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Slowest Rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was amused by the use of mountain bikes to make the introduction of new Ford Explorer 2011. Of course, they had to build a big dirt hill in the middle of NYC for all the mountain bikes and Explorer to descend.

Overall, the Explorer looks pretty cool - a perfect MTB carrier. It can handle off road well, carry lots of bikes and people, and also get great mileage approaching 30 MPG highway. I love the new interior with My Touch buttons and beautiful customizable dash panels. And it has the new voice SYNC system with built in USB, SD card readers and such.

I've now seen my next car.
 

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What's the stock ground clearance? I think it is a huge improvement in looks and interior over the old one but much more car-like now. This wil probably be a good move on Ford's part since most SUV owners never hit more than a dirt road, though not for me. I'll stick with the Xterras, 4Runners, and FJs. Still, it is quite the redesign!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Flyer said:
What's the stock ground clearance? I think it is a huge improvement in looks and interior over the old one but much more car-like now. This wil probably be a good move on Ford's part since most SUV owners never hit more than a dirt road, though not for me. I'll stick with the Xterras, 4Runners, and FJs. Still, it is quite the redesign!
Ford's got their web site up for the 2011 Explorer. It shows all highlights and details. Click on the Spec button and you can see 7.6" of Minimum Running Ground Clearance. Approach and departure angles are over 21 degrees. My Taurus X specifications said 5.6", but I measured closer to 9 most all places dropping to about 7" right under the engine mount. So I think they're conservative - full load, tires low pressure, some road bouncing, lowest point, etc..

I don't think this Explorer is going to be a rock crawler, but it's much more rugged than the average car. They've added better, more sophisticated controls that are simple to operate to handle Mud, Snow, Sand, and steep descents. It will fit the buyers better - high load capacity, great fuel economy, abilty to handle rough terrain, good car-like handling and luxurious interior.

With the V6 engine it tows 5000 lbs, which they say handles 90% of the customers who tow. It also has the special towing anti-sway sensors and software built in. I saw a video of it on a Ford pickup once, compared to a pickup without it, and it was an amazing life saver when towing big things. It can also be had with All Wheel Drive in the V6 version.

The I4 has the new "EcoBoost" engine technology of Direct Fuel Injection combined with twin turbos.The fuel injection keeps the gas cool so the turbo can get more compression. This I4 gets as much torque as the V6 (~250 ft-lbs), and it's torque curve is very flat starting at 1500 RPM, for a kick in the pants feeling. Even though it's peak power is lower, 237 versus 290 HP for the V6, it'll feel pretty close in performance, yet get great gas mileage. Unfortunately the EcoBoost I4 limits you to much lower towing capacity (~2500 lbs?) and is only available in Front Wheel Drive. But I only put hitch racks on the back of my car, so it's fine for me.
 

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Yeah, it is a HUGE step up over a regular sedan for sure. I just picked up a 2005 V8 4x4 4Runner in pristine condition but I will be taking it to trails that are a bit much for my Subaru sometimes (8.1" clearance) and it has 4Lo as well.

I know some will scoff at the new Explorer but I think it is perfect for 95% of us. It looks really nice too- I'll have to go check out the detailed pictures on the site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Flyer said:
Yeah, it is a HUGE step up over a regular sedan for sure. I just picked up a 2005 V8 4x4 4Runner in pristine condition but I will be taking it to trails that are a bit much for my Subaru sometimes (8.1" clearance) and it has 4Lo as well.

I know some will scoff at the new Explorer but I think it is perfect for 95% of us. It looks really nice too- I'll have to go check out the detailed pictures on the site.
Wow, you go to some tough places! In California, I never see trail access needing anywhere close to 8" clearance - more like loose dirt roads at worst. My Taurus X Crossover even did fine in Moab, Fruita, and even Goosberry, NV, where I occasionally had to clear maybe 4" to 6" rocks.

And if I ever found I did need that much clearance, I'd park and start my ride there,... and wish for more suspension on my bike.
 
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