2012 Ford Explorer

2012 Ford Explorer

The Good:
– Stylish for its size
– Cabin materials and features
– Very comfortable ride
The Bad:
– Not very quick
– Average rear space
– Limited off-road abilities

It took us a while to realise that the all-new Ford Explorer is not a midsize SUV any more. In fact, it isn’t even strictly an SUV any more. Having switched to a car-based platform, the Explorer is now arguably a very smartly-styled near-fullsize crossover.

The new Explorer is easily recognised by its unique LED tail lamps, somewhat unique shape and truly unique orange eyebrows. The Limited trim, like our tester, gets a body-colour grille and shiny 20-inch alloys. As for its size, it doesn’t look big at first glance, but it is longer and wider than the Toyota Land Cruiser, although still shorter than most other fullsizers.

That width makes it a pain to open the thick doors once you’ve slipped into a tight parking space, but the cabin isn’t a bad place to be trapped in. With soft-touch surfaces on the dash and front door-sills, generously-leathered door armrests and interchangeable mood lighting, the Explorer plays at the upper end of this segment, better than the hard-plastic tubs of the Chevy Traverse, the Nissan Pathfinder and the Honda Pilot. Nice little styling touches are everywhere, and build quality is generally perfect, but we did find a couple of loose-fitting panels.

The airy interior is certainly spacious up front, with barely-bolstered seats, big windows and half-a-metre of space above your head. But the low driving position and tall roof take getting used to, because if you’re well under six feet tall, you can’t raise the seat too much, or your hanging knees will pain, even with the power-adjustable pedals. In the back rows, there is ample headroom, though legroom isn’t very impressive. The thick front seatbacks take their toll on second-row space, but while the third row is truly cramped, it will still fit average-sized adults. Access to the third row is quick and relatively easy. Even with all three rows in use, there is a deep floor in the boot that can hold a ton of stuff, and the last bench split-folds into the floor at a single press of a button, although any grocery bags already back there will first have to to be moved out of the way before the huge flat load-floor is created. Uncovered cup-holders, various bottle-holders, four door pockets, cargo net and various cubbies all make it a practical cabin.

The Explorer is the most high-tech ride in its class, though only some of the tech is successful. Our Limited came with a panoramic glass roof, intelligent keyless entry with starter button, a touch-keypad on the driver’s door, remote start, HID headlights with LED tails, 8 airbags, cross-traffic alert system, two rechargeable USB ports, power-operated third-row and tailgate and at least three LCD screens, among others.

The large “MyFord Touch” touchscreen operates the good 12-speaker stereo, Bluetooth phone, ventilated seat fans, ambient lighting and other settings, some in small font so you have to ready carefully. And then there is the piano-black panel under the screen that touch-operates the a/c and some stereo functions, a bit useless while driving because you have to look down to use it. But we discovered that many stereo, a/c and phone things can be controlled using the steering-wheel directional buttons to scroll through options on the two full-colour screens on either side of the speedometer. Even the tacho and the fuel gauge are graphically shown on those screens, and they can even be customised. It’s a bit gimmicky, but it works once you get used to it, and better than trying to use the voice controls.

Among other gadgets, the rear camera is great, with directional lines, even if it takes time to turn on sometimes. Some minor design issues we came across were the upward-facing front a/c vents positioned to blow air right in your face, and the side-mirrors are small, so you really do need the blind-spot monitors. The tri-zone a/c has controls and roof vents in the back, but our abused test vehicle might have had a problem so it took ages to bring the temperature down to decent levels when left out in the August summer sun. Another problem was that the trip computer that had gone coo-coo, never showing a range of more than 200 km, even with a full tank. Ford later provided us with another brand-new test vehicle and we can say the a/c worked very well and the trip computer showed the right range too, so our earlier problems were with just that one misused car.

The big Explorer is now powered by a modern 3.5-litre V6 engine, good for 290 hp at 6500 rpm and 346 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm, mated to a smooth-and-unconfused 6-speed automatic, manually shiftable using a thumb-button on the shifter. It is a competitive powertrain, but the Explorer weighs in at 2214 kilos. As such, we only managed a 0-100 kph time of 10 seconds flat, with absolutely no wheelspin allowed by the all-wheel-drive system, even with traction control off. On a positive note, the motor is designed to run optimally on the cheapest RON91 petrol, and managed a 13.9 litres/100 km consumption figure, superb for an SUV this size.

The engine note is gruff, but it is nicely muted. In fact, the highway ride itself is beautifully calm, with barely-audible wind and road noise at 130 kph even. The ride is smooth with a slight tinge of firmness to let you know this is not an old-school boat. The adaptive cruise control works well too, keeping a safe distance from the cars in front automatically.

Around city streets, power is adequate, the turning circle is good, parking is made easy with the rear camera, and the automatic parallel-parking system works perfectly, although it chooses to not detect small spaces that you might manually be able to squeeze into with a few back-and-forth moves. But we were really bothered by the front A-pillars, as thick as our thighs, so you have to depend on guesswork to go around curves without scraping the curb.

The mildly-weighted power steering lacks feedback, but is fine for daily driving. The Explorer isn’t a sporty vehicle to begin with, even though it looks like it can take on premium European stuff. The handling is decent, with moderate body roll in the sharpest turns, and no bouncy rebounds when sawing at the steering. But the stability control cuts in long before the 255/50 tyres let out a serious squeal, so it is boringly safe to drive. The disc brakes have marshmallow pedal-feel, but they seem to stop the behemoth just fine.

Our test-drive wouldn’t be complete without an off-road excursion. That “terrain selection” dial on the center console hints at everything from sand-driving to mud-hunting, but the lack of low-range gearing and the limited frontal ground clearance dissuaded us from trying anything extreme. We drove it on soft sand with very minor slopes, and it seemed to handle it just fine. There is also a hill-descent control system for going down slopes slowly, which also works fine at 45-degree angles, as we found out on an off-road demo track.

The new Explorer is a monumental vehicle for Ford, with a superb interior treatment, extensive safety features, fuel-efficient engine and more tech than an Apple store. Of course, it isn’t as spacious as some rivals, not very quick, and a bit on the large side for some to handle. It is a solid entry into a competitive segment, but isn’t the be-all-and-end-all SUV that some may think it is.

Price Range:
Dh 119,900-175,000

Current Model Introduced in:

Body Styles:
5-door wagon

3.5L 290 hp V6 / 346 Nm

6-speed automatic


Front: independent
Rear: independent

Front: discs
Rear: discs

Curb Weight:
2134-2214 kg

5010 mm

2860 mm

Top Speed:
173 kph(limited)

Test Acceleration 0-100 kph:
10.0 sec.

Observed Test Fuel Economy:
13.9 litres/100km

What do you think?



  1. A Good and decent upgrade !!! Welcome change. Like the one touch button third row seat. Well designed with combination of 2009 Ford Edge from front with GMC Acadia at rear and also got help from Jeep and new Durango for good exterior design.

  2. great review..superb vehicle…

  3. great review..a decent car.

  4. Great review. This vehicle has been delayed entry since local agency is selling 2011 model NOW when it is in US since last 9 months.

    It may do good business cause it is priced well even though higher versions are directly competing with better (considered superior) vehicles like Nissan Patrol.

    Only time will tell though!

  5. Thank you so much Mashfique for this great review. I have the following questions:

    1- is the thick A-Pillar a big issue that is dangerous especially with XLT that does not have BLIS?

    2- Is the max speed 173 kph only? this is a very humble speed?

    3- I’ve seen many ppl complaining about the buggy myford touch and issues with screen going blank, did you face any issues with the system? and did you get any clarification from ford regarding the AC issue or is it common across all Explorers?

    4- I’ve booked XLT 2012 but want to you to recommend other rivals that one can consider, or is Explorer best in class? as a geek, I am very tempted with its technology.

    Thank you so much for your kind help, keep up the great work.

    • Author

      BLIS and A-pillar are unrelated, but you get used to it over time. The screen was fine. The a/c in this specific abused car had an issue, I will update later on that. Rivals are listed in the buyer guide.

  6. the some times drive explorer and as you cross the pedestrian speed breaker it bounces like sitting in a boat!! does this one too??

  7. Definitely Best In Class .

  8. Went to the dealer’s showroom the other day to see the explorer and to have a test drive. Seems like the sales staff don’t have much information about new explorer. They don’t even have a brochure or a comparison of different trim levels they offer. One of them told me that the new explorer has no remote start feature and I know for sure that the “limited” trim has it. He also told me around 100 cars arrived in the first shipment and all were sold out. But I don’t see any explorer on the road!!! As per him there are four trim levels available priced 120K, 135K, 165K and 175K. In US there are only three levels. Explorer, XLT and limited. I think, I will have to wait until some brochures are available here to know for sure what exactly I am gonna get if I book an XLT.

    • Hi Ignatius, could you tell me which dealership branch you went to? Thanks.

    • The branch in Garhoud, near welcare hospital.

    • I believe remote that should be standard on the Limited variant. There are 3 trims yes , the Base , the XLT and the Limited. He probably has two variants under a specific trim with a few optional differences.

    • Hi MM, i also went to the showroom and it seems like there are two types of XLTs, regular (135k) and the ones with leather seats (155k).

      Hi Sue, can you please share with us the difference between the two as the sales staff there are still clueless? They say that for the regular XLT, rear-view camera is not included (also true with most of the features that i’ve read on the manual). Thanks!

  9. The word is “cuckoo” 🙂

  10. Wife likes it and soon the XLT will be a new member of our Ford family. i just hope is as reliable as its good looks.

  11. One of my colleagues purchased this, I am not to impressed with the performance. Driving height and vehicle istelf is low not higher than CRV maybe. Lot of gadgets but let us face it how many gadgets does an average driver use regularly apart from basic one’s

  12. hey buddies,
    i just got a 2011 Ford Exp XLT on 10th of this month and so far no problems as such. u need to get used to all the techies inside and the blind spot mirrors…once u get a feel of the machine…u r on ur way…if somebody needs a brochure i can give u a softcopy with the excel sheet showing the differences bw trims…ya..al tayer told me also that 100 cars have been sold..i have seen only one other car…seems funny though…

  13. @bunkie79 – You mean the roof is low ???? well…i am a 6ft tall person, and with the seat at the highest position, i have more than a palm width above my head…i seriously doubt whether u are talking abt the edge…i tried sitting in the edge and if i look straight , i would be staring at the sun visor instead of the windshield…but the explorer…no way u can complain abt the roof height…ne ways…thats my judgement..

    @Abbas – I have sent the brochure to u by mail…i had to pay 134K for the car, 6400 for insurance, 475 for reg, 700 for 3M tinting

    • Hi Aragon,

      Does 134K include free maintenance?

    • Zuffee,

      134K includes

      3yr/60000km – bumper to bumper Warranty
      5yr/100000km – engine and power train warranty
      3yr/60000km – free service ie. 6 free services.
      Ford cars have regular services at 10K Kms only. Even the first one is at 10K.

      for that matter, i think ford is giving the same offer for all their cars irrespective of price/segment.

  14. Aragon, hi, I am thinking of getting the mid range explorer, if it is not too much, will you please send me your excel comparison file. My email is [email protected], thanks a million.

    Which dealer did you go to?

    Thanks again and all the best with the your new explorer.

  15. @ Aragon. Hi Aragon, do you mind sending me as well the soft copy of the brochures to [email protected], I’m on the market for the “ideal” car for the whole family, and the Explorer seems to be one of the best candidate.

    Thanks a lot in advance

  16. @Tarek – I’ve sent across the excel sheet. I took the car from al tayer, ajman. and it was the only one left in the whole of uae!!!!

    @Verdy – i’ve forwarded the brochures…

    @all – guys , i’m having a couple of issues with the bluetooth.though i expected this partially, coz having a microsoft based system will come with its problems..especially if u dont have the magical combination of “Ctrl-Alt-Delete”. hehe..sometimes it does not connect automatically…u need to delete the phone and then re sync it ….am not trying to discourage u all..but i dint want to hid it as well..u need to know what u r getting…

    • @aragon — Hi, my name is Sue and i work with Ford Middle East. MyFord Touch has had various upgrades to the software recently. Suggest you ask Al Tayer to upgrade the software for you next time you take your vehicle to them (it’s for free). I myself had this done on my new Edge and haven’t had any glitches ever since 🙂 Drop us a line and let us know how things are going with your new Explorer!


    • @Sue could u please send me a soft copy of brochures at my email [email protected]

  17. Can anyone tell me when the ford explorer 2012 is releasing in Saudi Arabia???….@Aragon would u mind sending a copy of the brochure to [email protected]!!!….thanks a lot

    • @Mp koya — Hi Koya, my name is Sue and I work with Ford ME. The new Explorer is already at Al Jazirah’s showrooms. You should be able to see it in main branches. Specs and PDF brochures are being pushed live on http://www.me.ford.com this week, but i recommend you contact Al Jazirah regarding Saudi-specific specs as I believe Aragon is based in the UAE. Dealers order different specs most of the time. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to write to [email protected].

  18. Author

    In case anyone is wondering, all the specs for the GCC version are listed out here:

  19. hey mash…do you have first hand exp on hill descent control??? i tried engaging it on my 2011 ford explorer while descending a moderately steep parking lot exit …a peculiar sound keeps coming from beneath every few seconds…is that normal???

  20. For me it looks okay but the problem is the ford dealers that are unreliable in terms for bring some of the spare parts on time or even dones bring it at all. This have effected my option on buying another Ford.

    Also is is quiet expensive for a v6 to be 195K on the limited where similar prices vechile is the Durango R/T with a 5.7 V8.

    There are couple of them in the street but still not alot around.

    • Hi eazy_mas, I’m Sue and i work with Ford Middle East. Just wanted to drop you a line to say that since Explorer is a large volume model, our dealers are well equipped with parts. Also, we plan to open our regional Parts Depot very soon, which will support our regional dealer network and further boost our parts supply in the region to address concerns such as yours.

      As for your comment concerning the price, i am not sure which market you are based in, but the prices are much lower than what you mention for the full option, top end Limited. Plus, you have to consider the quality build of the new Explorer, the number of exclusive technologies it offers, safety and driver assist — and many more — such as the powertrain warranty for 100,000 kms, 5 year free 24-hour roadside assistance, our dealers’ free service and maintenance package etc which will eventually have much more value for your money. Please let me know if i can help clarify any additional queries. You can write to us on http://www.facebook.com/FordMiddleEast or [email protected].


  21. I plan to buy the new 2012 explorer does anybody have offroad experiance can it keep up with the new cherokee offroad?

  22. hey Sue,

    Regarding the upgrade for my SYNC…i have registerd with syncmyride.com and based on my VIN, there are no updates available..I took the delivery on aug 10th and its not that i expect an update so soon…but since u suggested to take it to the dealer for an upgrade, i am a bit skeptical about it…thats why…

    @Hans – the explorer keeping up with JGC offroad is a tad too much to ask for in my opinion especially when the 2012 model does not have an exact low range gearing system, rather a terrain management system in which a computer decides all the parameters…

    • Hey Aragon, Syncmyride.com is directed more towards customers in North America. For the Middle East we recommend that the dealer upgrades Sync. There have been considerable upgrades to Sync since August. Next time you service your vehicle, request the upgrade. it’s for free.

    • Hi Sue,

      could you please tell me regarding the DVD player option that is provided in Limited E342 trim has a center DVD or a dual dvd player on the headrest with or without the wirless headsets and remote?
      I was not able to get my hands on the tester model with the dvd option thats why curious to enquire how is it installed/placed

  23. Aragon,
    Thanks for the info, in the ford show room where I asked the same question they say it is better than the JGC, but I had my doubts, I checked; the car has not even bottom protection plates and a permanent front tow hook.
    Looks like also not too much ground clearance also.
    Maybe only 4×4 for recreational purpose.

  24. Hi Mash,Please advise how you measure the length of the car, i am a bit confused with the figure.

  25. i just got my 2012 ford explorer limited (e342) its missing the navigation and sirius radio…any ideas why navigation is not provided

  26. Hi!
    Does any one here have a clue about the 2 liture engine version of this vehicle as i see it on the dealers website and also on drive arabia.

    I am very interested to buy this vehicle and just waiting untill Jan 12. Also if any one knows about the waiting time after booking.

    Thanks & regards.

  27. Can any one also tell me about the fuel economy i.e cost of filling and the mileage per tank.

  28. I’ve been reading the above posts, and am interested in purchasing the 2012 Ford Explorer. I am wondering how well it performs on sand dunes. Anyone with experience, or comparison with Durango, Prado, etc? Thanks.

  29. People,
    Even I’m interested in the 2012 explorer….
    particulary debating between the 2012 prado and 2012 explorer…
    like to go dunning once in a while….not a hardcore offroading

    • Rohan,

      I opted out of buying the prado coz of the price and waiting period… Plus if you really want to compare, u should do so with the one having the 3.8 ltr engine and not the 2.7 one which is the cheapest and most seen on roads…explorer has a 3.8 ltr on all trims…but offroad performance wud defntly be better on the prado…but frankly speaking , u wont feel like taking a new car off road…at least that’s how I feel…I have clocked 12000km on my exp and am satisfied with the performance so far….so far not tested the offroad dial except for small adventures in kacha parking sand …hehe

  30. @aragon: Could you send the trim details to [email protected].. 🙂 thanks

    @sue: How is the availability of the vehicle as of now? Is al tayer having some promos this season?

  31. Hey guys!

    Bit of a shocking news.Absolutely unimaginable from a brand new car. Last night my 2012 Explorer overheated! I kept the engine running & the A/C on for nearly 10 minutes. I could see the smoke coming out. Unbelievable. only 3500Km done.

    • Hi Zuffee,
      Please reply with your comments for the Ford Explorer after the smoke. How did Ford dealer respond for it to solve the issue? Are you in comfort zone now?. Your valuable feedback is much more important not only for me but for all new buyer. As just I have booked it. If such an issue is regular, I may have to think before go for it.

    • Hi Navdins,

      Premier’s response was quick & the car was fixed the next day. I think it was a one off incident & I happened to be the unfortunate. No complains now. Good luck!

  32. I am planing to buy a new 2012 explorer Mid range xlt just wondering anybody have offroad experiance ??? and how good it is comparing to jeep grand cherokee laredo 2012 offroad?

  33. I booked a mid range. But now I wish I had the sony audio option. Is it possible to retrofit?

  34. I don’t know why people say that ford changed explorer SUV to a crossover.I think Because people not do much offroad but want to buy a sick prado or pathfinder or a pajero, these cars are very dull on road perfomance and they want to be just on the dessert.

  35. Hi Aragon
    On way to the Toyota Showroom to finalize Prado , i just stopped out of curosity at the Ford showroom .
    And i am very impressed with the features , price , value for money & overall interior/exterior of the Ford Explorer 2012 & at the same time very confused whether to drop Prado from my wishlist (Realized the interiors most pathetic n boring in comparison to the Explorer.

    Now the salesman at Ford tells me that he can ONLY offer the Base Model E302 (Though at a special price @ AED1,18,000 only.

    With all the high end features missing , he is also offering the TOPMOST fully loaded FORD EDGE (AWD) SLD32 @ A special price @ AED 1,36,000.

    Yes i am in a rush to buy my first automobile in the UAE , as i have recently re-located here in Dubai from California.

    Aragon,Wud really appreciate your Most valuable experience based comments/suggestions.
    And all others in this BLOG as well to help me take a well-informed QUICK DECESION.

    971 551500581
    [email protected]

  36. Hey Mash

    Very detailed n mostly positive review . Whats your current opinion for the Ford Explorer & Edge 2012 .
    Yes i like the Sporty feel which as per your review is missing in the Explorer (Aug2011)

    I am kinda confused n have to make a Quick decision – Appreciate your prompt comment/suggestions especially in regard to Which of the two between Explorer & Edge.

    As posted above:

    On way to the Toyota Showroom to finalize Prado , i just stopped out of curosity at the Ford showroom .
    And i am very impressed with the features , price , value for money & overall interior/exterior of the Ford Explorer 2012 & at the same time very confused whether to drop Prado from my wishlist (Realized the interiors most pathetic n boring in comparison to the Explorer.

    Now the salesman at Ford tells me that he can ONLY offer the Base Model E302 (Though at a special price @ AED1,18,000 only.

    With all the high end features missing , he is also offering the TOPMOST fully loaded FORD EDGE (AWD) SLD32 @ A special price @ AED 1,36,000.

    Yes i am in a rush to buy my first automobile in the UAE , as i have recently re-located here in Dubai from California.

    Mash ,Wud really appreciate your Most valuable experience based comments/suggestions.
    And all others in this BLOG as well to help me take a well-informed QUICK DECESION.

    971 551500581
    [email protected]

  37. Hi Mash & Aragon

    What are your impressions in regard to the Resale value in comparison to the Prado as i normally change my vehicle every two years approx.

    Do i tend to lose a lot more in comparison to the Prado as i get the feel here that Buying a Toyota (Fortuner/Prado/Landcruiser is an INVESTMENT.) Of course i am not at all impressed with the interiors of Toyotas !!

    971 551500581
    [email protected]

    • Author

      Hi Tony. You have to remember that the Toyota costs more as well, so at the end of the day, you are losing the same amount of money anyway. Cars can never be an investment (unless it’s a 1960s Ferrari). As for my views on the cars, I’ve said all I know in the reviews. The final decision is yours.

  38. It sometimes problem with the A/C, am i right.?

  39. Gentlemen, I am getting the Limited 342 model. I am offered 11,000 discount on a price of AED 180k. Insurance, registration extra. All Ford users, fellow folks who recently bought the Ford explorer 2012 model, your feedback is very essential.

  40. Hi Tony,

    I too went to FORD Zheikh Zayed show room. Salesman is offering no dicount to me for all Explorer 2012 models. He is offereing AED124K for the basic. Can U tell me which show room U were offered such a huge discount.

  41. Hi Tony,

    Hope by now you must have decided on your car…sorry for not being very regular on the forum…anyways now i have almost 15K on my 2011 explorer…so far so good..am satisfied…

    Am seeing a lot more of the car nowadays on road..seems FORD is doing a good job with their aggressive marketing and to an extent pricing too..
    also, a car is never an investment according to me…Financially , its a depreciating asset or you can also call it a liability, it keeps extracting money from your pocket, never adds to it..so..no matter what..value of your car IS going to go down and NEVER up…



    • Hi Aragon,

      I guess by now you must have clocked at least 20,000 k’s on your Ford Explorer. I wanna know if you experienced any road/engine/wind noise at high speeds of 130-140 km/hr ? Also what’s the fuel economy like on your 3.5L (l/100km). Also read in one of the reviews that the second row leg room is a little cramped for space. And since your 6 ft tall I’m sure u need to push the driver’s seat back a little bit, so can the passenger sitting behind you sit comfortably?

      And does the driving height feel low? I drive a Honda CR-V and even at the highest position I still feel like sitting low in a car as compared to a higher perch in a Prado for example.

      Do tell us your honest dislikes too about ur Explorer if any !

      Could u also mail the excel sheet with the comparison of the trims to my e mail id [email protected]

    • Hi Shaji,

      Noise – Wind noise is noticeable if u turn down the music/radio…otherwise no.
      Road noise and engine noise – not noticeable
      have set the speed of my car at 130km/hr using the MYKEY feature…so max speed i go is 130 only..
      second row leg room – i drive with seat at the highest and “backest” position…a 6ft tall person sitting right behind me will touch his knees on the driver seat..so thats a compromise u might need..my wife finds it comfortable though…

      Driving height does not feel low..thats IMHO..and i was driving a Sunny before this..so dont expect any comparisons with other 4WDs…but i think the car is a little lower than the Prado in ride height and ground clearance too..

      Honest Dislikes – Software, Software and Software..sometimes a call does not end even if u cut the phone..and music will not come on coz the car thinks that the fonecall is still live..have updated the SW once at the service centre…no use..but its not frequent though..i hope they find a bug fix soon…otherwise alls fine..clocked 25000Km..2 services with zero bill…

  42. Sue,

    There seems to be an acute shortage of the new Ford Explorers in Doha. Delivery is backed up to 3 months+ from today.
    This seems to be different from the scenario in UAE. Any options available in moving cars from dealership to dealership, or is that a complete no-no? I am willing to look at the extra cost.

  43. Hi All,

    I read all above, seems my thoughts are on right path. Still just to make my mind stronger… can anyone suggest me? It’s my first own wheels, so brother’s i need all your valuable suggestions.
    Thank you all,


  44. Hi Everyone,

    I have a few doubts regarding the service provided by the Al Tayer and Premier. I recently visited the ford showroom to find out more of the 2012 ford focus titanium, but I was soon informed by the sales guy that they don’t do the titanium and the top spec available is the sport.
    The sales guys soon introduced the Fusion, with the current offers going on, the top spec SEL was priced at 86K, which is a very good deal for a 2.5 pot.
    So if anyone is aware of the post sale service offered by al tayer, at least in comparison with al futtaim it will be great help.

    Thank You All,

  45. Dear All,

    I am a customer of Ford Explorer 2011(full option) model since its launch in UAE. I am really satisfied with the car on its performance during the 9,000 + kilometers ride. All the features are awesome and user friendly. The only complaint which I have faced was when Microsoft sync stopped working last month which was updated with the new version next day.


  46. Hi Aragon,
    Hope you are well…..
    whats your take on the kia mohave vs ford explorer????

    • Hi Rohan,

      KIA MOHAVE…hmmmmmm…actually i drove one of them before i finalised the explorer..

      I really do not remember why i did not go for it..from my faint memories, i think it was a bit noisy inside, and also expensive for a KIA..any how its a body-on-frame vehicle wheras the exp is a monocoque body, which makes the mohave more rugged and offroad competent..dont know abt the transmission performance though..

      you shud go thru the drive arabia review..could not find a road test on the website..Maybe mash considers the car, not to be of interest to many.. 🙂

      personally i feel the exp looks a lot more better than the mohave…and interiors : Explorer wins hands down…

      i would suggest drive both and then decide..consider the long term warranty and sevrice offered by both..


  47. HI, all my friends after read all comments i am confused ford explorer Mitsubishi pajero or Toyota Prado from all of three SUV which one is best 7 seater

    • Tamjeed,

      Prado – too pricey;
      Pajero – comparatively cheaper than the other two, but with lesser options. Also too common.
      Explorer – very techie.. If you are not too tech savvy, you may not use most of the features. Good safety features but a little pricey than the pajero.
      Would suggest you to do a test drive of all three and then decide the best one for you.
      Source – I have previously owned a Pajero and a Prado and now drive an explorer. All three are aces in my book.

  48. So…. those that own it….

    Real thoughts??

    What is the Air Con like?

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

    What is the space like behind the 3rd row with seats up… Can I get a large buggy/stroller in there?

    I’m looking at Ford Exp and GM Arcadia…

    • Zahid,
      I am talking about the explorer 2012.
      1) Air con is good and seat ACs are working like a charm. However, i do have an issue with the AC when started through the remote start.
      2) It drives easily, though initially you may have a slight discomfort with it’s size. I heard it is bigger than the landcruiser in length and width but much shorter in height. So this might be a little problem for parking as well. But you should get used to it pretty soon.
      3) Space is ample even with the seats up. I easily fit in a stroller and a couple of shopping bags as well.
      Over all it is a good buy.

  49. thanks for your reply aragon, your advise has been taken, will take a test drive of both(explore and mohave)….Prado is definately way beyond my budget…and i never wanted a pathfinder….its going to be a “unibody” any way for 2013….actually my purchase criteria was for a 7 seater 4 wheel drive….which can actually venture into the desert….not dune bashing, but just a weekend trip to Ras Al Khor with the family….and a little bit of “masti”…let me know your take on this…

  50. Does anyone know if the 2012 model high end version has inbuilt GPS available?

  51. Hi Sue,

    I am not sure if you are still working with Ford middle east, but I do hope that someone there would help with this problem.
    I have a small issue with my new ford explorer, purchased on 29th March 2012.

    When I use my remote start, the AC blower switches on but the air is not cool and the seat ACs are not working. I took my car to the service center in Shk Zayed and the service advisor said that it is working fine and there are no issues. He just asked me to switch off the rear ac when I lock my car so that the front AC comes on in full power. {If the rear is on, then the front AC blow is very low when remote started}

    I have played around with the vehicle settings and tried all combinations. Somehow I feel this is all some wiring problem which can be fixed if properly analysed and fixed. I have no faith in the service centre guys. They have absolutely no idea what they are talking about because I guess this could be a new model.

    As for Riyaz’s query – No, Ford explorer 2012 high end version doesnt have any GPS. I have one too. But otherwise the car is a gem.

    • Hey Rajesh,

      I drive an Explorer XLT 2011…How much time are we talking about, between the remote start and entering the car?? Because the engine is in idle, AC would take longer to cool the cabin…thats my guess though..and once you are in the car, how long does it take to cool while driving?? If it cools OK when driving and does not when in idle, then i dont think much can be done..

      and the car generally memorises your last setting when you switched off the engine..so if you switch off the AC and then switch off the car, maybe the remote start feature remembers that the AC was off…these are all wild guesses ..just loud thinking…

      Logically, i think, a remote start should switch on all devices which a normal start would..and if a normal start will not switch on the Seat ACs then not much chance of getting this on…

  52. Thanks Rajesh, I drive an Edge since 2008 and is considering a change this year. No GPS on the high end version is too bad.

    I have been dealing with the SZ road service centre n they are generally good at listening to the concerns. However sometimes you could endup with service agents who are in a hurry to convince you that everything is correct. If you go back on another day and meet a different agent he may understand your problem with the AC.

    • Riyaz,
      If GPS is the only issue, then i would suggest you to go for an explorer and have one of those GPS gadgets temporarily. Because what i heard from the service centre is that there might be an introduction of GPS very soon as the top end model has got everything ready to accomodate the GPS. It is just a matter of time. Now i use my iphone for sat nav. Hoping to see the GPS soon.
      Yeah, i spoke to another service agent over the phone. He listened to my complaint patiently and said he will check it and get back to me. Fingers crossed. If the design of the car itself is that way, then it is too bad. I might have to opt for remote start from another vendor.

  53. Dear Mash,

    I am really confused between explorer and Acadia:

    1. Acadia feels smoother and faster comparing to Explorer.

    2. But Acadia reputation shows alot regarding steering problems, and keeps going to dealer worshop for fixing various things.

    3. Explorer comes with new tech that may cause problem too.

    What do you advise!!!??

    • Author

      You are correct on both counts. However, if you have issues, there is always the warranty. The Explorer’s issues are limited to the computer screen, which gets software updates anyway over time.

    • TD..

      but how do the prices compare between the Exp and Acadia??

      I remember dropping the acadia because of its price..

      Ne ways, as Mash says, the xplorer issues are limited to the Microsft based techies…otherwise alls fine

      FORD offers a 3 yr warranty and service ..donno abt GMC..one feature i liked abt the acadia was the heads up display of the speedo…i still think thats a cool feature to have…dont have first hand experience though…

  54. I am also looking at the Exp vs the Arcadia.

    Either way it’s a big purchase – both size and money!

    Car is the 2nd biggest purchase people make (after buying a house) – yet we are expected to make a decision based on a 30 min test drive or so…

    Dealers should do 24 hour test drives – when ever possible.
    Which I know is difficult as how do you distinguish between genuine buyers as those looking for a free ride?

    I’d be happy to pay say 300-500dhs and if I buy the car then that money is offset against the purchase? – One for dealers to think about ???

  55. Hi

    Please send the price of Ford Edge SEL 12 and Ford Explorer XLT 332,If you had a choice between this what you will prefer as first choice and why

    Hope I will get the reply soon


  56. Aragon,

    Both Acadia Denali & Explorer Limited got almost same price and warranty, except service Ford agent give it free for 3 yrs/60K Km.

    I would recommend Explorer over Acadia for mechnical issues that many of my friends faced during last 3 yrs. However still I am not sure about the Explorer as it is still new model.

    Note that Acadia will change after 2-3 months.

  57. By the way, to be fair with Acadia it got a feature only tall drivers will like it :

    2nd row can shift back addtional distance than usual, the driver will feel very comfortable specially if he got car seats in the 2nd row; as he will have no problem if he shift his seat maximum to to the back end.

  58. Hi Aragon/Mash,

    Just happened to have a look at the reviews yesterday, well I too have booked a Ford Explorer XLT E333.. But since I have been waiting for more that 4 months for it to arrive I was thinking of re considering the purchase….

    Just wanting a brief opinion, is it better and more comfortable than the Prado both on road and slight off road. I am not an off roader, also i have test driven the car but felt a little uncomfortable with the height of the drive seat, front view and the blind spot.

    I am just a week away from getting the delivery of my vehicle but in a confused state, could guys give me your honest opinion about the comfort and stability of the car..

    • Author

      The Explorer’s comfort is fine, but your seating issues varies from person to person, depending on height.

    • Hi Edleen,

      I am 6 ft tall and drive with the seat in the highest poition..i would rate the seating comfort as good..stability – i have taken moderate curves on ittihad road (front of cargo village) at 100kph and felt in good control and confident…not been into more daring experiments..

  59. Hi

    I am planning to buy a SUV in the next few weeks and was confused between the Ford Explorer (XLT) & the Honda pilot (mid range).

    Though the Explorer on one hand looks good from the exterior and also the interiors are sleek & techie it is not as spacious as the pilot as the explorer has empty space between the doors and the seats which is a waste as well the hump in between the 2nd row making it uncomfortable for the centre passenger. On the other hand the interiors of the Pilot are very cheap with hard plastic.

    After taking a test drive of both. I did not find much difference between both though the Explorer is less noisier at high speeds compared to the Explorer I was a little concerned with the visibility in the Explorer.

    I am really confused and am looking for an honest feedback on the performance of both as well as if the visibility is a concern on the Explorer.

    Appreciate your honest feedback in order to make my decision.

  60. Hi JR,
    Your case is exactly the same as mine. I have just moved into Dubai and have been looking for a car. After a lot of study I have finally narrowed down to an Explorer or a Pilot.
    It will be very helpful if someone from Drive arabia can advice. I dont intend to change cars often and need to have a reliable car that does not break down at the same time offering comfort and luxury.
    There are conflicting reports about explorer. Some are very happy with the car and some say it starts opening up after the warrant period. I AM CONFUSED.

    • Author

      The new Explorer’s reliability is unproven since it’s still too new, while the Pilot is old and proven. That’s about it. The rest is laid out on the reviews for each.

  61. Hi All,
    I have paid the booking amount and a partial down payment for my XLT Leather seated Ruby Red Explorer 2013. I drove many other cars but loved driving the Explorer more than anything else. I am not interested in any offroad adventures and would just limit my drive within the well metalled roads of RAK nad Dubai. I was choosing between , PAJERO, LC PRADO ,Terrain EDGE AND EXPLORER.I loved the Explorer interiors, the only thing I am worried about as of now is the re-sale value of the same. Hope that improves as I dont understand why its competitors have a better resale.

    • Hi Omar

      All this while, i have been thinking of buying a Prado, but the other day sat in my Friend’s Exporer (XT), the interiors were really cool and quite comfortable. I am now thinking of going for a Explorer (XT), but i am only concerned if it has a resale value, if yes then how much would you end of getting at the end.


  62. 7 seater kia sorento or 3.5 or ford explorer 3.5 which one is good in fuel consumption 2013 model.
    please help me i want to buy this week waiting for reply.

  63. Hi Tameed!
    I have become a fan of Ford vehicles, they are absolutely beautifully carved out interiorly. Cant see any other Honda, Toyota, Nissan vehicles coming close. There wont be much fuel difference if both engines are 3.5 L. gO FOR Ford . U will love it

  64. thanks omar for your help inshaallah i will go for ford thank you very much and ramadan kareem .

  65. Hey guys,
    Just booked a XLT 333, the interior is just beautiful. Was choosing between Pathfinder and Explorer. I was pretty much turned off by the Pathfinder’s clunky plastic interior. Plus I got tons of more features for similar price. Cant wait to get a hold of my beauty:)

  66. By the way I went to Honda, Nissan , Kia yesterday evening. I felt good after checking all these vehicles because none of them can match the Ford lineup . THe Ford Taurus ia an amzingly beautiful vehicle. A must buy for any sedan hunter….

  67. Hi All,

    Have crossed the 25000 Km mark on my exp XLT bought 1 year ago…Aug 2011…absolutely no issues so far..other than already known issue with the interactive software..have not taken her offroad so far…

  68. Hi all, recieved my car(XLT Leather ruby red with black interiors) the other night, drove it to Dubai and back. Really loved it. Fuel economy was hovering around 10.5 mark/100 km. My relatives really liked the car. The voice command sometimes is frustrating and bcoz of ramadan i can barely shout but the touch screen is awesome. I want to know if anybody who drove the car is complaining of ac issues… WOULD NOT want to take this beautiful car offroad.. haha

  69. Hi Omar/Aragon, can you tell me if XLT 333 has ambient lighting? and what are the differences between it and limited?

  70. Hi! The XLT does not have ambient lighting. Also it doesn’t have adaptive vruise control, rear dvd , auto park assist , rear inflatable seat belts, rain sensing wipers,automatic 3rd row flattening buttons( whatever u call them). tHese are the basic differences .

  71. Hi Bilal! drop your e mail i will fwd u the specs sheet..

  72. Hi Omar, I think these options are for Limited plus as my friend’s Limited 2011 does not have them. Well the confusion will be over on 15th when they deliver it. Ambient light would have been cool though. My email is [email protected]

  73. Guys wats your av mileage with this car?

  74. Ambient lights are available only in Limited trim. I have done 16k kms on my 2012 explorer xlt. Most of the people dont like the MyFord Touch but I love it. You can simply ask your car to play a particular song, or just ask to call your friend and… it will do it for you (with 80% accuracy). Its fun. Its techno. Its future. Of course there are some glitches, but I just ignore them. The fuel consumption is about 11.3/100km to 12.2/100km.

  75. I have owned a ford escape for 3 years and was OK with the same till it suddenly developed a transmission problem.
    Unfortunately it happened when the 5 yrs. warranty had just expired by a few days. when to al-tayer- they demanded 16K for fixing the same. wrote to ford directly they did not even bother to respond.

    Little bit of survey on the net exposed that it is a VERY common problem with escape and explorers.

    check out:


    I am now thinking of an upgrade now and very scared to buy a FORD.

    Anyone knows if Ford has done anything to fix this problem in new explorer?

  76. Thats scary, I own an explorer for a month now but Alhamdulillah no issues so far. Need Mash to advise on the ford problems though…

  77. I am driving explorer 2012 from last 10 months now. Not even a single issue till date. I love the quiet cabin on highways.
    As the car is a little wider and longer than the landcruiser itself, sometimes it is difficult to find good parking space.

  78. Hi Argen,

    I`m planning to buy the mid range explorer. Plz send me the Excel sheet comparison. How is the three row seat leg space. My email ID is [email protected]


  79. I will have had my 2012 Explorer 1 year next month and I truly love it. One minor problem and I am curious if anyone else out there has the same problem. On the highway at speeds between 45 and 70 I get this roaring sound like it is coming through the grille. My dealer replaced the window trim plastic molds as the tech bulletin says that seems to be a problem. It helped some but I still get that noise. I drove the dealership one and I got the same results. Anyone out there recommend anything you can do to stop that aggravating noise.

  80. I have driven my explorer for more than a month now at around 1449km on the odo when I parked the car this morning. We love this car. I am just curious and have an uneasy feeling of doubt regarding the bad smell inside the cabin after I pressed the pedal hard enough at times when needed (above 3,500RPM). The sales agent already warned me about it but he said it will be gone after break-in period which is after 5,000kms. I asked him if it is hazardous to health but he didn’t reply. Did anybody have this issue?

  81. The smell is coming from the engine compartment. When you press hard on gas pedal, the computer cuts the AC to give more power to the car. That’s why you get the smell from engine compartment.

    • Thanks for the comment but basing on your message, I am now more troubled than before; i.e.: I got the smell of the engine compartment in the cabin because the computer cuts the AC off during hard accelerations. Correct me if I am wrong but does it mean that if I set the AC off, the smell from the engine compartment gets in the cabin? or only when the computer cuts off the AC itself then the smell from the engine compartment gets in the cabin? so, the computer pumps the smell from the engine compartment into the cabin? Nonetheless, isn’t the cabin designed to be locked away from outside elements as much as possible? unless of course if the windows are opened or the AC recirculation is turned off. Also, I think most of the smell from the engine compartment are not good for the health that is why it is placed outside the cabin. If this is the case, that the smell getting in the cabin is from the engine compartment so it will not go away even after break-in period. I might rather bring this back asap to Ford dealer. I have driven manual and automatic cars with AC (built before 2010 and even much cheaper than the Ford Explorer) but have never experienced this. Sorry for the novice questions, I am not a mechanic or any expert, I am just concerned as my frequent passengers are my wife and our 2year-old daughter and I do not want us breathing-in this smell.

  82. Hero,

    I have clocked 32000km on my 2011 explorer. the smell is still there, but the intensity has reduced. dont know the reason. should be something related to the AC, which is normally observed even in wondow ACs when the compressor swicthes of , you get a peculiar smell.


    I have a whistling sound coming from somewhere between the A and B pillars, above 80kmph. Have shown it to the AL Kahabaisi service centre. they referred me to their al qouz body shop as its an issue with the body. yet to find time to go there.

    Got both front window glass motors replaced under warranty because their operation was not smooth.

    Otherwise alls well with the car…!!!

    Otherwise alls

  83. Thanks Aragon for sharing your personal experience with that unwanted smell. I am quite relieved that I am not alone, I thought a got a lemon. I turned to Google trying to search for some fix and I ran into the following link. It seems that the issue is not new at all.


    Since you already clocked 32,000kms yet nothing alarming so far to your health hence the no complain remarks I believe. And, since there has been no reported fatal accident due the that smell, thus the issue is secluded somehow, only to those who pays attention. I don’t want it to be like ‘just-better-get-used-to-it’ as the price of the explorer is not easy on the pocket.

    @ Dennis
    From the above link on page4, someone had a similar issue with yours. The A-pillars need to be replaced due to wind whistle.

  84. Hi Mash,

    Please advise on my plan to buy a Ford explorer standard model 2013 in Saudi Arabia?

    Do you have any other SUV which you would suggest within a budget of 130,000 SAR?
    How about crossover like Ford edge? please advise


  85. Friends, I am going to take delivery of my XLT leather this Sunday. pretty Excited I must say. How do you guys find the blind spot mirror? That is the only thing that I think would trouble me initially as it would need some getting used to..Whats your take on it?


    • Congrats man.. !! best wishes.. do share your experience with us..

    • Nithin, I’ve almost decided to go with XL leather which is of 146K. very excited but just one thing killing me is there is no navigation system in any trim except the top one Limited+.
      Would you mind sharing how your explorer is performing and anything to consider b4 i make final call.
      Appreciate your input.


  86. Hi everyone..

    read all ur comments from start till the end..!! i am going to book Ford Explorer 2013 by this weekend..!! and am pretty excited.. Who so ever already has this car.. please share your experience..for 2013 model.. specially the fuel economy..!!



  87. good luck to all the Explorer drivers and passengers who will smell the burnt oil (exhaust fumes) entering into the cabin at 4k rpm.

    • Hi all Ford explorer owners. Any offcial feedback from Ford/Al Tayer motors on this issue. Last week I was told that this is still under review and they are yet to come up with permanent solution. is this correct?


  88. Is this vehicle suitable for desert and offroading

  89. Hallo All,

    Am planning to buy Ford explorer in this Holy Ramadan since it having good offers including price discounts, free service for 100000KM etc… can anyone suggest/ review the vehicle… am planning to use the vehicle for 4-5 years and change.. is this a good option and need to know about the maintenance of the vehicle..

  90. Guys,

    I completed 2 years of satisfied ownership of the Ford Explorer on Aug 10th. Have clocked 49000 Km so far and not a single fils from my pocket other than the EMI and Fuel off course :-).

    Have taken the car offroad also and found it pretty good. No stuck/No lack of power/ rare wheel spins etc. AC was also working good even after 3 hours of continous 4 wheel mode drive (sand mode).

    Overall am perfectly satisfied with the car. maybe i drive very less as i have another 12000 km and one year to exhaust the bumper-to-bumper warranty.
    The engine and drive train warranty will take me to 100000 Km and 5 years!!!! so at least no major expenses expected on that front for another 3 years.

    The only warranty problem i had was the 2 window motors for the front doors, that too, i got it changed just because it was under warranty. Normally, i could have lived with it as it was only a couple of jerks before it went fully into the door.

    Anyways people say that the break down fun starts after warranty is exhausted. So am waiting until then ie. 3 years down the line to see whether these FORD critics are right or not…hehe…

    Thats all for now..have fun


  91. hi All

    I have a 4WD Ford Explorer 2013 (basic verion). Quick query on the shocks. The front generally gives a cranking noise as one goes up the humps and if at 21km/p you hear a pretty loud ‘thud’ from the rear left side (some one earlier mentioned as if you are in a boat). have complained to Al Tayer QA people but they say teh front noise is opertaional and rear you have to below 10km. Not sure what to make out of this as I have had the old 2007 ford explorer for a good 5 years and never had this issue.
    Aasim (Dxb)

  92. I want to buy the new ford explorer sport 2014.But till now i haven’t seen any sport version in abu dhabi.So anyone….is the sport version available in the UAE or no.

  93. I have a 2013 Ford Explorer Limited. I had booked the auto parking feature model but on the day of delivery I was told that price for the 2013 Limited model was hiked by the company and that I would have to fork out another 15K if I needed that and also it would take another 3 months. I badly needed the car and hence had to settle for the normal Limited. I have had a few issues since I bought the car. Following parts were replaced, 1)Faulty turn signal switch 2)Driver side rear view mirror 3)Fuel pump assembly 4)Driver side door stopper. Other than that some loose leather trim was repaired, left loose interior ‘A’ pillar panel was fixed. It took a lot of effort to convince the guys at Ford service Mussafah to accept the faults and take corrective action. Most were addressed during my 3rd third service when I spoke to the service manager in person. I still have issues with the wind noise above 60kmph, a slow My Ford Touch system after one update, burning smell inside cabin at speeds @135kmph, a pitted windscreen. After repeated Emails to Ford service locally as well as US no one has bothered to reply to even a single mail. I was assured I will get the navigation SD card in the near future but it doesn’t seem to come at all. If not for these dissapointing things it’s a great vehicle.

  94. Dear Mashfique,
    Plz, update your info regarding the 2015 ford expedition as all the data you have mentioned is wrong. The 2015 has only one engine which is the twin turbo 3.5 litre with a torque that can drive the car to 100 km/h in less that 7 seconds. Waiting for your reply and appreciate your advanced changing

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