Ford Explorer 2013: King of the Road

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One could argue that the Ford Explorer started America’s love affair with the SUV, and as times have changed, so has the Explorer. Thanks to a full redesign two years ago, the 2013 Ford Explorer is the most efficient and upscale Explorer yet. It’s also become one of the most technologically advanced large crossover SUVs available, with dynamic qualities and a hushed cabin that would rival those of many luxury-brand models.

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In the last redesign, Ford changed the Explorer’s underlying architecture, going from the previous truck-based chassis to a unibody design for more usable interior space. This design brings with it a weight reduction, which results in better fuel efficiency and handling. Inside the cabin, the Explorer offers a stylish, well-finished space for up to seven passengers. There are a lot of advanced features, too, including the voice-activated Sync system, the touchscreen-based MyFord Touch and many safety features, including second-row seatbelt airbags, adaptive cruise control with collision warning and, for 2013, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist.

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For power, the Explorer comes standard with a 290-horsepower V6. It’s what most buyers go with, but Ford also offers a Twin turbo charged 3.5 litre, eco boost v6 engine as an option. Also, the Explorer’s available Terrain Management, a selectable four-mode all-wheel-drive system, takes some of the guesswork out of properly operating a four-wheel-drive system.

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While there’s a lot to like about the 2013 Ford Explorer, I do have some comments. The third-row seat, for instance, isn’t as roomy as that of some competitors. And while the available MyFord Touch interface is a neat idea in theory, we’ve found it slow to respond and difficult to use. That leaves the door open for some other top choices. But if upscale features and a high-quality interior are priorities for you, the Explorer is a great choice.

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