The traditional image that comes to mind when contemplating the Ford Explorer is trailblazing SUV. It largely replaced the Ford Bronco and made SUVs more palatable to the general public. Yet as CrunchGear reports, fuel economy has made the former beast something of an SUV crossover dream. Yes, the 2011 Ford Explorer has been unveiled, and it’s actually smaller than previous versions. Smaller engine, lower ride height and fewer mud adventures are the trade-offs for such a mean, green automobile.
The 2011 Ford Explorer – Running with the Taurus and Flex
The 2011 Ford Explorer saves a significant amount of weight by using the same uni-body construction that Ford employs on the Taurus and Flex. Those are compact cars, making it necessary for Ford to drop some of the larger-scale SUV specs previously associated with the Explorer. No more V8; the Ford Explorer now features either a 3.5-liter V6 or a 2.0-liter EcoBoost, both in six-speed auto. The former puts out 290 horsepower in front- or four-wheel-drive options (great for towing up to 5,000 pounds), while the latter provides greater fuel economy.
Haul less, drive around town more
Ford’s apparent reasoning with the 2011 Ford Explorer is that most people aren’t using their SUVs for off-road driving and heavy lifting. City driving is the norm, and being able to handle heavy weather on the road doesn’t hurt. Thus, the front- and four-wheel-drive options make for safer driving in rain, sleet and snow. Couple that ability with greater fuel economy and you have an SUV crossover. Additional features like easy-selecting rear differential and Descent Control make handling jaunts downhill even safer than before. And there are many more. The 2011 Ford Explorer is the non-SUV for which people who previously felt burdened by their giant SUVs have been waiting. Fuel economy is the wave, and it takes a green automobile to deliver on the promise.
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It’s no “dirty job” reporting on the 2011 Ford Explorer
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