Estimate Your Car Payment
This calculator estimates your monthly car payment.
Enter the price of your vehicle.
Select the number of payments.
Enter the interest rate of the loan.
Include any down payment.
Do not use commas or dollar signs.
The Mooresville Ford Support Staff stands ready to assist you in your purchase of this vehicle today! Please take a few minutes to fill out this convenient two part on-line credit pre-application and we will begin the process.
Allow us here at Mooresville Ford to prepare a custom price quote for you. Use the form below to specify any options, special equipment requirements or any other information you would like us to consider in our calculations. We’ll respond quickly with all the details.
Mooresville Ford now features on-line Test Drive appointment scheduling. Take a moment to provide your relevant contact information and select the times that best-fit your needs. Include a brief description of the any special requirements, and click "Submit." An Advisor from Mooresville Ford will contact you shortly.
Mooresville Ford invites you to "make us an offer". Take a moment to fill out the form below. Let us know how much you would be prepared to pay for this vehicle. Include also a brief description of the any special requirements, and click "Submit". An Advisor from Mooresville Ford will contact you shortly.
*Actual mileage will vary with options, actual driving conditions, driving habits and the vehicle's condition. Based on 2013 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
These are the colors typically available for this vehicle. Color options may change during the model year. Contact Mooresville Ford for confirmation. The color samples displayed on your monitor may not precisely replicate the way they appear on the vehicle.
The Edge's ride quality may be its greatest attribute. It isolates occupants from rough roads without riding like a raft.
...the Ford Edge is still worth a look for family-oriented buyers interested in a comfortable, all-around competent package.
Ford has been able to offer more in the Edge, making it competitive with generously provisioned nameplates from Japan like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Mazda's own CX-7.
The Edge is a terrific-looking piece of machinery, short-coupled and athletic, with a long, rakish windshield and handsome grill resembling a triple-bladed razor ... the Edge has a deliberate and sporty stance that a lot of CUVs -- coming off as neutered SUVs -- are missing.
Los Angeles Times
The Ford Edge is a five-passenger crossover sport utility that answers the call for a roomy vehicle with utility and style. It isn't a truck. Nor is it a minivan. Yet it's more than a car.The Edge is powered by a 285-hp 3.5-liter V6 engine, while the Edge Sport adds a 305-hp 3.7-liter V6; both engines use a six-speed automatic transmission, the Sport adds steering wheel shift paddles. Available on the SE, SEL and Limited trims is a 237-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine which boasts enhanced fuel economy. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. Standard safety features on all models include six airbags, four wheel anti-lock brakes, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, auto-locking power locks, an occupant classification system and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Optional safety equipment includes adaptive cruise control, collision warning, blind spot detection, rear-view camera and rain sensing wipers. MyFord driver connect technology manages all the information the driver needs, with minimal distraction to actually driving.For 2012 the Edge carries over with the introduction of the EcoBoost engine and several exterior color changes.
New fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine available.
The Ford Edge is a balanced, versatile five-passenger vehicle that works for a lot of buyers in a lot of ways, and the 2012 models offer several new features that expand its appeal further.
The 2012 Ford Edge is now available with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine called EcoBoost that achieves an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon Highway.
The 2012 Edge is quieter inside than last year's models thanks to new sound-deadening foam in the fenders and roof pillars and a thicker windshield.Also new for 2012 are subtle aerodynamic tweaks to all the models: re-shaped side mirrors and a new spoiler at the top of the liftgate.Launched as a 2007 model, Edge was re-styled and substantially improved for 2011.
The Ford Edge has been selling in strong numbers, and there's no mystery behind its success.With a blend of sedan and sport-utility attributes, Edge defines the idea of a so-called crossover vehicle.It mixes the ride and handling characteristics of a mid-size sedan with the high seating, commanding view and passenger/cargo flexibility of a conventional sport-utility vehicle.From there, Edge adds layers of appeal in a lot of different ways.For starters, it offers plenty of choices, in models, engines, drive configurations and features.
The 3.5-liter V6 that comes standard is smooth, solid and responsive.The slightly larger 3.7-liter V6 in the Edge Sport delivers the most horsepower and torque in the line, and more oomph than you'll find in a crossover anywhere south of full luxury brands.The new 2.0 EcoBoost delivers more than adequate power with its impressive fuel economy.Based on EPA ratings, all Edge variants deliver excellent fuel mileage compared with similarly configured competitors.
The Edge is not pretty, but it does look contemporary and, well, edgy.Its visual presence is defined by a long wheelbase and short overhangs past the tires at each end.Styling updates for 2011 minimized its barrel-shaped, toy-like impact and have given the Edge a more serious look.You probably won't notice the aerodynamic tweaks made to the 2012 Edge.EcoBoost models get special aerodynamic aids aimed at reducing drag.
A wide choice of models starts with the base Edge SE, which comes with all the essentials and plenty of niceties without overly complicated controls.The Edge Limited model approaches luxury grade with its leather upholstery, while the Edge Sport includes sporty paddle shifters for semi-manual shifting and piano-black trim.
Inside, the Edge presents the finish and ambience of a good sedan with nearly all the bells and whistles, including available premium audio, navigation and rear-seat DVD entertainment.The optional MyFordTouch voice/touch control interface will appeal to some buyers and has undergone its first round of refinement and improvement for 2012, but we found it cumbersome and annoying.Navigation and a rearview camera are useful options, though Ford doesn't have the best navigation systems. Edge can be transformed from five-seat people hauler to cargo carrier with a few quick adjustments.It can carry an eight-foot ladder or bundles of lumber inside, and still seat two.Properly equipped, Edge can tow a substantial 3,500 pounds.
All-wheel drive is available on all models except the base SE.The AWD is a valuable addition in the right climate, but it takes a measurable toll on fuel economy.
The 2012 Ford Edge is available with either a turbocharged four-cylinder engine or one of two V6s, in both front- and all-wheel drive.All models feature a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Edge SE ($27,550) comes with a 285-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 and front-wheel drive.It's equipped with air conditioning, single-CD audio with auxiliary input, a full complement of power features, Ford's MyKey parental control, rear privacy glass, projector beam headlights, and 17-inch alloy wheels.The 240-hp 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder ($995) is optional.The SE Equipment Package 101A ($800) includes a numbered security pad for door entry, satellite radio, rear obstacle sensing, automatic headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a compass, and a rear cargo management system.
Edge SEL ($31,080) adds more standard equipment, including dual-zone automatic climate control with particulate filter, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with cruise control and redundant audio controls, Ford's Sync voice-control system, a rear obstacle warning system, and 18-inch wheels with slightly wider tires.All-wheel drive ($1,995) is optional.The SEL Equipment Group 205A ($2,250) includes leather seating, MyFordTouch, rearview camera and ambient lighting.
Edge Limited ($34,935) upgrades with leather upholstery, heated front seats, rearview camera, a Sony audio upgrade with CD changer, MyFordTouch control interface, and chrome wheels.
Edge Sport ($37,110) is equipped like the Limited but with racier black exterior and interior trim, a 305-hp 3.7-liter V6, steering-wheel paddle shifters, and 22-inch wheels.
Options include a voice-activated navigation system ($795), a panoramic glass sunroof ($1,595), dual-screen rear seat DVD system ($1,995), and a power liftgate ($495).
Safety features on all Edge variants start with dual-threshold front airbags, front-passenger side impact airbags and head-protection curtains for all outboard seats.Standard active safety features include antilock brakes, Ford's ActiveTrack stability system with rollover mitigation, and a tire-pressure monitor.The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Edge a Top Safety Pick.The optional rearview camera and rear obstacle warning system can help alert the driver to a child behind the vehicle when backing up, the Vision Package adds a blind-sport warning system with cross-traffic alert, and all-wheel drive can improve handling stability in adverse conditions.
Ford Edge has come to define the idea of a so-called crossover vehicle, in concept and appearance.It clearly blends the more planted look of a traditional station wagon with the taller roof and seating position of a conventional sport-utility vehicle.
The Edge had a substantial overhaul in both content and styling for 2011, introducing a new grille, bumpers, lights, hood and fenders.For 2012, the changes are more subtle, and intended to improve aerodynamic efficiency.
By its exterior dimensions, the Edge is a bit odd in the current market place, because it doesn't align closely with many of its obvious competitors.It's substantially shorter in length than the Dodge Journey, Mazda CX-9, or Ford Explorer.The Edge has a much longer wheelbase than the Kia Sorrento.Overall, it comes closest in size to the Chevy Equinox crossover SUV.Edge is four inches shorter in overall length than the mid-size Toyota Camry and rides on a wheelbase that is a couple of inches longer.
The long wheelbase and short overhangs past its wheels define the appearance of the Edge as much as anything, creating a vehicle that looks like a toy.The cosmetic changes for 2011 introduced stronger creases throughout, minimizing the rolling-barrel quality and giving it a substantially more serious look.
The aerodynamic improvements for 2012 start with re-shaped side mirrors and a new spoiler at the top of the liftgate.
Models equipped with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine get more aerodynamic enhancements, including side-door rocker moldings and active grille shutters.If more air is required to cool the engine, the active grille shutters automatically open.If no airflow is needed, the shutters close, reducing aerodynamic drag and helping improve fuel economy.
Another efficiency for 2012 is low rolling resistance tires on models with 18-inch wheels (the majority sold).These tires have slightly harder rubber than conventional tires and require less energy to get and stay rolling.Ford says a 10 percent decrease in rolling resistance can translate to a 2 percent increase in fuel economy.Less rolling resistance means slightly less maximum cornering grip, however.
The Edge Sport stands out from the other models.The differences start with a tuxedo-black grille and a larger front spoiler, carry through 22-inch wheels and tires that look like rubber washers stretched around the rims, and end with larger, oval-shaped exhaust tips under the rear bumper.
Ford Edge defines the idea of a crossover vehicle inside as well as out.There's room for five sitting up high, in comfortable, sedan-style surroundings, but with a few quick adjustments there's SUV-like space for bulky cargo.The finish and materials have improved steadily since the Edge was introduced for 2007 and now approach luxury grade.
And the Edge is quieter inside than ever.Changes for 2012 focus on reducing noise in the cabin, starting with expandable foam baffles tucked into the fenders and roof pillars, and a thicker acoustically laminated windshield.
The Edge Sport is distinguished by aluminum foot pedals and black piano-finish trim, as opposed to wood-grain in the Edge Limited.The Sport is also the only model with shift paddles behind the steering wheel to manually operate the 6-speed automatic transmission.
The driver sits high, with a commanding view forward.The front seats are generally comfortable and large enough for big folk, reasonably well contoured and decently supportive.For 2012, a 10-way power driver's seat comes standard on all but the base SE model.The same seat is optional for the passenger side.
Edge comes with one of two different gauge and switch packages.The SE and SEL have a more conventional analog instrument cluster in front of the driver, a single 4.2-inch LCD information display at the top of the center stack of switches, and conventional climate and audio knobs and buttons below.The standard instrument package isn't flashy, but it's straightforward, easy to understand and very effective.The standard package is available with Ford's SYNC system, which allows phones and other devices to be connected wirelessly and controlled by voice commands.
Limited and Sport models come with a different instrument panel with a much larger central display, a flat panel of touch switches below that, and a pair of five-way thumb switches mounted on the steering wheel spokes.These elements comprise MyFordTouch (MFT).
MyFordTouch is an evolution of the Ford SYNC system.It puts two 4.2-inch LED displays in front of the driver, on either side of a big central speedometer, and another 8-inch LCD at the top of the center stack with its own color-coded graphics.In total, MyFordTouch controls and displays climate settings, audio adjustments, programming of automatic door locks, telephone operation, navigation, and SYNC Services (something like OnStar), a boggling array of other choices, including turn-by-turn directions, sports scores, fuel prices, movie listings, dining options, even horoscopes.
Climate and audio settings can be adjusted in four separate ways: by voice command, by the thumb buttons on the steering wheel, by touching the display screen, or by using the touch buttons in the switch stack below.Actually, the buttons are more like touch areas, without a mechanical button to operate.It's a little bewildering at first, mostly in terms deciding which of the four options to use for the intended adjustment, or in locating the touch points where the hard switch actually works, should you prefer to do it the old-fashioned way.The driver must use a carefully pointed fingertip to find the spot where the switch operates, not always easy when bouncing down the road.
Ford updated its MyFordTouch software for 2012, creating more distinct graphics and easier-to-use menus than those in the original MFT scheme.All future updates will be available for free download and installation via a USB thumb drive, and the 2012 updates are available for upgrading 2011 models.
In other words, MyFordTouch is improving.With a bit of time and familiarity, the various operations get easier.In some cases MFT can be fun to use in a high-tech way.Still, a lot of buyers will be a lot happier with the base system.The problem is that a lot of the bells and whistles offered on the Edge are only available if you take MyFordTouch.
Storage space for small items is good.There's a big, deep box in the center console, a good-sized glove box, bins molded at the bottom of the door panels and pockets on the front seatbacks.In total, there are eight cup or bottle holders and four 12-volt power points.
The rear seats have plenty of room, with the same high, clear view that's afforded in front.The rear seatbacks recline to the passenger's taste, and backs and bottom are decently contoured on the outside of what is essentially a bench.The Edge will work nicely for a family of four with two members in their mid-teens, but five is a crowd due to the small rear-center seat.
Cargo space is generous, with 32.2 cubic feet of volume behind the rear seat, and 68.9 cubic feet with the second seat folded flat.The rear seatback is split and folds easily.An optional fold-flat front seat helps accommodate long items.Folding the front-passenger and right-rear seatbacks forward provides space for an eight-foot step ladder or a load of two-by-fours inside the vehicle, with room left for the driver plus a passenger behind the driver.The lift-in height is just about right, and a power-operated tailgate is available.
Edge's stylishly curved exterior takes a small toll on interior space, however.Measured by absolute cargo volume, it ranks mid-pack among mid-size crossovers and SUVs.Toyota Venza and Kia Sorrento have bit more cargo room (maximum 70.1 and 72.5 cubic feet, respectively), and Ford's smaller Escape comes very close (67.2 cubic feet).
The Ford Edge fits the crossover theme right down to the way it drives.Its ride, handling and general dynamic behavior are much more like that in the typical sedan than in any truck.Yet the Edge offers the commanding view and longer in-traffic sight lines that one expects in a pickup or sport-utility vehicle.
Edge delivers better fuel economy than truck-based SUVs.By EPA ratings, it ranks near the top among comparable crossovers such as the Dodge Journey and Toyota Venza, regardless of engine or drive configuration.
The fuel-economy leader in the Edge lineup is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine.The 2.0-liter EcoBoost is one of the most sophisticated engines in Ford's lineup.With an advanced turbocharging setup, fully variable valve timing and extra-efficient direct injection, EcoBoost packs significant wallop for its size.With a peak of 240 horsepower, the 2.0 EcoBoost makes 45 fewer horsepower than Edge's standard 3.5-liter V6, or just 15 percent less.Yet the four-cylinder is nearly 50 percent smaller than the V6 by displacement.
Ford pitches the EcoBoost as the best of all worlds, with the power of a V6 and the economy of a four-cylinder.The marketing claims are true, sort of.If an engine is running at full throttle and producing 240 hp, it's using essentially the same amount of energy (or gasoline) whether it has six, four or two cylinders.So if a driver uses full throttle and all 240 horsepower a lot of the time, actual fuel economy gains with the EcoBoost will be much less significant.
But that doesn't mean there are no fuel savings.The four-cylinder will use less fuel than the V6 when it's idling, coasting down and sometimes when cruising at a steady pace, and if the driver is more judicious with the throttle in daily driving, the EcoBoost engine should deliver substantial fuel economy gains.EcoBoost earns an EPA rating of 21/30 mpg City/Highway, which Ford claims is higher than any crossover or SUV in its size class.
We liked the 2.0 EcoBoost Edge.While its EPA Highway ratings are 4 mpg higher than those for the standard V6, the four-cylinder turbo actually generates more peak torque (270 pound-feet compared to 253).And it's torque that translates into acceleration, particularly when starting at lower speeds.The EcoBoost seems just as quick as the standard V6, probably quicker in short bursts of acceleration, or changes of 20 mph or so.There's a notable rush when you floor it.The four-cylinder is also reasonably smooth, and we wouldn't expect the typical buyer to be pining for more power with the EcoBoost engine.Fuel savings over the life of the car should more than compensate for the additional $1,000 up-front cost of the EcoBoost option.
The 3.5-liter V6 is much stronger and more pleasing than the pre-2011 Edge engine.The V6 sounds strong in the lower gears, throaty and authoritative, but the Edge cabin is very quiet cruising in top gear, and conversation is easy in all quarters.If the V6 has an advantage over the EcoBoost four, it lies in an extra bit of smoothness, or perhaps a less-frenetic quality or an impression that it's not working quite as hard as the four-cylinder.
The Edge Sport's larger, 3.7-liter V6 delivers the most horsepower and torque available in the line.We reckon the Edge Sport is one of the quickest, most substantially powered crossovers available, short of the much more expensive V8s from luxury brands.
The 6-speed automatic transmission comes with an ordinary shifter on the base Edge SE, with a SelectShift manual-control shifter on the SEL and Limited models, and with SelectShift and wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Sport.Shifted manually, the automatic has a crisp, positive feel.In full automatic mode, it shifts smoothly, and it's generally quick to respond at cruising speeds.If you need more acceleration when you're puttering along at 40, the Edge drops down a gear quickly when you press the gas pedal, and sometimes two gears if you floor it.
The problem, if there is one, is the automatic's general unwillingness to select or stay in first gear.This is generally because the engineers who designed its control program were trying to maximize fuel economy in all circumstances, but it has its drawbacks.If you're creeping through a parking lot toward the exit, for example, the transmission will already have shifted up into second.And if you see an opportunity to pull into traffic as you approach the street, stepping on the gas before you come to a full stop, the Edge's transmission won't shift back down into first, unless you completely floor the pedal, and then is doesn't downshift as quickly as we would like; if it downshifts, you'll get a stutter and then a very abrupt launch; if it doesn't downshift, you'll accelerate more slowly than you were expecting.
Otherwise, the Edge is always pleasant to drive, and generally responsive to the steering wheel.In aggressive maneuvers, it feels more top heavy than a sedan, with more lag time as the mass of the body catches up to what the tires and suspension are doing.Regardless, the Edge is more than responsive enough for typical family duty, and it travels comfortably smooth in all circumstances.There's nothing we'd call rough or truckish in its overall ride quality. The Sport model's large wheels and low-profile tires improve steering response and they probably add more cornering grip, but they also extract a toll in terms of harshness, particularly when they are slamming over ruts and divots on bumpy roads.We like the Edge Sport, but it may be too firm for most buyers.
Ford has fixed what we thought was less than stellar brake feel in early Edge models.Almost everything in the braking system has been upgraded, and the feel at the pedal, where it counts, is vastly improved.The deceleration starts much earlier in the pedal travel, and the braking force is stronger and more linear than it was before.All the mushiness and indecision has been engineered out.
All-wheel drive is available on V6 models.Front-wheel drive is standard.The electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system operates full time, delivering most of the power to the front wheels most of the time, but sending torque to the rear wheels as needed to help balance traction.The AWD is a valuable tool, particularly in the Snow Belt, and we recommend it to owners who drive in wintry conditions.It can keep the Edge moving forward uninterrupted on snow-coated surfaces, with barely a slip or jog.
All-wheel drive comes with a notable fuel-mileage penalty: 1 mpg City and 2 mpg Highway with both V6 engines, according to EPA.That translates to hundreds of gallons of gas and thousands of dollars over the life of the vehicle, not to mention nearly $2000 up front buying the AWD in the first place.In California, Texas, Florida or large swathes of the South, we'd recommend the front-wheel drive.
Towing capacity may be another draw for crossover buyers, and the Edge does well in that category.Surprisingly, given its more powerful engine, the Edge Sport doesn't do as well as the SEL or Limited for towing.The Sport's maximum tow rating is 2,000 pounds, partly due to those low-profile tires.Properly equipped, the SEL and Limited can tow up to 3,500 pounds, and there's a trailer-sway control system tied into the traction and stability electronics.Trailer-sway control makes towing less nerve-wracking.
There's a reason Ford's Edge is a best seller among crossover vehicles.It defines what a crossover is supposed to be, mixing the smooth comfort and driving behavior of a solid sedan with the high seating, flexibility and cargo hauling space of a sport-utility vehicle.The Edge is stylishly edgy, and it offers a lot of choices in trim, features, and engines.Plus, there's a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.The 2.0 EcoBoost four-cylinder engine delivers more than sufficient power and the best EPA mileage ratings in the class.The V6 engines allow towing capacity up to 3500 pounds.
Jim McCraw reported from Nashville, Tennessee; with J.P.Vettraino reporting from Detroit.
Ford Edge SE ($27,550); Edge SEL ($31,080); Limited ($34,935); Sport ($37,110).
Oakville, Ontario, Canada.
Options As Tested
EcoBoost 240-hp turbocharged I4 engine ($995); Equipment Group 205A ($2,250) includes leather seating, MyFordTouch control system, rearview camera, and ambient lighting; voice activated navigation system ($795); Vision Package ($485) includes blind-spot warning with cross-traffic alert.
Ford Edge SEL ($31,080).
A new kind of Explorer gets a new kind of engine.
Out of the box, the Ford Explorer has demonstrated itself to be one the best, seven-passenger sport-utility vehicles available.It delivers the function and family friendly features of a minivan with a more rugged emotional appeal, off-road and towing capability for those who need it, and SUV mileage that was unheard of back in the day.
The venerable Explorer was essentially re-invented for 2011, and Ford might have taken a pass on further improvements for 2012.The opposite is true.In addition to an expanded palette of paint colors, the 2012 Explorer is now offered with an optional 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
Ford's so-called 2.0 EcoBoost is the first four-cylinder in an SUV of the Explorer's size in a long, long time.It has more power than the standard V6 in the previous-generation Explorer, with half the displacement, and it delivers the highest EPA mileage ratings in this class: 20/28 mpg City/Highway.
This latest-generation Explorer has a one-piece, unitized body and frame like the typical sedan, rather than an old-school, ladder-type truck frame with a separate, bolted on body.It's four inches longer and five inches wider than the previous (pre-2011), body-on-frame Explorer, with third-row seating standard, yet it's 100 pounds lighter.Both the 2.0 EcoBoost and the standard 3.5-liter V6 are more powerful than previous-generation engines, yet mileage improves up to 40 percent.
The 2012 Explorer is available in base, XLT and Limited trim levels.All are great looking, rugged in a familiar SUV way, but also fresh and aerodynamically refined, and all models seat seven.This big SUV actually looks smaller than it is.
Inside, there is class-leading legroom in the second row, real space for passengers in the third, and up to 80.7 cubic-feet of cargo space.It can be reconfigured in seconds, with split rear seats that fold with a button on each side and bounce back up with the pull of a lever.The interior is smartly styled and well finished.The materials are good and the build quality great.
The base Explorer comes well equipped, with all the essentials, plenty of niceties and no overly complicated controls.The leather-upholstered, heated-seat Limited is luxury grade.It's offered with nearly all the bells and whistles, including premium audio, navigation and rear-seat DVD entertainment.The optional MyFordTouch voice/touch control interface can be cumbersome and at least a little annoying, but its leading-edge quality will appeal to some buyers, and it has undergone its first round of refinement and improvement for 2012.
The 2.0 EcoBoost is sufficiently powerful, and acceptable if mileage is the absolute priority.Still, if gas costs $4 per gallon and you drive 15,000 miles a year, it will take more than three years to recover the four-cylinder's $1,000 up-front cost in fuel savings.We prefer the standard 290-horspower V6.It delivers smooth, strong acceleration, and ranks near the top of the class in both horsepower and fuel economy: 17/25 mpg.
Explorer's chassis is super rigid, using twice as much high-strength steel as the old.That makes for not only great crash-test scores, but also a quiet cabin, excellent ride quality and solid handling that belies the Explorer's considerable size.
All-wheel drive is available on all models with the V6.The all-wheel drive maximizes traction with a fancy electronic system called Terrain Management.Even with regular all-season tires rather than specialized tires, the Explorer will blast through sand or traverse deep ditches and steep hills, no problem.We know.We did it.And it has the smoothest ride we've encountered over such terrain.
Ford claims the Explorer has 10 segment-exclusive features or systems, starting with a couple of safety standouts: the optional inflatable rear seatbelts and standard curve control, which applies braking to individual wheels as needed to correct corner trajectory.Beyond the required complement of front, front-side and head-protection airbags, it has an extra knee-protection airbag for the front passenger and all the electronic traction and stability systems, including rollover mitigation and trailer sway control.
The 2012 Ford Explorer comes in three models.Each comes standard with a 290-hp, 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder ($995) is optional on all three.Ford's Terrain Management all-wheel drive system ($2,000) is optional only with the V6.
Explorer ($28,870) comes standard with cloth upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, six-speaker audio with single CD and an input jack, air conditioning with particulate filter and rear-seat controls, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, power windows, locks and outside mirrors, overhead console, four 12-volt outlets, 60/40 split-folding second- and 50/50 third-row seats, rear privacy glass, cargo hooks, carpeted floor mats, halogen projector-beam headlights, roof rails and 17-inch steel wheels with wheel covers.Options are limited to Ford's SYNC voice activation and phone connection system ($295), satellite radio hardware ($195), a cargo shade ($135), and a tow package ($570).
Explorer XLT ($31,995) adds upgraded cloth seats, leather steering wheel and shift knob, basic SYNC and satellite radio, a security touchpad on the driver's door, automatic headlamps, heated sideview mirrors with LED turn signals and security approach lamps, a backup warning beeper and 18-inch painted aluminum wheels.
Explorer Limited ($37,995) adds leather seats, 10-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, 390-watt Sony audio with CD changer, SelectShift manual mode for the 6-speed automatic transmission, power folding outside mirrors, ambient lighting, adjustable pedals with memory, cargo net, a rearview camera, remote start, a 110-volt outlet, 20-inch painted aluminum wheels, and last but not least the MyFordTouch driver connect technology.Second-row captain's chairs are available on Limited.
Options for the XLT and Limited are plentiful, somewhat confusing and grouped in various packages.One of the most popular is Equipment Group 202A ($2,250) for the XLT, which includes leather seating, the 10-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, rearview camera and ambient lighting.Stand alone options include a voice-activated navigation system ($795), a panoramic glass sunroof ($1,595), dual-screen rear seat DVD system ($1,995) and a power liftgate ($495).
Safety features are headlined by Ford's new curve control, which applies braking to individual wheels as needed to correct corner trajectory.It's part of a comprehensive electronics suite, which also includes antilock brakes and Ford's ActiveTrack stability system with rollover mitigation and trailer sway control.Standard crash protection starts with dual-threshold front airbags, a front passenger knee protection airbag, front-seat side impact airbags, head-protection curtains for all outboard seats and SOS post-crash alert.The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Explorer a Top Safety Pick.
One optional safety feature is the industry-first inflatable rear seatbelts, which spread impact forces over an area five times greater than conventional seat belts, reducing pressure on the chest and helping to control head and neck motion.Other safety options include the rearview camera and rear obstacle warning, adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake support, and a blind-sport warning system with cross-traffic alert.All-wheel drive can improve handling stability in slippery conditions.
The Ford Explorer is a looker, rugged but refined, familiar but definitely fresh.Five new metallic paint colors for 2012 enhance its polished appearance.
Re-invented for 2011, the current Explorer is 4 inches longer and 5 inches wider than its body-on-frame predecessor.It's a foot longer than Ford's Edge crossover, a few inches shorter than the Dodge Durango SUV and about eight inches shorter than the Chevy Traverse.Yet it's several inches wider than all of them.
Explorer's width is evident in its confident stance, but its smooth styling cheats the eye.It has beefy but smooth proportions, with fluid lines that are more aerodynamic than before.Details such as the liftgate spoiler and flexible lower front air dam (in black) were tweaked in the wind tunnel.
Beautiful headlights complement the graceful fenders and transform the inherently square nose.The amber indicators sweep back like narrow wings atop tidy main projector beams.The plastic grille is gray on the base Explorer, body-colored on the XLT (the best looking), and satin-chrome on the Limited.The hood looks short from the side but long when looking straight down it.It's got two parallel humps and a scoop in the center, smoother than it sounds.Rear taillights are LED, and also look good.Black rockers on the sides allegedly lift the eye, but do they? We still like body-colored better.
The window outline is clean, bold and symmetrical, with blackened A-, B-, and D-pillars, and body-colored C-pillars that slant down and back and impart forward motion to the vehicle.With standard dark privacy glass, from the shoulders up, in white at least, the Explorer looks like a sleek and powerful yacht.
You'll also see themes from other Ford products.The fender flares are inspired by the Mustang, body sides follow the lines of the Taurus, and the three-bar grille strikes clearly of Range Rover (until recently part of the Ford family).There's a rich, shiny brownish color called Golden Bronze Metallic that we swear we've seen on Range Rovers, only it looks even better on the Explorer.
Wheels are 17-inch steel with plastic covers on the base Explorer, 10-spoke 18-inch painted aluminum on the XLT (best looking), and 20-inch painted aluminum with spokes like flower petals on the Limited.The optional 20-inch polished aluminum wheels have spokes like shriveling flower petals.No wait, those spokes now look like crab pincers, or no, make that a dentist's tooth extractor tool.They'd don't do justice to the car.
And it is a car, if you define truck by a ladder frame with a separate, bolted-on body.If that's the definition, we can stop saying truck for most SUVs now, and maybe even stop saying crossover, because they've just about all crossed over.The body-on-frame structure is just for pickups anymore, or a few big, aging SUVS.Virtually every manufacturer is building SUVs with a one-piece, unitized body-frame because they're stiffer, and with today's high-strength steels, they're lighter.
The reinvented Explorer uses twice as much high-strength steel as the old one, and throws in Boron steel because its strength is not only high.It's also thin so it bends more easily to form the Explorer's chassis curves, allowing the fenders to wrap gracefully and fade away at the corners.Such curves also help to transmit crash energy down and outside, away from the cabin.
There's a lot that's good inside the Explorer, and only one thing that really gives pause, but we'll start with all the space.
How about outstanding second-row legroom, at nearly 40 inches, and good third-row space at 33.2 inches? Two 12-year-olds will be happy in the third row, with that legroom to squirm in and their own cupholders and bins.Because the rear doors swing wide and open easily, and because the second-row seat flips forward in a heartbeat, reaching the rear row is an easy climb, even for adults.
Cargo volume measures 21 cubic feet behind the third row (comparable to trunk space in a big sedan, and among the best in Explorer's class), 43.8 cubic feet behind the second row (comparable to a compact SUV or crossover with the rear seats folded), and 80.7 behind the front seats.The cargo space is substantially less than what's available in GM's longer trio of crossovers (Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave), but competitive with the rest of Explorer's competition.There's a little bit more maximum cargo volume in a Dodge Durango or a Honda Pilot.
Still, it's very easy to change configurations in the Explorer.The second seat folds like magic at the touch of a button on each side, bouncing back up with the pull of a lever. The front seat elevates high, which is good because the hood looks long from the driver's seat.The Explorer will be a versatile family vehicle, so the seats have memory in the XLT and Limited, while the steering wheel and pedals adjust for different drivers in the family.The ratcheted headrests are great, because they meet safety standards but don't push your head down at the chin.It's a problem with other vehicles that Ford solves with ratchets.
Ford says its goal was to make the Explorer's interior look expensive, like a BMW X5 or Audi Q7.They've succeeded, at least on the Limited, although 40k-ish is expensive enough to warrant looking it.All the panels inside Explore fit precisely.The Limited's leather seats are perfect (and optional on the XLT), both in bolstering and stiffness/softness.They're heated on XLT, heated and cooled with perforated leather on Limited.
When the driver surveys his or her domain, it all looks satisfying, with a clean and slanted center stack using stylish satin-finish trim materials, and attractive climate vents and audio speakers.The doors have metal speaker grilles, and curve into the dash panel.There's a big glovebox with a shelf, leather grab handles and armrests on Explorers with leather interior, and long door pockets with space for a bottle.
One reason we like the base model is its conventional gauges, relatively simple 4.2-inch LCD screen at the top of the center stack, and familiar mechanical knobs below.The base Explorer doesn't come with the MyFordTouch driver connect technology, and neither does the XLT, unless it's chosen as an option.
MyFordTouch has two driver-configurable LCD cluster screens in front of the driver on either side a big speedometer, and an 8-inch color touch screen at the top of the center stack.Already our driving is distracted.The screens come in four quadrants and colors: yellow for phone, red for audio, blue for climate and red for navigation.You have to scroll through a lot of stuff to get information, for example engine temperature, and even after you figure it all out, it can take your focus off the road to perpetually configure.
Many of the features and functions, say climate or audio settings, can be adjusted in four separate ways: by voice command, by thumb buttons on the steering-wheel spokes, by touching the display screen itself or by using the buttons in the switch stack below, should you choose to do it the old-fashioned way.
It's a bewildering at first, mostly in terms deciding which of the four options to use for the intended adjustment.There's a satisfying little blip sound when you make positive contact with a function on the touch screen, for example the climate system.Still, the touch screen doesn't work as well as the buttons below, at least not for us, but even the buttons take some getting used to.Actually, they are more like touch areas, without a mechanical switch to operate.The driver must use a carefully pointed fingertip to find the touch points where the switch actually works.
The voice command is also problematic.During one test, we drove for the morning with a Ford representative, and for the afternoon with a fellow automotive journalist who has a clear radio voice, and Voice Command didn't work for any of the three of us.Well, less than half the time.
We said, 'Climate,' and it replied, 'Climb in.' We said, 'Seventy-two degrees,' and it replied, 'Eighty-two degrees.' We repeated, slowly and with careful articulation, and it stuck to its 82 degrees.We said, 'Sixty-five degrees,' and it replied, 'Fifty-six degrees is not a valid temperature.' It got frustrated with us (maybe it just didn't like our smart-mouthing it), and once told us in no uncertain terms, 'Say yes or no.' We are not making this up.And it wasn't just a war over temperature, it was a war over everything.It got worse before it got better.We wanted points of interest on the map display and it demanded we give it an address for navigation.Finally we stopped talking to it.
Ford has updated the MyFordTouch software for 2012, creating more distinct graphics, easier-to-use menus and allegedly better voice commands than the original scheme.All future updates will be available for free download and installation via a USB thumb drive, and the 2012 updates are available to 2011 MyFordTouch buyers.
In other words, MyFordTouch is already getting better, and with time and familiarity, the various operations get easier, whichever means you choose to control them.In some cases MyFordTouch can be fun to use in a high-tech way.Still, a lot of buyers will be a lot happier with the base system.The problem is that a lot of the bells and whistles offered on the Explorer are only available if you take MyFordTouch.
In short, we are not fans of the voice commands or MyFordTouch, but we really like the rest of the Explorer cabin.
The re-invented Ford Explorer reminds us why sport-utility vehicles started climbing up the sales charts back in the 1990s.It's an excellent choice for active families, particularly if there are more than two kids.
The Explorer has most of the practicality, function and family friendly features of good minivans, with a more rugged emotional appeal and real off-road capability for those who need it.Yet the Explorer is smoother and more car-like than SUVs back in the day, and it gets much better mileage.With the optional 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, it gets better mileage than ever. New for 2012, the 2.0 EcoBoost is one of the most sophisticated engines in Ford's lineup.With features like an advanced turbo-charging system, fully variable valve timing and extra-efficient direct gasoline injection, it packs significant wallop for its size.With a peak of 240 horsepower, the 2.0 EcoBoost makes 50 fewer horsepower than Explorer's standard 3.5-liter V6, or 17 percent less.Yet the four-cylinder is nearly 50 percent smaller than the V6 by displacement.It has more torque than the V6, and better EPA mileage ratings.
Ford pitches the EcoBoost as the best of all worlds, with the power of a V6 and the economy of a four-cylinder.The marketing claims are true, sort of.If an engine is running at full throttle and producing 240 hp, it's using essentially the same amount of energy (or gasoline) whether it has six, four or two cylinders.So if a driver uses full throttle and all 240 horsepower a lot of the time, actual fuel economy gains with the EcoBoost will be much less significant.
But that doesn't mean there are no fuel savings.The four-cylinder will use less fuel than the V6 when it's idling, coasting down and sometimes when cruising at a steady pace, and if the driver is more judicious with the throttle in daily driving, the EcoBoost engine could deliver substantial fuel economy gains.Ford claims that, at 20 mpg City, 28 Highway, the Explorer EcoBoost has higher EPA mileage ratings than any seven-passenger crossover or SUV.
The problem with the EcoBoost in the Explorer is that a lot of drivers will in fact be keeping it floored a lot of the time.While we like this engine in Ford's smaller Edge crossover, we're less enamored in the Explorer.The Explorer is larger, punching a much bigger hole through the air than the Edge, and about 500 pounds heavier.The 2.0 EcoBoost will get and keep the Explorer rolling in satisfactory fashion, to be sure, but for a lot of drivers that will mean a fairly constant, heavy foot on the gas pedal, and that could obviate the purported fuel savings.Moreover, the 2.0 EcoBoost often seems like it's working really hard in the Explorer, with a lot of sound and fury to minimal effect.
Consider some numbers.Base on the EPA's combined mileage rating, the four-cylinder Explorer will use about 650 fewer gallons of fuel than a front-drive V6 over 100,000 miles.At $4 per gallon, that's $2,600 less spent on fuel, though those lifetime savings are reduced by an extra $1,000 at purchase for the 2.0 EcoBoost engine.Put another way, at $4 per gallon and 15,000 miles per year, the four-cylinder Explorer will save its owner just under $300 a year in fuel costs, and it will take 3 years to recover the up-front cost of the 2.0 EcoBoost option.
Bottom line on the four-cylinder: If fuel-economy is a very high priority, the 2.0 EcoBoost will get the job done.But we'd guess that most owners will be a lot happier with the 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6.And owners who want all-wheel drive will have to take the V6, because AWD isn't offered with the four-cylinder.
Ford's dual-overhead cam, all-aluminum V6, called Ti-VCT, is quite efficient in is own right.The company already claimed the best fuel-economy ratings in larger, seven passenger SUVs with this engine (17 city, 25 highway).Mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with optional manual shifting, the V6 is smooth and responsive, with good acceleration and plenty of torque to maintain 80 mph on an uphill freeway, after a smooth and welcome kickdown to fifth gear.
We drove nearly 200 miles in a V6 Explorer, mostly at about 60 mph on casual two-lanes with about a dozen freeway miles running uphill to 80 mph, and averaged about 17 mpg.Before we got on the throttle on the freeway, we saw a 20-mpg average.
Ford put all the engineering effort it could muster into the Explorer, and got the ride, handling, and NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) results it hoped for.The rigid chassis and careful tuning of the independent suspension produce a superb all-around ride.It takes corners and undulations flat, and the speed-sensitive electric power steering allows it to turn relatively tight and quick.
The front suspension uses short and long arms with a fat 32mm stabilizer bar.Engineers gave the rear suspension a name, SR1, because for each wheel movement, the shock absorbers are tuned to make the same motion in the same cadence, which they say eliminates undesirable ride motions.It must be true because we felt no undesirable motions when we drove the Explorer.
Not even off-road.We sampled the AWD Explorer on an off-road course, and we've never tested anything off road that absorbed deep ruts and huge humps so smoothly.We're talking 10 mph here.It was as if the Explorer had a few extra feet of travel in the suspension.
The Explorer's optional all-wheel drive system has no transfer case.That saves weight, and minimizes the fuel-mileage penalty that invariably comes with AWD.Instead, the Explorer maximizes off-road traction with a fancy electronic-control system called Terrain Management.
There are four modes to the system, which the driver sets with a knob behind the shift lever.In the Normal mode, on dry pavement, the vehicle runs at about 90 percent power to the front wheels, 10 percent to the rear.Torque shifts to the rear as needed, if the front wheels lose traction and can't do as much work.Normal mode is what you'll use most of the time, rain or shine.
The Snow/Gravel mode allows less wheelspin, provides conservative throttle control, and enables earlier transmission upshifts.This should help stabilize handling, making the Explorer easier to control in sloppy conditions, though you'll still need to exercise care when slowing down.
The Sand mode provides more aggressive throttle, holds the transmission in gear longer, and desensitizes traction control.Because, unlike in snow, to make progress in sand you need wheelspin.Mud/Ruts allows more torque as throttle increases.Stability control is desensitized to help maintain momentum over soft or uneven surfaces.
It all works very well.Even with all-season tires (as opposed to all-terrain tires which improve traction in snow, sand and mud), the Explorer blasted around a sand pit no problem.With the AWD model, you'll never fear going to the beach and exploring.Go have a family picnic atop the far dune.If your family travels include far-flung adventures off the paved path, the AWD is a valuable tool.
Terrain Management also includes Hill Descent Control, which proved itself on a steep downhill on the off-road course, holding the Explorer's speed to 4 mph without driver input.It's proven itself in many vehicles we've tested, including many Land Rovers.On an icy hill, it could save your life or at least help you avoid crashing and damaging your vehicle.If you think you'll need this feature, it's worth learning how to use it most effectively.
Of course, the standard front-drive Explorer and its various traction enhancing systems do an excellent job in their own right, even in a driving snow, if the travel surface is pavement.Based on the EPA ratings, the AWD model will use about 300 gallons more fuel over 100,000 miles, if you never take it off road, and it costs $2,000 more to begin with.In California, Texas, Florida or large swathes of the South, if owners rarely leave the pavement and plan no significant towing, we'd recommend the front-wheel drive.
The Explorer will tow 5000 pounds when equipped with the tow package, and it includes things you might wonder how you lived without.There's trailer sway control, which works with the stability control, and is another thing that could save your life, or your trailer and whatever it's carrying.There's also a rearview camera with zoom, which will guide you to position the hitch ball directly under the trailer hitch cap, and make you feel like an astronaut docking his spacecraft.
This latest-generation Ford Explorer is larger, better looking, quieter, more powerful and far more fuel efficient than the pre-2011 models.The 2012 Explorer 2.0 EcoBoost option delivers a class leading 28 mpg Highway EPA rating.The Explorer offers lots of choices: three trim levels, two engines, front- or all-wheel drive and plenty of class-exclusive options.The base Explorer in particular jumps out.It's a fully quipped, state-of-the-art seven-seat SUV for under $30,000, with a smooth, powerful V6 that gets an EPA-rated 25 mpg Highway.
Sam Moses filed this report to NewCarTestDrive.com after his test drive of the Ford Explorer near Portland, Oregon.
Ford Explorer ($28,870); XLT ($32,345); Limited ($37,855).
Options As Tested
EcoBoost 240-hp turbocharged I4 engine ($995); SYNC voice activation with Bluetooth ($295); SiriusXM satellite radio hardware ($195); cargo shade ($135).
The list of optional equipment below represents a mix of optional dealer or factory installed features. Some must be added by the manufacturer during the production process whilst others can be installed here at the point of purchase. Please note that this list is intended for informational purposes only. If you have any questions please contact us for clarification.
California Emissions System: Required on units for California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington registration. Optional for Cross-Border States (Arizona, Delaware, Idaho, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Virginia and West
California Emissions System Not Required: Control code for units either shipped to California Emissions States dealers or ordered by California Emissions States dealers for registration in non-California States locations. NOTE: In Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont, dealers cannot order vehicles for customers in non-California Emission State
California Public Service/Emergency Vehicle Exempt: This exemption may only apply in certain states. Ordering dealer is responsible to contact the proper state authorities for clarification on qualifying exempted vehicles for registration. Only available on units sold for authorized public service or emergency service use.
Dealer Order For California States Registration: Non-California Emissions/Non-Cross-Border States. It is a violation of federal law for a Federal-State dealer to sell a vehicle with 422 (California Emissions System), unless the vehicle will be registered in a California-Emissions or Cross-Border State. Federal dealers ordering vehicles with 422
Engine Block Heater (Regional)
Front License Plate Bracket
SYNC Voice-Activated Communications/Entertainment: Includes media hub with auxiliary audio input jack, 1 USB port, 911 assist, vehicle health reports and SYNC services (traffic reports, GPS based turn-by-turn driving directions and information services). NOTE: SYNC services available for a $60 annual subscription fee, SYNC services receive a compli