Ford Explorer 2011 debuts as a crossover

After bothering people via a dedicated Facebook group for months, Ford has finally unveiled the all-new 2011 Explorer. As known earlier, the new Ford Explorer is based on the same platform that underpins the Taurus and the Flex, which unfortunately means the demise of the outgoing body-on-frame Explorer platform and its inherent off-road capabilities. Rather, Ford claims to “reinvents the Explorer SUV with best-in-class fuel economy, improved driving dynamics and terrain management system, all wrapped in a modern, weight-saving design.”

Engine options

The unibody 2011 Explorer “crossover” now gets the choice of a 2.0-litre turbo-4 or a 3.5-litre V6, both thoroughly modern compared to the outdated engines they’d been peddling. Both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive setups are available, both with 6-speed automatics.

The 2.0-litre EcoBoost inline-4 is turbocharged and intercooled, good for 237 hp at 5,500 rpm and 339 Nm of torque from 1,700 rpm to 4,000 rpm. The EcoBoost has direct injection, variable camshaft timing and four valves per cylinder.

The 3.5-litre V6 offers an estimated 290 hp and 345 Nm of torque, with variable camshaft timing and 20% better fuel economy than the awful old V6.


Ironically, Ford still claims the Explorer has off-road capability. Replacing the traditional transfer case, a new terrain management system, cribbed from their former Land Rover division, uses settings for road, mud, sand and snow. This modifies engine behaviour, throttle tip-in, transmission shift scheduling and calibrations for traction and stability control systems, with Hill Descent Control included. There is no low-range gearing.

Ford Explorer Safety

New safety features include an overkill of airbags including industry-first inflatable rear seat belts, as well as a special front impact structure, AdvanceTrac stability control with Roll Stability Control and new Curve Control functionality.

Options include adaptive cruise control integrating collision warning with brake support, and a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert.


The interior seems to be a very basic design, but hopefully now with better cabin materials than the hard plastics of all Explorers past. In terms of tech, the Explorer features the MyFord Touch and SYNC integrated communications and entertainment system.

There are three rows of seating, but some concern exists over the narrow appearance of the cargo area tailgate opening.

The 2011 Explorer will hit U.S. dealerships by winter, so a GCC debut will likely be held off till early 2011. Since the recession, Ford Middle East has shifted focus to Saudi Arabia rather than the UAE, so a KSA launch first wouldn’t be surprising.

Keep track of updates in the Ford Explorer buyer guide.

What do you think?



  1. 2.0L FWD Ford Explorer…you’ve got to be kidding me…

  2. Crossover explorer with smart 4×4 system… They ruined it.. People love it cuz its one of the last conservative SUVs in the market… People love SUVs cuz they arent crossovers..

  3. Who cares, the buyers spoke. So Ford answered. People want crossovers, nobody gives a rat’s ass about going off-road, especially in markets that Ford actually bothers with. Just because a few of us in the GCC want to go to the desert doesn’t pay off in the least for Detroit.

  4. I dunno, its just too adorable for an explorer..

  5. Fahrer…

    You are totally right:)

  6. it looks nice, but i would rather have it with RWD better than front wheel drive

  7. @Fahrer: Absolutely true. Nowadays ??% cars on the street are crossovers and if you need an off-road car, just get a really proper one. There are a lot and reasonably priced.

    Ford Explorer 2011: I was thinking of buying a Ford Explorer as a home car but now there’s a new one coming which looks fantastic. From the back it looks like Range Rover. The front is quite nice. The interior, I really don’t care. I don’t stare at the seat and the dashboard while driving but the gauges looks brilliant ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. They already had a crossover “EDGE”
    and no body liked it,
    also a few like ford explorer, and the ford wl loose those few too

  9. Id take the Jeep Grand Cherokee… One of the 1st crossover luxury 4x4s in the market and has proven to be tough and a pleasure to drive.. Not to forget the Cherokee classic one of the most successful crossovers in history… I say no for soft-roaders, they got lame looks, lame drive trains hence a waste.. They were just a replacement for the more boring soccer mom mini-vans which are a thing of the past… Unless this new explorer proves to be a competitor for the Cherokee then its a different story..

  10. 2 Liter engine with 237 horse power?? doesn’t sound correct.

    Also if true, this engine with the turbo will not last 50,000 miles. It maybe good for a Tucson or CRV but remains very small engine on such a big car.

    The car looks good it needed a change, the explorer was always ugly. Can’t be compared to the edge, that car should be put out of production with the introduction of this car.

  11. Author

    Latest news is that the 237 hp turbo version will cost more than the 250 hp V6 one. They say people will pay more for the better fuel economy. It is unlikely the turbo will be offered here though.

  12. Hi Mesh!

    Nissan Patrol has also got a dial and all the same settings but no low range gearing. I think the low range is integrated
    with the new systems..

    So low range is there?????

    Same is the case with explorer isn’t it….

  13. Author

    The Patrol does have low-range. It is likely a button in some corner, but I don’t know where because Nissan hasn’t given me the car yet, if ever. I just drove the Range Rover (from which the Explorer copied the terrain thingy) and the Rangie has a separate 4LO button. The LR2 doesn’t and neither does the Explorer.



  14. This car is for me!!!…

  15. @ mash… ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ Dude!.. be nice to them, then they will give you the car..hahahaha…

  16. @ Hassan: thats a new technology called (ecoboost)… ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. when is it coming to uae??? any idea on the launch date and pricing???

  18. @ Mashfique Hussain Chowdhury…. I thought Ford didnt (copy) from Range Rovers terrain system, but what ford did (IMO) is that they used a technology which they helped to develope and improve back when they used to own range rover (before TATA)…

    correct me if im wrong..

  19. ^ I mean for sure I know that Land Rover “invented” the system and got an award for making the best terrain system, but my original point is… this Terrain system was developed while Fordโ€™s chief engineer on the Explorer was working in the United Kingdom as the chief engineer on the automakerโ€™s Range Rover project… so its not a copy… infact maybe its an improvement..

  20. Author

    Well, at the end of the day, it was designed under Land Rover’s roof, using their entire team, and debuted in Land Rover models long ago. Some staff of course got shuffled around, and the latest generation of the system would be the best, but I wouldn’t say an AWD crossover would ever get any better at offroading after tossing out the low-range gearing. Ford also took Volvo’s safety systems and stuck them in the Taurus.

  21. Honestly, I love the look, feel, and overall character of Land Rovers, but there’s no way I’d buy one until they reach at least an above-average level of reliability. With a premium price tag should come premium levels of dependability.

    besised Land Rover doesnt even produce decent 4×4 trucks comparing to Ford…. so in terms of 4×4 characters, im going for this ford… let us now when it will be released, want to buy it….

    PS, @ Mashfique, why are your saying the V6 is 250HP (in comment 12) and in the article up you said 290HP… are you refering to the old model.. which one is correct… thanks

  22. Author

    typo in comments

  23. TO Aufaq and Nazeeb…. you both where absolutly right…when Ford took control of Jaguar and LR, the vehicles produced by those two firms where the tops… in problem rate, probably the worst in European production. The electric and electronic where nowhere if only causes of troubles. Ford managed to put the reliability back on tracks! And now LR dare to say they invented the Terrain Management. Probably they are suddenly suffering amnesia. Perhaps it’s a result of volcano’s dust inhalation…who knows!
    ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I have a plan to buy this one when it comes to UAE, but recently I heard that ford vehicles are very very expensive to maintain compared to the Japanese ones, and got very little resale value. I have checked with few workshop guys and they are also of the same opinion, they discourage to go for American cars including ford.

    Any opinions on this ?

  25. Well quite unique looks.All existing customers are waiting to do the tradeins with their old ones. It definately hit the road with its hightech features and appealing grounds.
    We are waiting to taste this chocolate.

  26. I guess no one likes to go offroading anymore.

  27. Ford has taken a bold step – in the right direction or not, time will tell. In my personal opinion, they could’ve made a different crossover model and one based on body-on-frame chassis, however, with the present cost-saving and economics, it would probably not be profitable and I agree with that (there is no point having two separate models, which leads to bankruptcy at Ford).

    The many negatives reviews about Ford having ditched the off-roading community, seems misplaced to me, because, history is replete with similar bold moves, of which quite a lot have become great success stories. The first to run to my mind includes that about the Cayenne – the introduction of which had led such a backlash, as I haven’t witnessed in the recent times. I can quite imagine, if Ferrari were to come up with a SUV (mind you, Lamborghini did introduce a SUV, long back, when it was not still in fashion), but today, Cayenne accounts for a sizeable chunk of their sales (not to mention that Middle East would be among the top sales region for it), and one which is probably more profitable than the other models of Porsche (remember that Cayenne shares the platform with VW Touareg)!

    Whatever be the case, I would recommend that Ford decide to stick to its plan (its risky no doubt) because the fruits of a bold decision need not be obvious in the short term.

    The same applies for the new Patrol (though personally I would’ve prefered it to be the new Armada), having ditched the body-on-frame architecture.

    So does anyone go off-roading? Yes, but only a small minority and presently they can be satisfied with second-hands in the market. But with rising fuel prices, I expect the minority to shrink further.

  28. i like driave this car- it is very goode

  29. curious to see when it is actually released in the UAE!!

    any updates if i may ask?

  30. Author


  31. FORDummies … LOOL … But this does not apply for the new Taurus, Edge Sport, and this Explorer, except the 2.0L Inline 4 version. Very weak for this size!

  32. Mash,
    Which one is better in your opinion, explorer 2010 or 2011.
    When would be the 2011 launch in KSA?

  33. Author

    ^August, we’ll all know

  34. i thinkthis is going to competative with range rover evoque

  35. When will be selling Ford Explorer 2011 in the Middle East ?

  36. Hi All…

    got the new pricing for Ford Explorer 2011. Comes in 4 options all 3.5 Ltr options, all AED figures

    1. Basic model: 103K
    2. Mid Size model: 130K (with MyFord Touch)
    3. Higher end model: 165K (Mid end + Sun Roof)
    4. Top end model: 175K (Higher end + Leather + SunRoof + DVD + Park assist)

    • Author

      Well done with this tip, bro.

    • 130k model will be hit, other models are too expensive for this… as it now comes with lost true offroad ability, their are excellent crossover like Traverse with lots of options and seat 7 capabilities, rest of the crowd will still prefer to buy a mid size 4×4 which comes loaded at 130k price range…

    • What about range rover 4WD system, is it included with the basic model price? if yes then it is very good deal

    • just having a 4×4 transmission wouldn’t do the trick, their is more to it like ground clearance, diff locks, low range gearing, an engine with plenty of torque etc.. a properly equipped or modified explorer will do some of the work for you, but definetly it cannot touch a rover or jeep. Forget about that, it cannot even enter Landcrusier or Patrol domain.

    • ^ i feel that what you mention will be the history of off-roading and all companies will start shifting to this new multi terrain management system which was originay invented by ford and not by Rover

    • Range Rovers and Jeeps have been doing fine without any modern shift on fly 4wd modes, all terrain systems, electronic diffs since decades back. The basic, less complex and mechanical xterra or fj would beat its more expensive and technologically advanced brothers anyday in offroading, a Pajero has more rally awards under its belt than any normally known 4×4’s… as i mentioned earlier, just having a advanced transmission wouldn’t do the trick, its everything, engine, ground clearance, tyres and even driver. Explorer is crossover so it would be good onroad and a thing like Fortuner will shine offroad, a 4×4 which tries to crater to both of these needs will become very expensive. And i do agree, its age of crossovers now…

  37. and plus the Top end model has a Sat Nav included.

  38. 4x4s are going the manual gear way…offered as an option and mostly will be dominated by crossovers

  39. The base model is very reasonably priced.
    However Ford for some reason maintains a very high price differential between trims of the same model; from 85 – 165k for Ford Taurus to 103k to 165k for the Exporer

  40. I love the tough looks of the old Explorer. It’s kind of a man’s car….atleast in looks. But falls back from buying when looking at the fuel economy and hp generated.

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