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Review: 2012 Ford Explorer Limited FWD With Ecoboost – Part 6


So, I’m at the end of this review. I’ll cut to the chase. For the most part, I feel that Ford has got a winner on it’s hands here. The Ford Explorer Limited with Ecoboost is a vehicle that gives you all the usefulness of an SUV with a minimal gas penalty. My average fuel consumption for the week was 11.9L/ 100km in mixed city, back road and highway driving. Impressive by any standard. The interior is well put together and has a ton of nice features like the power fold down third row seating. The tech in this vehicle such as MyFord Touch, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic alerts, and MyKey are cutting edge. Not only that, they for the most part enhance the driving experience. It drives well and it has the power that you need for a vehicle of this size.

There’s some loose ends that I’d like to address. They are:

I did wonder why this model was not available with an 4 wheel drive option (which by the way, I really think would be something that would fly off dealer lots). Here’s a couple of reasons why. First, I did some research and I found out that this version of the Explorer is 80 pounds lighter than the V6 version. So clearly this version was designed with fuel economy in mind. Second, Ford has announced a V6 Ecoboost version of the Explorer called the Explorer Sport. This will come with 4 wheel drive coupled with Ford’s Terrain Management System. Basically you get V8 like power with V6 fuel consumption along with 4 wheel drive. So if you want an Ecoboost engine with 4 wheel drive, this is going to be your only option.

So would I recommend this vehicle? If you needs include shuttling the kids to and from school and visiting the mall. You want fuel economy and you don’t need 4 wheel drive, take a good hard look at this vehicle. The 4 cylinder Ecoboost engine is a $1000 option, but my feeling is that you’ll make that money back in the form of the gas you’ll save over the V6 version. Keep in mind that the Explorer starts at just under $30,000 for a V6 variant with front wheel drive. So if my Explorer Limited with Ecoboost (which retails for just under $50,000 with all the options that it comes with) doesn’t fit your needs, there’s something in the Explorer lineup that likely will.

Would I buy this vehicle? The answer is no. Not because it’s a bad vehicle. It’s because I have no practical use for a seven passenger SUV. The Ford Edge or 2013 Ford Escape would likely fit my needs better. Plus they include many of the same technologies that the Explorer has including the 4 cylinder Ecoboost engine.

Here’s the bottom line. I said it in my look at the Ford Fusion a few years ago and I’ll say it again. Ford is putting out vehicles that can compete with and beat any car company out there. If you don’t buy what I’m saying, go into a Ford dealership and go for a test drive. You’ll be a believer. The Ford Explorer Limited with Ecoboost is one example of this and I was extremely impressed by it. If you’re looking for a mid sized SUV, you need to take a look at the Explorer. It is worthy of serious consideration.

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