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By Jim Kight, NW Connection

By Jim Kight

The Ford Explorer entered the SUV market in early 1991 and proved to be extremely popular with the driving public, and especially with families. It came in both two-door and four-door models. Fast forward to the new 2017 model year and you would hardly recognize they are the same vehicle except for the blue Ford medallion.

This is near the top of the pyramid in the Explorer family. It also puts the “Sport” in the Sport Utility Vehicle vernacular. The styling is impressive, the ride is comfortable, and it is quiet. I drove the Explorer on I-84 where the road bed is worn done to the aggregate. I was surprised at how quiet it was and I could actually hear the radio commentary without cranking up the volume.

Performance-wise the car has the amazing 365 hp Eco-Boost engine. This car had plenty of power enough so you could comfortably tow up to 5,000 lbs. I experienced 19mpg in mixed highway and city driving. Highway mileage goes up to 22mpg according to EPA stats. Keep in mind this is a car that weighs in at 4,900 lbs. The feeling when you are driving is that this car is very solid; and you feel like you have command of the road. Let’s put it simply; you feel very safe in this car. Ford has a new feature for passengers in the second seat by adding inflatable seat belts for the outboard riders. In all there are seven air bags. This car rates five stars across in the board in just about every category.fordtail

ford-seatAccording to the experts, buyers are attracted to this vehicle that have young families, three rows of seats, Intelligent 4-wheel-drive Terrain Management system, the power of an Eco-Boost engine, and a sport tuned suspension. Buyers like the styling, sporty feel and they comment that it corners well.

The features and technology incorporated in this vehicle provides convenience and safety in one package. As an example if you want the rear tailgate to open and you have the key fob in your pocket, you swipe your foot under the rear bumper and the tailgate opens. This is quite handy if your hands are full. Also the seats fold down flat in the rear with the push of a button.

If you are in the market for a vehicle and are concerned about maximum protection for your family, comfortable seating for up to seven passengers and a 81.7 cubic foot cargo space behind the front seats and sporty driving characteristics, you might want to add this to your bucket list.


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