhanced fuel economy are sure to please. A standard 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 is available with front- or all-wheel drive. The optional and even more efficient 237-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder has front-wheel drive and 250 pounds-feet of torque. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and auto-manual mode is available. The 2011 Ford Explorer competes with the Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, and Toyota Highlander.
Because the 2011 Explorer dropped the V-8, towing capacity is down to 5,000 (V-6), which is more than capable of competing with other crossovers. However, if you opt for the all-wheel drive option, you’ll enjoy Ford’s new Terrain Management System, which adapts drivetrain settings to on of four conditions: pavement, snow, sand or mud. While this Explorere's off-road chops might be limited based on its platform, this system is more than up to par in handling all but the most extreme conditions. Based on what you want out of it, the 2011 Ford Explorer is available in three trims: base, XLT and Limited.
At first glance, you’ll notice that the look of the 2011 Ford Explorer has changed—significantly. Looking like the Ford Edge, the new Explorer is longer and wider giving it a more carlike stance. Ford’s modern three-bar design is present on the grille which sits below the new clamshell hood, and seventeen-inch steel wheels come standard. Body-colored door handles, mirrors, and 18- or 20-inch alloy wheels are optional.
On the inside, the 2011 Ford Explorer looks entirely like a different car. Seating capacity is up to seven with both a second- and third-row. The second row bench can be replaced with captain’s chairs which lowers seating capacity to six. The 50/50-split third row can be folded down manually, or with the touch of a button (optional). Receive up to 80.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo volume with all rear seats folded. Leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, and a dual-panel moonroof are optional.
The dash is sleeker and more modern with touch-sensitive controls and LCD gauge screens. Ford’s latest versions of the Sync entertainment system, MyTouch and MyKey systems will keep you connected to your music, directions and vehicle status. A 4.2-inch center-console mounted LCD screen is standard.
Standard safety features include an electronic stability control system with Ford’s Roll Stability Control, antilock brakes and side curtain airbags. Adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning and industry first inflatable rear seat belts, which deploy evenly across the body are optional.
The 2011 Ford Explorer has been retooled from the ground up, and undergone quite a transformation, for the better we think.