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New premium SUV is packed with Ford's high-tech features, options

The beloved SUV is finally starting to shed its "gas guzzler" distinction, thanks to vehicles like the new 2013 Explorer SUV from Ford Motor Comp. (F).  Ford unveiled this morning its upgraded model, which brings a new marquee submodel, the Ford Explorer Sport.

Ford has been putting a lot of pressure on fellow automakers with its premium package consumer vehicles, which often offer features sets that are quite competitive with its rivals' luxury brand vehicles.

The Explorer Sport has been empowered with Ford's twin-turbocharged, gasoline direct injection (GDI) equipped "Ecoboost" branded V6 engine, which previously popped up in the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO, the 2010 Ford Flex, the 2011 F-150, and a pair of Lincoln branded vehicles (the MKS and MKT).

Ford did not list the exact horespower of its latest tuned Ecoboost V6, but it's expected to deliver over 350 hp, while offering up 16 mpg city, 25 mpg highway.  

Ford Explorer

Ford says that's anticipated to be 3/2 mpg better (city/highway, respectively) than Chrysler's Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango R/T with 5.7L Hemi engines, and 3/4 mpg better than the Land Rover Range Rover Sport (Land Rover is a Tata Motor Comp. (BSE:500570) subsidiary previously owned by Ford).

Aside from beating its rivals by double digit percentages in the fuel economy department, the new SUV is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Ford Explorer 2

The model also comes with special new trim and the rejuvenated distribution of MyFord Touch, which was added to the base Explorer model in 2011.  The vehicle also has a high-tech set of options, which include Active Park Assist (APS), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), and Push Button Start.

In July of last year, Ford introduced a "lesser" four-cylinder EcoBoost version of the Explorer.

Source: Ford

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RE: This is good?
By Argon18 on 3/28/2012 5:40:09 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly. When will Detroit wake up and realize that ALL trucks and suv's should have modern clean quiet turbo diesel engines, like most vehicles in europe. More reliable, longer lasting, much better fuel economy, way more torque, all things that a truck or suv buyer would value. My '06 mercedes e320 CDI makes 369 ft/lbs of torque and gets nearly 40 mpg. Put a similar engine into the f-150, explorer, etc. and people WILL buy it.

RE: This is good?
By chrnochime on 3/28/2012 5:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
Friend was in europe and told me he rented a 1.6(or is it 1.5) liter diesel punto or something. I'd be happy if my DD has a 2.0T diesel under the hood here in the US...

RE: This is good?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/28/2012 6:17:57 PM , Rating: 3
My '06 mercedes e320 CDI makes 369 ft/lbs of torque and gets nearly 40 mpg.

33 MPG isn't "nearly" 40 MPG. Stick to the facts please.

Secondly the reason diesel doesn't get adopted in America has nothing to do with the manufacturers. It's the goddamned EPA who's made it cost prohibitive to certify small cheap engines.

Plus the ENTIRE fuel tax structure is stacked against diesel here, unlike Europe.

RE: This is good?
By aebiv on 3/28/2012 6:42:22 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I know another E320 owner who gets an average of 38mpg, so yes, I would consider that "nearly" 40 MPG.

And yes, our brilliant government pushes against Diesel since we love Ethanol so much :|

RE: This is good?
By twhittet on 3/28/2012 10:08:27 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I know another E320 owner

Who cares? Why can't people understand the difference between "my friend once got" and EPA numbers?

RE: This is good?
By aebiv on 3/28/2012 11:06:58 PM , Rating: 1
When has the government been accurate?

RE: This is good?
By Spuke on 3/28/2012 11:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
When has the government been accurate?
Irrelevant. You can take the EPA numbers of various cars and compare them. I can't use personally observed numbers at all cause they VARY anywhere from straight up lies to hypermiler drivers.

RE: This is good?
By Dr of crap on 3/29/2012 8:13:21 AM , Rating: 2
WHOA, wait - really?!!?

You think the EPA sticker on cars is ACCURATE! REALLY!

Your need a good dose of reality!

"once got" and "I get mostly...." is the usual numbers for that car with that driver. And mostly likely NOT EPA sticker numbers.

RE: This is good?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/29/2012 8:48:58 AM , Rating: 2
It may not be accurate, but it's far less myopic than these "my friend got" style arguments.

Would you believe I got 100 MPG in my Impreza yesterday? I saw it happen, do you deny me? I got 100 MPG! You cannot argue. If I say it, it MUST be true, according to your logic.

(I started at the top of a mountain, put it in neutral, and coasted the whole way down)

See that's always what's missing in those "my friend got" stories. What exactly they were doing when they "got" that MPG.

RE: This is good?
By chucky2 on 3/29/2012 10:59:38 AM , Rating: 2
While I understand what you are saying about anecdotal evidence, it is widely understood that the EPA testing cycle is not accurate, and this inaccuracy impacts diesels ratings, along with other things such as start/stop technology.

One only needs to head over to Fuelly and start looking at observed numbers vs. EPA for that vehicle/engine vs. Fuelly gas counterpart of same vehicle, and one can see what advantages diesel has over gas.

Even with Tier II Bin 5, there is no real argument when looking at fuel economy and performance (performance in respect to how 98% of normal people drive), diesel trumps gas. The only argument then is one of additional cost. And that will depend on what is bought, and how long one plans to keep their ride...


RE: This is good?
By bah12 on 3/29/2012 11:44:10 AM , Rating: 2
It's not meant to be accurate. It is meant to be accurate ONLY when comparing it to other EPA numbers not ignorant anecdotal real world examples like the OP has given. ANY car can be driven better or worse than the EPA rating, thus comparing any real world example to it is retarded.

RE: This is good?
By chucky2 on 3/29/2012 12:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not meant to be accurate? Then what is even the point? The tests should be as accurate as possible, since those numbers are what J6P (Joe Six Pack) are basing their mpg knowledge off of. That's an amazing statement.

Real world examples are important to the person who had the real world experience. They shouldn't just be discounted because you don't like them.

If you want a better sample size, go look at Fuelly. Same vehicle, different fuel. You can't argue against that trending and say diesels a.) don't have a mpg/performance advantage over gas, and b.) aren't putting up impressive mpg/performance numbers.

Not that I'm a fan of EU and 'The Rest of the World' BS people go ranting against the US about, but, 'TRotW' has already figured out the best fuel to use, and it's diesel. Equipped properly with necessary (not, unnecessary) emissions equipment, there really is no reason to chose gas over diesel. Unless you are not keeping the vehicle long term or are a drag racer.


RE: This is good?
By theapparition on 3/29/2012 1:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
The previous poster stated it a bit incorrectly.

The EPA numbers are hyper-accurate, and repeatable. However, they may not reflect real world use. Some people will get much better numbers, some will get much worse.

So what's the point? It provides a controlled set of conditions to compare vehicle A to vehicle B. In scientific parlance, it's called a control. Without that, every manufacturer would have their own tests and claims would be continually manipulated.

But internet posts that aren't scientifically valid, are under widely varying conditions, along with a heap of exaggeration, shouldn't be taken as absolute claims about mpg. Yes, real world results are important, but only if you have the exact same driving habits, live in the same climate with the same density altitude, and experience all the same conditions. Otherwise, someone else's experience is going to be completely irrelevant to you.

RE: This is good?
By chucky2 on 3/29/2012 2:46:02 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, you are correct here, the EPA testing proceedures, which result in the mpg rating, act as a control. The point is, if the control for the highway number consistently results in very high %'s of gas vehicles not able to hit the highway number in Reality, and consistently results in very high %'s of diesel vehicles blowing past their control numbers in Reality (thus doing a disservice on the window sticker), something is very wrong with your control.

Of course, one could argue that the gas and diesel drivers are driving different on the highway. With the sample sizes available on Fuelly, plus reported type of driving, I submit that the EPA (and whoever is pulling their strings) doesn't want to be bothered to fix their controls.

Controls...they're controlling something, just not Reality.

RE: This is good?
By bah12 on 3/29/2012 3:15:12 PM , Rating: 2
Let me clarify. The other poster explained it better, but the point of EPA numbers are for comparison nothing more. Accuracy really has nothing to do with it. In fact the test could come up with a index number. Where Car A had 159.2 and Car B had 160.3 the usefulness would be that as a buyer you would know that Car B is better.

Real world is obviously all that really matters. My whole axe to grind here is that people compare the 2 numbers as if they were comparable, they simply aren't. It doesn't make either one "useless", but it does wholeheartedly make them incomparable. And yes generally speaking diesel has a higher efficiency under the same load, and I'd love to see more.

Of course I'd argue that a lot of that advantage diesel has from turbo charging and direct injection which is very mature if not standard in diesel, but pretty new to mass produced gas engines. That's precisely why Ford's solution is a step in the right direction it may not close the gap completely but does the best you can expect from gas.

Let's also not forget that even when a diesel beats a gas, it still has to beat it by a large enough % to cover the current gap in price otherwise what's the point.

RE: This is good?
By chucky2 on 3/29/2012 3:59:06 PM , Rating: 2
And this is my problem with the EPA numbers and hence test protocol. If gas engined car A has a mpg for highway of 38, and the same vehicle with a diesel, car B, has a mpg for highway of 42, a buyer is going to say, Oh, car A gets 4 mpg less on the highway than car B.

But in Reality, car B driver the way most drivers drive on the highway, is not going to get 38, it's going to get 33, 34, maybe 35 or 36 if it's really lucky. Same car, same driving style, same Reality, car B is getting 44-46 mpg. So the difference in Reality, where it actually counts, isn't 4, it's 8 or 9 or 10 mpg.

Now go back when doing the purchase, and completely taking out the performance one gets while getting "42 mpg" vs "38 mpg", people do the math and say, Wow, between the slightly increased purchase price (for cars), plus the increased cost of fuel, not sure if diesel is worth it.

Yet in Reality, if they'd factored in the 8-10mpg difference, they'd d@mn sure be wanting the diesel. And again, that excludes the performance benefits the economical diesel has over the economical gasser.

The EPA has failed here, and in doing so, screwed up public perception and by that, screwed up their pocket book... (well, US auto manufacturers hand in hand helped also, but not bringing over their CD offerings, but that's another subject entirely...however related).

RE: This is good?
By chucky2 on 3/29/2012 4:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Typo in my second paragraph above: First 'car B' should be 'car A'.

RE: This is good?
By Reclaimer77 on 3/29/2012 4:11:48 PM , Rating: 1
Sigh...really man?

The EPA cannot factor in every possible driving habit, traffic conditions, weather patterns etc etc that effect mileage.

But what they DO provide for the purposes of this discussion is a controlled method, across the board, for determining mileage. Is it always accurate? No. Is it more reliable than "Pappy Joe said he got 30mpg today"? YES.

Real world examples are important to the person who had the real world experience. They shouldn't just be discounted because you don't like them.

Assuming that everyone on the Internet is telling the truth, or KNOWS what they are talking about, is a slippery slope. I can reference EPA numbers, you can look them up and see I'm not full of crap. The same can't be said of he said she said.

RE: This is good?
By chucky2 on 3/29/2012 6:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
The EPA can factor basically everyone on the highway doing 65 miles an hour - at least - and in most cases, more like 70 mph or 80 mph. Their highway numbers suck for accuracy. I don't drive enough city to know if those are as inaccurate as well, but, given how inaccurate their highway numbers are, I've got to think city is just as screwed up.

It's great that numbers can be compared, it really is. And the almost totally clueless public can have a really easy go of it. Too bad they're comparing meaningless number A to meaningless number B, but then factoring that meaningless result into a very meaningful decision. If the window sticker had in big bold red words 'These numbers are totally inaccurate because of our F'd up test protocol, don't even bother using them to base your purchase decisio on', I could see maybe arguing the EPA numbers were somewhat useful.

They're not.

Pretending they're useful in any relevant way when comparing gas vs. diesel is even more insane.

The EPA could actually solve this by breaking their city/highway into a 5 group number system, and then designing Realistic test protocols around each of those five groups. But then, people would actually know that their gas Explorer gets 6 mpg in stop and go traffic. And we can't have that...

RE: This is good?
By PoikilothermicX on 4/2/2012 7:11:44 PM , Rating: 2
If you go to the site you will actually see ACTUAL mileage beside EPA mileage.

The current EPA testing methodology is biased against diesels but benefits hybrids. There are many reasons for this the biggest is you have 2 totally different technologies who excel at very different things. Real world city mileage sucks ass. Unless you have a hybrid or something with start/stop I really don't care what you drive cause it will suck. This morning on my way to work I got 35mpg (according to my cluster) but on Friday I got 19.5mpg. This morning I didn't hit any lights but Friday I spent more time idling than I did actually moving.

Hybrids excel in town. They tend to not be so great on the highway because they have high weight and low power (given their size... Prius... Corolla size, Yaris engine, Camry weight...) while diesels have better weight (tho it's becoming a problem due to all the added emissions equipment) and really excel on the highway as their torque allows them to just cruise down the highway without breaking a sweat.

RE: This is good?
By Dan Banana on 4/1/2012 10:41:26 AM , Rating: 2
Accurate? Yes but not if you have a lead foot or chronic road rage or both simultaneously.

RE: This is good?
By silverblue on 3/29/2012 8:49:07 AM , Rating: 2
Diesel is more expensive than unleaded in the UK, and I should point out that our fuel is massively more expensive than yours to boot. :(

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