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looking for honest opinions on 5th Gen Ex

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by 08Ex, June 26, 2017.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Hi Craig. I am one of the ones who got what he wanted. Back in 2002 I took an Explorer out for a test drive and could not stand the truck like, choppy ride and for the next 10 years leased 3 Highlanders. When the 5th generation Explorer came out I couldn't wait to get one and a friend took over the remaining lease on the last Highlander.
    Did my homework, got what I wanted and am very happy. It's true the 5th gen isn't what the former generations were but times change and companies have to cater to the desires of the majority of the buying public.
    I hope that the Bronco is a more suitable vehicle for you.:thumbsup:

    Peter
     
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  3. Fentress24

    Fentress24 Active Member

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    Of all the posters so far, I've probably had the most serious issue with mine. I had a transmission failure on my 2016 Sport at the 16k mile mark. I've also had the airbag light issue, the popping in the front suspension, and the panoramic moonroof rattle. The dealer fixed all of the above issues under warranty.

    The 3.5 Ecoboost is what drew me to the truck. After driving an F-150 with the 3.5Eco, I knew I had to have it.

    Besides the issues I have listed above, I absolutely love my truck. I am at 30k miles on my 2016 Sport that I bought in Feb 2016. The ride is sporty for an SUV, yet very smooth and quiet, I am averaging 19.2mpg, the 3.5TT has tons of power, and I still think its one of the best looking trucks on the road. I've also driven 6 adults and their luggage on a 300 mile road trip very comfortably.

    I would only trade my truck in for 2 other SUV's right now and that would be a Cherokee SRT or the Porsche, but both are significantly more expensive.
     
  4. kmarnes

    kmarnes Active Member

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    ...and only seats 5! My runner up was the 2017 Audi Q7. Beautiful car, beautiful tech -- but 50% more expensive.
     
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  5. tincbtrar

    tincbtrar Member

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    People go on the internet these days to complain typically, which is why you see the worse than average reviews.

    That being said, We bought a very lightly used 2015 last year (with 10k miles) and I have already had the following need replacement (One strut, both strut mounts, two front axles - yeah i know.) Braking system was also wonky and needed some repair.

    Im not sure if my dealer loves bumper to bumper reimbursement or if the car is a dud, yet. I did buy an extended warranty from ford for 8 years 100k miles to be safe (we drive our daughter around with this car - I also have an Acura sedan).

    For the price/value I think its worth a shot to purchase. We liked the styling compared to the Acadia for example and a Range Rover is not practical for us (we can afford it, but why would we need it?)
     
  6. Exit32

    Exit32 Elite Explorer

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    I've owned my 2016 Platinum for about 20 months and have accumulated about 17K miles. Just completed an early-summer roadtrip from Boston to Detroit and back (1,700+ miles) and enjoyed my Explorer's comfort and features -- especially the blind-spot warning system and adaptive cruise control. I averaged 23.1 mpg during this trip -- not too bad for a big SUV with 365 horsepower under the hood.

    I do my own maintenance and have not returned to the dealer for a single issue since I picked up my Explorer on October 7, 2017. I realize my Explorer is still young with limited mileage, but I'd buy another one without question based on my experience thus far.
     
  7. chazglenn3

    chazglenn3 Active Member

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    My wife drives a lot. Our 2016 Platinum is coming up on 50K miles. It hasn't required anything but oil changes and tires. It's been a great car!
     
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  8. David Shahon

    David Shahon New Member

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    This is my first post on this forum or any Ford forum for that matter.

    I have a 2016 Limited Explorer and it is a company car. I have had it since July 1st of 2016 so 1 year. I have driven just over 20,000 miles on this car so I have had good experience with it.

    Good Features:
    Good Styling
    Good seating - 3rd row seat is nice and functional but I don't like the spaces it leaves and holes in the floor
    Love the adaptive cruise control - this is my absolute favorite feature of this car
    Electronics are good, but the nav system is slow to respond and you can lose your entire entry if you put the car in gear before you hit go to destination...
    As far as reliability, I have had no issues, just standard maintenance.

    Bad Features
    Seats - the front seats are awful. I now have back problems I have never had before getting this car. I'm actually having back surgery this week. Not saying this is entirely from the seats, but they are horribly uncomfortable. My wife has gone with me on a couple long drives, 600-1500 miles each and she can't even sit back after a few hours of driving. For this reason alone, I would never buy this car again. The lower part of the seat is just way too short and not designed correctly. Even with all the adjustments, I can not get the seat comfortable. The lumbar support is in the wrong place and when you fill up all the air compartments the seat is impossible to sit in.
    4WD - or AWD - again horrible. Twice this winter I got stuck in snow. The stock tires are not rated for winter driving and give no traction. In snow, they get filled with snow and just become a round ball with no traction. I was forced to purchase snow tires. That helped a lot, but the 4x4 system is still front wheel drive dependent. Even in snow mode, it works in front wheel drive mode until after you have started sliding then the back wheels try to help, if they don't get traction, they don't get power. So, you get stuck. I had to use mud mode just to get unstuck, and since it's a company car, I punched the gas, revved the engine until I could get the car to go forward. I have a friend with a Toyota 4Runner and his car sticks to icy roads where the Explorer was all over the place slipping and sliding - with studded tires.
    Sun roof - moon roof. This was something I would never have thought of on an SUV, but you can't put anything on the roof due to the over sized glass roof. Weight limit is 50lbs... My ski box is almost 50lbs so you can put it on but can't put anything in it. So, I had to buy a hitch mounted ski rack to take my skis to the mountains. Sounds OK, until you look at all the road grime on your nice skis...

    So, I will be looking for a new car soon. If anyone has any suggestions as to a similarly priced SUV that actually has comfortable seats but also with nice technology, let me know. Right now I am pushing for a Volvo or Yukon but need to go look at a few before I put my suggestions in to my company. I recently rented the Volvo and although the nav could use some refinement, the seats were very comfortable.
     
  9. kmarnes

    kmarnes Active Member

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    Nice info David. Here's some comments:

    • If you had a 2017 with Sync 3, your entertainment issues would be gone -- super fast, responsive, etc.
    • I find the seats quite comfortable and I'm 6'2". One seat adjustment that stumped me for a long time is that you can independently control the height of the front and the rear of the seat (not just the overall height). So basically you can control your angle and that made all the difference for me. Maybe try it?
    • As for the roof rack limit, I completely ignored it. It's impracticably too low. I had a 52lb rack with over 50lbs of gear inside. I had no problems and suspect it is a center of gravity issue.
    • For snow performance, I go skiing so got dedicated winters anyways. I had no problems with traction in snow, though I do have a Sport which is more 50-50 biased. The car was a beast through snow. Of course without winters, you are going to have real problems with any car.
    Also I cross shopped multiple cars before I bought the Explorer. The Volvo XC90 is an overpriced pretty piece of junk, trust me. If you want, I can dig up a long post where I compared the Volvo, but it's not a good car. If you are in the market for something in that price range, the Audi Q7 was my perfect car. I just couldn't justify paying 50% more for it over the Explorer, but if you can swing it, the Q7 is a gorgeous balanced car. Just make sure it's the redesign introduced in 2017 MY with the virtual cockpit feature.

    Also my biggest gripe with the Explorer is the transmission. Shifting can be clunky at times and programming could be better. But it's fine :)
     
  10. FordShelby

    FordShelby New Member

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    There are only 2 things I dislike about our 2017 Sport, the drivers side leg room, especially the left leg, and the horridly inconsistent body panel lines. One side has a huge crack while the other side is small. Other than that, our Sport is a real pleasure to drive with loads of power.
     
  11. David Shahon

    David Shahon New Member

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    Thanks for the reply kmarnes.

    I put about 400 miles on a rental XC90 about 2 weeks ago and really liked it. The nav didn't work when I got it but I was able to get it going before my rental was done. Had to update something which happened since it was connected to my phone. I'm not sure it is worth the price and it is probably out of my car allowance, but I like the styling. I'm sure I would like the Sync 3 better but mine is the Sync 2. I actually thought I would like Sync better than I do.

    The roof rack - I read too many stories about leaking roofs on Explorers so I didn't want to try that. I'm sure I could just go for it, but decided not to.

    I have to disagree about the snow performance. I have had many SUV's and an AWD car, and this is the absolute worst for performance and traction.

    Thanks for reminding me about the transmission. I live in the Pacific NW so hills are normal for me. I am shocked at how bad the shifting can be if you are trying to give it power while climbing a hill.

    I do really like the car, just a couple things that could be better. Adding snow tires is a must, the transmission can be ignored or babied when needed. For me the killer is just the uncomfortable seats. I have tried every position, angled so my butt is low and knees are higher, flat or knees low, lumbar every position, messaging seat bottom, etc.

    Do different models have different seats? Maybe I just need to swap my drivers seat for a different model... Not sure if that is an option.
     
  12. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Welcome to the Forum David.:wave:
    I would never use all season tires (actually most agree they are 3 season) in Winter. They just aren't made for it. Rubber starts to harden at just 44 degrees F and gets worse as the temperature falls. Dedicated Winter tires are the way to go for safety and traction in snow and bare cold roads.
    Good luck.

    Peter
     
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  13. Fentress24

    Fentress24 Active Member

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    I have heard both positive and negative reviews on the Explorer seats.

    I actually think that they are very comfortable and I have gotten positive reviews from several passengers. I wonder why there is such a wide range of opinions?
     
  14. chazglenn3

    chazglenn3 Active Member

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    The seats in our Platinum are great. Plus they massage you. :)
     
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  15. tincbtrar

    tincbtrar Member

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    Maybe it's seat type? We have the two tone leather/suede seats and they are fine I think.
     
  16. 08Ex

    08Ex New Member

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    Wow I appreciate all your comments. I honestly didn't expect this many. I will say several comments shocked me. I prefer the normally aspirated 3.5 liter but surprised to see it deliver sub-par mpg. My current 4.0 liter gives me 21.6 mpg avg. Don't like turbos because of the hot environment those turbo bearings have to operate. Also don't like the fact that the 3.5 is transverse mounted. Must be a biotch to change plugs on the firewall side? I'd like to hear any experiences with that. The 4.0 is a piece of cake to change plugs. And I don't like uni-body construction. I have a 94 mustang with unibody and I have to be soooo careful where I jack that vehicle. At any rate you guy's are great to honestly share your experiences and opinions. Thank you AJ
     
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  17. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    One thing you'll find here AJ is that members are definitely not short on opinions.:D

    Peter
     
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  18. David Shahon

    David Shahon New Member

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    So, to comment on a couple of these posts - just my opinion.

    Winter driving - I agree that the vehicle is OK in snow with the right equipment. However, I have owned 2 Toyota 4Runners, a GMC Yukon, an Acura AWD Sedan, and now this car. This is the first car where I have needed dedicated snow tires. Living in the Pacific NW, dedicated snow tires are not that common on the wetter side of the state. I honestly think it is the Hancook Ventus tires. The 255/50R 20 is a really large tire, almost impossible to get a winter tire in that size, had to buy wheels and tires to get through the season. Of course, we actually had a winter season here, so that is probably why I had issues. But, with that said, I have done plenty of winter driving with past vehicles on all season tires with no issues. Actually, I own a Chev P/U with Goodyear Wranglers and it does absolutely fine in the snow. Of course, it is a 4x4 not AWD...

    Seats - maybe there is a difference in the different models. I have the Limited and it does have the massage feature. I actually think this is the problem, if you could adjust the bottom area I could adjust the area where my tailbone sticks into the seat, this might help. I have used this feature a lot lately just to get through a couple trips, without it I'm not sure what I would have done. Maybe the Platinum has a better seat, I will look, maybe I can swap seats. However, I have read many reviews of people that don't find the seats comfortable so I know I am not alone.

    Engine issues - mine has the V6. It has plenty of power although I have previously mentioned the issues I have experienced with the transmission. My only complaint is that the fuel tank is too small. I get a consistent 19-20 mpg, but find that I am always headed to a gas station. Why do they put such a small gas tank in an SUV? 18 gallons, the Toyota has a 23 gallon. A few gallons makes a big difference, in this case probably about 100 miles. I won't have the vehicle long enough to worry about service and repairs so the posts about high mileage service doesn't apply to me, it will be gone when it is out of warranty or sooner if possible.

    With all that said, I do like the car. I see them everywhere. I keep thinking I'm going to hobble over to people in parking lots and ask them about their seats... That might be weird...
     
  19. Napalm

    Napalm Active Member

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    To the OP: I have a 2016 and I did a lot of cross shopping before buying. TO be fair I sort of wished I had about the Buick Enclave instead. But only because - for me - it has more front leg room and longer drives that has become a slight issue. Meanwhile though, our 2016 is just over 2 years old now - bought it in June of 15 and it was fresh off the delivery truck. It's seen a dealer twice - once because of a wind noise issue from day one and the other for a dead battery at 35,800 miles. it also is on it's second set of tires now - sitting at 47K miles this week.

    There are a few minor issue I have noticed with pieces that don't fully line up here and there - had I bought a lincoln version I would have been more upset. Otherwise, with oil changes done by me - it has performed remarkably well and the MPG is getting about what it's supposed to get. Now that I'm past warranty I plan on working on a few items to help that (air intake tubes, tuning, etc)

    However I will stress this bit - it is the wife's car this it sees it's share of city driving and stop and go, and probably runs a real 50/50 % mix city/highway. As such and with her being nearly a foot shorter than I - it fits her better. THough we both liked the Enclave - 2 key points for the ford was one it wasn't a GM product (political issues my DD is a GM product from 09) and the other we didn't like GM's infotainment setup. Yes I looked into many others especially the Nissan and the Honda and for the money I just couldn't consider buying either of them So far my bet has proved soild as the explorer has been rode hard so far.

    If I could have had any vehicle for us though it would have been a mini-van and I'll say. It still would have been the more perfect device and if you can get over any "mom mobile" fears related the minivan would be awesome. Since both device are on a car chassis - they might as well be.

    That aside - ticking the needs boxes and the price point the Explorer was more what we wanted. We had good luck with our focus before hand and I didn't really want to buy a GM product. The ford also drives/handles better than any of the others I looked into and that also swayed me some. Yes it handles better than the nissan pathfinder or the honda pilot. I was not looking at premium devices so no I didn't cross shop a volvo, jag or acura - and I wasn't considering a Explorer Platinum.

    Engine choice for the dollars over fuel savings I picked the 3.5L Ti-VCT because 1000 dollar pays for quite a bit of fuel when there's only about 1 mpg difference in them Otherwise I agree the 2.3L ecoboost mill is a good choice too. If the car was for me I would have bought the Sport model - but for the wife she doesn't need that. Had she not been adamant about the 3rd row seats I would have bought an Edge instead.
     
  20. 1stXLT

    1stXLT Elite Explorer

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    I thought I might add my thoughts here even though I have only had my Ex for 4 months now. I am happy to report I have not had any issues with my XLT 3.5 NA. Everything works as advertised so far and I hope it continues to do so.
     
  21. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The 20" Winter tire may be difficult to find at times and that is why I use 18"wheels/tires on my vehicles in place of 20" ones for Winter. The tires are less expensive as well and there is a lot of choice. As for wandering over and asking people in parking lots about their seats, make sure you are referring to the ones in the Explorer.;)

    Peter
     

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