Economy test: 2012 Ford Explorer around the UAE

Economy test: 2012 Ford Explorer around the UAE

We were offered a second round with the 2012 Ford Explorer to address some issues we had discovered with our previous abused grey-coloured test vehicle. So while we’ve already amended our original review to reflect that, we were now still left with a brand-new blue-coloured Explorer Limited for two days. So we did what we always do with extra time — conduct one of our legendary Economy Tests.

As anyone familiar with our Economy Tests will know, it first started out when we managed to coax a Chevy Camaro SS to burn petrol at the same rate as a Nissan Tiida. Since then we’ve amended our test to reflect more realistic situations with a variety of vehicles.

So we reset the trip computer and took off from Karama in Dubai. After taking two minutes to come out of town traffic, we smoothly merged with the motorway to 80 kph, hit a few off-ramps and then hit the road to Al Ain, varying speeds between 90 kph and 110 kph, depending on traffic, while occasionally hitting 120 kph for a few seconds at a time to overtake. This was on a hot 40-degrees morning in September, with the auto a/c set at 20-degrees Celsius.

As always, the trick to bettering fuel economy is to accelerate and brake smoothly, while avoiding heavy-traffic areas as much as you can. We drove all the way to some desert-safari area on the Sharjah border, via the Bypass Road. While we didn’t do any offroading, we did leave the engine on during our photo-shoot to simulate brief periods of standstill traffic.

So while our original test-drive with the grey Ford Explorer netted a fuel consumption figure of 13.9 litres/100 km, our drive with this blue one into the middle of nowhere and back resulted in a figure of 12.2 litres/100 km. That represents fuel savings of 12% overall, without even driving too slowly and without turning off the a/c. That rate’s about as much as what many people burn with a car like the 2.4-litre Toyota Camry on a routine commute with a haphazard driving style. Not bad for an SUV that is larger than the Toyota Land Cruiser.

What do you think?



  1. Larger than the land cruiser ?!

  2. Not seen one, till now personally, but thats what those who have seen or test driven one, are telling, its very big. Fuel economy seems good, the maximum fuel efficency, i have been able to squeeze out of Pathfinder with similar driving style is around 14.3 to 14.7 litres / 100KM. I assume a Landcrusier or Patrol will definetly be thirster, but saying that, i have never seen anybody complaining about seating space in L&P.

  3. What is this very few reponses, why nobody is interested in the new Explorer?

  4. well i actually havnt seen a single 1 in dubai roads till nw…

    • Ford is releasing vehicles in batches. Till Jan 2012 three batches of cars are already booked. The first lot Mid range XLT came in July 2011. If basic model is needed one has to wait till Mar 2012. No doubt More comfortable and pleasure drive on road as compared to Land Cruiser/Patrol/Pajero (I drove all of these SUV ). Off-road not yet tried. I don’t know how far it can compete with Land Cruiser (Real Bull) off-road.

  5. I have just comeback from a two break in the US and hired a new Explorer there. I have to say it was suprisingly good! Car like to drive and good build quality. Our example hadd covered 3000 miles. As I do not go off roading here I would choose an Explorer over most of the ususl SUVs.
    Much better than the old model.

  6. Well.. I’m not a Ford guy, but I gotta admit, Ford took their products line-up to higher level of standards.

    Yeah, maybe it’s bigger in dimension (dunno, didn’t check), but for comparison sake, I don’t think it is eligible to be compared to a Land Cruiser, which is considered a full-size jeep I guess.

  7. hello… i just visited ford showroom and offer me for 119K but said it is only FWD.. 119K comes only with FWD not AWD or 4WD?

    • Author

      It seems they keep changing the specs over time, based on what the dealer wants to offer. So now it must be a FWD base model.

  8. What about AC performance of new explorer, earlier Ford cars showed poor ACon.
    How about the spare parts prices and support in UAE compare to other rivals. Its a common perception that FORD support in UAE is not well and on the other hand, spare parts are expensive and in some cases even difficult to find. Hence these are the main factors FORD gets less popularity. Just wondering why these key factors are not addressed explicitly in review or by their dealership.

  9. Anyone owning one yet?

    Real thoughts??

    What is the Air Con like?

    Does it drive easily around the tight mall car parks and underground apartment parking??

  10. it is very bad car horrible interior exterior

  11. Can anybody (who had FORD for long time in UAE) tells us about the spare parts, I heard it’s comparatively more expensive than others of its kind.

    • Owned a Focus for three years. Car was delight to drive, but loved workshop more than home, yes all the services and parts were expensive. Upon taking to service centre, the guys where more busy with Explorer and Mustang customers and gave a needle respect to Focus customers, had to call up couple of times to find out whether the vehicle was serviced or not.

    • will be cheaper if u buy those from outside..makes sense after 100k kms, until which Al Tayer gives you free service and maintenance anyway, which is inclusive of everything (including stuff like wipers and brake pads) except the tyres.

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