Print 48 comment(s) - last by ShoePuke.. on Apr 12 at 10:46 AM

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 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'.

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