I will go on record right now to say that I never truly liked the Ford Explorer. Now this could have something to do with the styling of previous models, or the fact that during my time managing detail shops, I had the distinct displeasure of preparing the first Eddie Bauer Edition for its debut at the Toronto Auto Show.
That was a real eye-opener for me, as the company struggled somewhat to supply a vehicle which didn’t have some part or another missing from it! Of course, that was back in the dark days of Ford, which I’m very pleased to say are finally over.
Oh yes, the Ford of today wears a rather different hat. It is now held with esteem as the company to watch, and its quality and customer satisfaction reports have turned others envious.
Of course, there’s another reason for some of this envy, and this can clearly be seen in the new Ford Explorer. As much as I loathed the previous models, I absolutely adore the look of this new one.
Come on now; I’m sure most of you have eyeballed one since its launch. In the right colour, such as white, it looks more like an expensive European model than, well, a more expensive European model! In fact, if you look at it from the right angle, you could be forgiven for believing it was product from a famous British SUV manufacturer, and those puppies don’t come cheap.
Speaking of which, as a technician who trained on green oval products, the four-wheel-drive system offered on the new Explorer bears an uncanny resemblance to certain technologies with which I’m rather familiar. In fact, I can’t help thinking that Ford came away from its Land Rover ownership/sell-off with a little more than simply a banker’s draft!
So, the company has a quality SUV with stunning looks and some pretty impressive technology under its skin, but at a time when owners are questioning the need for SUVs. Is that enough to keep this vehicle’s success story going?
Well, drum roll if you please, because the company is about to astound us again with the launch of its 2.0L, 4-cylinder, EcoBoost Explorer.
Yes, you read that right, it wasn’t a spelling mistake. The company has now placed a 2.0L, 4-cylinder powerplant into its rather sizable Ford Explorer. Crazy? You may think so, but I’ve just returned from testing this new combination, and I believe it to be one of the smartest moves the company has ever made.
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