Review: 2012 Ford Explorer Limited FWD With Ecoboost – Part 3

Part three of my Ford Explorer covers the interior. Let’s start with the roof.

This SUV comes with two moonroofs. The front one can be fully opened to get ventilation. The second one can’t. But that’s more than enough for most people who want to let some sunlight (or moonlight) into the SUV. One key thing, there is still tons of headroom available. Nice!

Next, most of the surfaces that you could possibly touch are soft to the touch and feel like they’ve got some quality to them. The (presumably fake) woodgrain trim looks very real and everything looks like it was put together well. The seats are leather and the front seats are highly adjustable. Plus the driver gets a tilt and telescoping steering wheel along with power adjustable pedals. The bottom line is that you’ll find the perfect driving position if you play with all the options that are available to you. Another thing about the seats, they’re very supportive. Not to mention that they’re heated and cooled. Speaking of heating, it’s got dual zone climate control (handy if you and your spouse argue over what temperature the car should be set to) and you can add the steering wheel to the items that are heated. I should also mention that the steering wheel is perfectly sized. That is it’s smaller that you typically see on cars these days. That’s a good thing as you feel more connected to the vehicle and the road feel that the vehicle sends to the wheel.

The Ford Explorer Limited comes with three rows of seating. Here’s where it gets interesting. Rather than describe how the third row seats work, here’s a couple of videos for your viewing pleasure:

Okay, so I admit that I am coming across as being critical of the space in the third row. I’m not intending to. Most third row seating in this class of vehicle is only fit for kids. That’s not a failing of this vehicle. It’s just the nature of any mid sized SUV. If you seriously want to put adults into the third row seats of any vehicle, you should be looking at getting a (gasp!) minivan.

The next thing that I’d like to focus on is the driver displays. Take a look at this picture of the instrument panel:

The display is bright and clear. It’s also highly customizable. You can set it up to display the information that you want to display. For example, you can replicate simple navigation directions from the navigation system in the center console onto the right hand side of the display. Alternately, you could have the tachometer or the fuel economy on the left hand side. I’ll cover this in greater detail when I cover the technology in the vehicle.

I mentioned the center console earlier. Here’s what this looks like:

Besides being touch sensitive, it also acts as the backup camera. It’s crystal clear and you will not have any issues viewing it. Again, I’ll cover this in greater detail later. The audio system is from Sony and I have to say that the sound quality is amazing. There’s all sorts of little touches as well. For example there’s accent lighting as illustrated in this picture:

You’ll note the lighted rings around the cupholders as well as the lighted letters on the left hand side to indicate what gear you are in. Plus if you look carefully on the right, you’ll see that there’s lighting in the footwells of the driver and front passenger.

Finally, there’s a ton of storage space with a good sized center console, decent sized glove box with two levels, and all sorts of places to put your stuff. Bottom line: This is a well executed interior that you’ll have zero complaints about. I continue to be impressed by this vehicle.

Tune in tomorrow to see if I am still impressed.

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