Reader Review of the Week: 2012 Ford Explorer

Reader Review

Dave is the proud owner of a 2012 Ford Explorer XLT. While others have complained about the underpowered V-6 and the complexity of the Sync system, Dave hasn’t had problems with them. However, the third-row seats aren’t great for road trips, Dave says. Read his full review below and write a review about your own car here.

2012 Ford Explorer
“Have put a few thousand on the new Explorer and love it. Got the XLT trim because I wanted the alloy wheels and few other options like the fog lights.

“The standard Sync is fantastic. I don’t know why everyone has so much trouble with it. Hooked my phone up to it within minutes; the call clarity is fantastic and the voice recognition is better than I expected. I hooked up my 7-year-old iPod and it worked seamlessly. People complained that it was distracting and too much work, but I think it’s very convenient.

“The engine has plenty of pep despite what some reviews might say. The six-speed transmission likes to shift through the gears to keep the engine rpm low. It makes for great mileage, but gives you the impression that it is underpowered. But don't be fooled. Just put the hammer down when merging on the highway, and the V-6 will impress you. You can also use the select shift to open her up.

“The third row isn’t great for road trips or your grandparents because it’s a little tricky to get into, but who cares? It’s great to have the extra seating if you have a big group of friends. Odds are they won’t mind crawling into the back if it means everyone can get in one car.

“Overall, this is a fantastic SUV that offers plenty of space while still fitting into parking spaces. It’s an excellent compromise for someone wanting lots of seating, but in need of the cargo space sometimes. It is a great upgrade from the previous generation and looks much better, too. I would recommend this vehicle.”

By Colin Bird | October 27, 2011 | Comments (18)


Sync is generally praised; it's MyFord Touch -- optional on the XLT, though packaged with most common stuff -- that gets so many complaints.

If Dave's model has conventional buttons, that would explain the positive comments.


what 2010 the last year explorer was a suv before they morphed into a cuv? 2010 would be the last year i buy an explorer. The new explorers are ugly and a v6 doesnt cut it for me. Thanks for new technology, improving everything is always benefeical. You lose the body on frame tough old explorer for the new car like explorer with less capabilities. The only person who wins is ford by taking your money if your a sucker to buy the new explorer.


I have had nothing but problems with my new Ford Explorer Sync! So much that It has gone back to dealership for a update! Now everyday is a new problem! My screen stays black, I can't turn on radio or even turn it off sometimes. It has stayed on while everything has been shut off! I have had problems with it freezing up my phone to where I have to take battery out to reboot the phone! I love my Explorer but this is a very troubling issue! With winter up on is I won't have heat in there for my family! Disappointed with Ford for what we paid for this and it to malefaction!


I agree with Jenny, I just purchased my 2012 Explorer 30 days ago already 2 weeks ago the sync travel link started giving me trouble so I now am already having to take it to the dealership in hopes of fixing it. I'm so disappointed in Ford and regret buying it especially for what I paid.


Beware if you are a tall or big person! Overall the car is great but I have a major issue with driver left legroom! I am not a tall or big guy: 5'9", 200 lbs but I cant fully extend my left leg comfortably. There is the fixed foot pad which is part of the carpet which limits the position of my foot and extension of my leg. I can't find a comfortable placement for my left leg while driving.
I think this is a major design flaw! I have less than 1,000 on my car and am seriously considering selling it already. I wonder if anyone else is experiencing this situation?


I am about to buy a 2012 Exploer XLT. My only hesitation is the room for the driver. I'm 6'4" 190 pounds and its tight for such a huge vehicle.
I love the SYNC but I work in the tech field so maybe its easy for me.


Got a limited and I love it. As for the problems with sync just slow down. It's a computer and can indeed lock up if given too much to process as does any computer. If it appears to flake out just go manual by using buttons below or steering wheel controls. I've been very happy with ride and quiet cabin. Waiting a few hundred to open her up. Can't wait.


Regarding height, I'm 6' and it is a diff position than I was used to. I increased seat height a bit and honestly I get less leg tired now for what it's worth. Had a pathfinder for years with tons of leg room but after a couple weeks I'm not missing at all. 6'4 is a bit more than me do be sure to try with sneaks and dres shoes and boots.


I bought my XLT Explorer Dec 30th and only put about 400 miles on it. I like most everything about it so far, I'm 6'3" and find the driver's leg room fine. I have the seat about max height because that's the way I like it having driven a Tahoe for many years. My Sync works fine, I haven't bought the yearly subscription so far because the only feature I'd use is the "turn by turn" directions and that would be infrequent. I also didn't go with Fords 4WD and am having second thoughts about that decission. I am curious to hear from someone who has driven the front wheel drive (only) in snow. I'm pleased with the vehicle so far.


Well I bought the XLT. Pretty loaded-roof, SYNC, MyFord Touch, and next day drove 500 miles and then back 2 days later. I love the ride and the handling and the prescence. But the Sync/MFtouch died on the way home. I believe its a conflict with the I Phone. So I unplugged the phone and turned the engine off. The Mainatainance screen, (hidden reboot) came up and all is well.Had I researched MYFord Touch I would not have bought the Explorer. MFT is really really bad. Bad user interface, glitchy, poor speech recognition,prone to crash. For what the system cost you could buy the best lap top on the planet.
Apparantly its about to be updated.


checking back in. I just found a pedal adjustment button on the left of the steering column. hope it helps!


Recently purchased a 2012 Explorer. After driving through snow and slush, was surprised and disappointed to find the snow, slush, salt and sand inside my doors. This mess was on the bottom rail and door track, went all the way to the back doors. Ford Motor told us this is their engineered design and they offer no fix. Dealer told us other customers have complained about this. This can mess up your clothes if they touch the door or inside floor rail as you enter/exit. If you like a clean interior, don't drive on snowy days or you will be busy cleaning. Buyers beware!


For starters I find the missing coat hanger a sore point, as also the extra tall head rests which make the rear view mirror half useless. The big ass center screen without GPS kills it for us in middle east - I am considering selling mine too at a loss of course, and settling for a time-tested 2010 model. Ford, you screwed it up big!


The new Explorer is the worst SUV Ford has produced.I bought an Explorer when it came out in early 2011.after many problems the dealer replaced the car with another one in Aug 2011.i took a financial hit on this transaction.The problems 1)blown engine,2) AC problems 3)defective steater,4)multitude of problems with the Sync system,5)stress crack on the windshield .The replacement car has had other problems including Sync and starter.This SUV ends up at the bottom of every comparison teat.Now for some real world experience after 18 months of ownership.The driver seating is horrific,I'm 6'3,with the seat all the back there is no leg room for the rear seat passenger legs including my 4 year grand daughter .If you golf you can't lay the bags horizontally or vertically ,you must put them diagonally.The Sync system is terrible,the screen is insensitive,some items are too small to touch accurately,the net result is you take your eyes off the road,the engine is course and loud on acceleration ,the tires whine on concrete pavement but are OK on asphalt .There are other minor gripes.For a new design this generation really missed the boat,there are many better choices.I think many people get enamored with its Range Rover looks before totally evaluating the whole package.


We also bought a 2011 Limited right after release. Coming off of two Yukon Denali's, we lowered our expectations, but didn't want to lower them too much... the Limited fully loaded wasn't exactly pocket change.

- Aside from oil changes, ours has ran flawlessly.
- Nice ride, smooth, easy to drive. A bit rougher than one might expect, but that's the tredeoff for big wheels and performance tires. Handling is superior to our larger yukon (I know neither are sports cars).
- 3rd row seat fold-down is far superior to what our GMC had. Still love this push-button feature.
- Sync has some really cool features, though I'll admit they took some time to get used to.
- Safety - so far we enjoy the safety features, especially the backup camera that has absolutely ZERO delay when you put the car in "R". 3 little ones running around makes this our favorite.

- Underpowered (V6)
- Missing coat hanger in rear, I'm still puzzled
- The DVD system can't be integrated into the car's sound system. A let down for such a tech savvy car. Really was let down with this one after moving from GMC where we could do either.
- touch screen not tough enough, we baby ours and it still has scratches.
- blue tooth device connection works most of the time, doesn't work intermittently.
- Changes in the sync IU... I get that they need to fix "bugs", but every time I get an update, the look & feel changes.

Car looks good, drives well, and overall hasn't been a let down. Lease is up next year, can't wait to move back into a GM.


I have a 2012 Ford Explorer. The radio randomly turns on without the keys in the car. My car has been in and out of the Ford Dealership... of course when my car is in the dealership the problem never happens. I am so frustrated right now!! All my friends are calling my car "Christine" or possessed! Has anyone else had this problem with their Explorer?

Mitch Terhaar

We love our 2012 Explore and its a sharp SUV but we have taken it in twice for bad stabilizers ends. Make a loud clunk when hitting a bump or turning quick. Only 25000 miles on SUV. It was fixed for free but we our still a little worried that it happened twice..


I have the 2011 Ford Explorer XLT front wheel drive. Big mistake. I live in michigan and trusted he salesman who said "you won't have any problem in the snow." Well, if there is a dusting of snow, the traction is horrible. You spin the tires to get going from a stop. With 3-4 inches of snow I am limited to driving in the other cars tracks. And with the heavy snow (over 5", I just stay home. I have tried and failed to get out of my subdivision on several occasions this year. The vehicle weight behind the front tires is just too much to pull this thing through anything. It's a great carif you don't get any snow, but inf your climate is similar to Michigan, I'd stick with 4WD only! Syne does have some quirks and the screen is distracting. Ford should offer an option to shut it off completely as all info is available in the instrument panel as well, even nav. We have had an extreme winter here this year, but I can't wait to turn this puppy in in June and get something that CAN handle the snow....possibly the Escape AWD or the Jeep Cherokee is what I am looking at.

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