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My review of the New 2012 Ford Explorer (After 4 months of ownership)

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by Lhymes, April 27, 2012.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Lhymes

    Lhymes Active Member

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    So I've had my Explorer for four months now and have pretty much fallen off the face of the Earth as far as these forums are concerned since it was delivered at the first of this year. Did I get upset and run off to weep to myself about how much I regretted my purchase? In short; heck no - I love this vehicle so much it's crazy.

    I'm in my car a lot (6500 miles of driving in South Florida alone since January 1st) and wanted something larger and more comfortable than my previous 2009 Ford Escape Limited. After test driving a 2012 Explorer I was sold and put in my order within a week (after researching all the package options and reading up on what people loved and didn't love so much). I ended up going with a fully loaded 2012 4WD White Platinum with rear buckets and console. I got a killer deal on it and essentially got all the tech luxury of the more expensive luxury SUVs for about $20k less.

    As I'm not going to spend too much time on the ride, let's cover that first. I ended up going with the 4WD as I plan on towing here-and-there and had read about torque steering issues some people have had with the FWD models. I can drive with a lead foot at times and with the 4WD, torque steer is pretty much non-existent. I love the ride in this vehicle. It drives like an oversized car (which it essentially is). Pickup is great, the ride is super quiet and smooth, braking is very responsive, and maneuverability is amazing. Everyone that rides in it is blown away with how it feels on the road. I feel like I'm being spoiled.

    As for the exterior, I think most will agree that the current gen Explorers are about the sexiest mid-large sized SUVs on the road. Well, I do too. I pretty much smile every time I'm walking up to my car. I just love it. Cleaning it could be a little rough with as large as it is, so I save myself the headache and bring it over to a nice car wash down the road. $26 and 12 minutes later, it looks like new. Hardly breaking the bank - I suppose my only negative input would be what a pain it would be to hand wash without nerf bars installed. Otherwise, Ford hit it out of the park with this thing - the Explorer looks amazing.

    As for the interior, after driving the Ex for as much as I have, I definitely feel that the Limiteds are in the same class as their much more expensive competitors, and for real world conditions, some of the synthetic materials chosen for use are superior to the more luxurious alternatives (more on that in a sec). The leather seats are very, very comfortable, the cabin is spacious, and everything is very attractive. While it was hard to not get overwhelmed by all of the tech when I first got it, utilizing all of it has become second nature. I'd honestly hate to let any of it go. The Explorer is filled to the brim with all of the latest car features and there's a good reason for that - they're all really cool (ok, pretty useful too). Regarding storage, the Ex is pretty deceptive. There is a ton of rear space whether not the third row is down, but in the first two rows, there aren't tons of compartments. That said, once you start loading the necessities, you'll be surprised by how much storage you do have. The under-seat storage makes up for anything you might have lost not having a few extra compartments in the doors' armrests. The seats are well spaced and while I've read about some people nitpicking the rear legroom, no one will ever be uncomfortable riding in the second or third rows in my opinion (I have heard complaints about the center bench seating which was one of the reasons I went with the buckets instead). As for those materials, while they probably won't ever market them as such, the door panels are very, very rugged and scratch resistant and very easy to clean. I have a very spoiled 70lb puppy that does his best to scratch the hell out of them, but hasn't left a single mark. Seriously, a spray of 409 surface cleaner (on the rag of course) and the door panels look like new. My only negative input would be that I wish they'd have gone with aluminum and/or steel on the handles and the two silver plastic panels around the MFT touch display. Otherwise, I'm very happy with the interior (and based on the feedback I've had, so are all of my friends and family). Oh, and there's also the sunroof - I could never go without it. I leave mine open 24/7. When I have closed it, it blows me away how much more confined the interior feels despite its spaciousness. Yeah, it sounds crazy, but it makes a big difference in my opinion.

    Lastly, the much-debated MFT. Some people swear it's ruined their lives, broken their marriages, or made their children cry (ok, maybe not, but there has been a lot of people that don't like it). I can't say that's been the case for me, though. I love it. Since the big update, I've had one restart. Otherwise, everything's been great as far as everyday use is concerned. My big problem with it is that it doesn't save all of your climate settings and it doesn't keep your place on the right supplemental screen. I wish they'd fix it up so that you don't have to redundantly make settings changes when starting the car - in that respect, it's worse than switches, buttons, and knobs. Otherwise, I do really like the system and find that it has made for a better driving experience.

    So there you have it. Essentially, a lot of praise. But this vehicle makes it hard not to. The new Explorer really is a pleasure to own. Between the great ride, killer looks, and beautiful interior it doesn't leave a lot to be desired. While the sticker price can be a little shocking for some when you load up all the options, as long as you get it in the low-to-mid $40s, the Explorer is surprisingly affordable for what you get.
     
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  3. wikidhd

    wikidhd Active Member

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    Congrats and nice write-up, I have ordered the 2013 Black/Black Limited 4WD wit the same features, all the bells and whistles. I can't wait till it arrives, but as I scan the forum there are many things that wud make others think twice about buying the new Ex. For me, that will not happen, I have been a Ford man all my life. And the new Ex will be my fourth Ford, I think this will b my third best purchase of a Ford product. From the Ex. Sport, to 2 classic products from Ford the 2001 Supercharged F150 Harley Daivdson(yes correct 2001) and the All-American Muscle Car Mustang GT, I will be happy to say I have had a lot of fun with my Fords and still njoying them.......happy driving!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  4. willwitten

    willwitten Member

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    Lyhmes,
    Nice review!
    I have had mine for 1 year and 20k miles....I agree with everything you say.
     
  5. cnsheets

    cnsheets Active Member

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    I'm jealous. My experience has been quite the opposite, mainly because of the service I have received from the dealership trying to get various TSB's fixed. It sucks to go in with 3 things that need to be fixed and come out with 6. Hope your luck continues and maybe I'll be there with you some day if the dealer gets their stuff together.
     
  6. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    When I was at the dealer yesterday to have the 12B36 program done, I saw a car you likely would have enjoyed. It was in the showroom. A 2003 Mustang Mach 1 yellow in colour and black hood scoop with 2,600 original miles on it.

    Peter
     
  7. Slimhaven

    Slimhaven New Member

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    Congratulations and great write up and I am glad to hear you are enjoying your new Explorer. We have almost identical vehicles except I don't have the rear bucket seats. I am so tired of the whiners on this forum, I dont think that they would be happy with whatever they owned. I have found that looking through a lot of the complaints that it is more operator error on the MFT instead of the hardware. To much technology for some people I guess. Well enjoy your Explorer and have many happy carefree miles with it I know I will with mine.;););)
     
  8. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    While the legroom in the 2nd row isn't too bad, it is kind of difficult to have a rear facing car seat back there. I have mine on the passenger side, with a forward facing behind me. My son can kick the back of my seat, and I don't have it too far back as I'm only 5'8".

    The rear seats should be on tracks to be able to move them back. I know someone with an Equinox with this feature and it is really nice.
     
  9. HughCares

    HughCares Active Member

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    If you had 2nd row buckets you could move them back......
     
  10. harlenm

    harlenm Active Member

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    Well, it's a little late for that!
     
  11. Slimhaven

    Slimhaven New Member

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    That is about the only feature in the Equinox that is good. I had a 2011 LTZ loaded for 7 months before I could not take the lack of power and poor nav system before I ordered my 2012 Ex Limited and what a difference. I love my new Explorer and I can honestly say it is one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. I loved my Avalanches that I had but the Explorer far exceeds my expectations and is so much more fun to drive. Hopefully one of these days I will figure out all the bells and whistles but until then it is like driving a brand new car every day! ;););)
     

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