2011 Ford Explorer Priced at $28,190

Explorer-mania continues as Ford has posted pricing for the 2011 Ford Explorer on its retail site. The redesigned and re-engineered Explorer will start at $28,190. The destination fee is an additional $805. 

The Explorer comes in base, XLT and Limited trims. Every Explorer comes standard with power windows, locks and mirrors; keyless entry; cruise control; spotter mirrors; air conditioning with filtration system; LED taillamps; steering-wheel-mounted controls; and a bevy of safety features such as trailer-sway control, hill start assist and “Curve Control,” an aggressive stability control program. 

All models come standard with a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A 237-hp, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder will be an option on all trims. Front-wheel drive comes standard; an intelligent four-wheel-drive system is optional with the V-6. An optional inflatable second-row seat belt is also available, but there’s no word on pricing or availability.

In the marketplace, the new Explorer competes against the Chevy Traverse ($29,224), Honda Pilot ($28,045) and Mazda CX-9 ($28,805). 

Below are the standard features and options for each model: 

By Colin Bird | July 26, 2010 | Comments (7)

More Details on the 2011 Ford Explorer

Fordexploreramericaconcept

UPDATE: While our source below claimed a specific highway mileage number, according to other sources it is unlikely that in this application any turbo four-cylinder engine would reach highway mileage over 30 mpg. 

ORIGINAL POST: Ford announced today that it will build its next-generation Explorer at its Chicago Assembly Plant. That came as little surprise; there have been reports of this move for some time. What’s surprising is the Explorer — based on the Explorer America concept shown above — won’t be unveiled at next month’s Chicago Auto Show — a seemingly logical place, given it’s a hometown car — or, for that matter, April’s New York auto show. Rather, Ford will unveil the car this summer, Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant manager Jan Allman said.
 
The next Explorer will be built on a car-based unibody platform and have significantly improved gas mileage — “at least 25 percent” better than the outgoing Explorer’s — rated at 14/20 mpg city/highway in six-cylinder form, said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas. Ford will hire or transfer 1,200 additional workers to help assemble the Explorer, effectively doubling the employees at the Chicago facility. The cars currently built there — the Taurus and Lincoln MKS — combined for more than 60,000 sales in 2009 to the current Explorer’s 52,190, and Ford clearly expects headier days for its once-iconic SUV.
 
Ford has been retooling the plant — part of a $180 million investment in both the Chicago Assembly Plant and Ford’s Chicago Heights, Ill., stamping plant — for some time to accommodate the new Explorer, which goes on sale the fourth quarter of this year. An assembly worker standing courtside at this morning’s press conference inside the assembly plant said a few prototypes were currently at the plant. Naturally, they were out of sight from journalists, but he gave us a few details. Because of the sensitivity of the information we’re not revealing his name.
 
Ford spokesman Jay Ward wouldn’t confirm or deny most of the details, except to reiterate that the Explorer will move to a unibody platform and offer significantly better gas mileage than before.

By Kelsey Mays | January 26, 2010 | Comments (4)

Ford Introduces Inflatable Seat Belts

InflatableSeatbelts
For 20 years we’ve seen leaps in car-safety innovation from the airbag to electronic stability control. Today, Ford announced one more piece of technology that aims to reduce even more injuries. The company will roll out inflatable seat belts for the rear seats in future models, starting with the next-generation Ford Explorer that’s transitioning from a body-on-frame SUV to a crossover when it goes on sale in 2010.

Inflatable seat belts will reduce the trauma that standard seat belts can inflict on both young children and seniors. Ford says the new system will reduce head, neck and chest trauma.

The airbags deploy within 40 milliseconds of a crash; otherwise they work the same as standard seat belts and will be compatible with child-safety seats.

The seat-belt airbags will fill quickly with a cold compressed gas instead of using a heat-generating chemical reaction like traditional airbags.

Ford says the system will be introduced in future models down the line but gave no specifics on when it would hit family-friendly vehicles like the Flex and Taurus.
By David Thomas | November 5, 2009 | Comments (4)

Ford Recalling 4.5 Million Vehicles

Windstarrecall

The Detroit News is reporting that Ford will recall 4.5 million vehicles over a faulty cruise control deactivation switch. It is the same defect that was at the heart of previous recalls now totaling 14 million vehicles. There have been more than 1,500 complaints and at least 550 vehicles fires due to the faulty part. 

The new recall includes these vehicles:

  • 1995-2003 Ford Windstar 
  • 2000-2003 Ford Excursion diesel
  • 1993-1997 and 1999-2003 Ford F-Super Duty diesel
  • 1992-2003 Ford Econoline
  • 1995-2002 Ford Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer
  • 1995-1997 and 2001-2003 Ford Ranger
  • 1994 Ford F53 Motorhome vehicles equipped with the Texas Instruments speed control deactivation. 

This has been a black cloud for Ford for nearly 10 years. The automaker recalled 9.6 million vehicles between 1999 and 2008 and is still battling dozens of lawsuits over the issue. 

Ford recalls 4.5 million vehicles for faulty switch (Detroit News)

By David Thomas | October 13, 2009 | Comments (9)

Ford Explorer Sport Trac, Mercury Mountaineer Not Dead Yet

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Earlier this week, online stories started popping up declaring that Ford was dropping its Explorer Sport Trac pickup and Mercury Mountaineer SUV. Theoretically, when the next-generation Explorer moves to a crossover platform instead of an SUV platform, these two spinoffs won’t be making the transition. Or so the stories said.

We contacted Ford, and it stuck by the industry standby: “We don’t comment on future product.” Jay Ward, Ford’s communications manager for crossovers and SUVs, said the other stories were purely speculation. Ward wouldn’t even let me speculate that both vehicles could continue on as-is after the Explorer unibody launches.

The only time frame for the Explorer that Ward would divulge was that the world would “see” it in 2010. Whether that means we won’t see it until a 2010 auto show — like the Detroit auto show in January — or that it will go on sale in 2010, he wouldn’t clarify.

It’s likely both would be the case, though, with an auto show debut in early 2010 and production starting late in the year.

By David Thomas | July 29, 2009 | Comments (4)

Ford to Build New Explorer in Chicago

Explorer-concept

Crain’s Chicago Business is reporting that Ford will build its next-generation Explorer SUV at the Chicago assembly plant where it builds the Lincoln MKS and upcoming Ford Taurus sedans. Previously, Ford also built the now-discontinued Taurus X/Ford Freestyle crossover at the same plant.

This news likely means Ford will indeed build the next Explorer on the same car platform on which the MKS, Taurus and Taurus X are based. The platform has been highly regarded by the press for its stability and versatility. If the Explorer does indeed share this platform, it would likely have better fuel efficiency than the previous Explorer, to help meet new emissions standards going into effect for the 2011 year.

At the 2008 Detroit auto show, Ford unveiled an Explorer concept, seen above, that was praised by the press. The new Explorer would likely be a 2011 model, and production would probably not begin until late 2009 or early 2010.

By David Thomas | March 30, 2009 | Comments (7)

Ford Offering Deals for Two Weeks

2008fordfusion

According to Ford’s consumer website, its latest incentives are good only through Nov. 17 or 18, depending on the region. This is an unusual amount of time for rebates to run, so we’d expect bigger discounts or a specific themed sale later in the month that will last through the holidays. For the next two weeks, though, there are some decent savings on 2009 and 2008 models. The new 2009 Ford Flex is still carrying $2,500 cash back. A new 2009 Ford Fusion — you can read about the upcoming 2010 Fusion here — has up to $3,500 cash back depending on your region. We list the top cash-back deals below. Check out Ford’s site to see the latest deals in your area. 

By David Thomas | November 4, 2008 | Comments (2)

What Ford Will Look Like in 2010

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This morning Ford announced a rather large loss in the second quarter of 2008 — $8.7 billion. Because the company needs to reassure stockholders and Wall Street of its future, Ford has detailed its product plans for the next two years in rather explicit detail. It seems dire economic times have broken through the secretive process Detroit automakers have had in place for decades. Check out our in-depth look at what products Ford will field in the next two years from Europe and North America, and if they’ll be worth the wait. We detail future Lincoln and Mercury products in a separate post.

By David Thomas | July 24, 2008 | Comments (25)

Ford Explorer Settlement Pays Lawyers

2000fordexplorer

The rich get rich and the poor get certificates. 

Consumers who owned 1999-01 Ford Explorers and charged that their SUV’s resale value dropped like a rock after the exploding-tire-rollover fiasco have finally gotten (a kind of) financial justice.

A California judge has approved a settlement of a class action lawsuit filed more then 2 years ago on behalf of 800,000 Explorer owners in California, Illinois, Texas and Connecticut.

Each will now be sent a certificate worth $500 — toward the purchase of a new Explorer.

By Jim Mateja | April 18, 2008 | Comments (4)

Ford Incentives Up, Include Specialty Models

2008fordbullitt

April has begun, and Ford has updated its incentives for the rest of the month. There are some very interesting deals to be had. We’ll break down all the models soon enough, but the most interesting tidbit of information for car enthusiasts is that both the Ford Mustang Bullitt and the upcoming Ford F-150 Chip Foose Edition are getting cash back just like their plain-jane brethren. 

The 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt is already on sale, and the Bullitt package costs an additional $3,310 on top of the cost of a regular Ford Mustang GT. Rebates range from $1,000 to $1,500, with an additional $1,000 offered in some regions if you go with Ford Credit to purchase the vehicle.*

Depending on where you live, that means you could pay just a $810 premium to have the special edition, which adds horsepower and suspension tweaks.

The 2008 Ford F-150 Chip Foose Edition isn’t on sale yet, but the roughly $55,000 sport truck will come to market over the next few months with between $3,000 and $3,500 cash back (plus that potential $1,000 in financing cash) on the intricately detailed hood.

Other rebates are more pedestrian, but still noteworthy:

By David Thomas | April 3, 2008 | Comments (1)

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