Reviews

2017 Ford Explorer Walk Around


Explorer’s styling might be considered authoritarian, with sharp corners and clean edges, as well as a textured grille and a lot of cladding. It’s sixteen and a half feet long, and weighs from 4400 to 4900 pounds. It’s not exactly rugged, and it’s not much like what made the Explorer successful back in the day. Explorer Platinum models get LED lighting and distinctive trim that say more about today’s Explorer.

Interior

The cabin of the Ford Explorer ranks with those of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango in its handsomeness, even a bit more contemporary, with metallic plastic on the center stack. Ford says it wants the Explorer to be up there with Audi and BMW, and will keep improving until it is.

It’s got some room to go, namely in polishing the Sync 3 infotainment system. It was a huge step last year to get rid of the painful MyFord Touch system, but Sync 3 still isn’t a better alternative to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. There are more real buttons than touch-screen functions, which is good.

With tight door seals, engine mounts that absorb vibration, and acoustic glass all around (except for the Base), it’s soft and quiet in the cabin. Forward visibility is good thanks to a high seating position, although there are over-the-shoulder blind spots thanks to thick rear pillars.

The front seats (heated on most models) are supportive and comfortable, with soft cushions, the right amount of bolstering, and high and soft armrests. The rear seats provide plenty of legroom, but they aren’t so comfortable. They could use more padding, the horizontal cushion is short and slanted awkwardly, and there’s not enough width in the center for an adult. Rear bucket seats are available, and they work better; your big SUV loses a seat, but it’s also easier to reach the third row. The dual-panel moonroof really opens things up.

The third row like so many is cramped for adults, but okay for kids, who (if you don’t have the rear buckets) climb back there over the forward-flipped second row. The third row folds forward, with available power, to create a vast 81 cubic feet for cargo with a floor that’s nearly flat. There’s still 21 cubic feet even with all rows up.

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