2017 Ford Explorer: Full Sized For Families
The 2017 Ford Explorer is the 5th generation of the ever popular SUV since it’s launch in 1990. A lot has changed for the Ford Explorer over the years but in it’s present form, the most notable changes have been the technology and the safety. I took the keys or rather the keyless fob for a week and tested out a fully loaded LTD Ecoboost. One thing for sure is that the 2017 Ford Explorer is full sized for families.
In 2010 we factory ordered a brand new Ford Flex and drove it for almost 7 years so I was excited to try out another Ford product and all the new technology. As with all new Fords, the dash and info-tainment system are laid out the same. Immediately when I sat in the drivers seat I felt like I was in a cozy cockpit. I really liked the keyless passive entry and door lock system so I never had to take my keys out. Also the adaptive high beam headlights that automatically turn on and off when driving at night was an impressively surprising feature. A sensor would see an oncoming car (front or back) and lower the high beams. I drive a lot of unlit rural roads so auto high beams are a nice touch. My kids liked that there are plenty of outlets and USB ports for their devices and second row heated seats, of course.
The 6 speed auto transmission, 2.3L Ecoboost engine with AWD is enhanced with an AWD custom mode knob in the centre console next to the cup holders. 5 different modes let you pick the conditions for best traction and driving from mud, sand, snow, ruts or normal.
The 2 passenger 3rd row folds totally flat adding a huge storage capacity for moving big items. If your family is like mine and needs the 3rd row full time to accommodate 4 kids, the Explorer seats 7 comfortably. I know the 3rd row isn’t meant for adult use other than the occasional trip but if you have tall kids or older kids, get them to try it out first. I sat in every one of the 7 seats and I found the 3rd row to be tight for my 5’9″ frame. My head was just about at the roof and my knees had only a couple of inches of room when my back was all the way in the seat. By comparison, the Ford Flex had more room in the 3rd row. Most families are only putting kids in the 3rd row so they’ll have more than enough space but it’s always good to test out every seat just to make sure. However, while I was back there, I did fall in love with the large open concept of the storage and cup holders in the 3rd row. Lots of space for a water bottle, ipod, snacks and toys.
My overall impression of the 2017 Ford Explorer? Not my favourite large class SUV. Despite the large exterior, the interior feels a bit cramped. This was the first time in any make or model of vehicle that I had to move the drivers seat all the way back position to get proper let room for driving. Although the Explorer is a 7 passenger SUV, I would still outfit it as a 6 passenger and opt for two captains chairs in the second row to allow for a walk thru to the 3rd row. Perhaps that would make it feel more open as well. The safety features like lane keep, adaptive cruise, park assist and auto high beams are great options but for the price, if you don’t need the 7 seating space, I would suggest getting the peppy fun Ford Edge Sport.
2017 Ford Explorer LTD starts at $48,399 CDN, the model I drove is listed at $59,054 CDN.
Statistics show that we ladies influence 85% of vehicle purchases so why not get a Dirty Girl perspective on what’s new on the roads. As always, I promise to give you an unbiased and honest opinion, based on my personal experience.