By Veeno Dewan
For 2017 Ford Explorer comes off a 2016 update in a number of key areas to ensure it stays at the top o
f it game in the mid-size SUV arena. The venerable Explorer has always been a nice looking vehicle and for the new model years looks even better with its enhanced styling, featuring a more aggressive front grille, smooth flanks and fancy LED headlights. The Explorer has always been the benchmark domestic SUV in the market and does not disappoint in any way, as it continues to evolve.
The Explorer is offered in five trim models starting with the Base, XLT and Limited models with standard 3.5-litre V6 engine with 290 horsepower and 255 lb/ft of torque. An optional power plant is Fords new optional 2.3-litre EcoBoost inline four cylinder with 280 horsepower and 310 lb/ft. Depending on the model selected, the Ford Explorer is available in either front-or all-wheel-drive with a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential manual shift mode
Our tester was the top tier Limited Edition model with four –wheel drive, base priced at $48,899 (plus $100in federal excise tax) in a dashing Ruby Red paint with a luxurious light camel perforated leather trimmed interior. Power plant was the 2.3 L Ecoboost engine with six-speed select shift auto transmission. As with all of Fords Limited models, the equipment list and power, convenience and luxury features are too long to mention, however Limited equipment on our tester included, such goodies as: second row dual captains chairs, Dual panel sunroof, Adaptive cruise and collision warning system, second row console, 20” inch aluminum wheels. Total options came to $8,465. – making the total price for the tester at $59,054 plus $1,690 for destination and delivery.
The interior of the 2017 Ford Explorer has become so upmarket, it is hard to believe you are not in a premium imported SUV. The attention to detail is superb in term of cabin materials, fit and finish. The leather on the seats is deeply thick, perforated and feels wonderful, whilst the power operated front seats are well sculpted and very comfortable.
The cabin is highlighted with silver detailing, and fine impeccably fitted furnishings. The rear second row captains chairs offer plenty of room and comfort. In terms of technology, Ford has you covered. There is a full plethora of power and convenience features, and Ford has also updated its advanced SYNC infotainment system, so it is now easier and more intuitive to operate. The Explorers generous size allows for a great multi purpose family hauler, as there is very good passenger room, with more than adequate leg, head and shoulder room both front and rear.
Cargo capacity is 81.7 cu ft behind the first row seats, 43.9 cu ft behind the second row and 21.0 cu ft behind the third row- accessed by and available power operated liftgate. The Explorer has a tow rating of 5,000 lb.
On the road, the 2017 Explorer’s steering and handling have been tightened up with more precise turning, for a less ponderous feel. However despite it being categorized as a mid- size SUV, the Explorer is a large vehicle, and its size needs to be accounted for in tight urban areas. A backup camera does, however help in reversing. With the smooth, powerful Ecoboost engine, there is satisfying power and acceleration.
The Explorers “intelligent four-wheel drive” is excellent and uses a computer system that continuously monitors wheel speed throttle position and steering wheel angle to help determine the optimum performance. The technology used, enables the four wheel drive system to predetermine the suitable amount of front and rear torque to helps keep the vehicle stable on unstable roads or terrain and prevent loss of traction slip from occurring. The four –wheel drive system can be controlled on the fly via a dial located on the center console, and offers four terrain management modes – normal, snow, sand or mud – plus a setting for hill descent control. With a spacious family friendly interiors, a choice of powerful turbocharged engines and good looks to boot, the Explorer is one SUV you must consider. Highly recommended.
2017 Ford Explorer Ecoboost Limited All Wheel Drive
Base priced from: $48,899 (plus $100 in federal excise tax).
Price as tested with all options – $57,364 plus $1,690 for destination and delivery.