Attractive, cabin materials, cargo capacity, ride quality, safety, available tech
Needs more power, no low-range gear, very wide, some complicated tech
The fully-redesigned Ford Explorer debuted technically for 2011, but launched as a 2012 model in the GCC. It is now a one-size-bigger crossover, with a unibody structure and road-biased demeanour. The Explorer is available with a 3.5-litre V6 mated to a 6-speed manually-shiftable automatic, with the base model getting front-wheel-drive and the rest getting full-time all-wheel-drive with no low-range gearing. There are four trim levels. The base model features include cloth upholstery, manual a/c, basic Ford SYNC with 6-speaker CD/MP3 stereo, 18-inch wheels, three-row seating, keyless entry, cruise control, capless fuel filler, power driver's seat, adjustable steering wheel, common power options and more. Available features higher up the trim levels include intelligent access with push button start, three-zone auto a/c, remote engine start, power liftgate, power-adjustable seats and pedals with memory, leather, heated and cooled front seats, MyFord Touch for the Ford SYNC touchscreen, 8-speaker stereo or 12-speaker Sony audio system, Bluetooth, 20-inch polished aluminium wheels, dual moonroof and power-folding third-row seats. The top Limited can be outfitted with further options such as HID headlights, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control with auto braking and the automatic parallel-parking system. The front-biased all-wheel-drive Explorer has an electronic center coupling that controls the torque split between the front and rear wheels, and acts as a center differential. Standard off-road electronics on AWD models include hill-descent control, hill-ascent assist, four-wheel electronic traction control and a standard "Terrain Management" system that varies drivetrain and ESP characteristics for different conditions. Standard safety features include dual front airbags, side and curtain airbags, Roll Stability Control, stability control and Curve Control. Other optional safety features include inflatable rear-seatbelt airbags, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, and collision warning with pre-crash brake support.