Consumer Reports not impressed with 2011 Ford Explorer

When you see one publication rate a vehicle positively while another rates it negatively – it isn’t because one publication is better or more knowledgable than the other – they both just perceive a particular model in different manner.

Since we haven’t driven the 2011 Ford Explorer we can’t really comment on the new midsized SUV from Ford; however the folks over at Consumer Reports don’t seem so impressed by it.

In a test of three midsized SUVs – including the new 2011 Ford Explorer, 2011 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the diesel 2011 Volkswagen Touareg TDI – the Highlander Hybrid outpointed the others and posted an overall road test score of “Excellent.” The V-dub Touareg came in close behind the Highlander and now ranks fourth overall in CR’s ratings of midsized SUVs. The Explorer fell short in this competitive market segment and now ranks 17th out of 19 vehicles in the category.

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Here’s what Consumer Reports had to say about the new Explorer:

The redesigned Explorer is much improved over the previous model, but it still doesn’t compete with the best in this class. The Explorer has a steady and compliant ride and decent fuel economy, but the engine is noisy and handling is not agile, even for this class. The Ford Explorer XLT ($39,275 MSRP as tested,) is powered by a 290-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine that provides lively performance and 18 mpg overall. The six-speed automatic transmission is sometimes slow to downshift. Braking is very good. The optional MyFord Touch dashboard design is overcomplicated and distracting to use. The interior is mostly well-finished. The cargo area is generous.

Refresher: Power for the 2011 Ford Explorer comes from a 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 engine making 290-hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission or the optional 6-speed SelectShift automatic. Ford will also offer an 2.0L inline 4-cylinder turbocharged and intercooled EcoBoost engine making 237-hp and 250 lb-ft of torque. Also mated to a 6-speed automatic, the EcoBoost Explorer is expected to deliver a 30 percent increase in fuel-economy. The 2011 Explorer will hit dealerships with three trim levels including base, XLT and Limited. Prices start at $28,190.

2011 Ford Explorer:

– By: Omar Rana