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New Car Time... questions about the Sport

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by WhatTheFehl, November 5, 2014.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. WhatTheFehl

    WhatTheFehl New Member

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    Hi guys. New here, came to scope out the new Explorers, particularly the Sport. I started a new career in March and I decided if everything went well and it looked like I was going to be there long term, I'd celebrate my new income and future with a new vehicle, and retire my trusty 2004 Subaru Outback. So then came the question of what new cars I would consider buying. I'm very picky with cars. I was never a foreign, family-car kind of guy until I bought my Outback. I didn't want it.... long story short I needed a car badly, I didn't have a lot of money to spend, and the Outback was for sale by a very good family friend of mine and she made me an offer that was very good... 3 years later and I could still sell it for more than I paid for it. I had driven the car a few times when mine was broken and I needed to borrow it, and I quite liked it... it was totally not my style but I quickly fell in love with it. 40,000 miles later and she is still going strong, I've put almost nothing into it (tires, brakes, oil changes... only significant money was a new exhaust), and she has given me no trouble. The Outback at 140,000 miles and nearly 11 years old, still drives and feels like a brand new car. It is quiet, comfortable, and handles well. This car has given me a very specific list of things that are non-negotiable in future vehicles. Such as:

    - AWD/4WD, I will not own a car to be driven in the winter that doesn't have it

    - Cargo space... I love the fact that I have room for whatever I want to haul, spur of the moment (within reason). Open the hatch, lay the seats down, and I can fit a metric ton worth of crap in the back of the thing

    - Space in general... the Outback can fit 4 comfortably and all of their luggage for the weekend, with a roof rack for excess.

    - Comfort... believe it or not, at 22 years old I greatly value comfort in a vehicle. I enjoy driving and enjoy going on road trips... I need a vehicle that is comfortable

    - Reliability... I have no fear of driving my Outback anywhere at a moments notice. I like that feeling

    - Fuel economy... The Outback gets 17 mpg or so around town and 25 on the highway. This is with the 4 cylinder engine.

    - Ride and handling - The Outback, to me, is the perfect mix of suspension. Stiff enough that it handles extremely well for a car of it's size and high center of gravity (I can run it through some twisties at speed that much sportier cars have difficulty keeping up with), and soft enough that absorbs the bumps and rides very comfortably.

    Two other things I value greatly that I've had in other vehicles I've owned, and am disappointed I don't have in my Outback, are a powerful engine and a sunroof. My measly 2.5 liter boxer 4 cylinder puts out about 170 horsepower... which is not a lot in a relatively heavy car with AWD. She's slow. I have gotten used to driving it to the point that I don't have any issue merging in traffic, but whenever my father or someone who is used to driving a more powerful vehicle borrows my car I always hear about how slow it is.

    And I'm an absolute sucker for a sunroof.

    Anyway, naturally, since I'm so happy with my Outback, you'd assume I'd probably buy a new Outback, since Subaru owners are so loyal. Well, you'd be wrong. While I think they are good cars, they are just not for me. I hate the styling (they made it too much like an SUV or minivan now... if I'm buying a Subaru, I want a wagon), it is too squishy (new owners frequently complain about poor handling and a floaty ride), and even the top trim engine (3.6 liter boxer 6) is disappointing, especially since on the 2015 models you are forced to have it paired with a CVT.

    So I looked and I looked for what else was out there that met my requirements, and I came up with a short list... actually, only one vehicle. A new Ford Explorer Sport.

    It has everything I was looking for and more, and that 3.5 liter EcoBoost really has me excited. I love a boosted engine (my "toy" is a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP with the supercharged 3800). Plus more room (6-7 passengers), more towing capacity (I want to get a small lightweight camping trailer at some point), and it is a damn good looking vehicle too. And the $47K sticker price is right within my budget (though, definitely in the upper atmosphere of it).

    So, I guess finally my questions are this...


    To the Sport owners... are you happy?

    What are some common problems? Someone was telling me that the EcoBoost 3.5s have goofy issues, and that the AWD systems (particularly the power take off unit) frequently fail... is this true?

    What are some real world fuel economy numbers you are seeing? (Fuel economy isn't a huge concern for me, but I am curious)

    I'm a big guy and the Outback is honestly just barely comfortable for me, I get the impression the Explorer is much more comfortable in the driver seat... is this true?

    And, somewhat off topic... due performance mods (such as Livernois' tunes) void the powertrain warranty? How is Ford about honoring their warranty on the vehicle anyway?

    I'm sure I have some more questions but it is getting quite late and I've already rambled on enough. I tried to get in to take a test drive of one at my local Ford dealer (Woltz & Wind Ford), the salesman told me "We don't let people test drive those" and showed me the door... I was quite upset. I'm guessing because I'm 22 they think there's no way I can afford a nearly $50K car. It was quite annoying... still would like to test drive one.

    I work in the oilfield (natural gas production) and my coworkers are trying to convince me to buy a truck, but I have no interest in trucks. Something like an Explorer just seems so much more practical to me.
     
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  3. Halwg

    Halwg Active Member

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    Since you like the Outback so well, why don't you just go buy another? You'll never be happy with the Ford.
     
  4. Fpo

    Fpo Active Member

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    I'll add my .02

    I haven't had my sport that long, but we love it

    it is quite quick for a 5000 pound SUV

    as far as more room for a big guy.... I am 6'1 and this is the first car I have ever driven where the seat still had room to go back further.

    Go get one you'll be happy.
     
  5. amd2800barton

    amd2800barton Active Member

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    Fehl, I know exactly what you mean about the new Outback - the reasons you listed were exactly why it wasn't on our shopping list. The sport handles great, is a pleasure to drive, and has tons of power. Be in for a disappointment with fuel economy, however, because the highway gas mileage would be worse than your current Outback. For us the comfort (heated and cooled seats that are extremely comfortable); capacity (all our stuff, a couple dogs, and a friend or two); and the power (this thing hauls ass for a such a big girl) were worth the trade off.

    Your Ford dealer sounds like a judgmental ass. I'm only a few years older than you (26), but I had a few different car dealers treat me that way too, even though my wife and I are both engineers. If you've got your life together enough that you can buy a $50k vehicle, power to ya. You might have better luck if you go thru the internet sales department. Set up an appointment with the internet sales group ahead of time, and let them know what you're looking for exactly (Ex Sport with moonroof). Tell them what other options you've considered, even if its not in the same class, and that you haven't had the opportunity to test drive a Sport yet. The appointment lets them know you're serious and professional, so you might get a little more respect that way. Our dealer let us test drive a sport twice before we bought, and the second drive was nearly a month after the first. There's no reason they shouldn't let you test drive it, but it will be easier with an appointment.

    One last thing - a new Explorer (rumors can't pin down if its a refresh or a redesign) will probably be unveiled later this month. That means you could either get a great deal on an outgoing model once the 2016 comes out, or you could wait and get a car with some new features. Something to consider.
     
  6. Odrapnew

    Odrapnew Active Member

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    Elaborate.



    Regarding my feedback about the Sport, I am still happy with mine. I’ve had it since March and just over 10K miles. I came from a MazdaSpeed6, so the 3.5 Ecoboost was high on the “need” list. If it wasn’t for the engine, I may have looked at other SUV’s.
    Yes, you’ll take a hit on mileage(at least highway), but you are moving a ton(actually 2.5) of mass and have the power on tap as needed, so it doesn’t feel as heavy as it is(especially when accelerating).
    Speaking of size, it does feel big. My wife’s CX9 is roughly the same size, but feels much smaller when you’re driving it(if that makes sense). The 2nd row buckets make the Ex rear seats feel roomier vs. bench even though the CX9 has more rear leg room. Get the console if you do get the buckets, it’s a cheap add on if you purchase the vehicle with it and it’s easy enough to remove, but to add is much less cost effective.

    The ride is firm, yet not harsh, and it handles decently for a tank. Highway cruising is smooth and quiet. Brakes feel good and don’t really have any shortcomings.

    If you purchase a used 13-14 model, make sure it has the tow package. It’s standard on the 15, but add on for the previous years.
     
  7. wifes2011xlt

    wifes2011xlt Active Member

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    Yep, I liked the outbacks more when they were true wagons too. Now they are trying to compete against much stiffer competition in the SUV crossover market.
     
  8. BrianT

    BrianT Active Member

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    I like my Sport, 2013 40000 Kilometres on it.
    The drivers seat is very confutable, but with the seat all the way back there is not a lot of room for a passenger behind you.
    Gas milage city driving 15.9 miles per us gallon (450km for 64 litre)
    Love the power, at 60mph touch the gas and your at 80mph, when I first got it, I was cruising down an empty highway, talking to a buddy, looked at the speedo said what the ######, i'm doing 110mph in a 60mph zone. Since then on the highway I use cruse.
    Looking forward to replacing it in 2016 with a 2016 Sport.

    Brian
     
  9. WhatTheFehl

    WhatTheFehl New Member

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    Well, I just sent an email to Washington Ford since I know they have a few '15 Sports on the lot about coming in for a test drive... cross my fingers. I'm not ready to bring one home tomorrow (I want a more substantial down payment to put down, I'd like to put down close to 50%), but I really want to confirm that it is what I want. Besides, while they have the color I want in stock, it doesn't have a sunroof, so that's straight out.

    While I'm down there I may swing into the Subaru dealer that is practically next door and test drive a 2015 Outback to confirm I definitely don't want it... though all they have in stock is the abysmal 2.5.
     
  10. dentalpain

    dentalpain Elite Explorer

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    Request a brochure or call ford marketing for one (google this). I received a $750 off coupon good at any dealer. Join the mustang club for $25...enjoy x plan pricing (google this). We love our tuned 2015 sport, but plan on upgrading the lighting (inside to LED and outside to HID).
     
  11. WhatTheFehl

    WhatTheFehl New Member

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    Actually I already get X plan pricing through my employer. The company I work for has a large amount of Fords. I'd say about 90% of the light duty vehicles based out of my office are Fords. F150s, F250s, F350s, F550s, E350s, Explorers, and Escapes.
     
  12. CajunFordEx

    CajunFordEx Active Member

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    I also work in the oilfield (drilling rig for 34 years) and can truly understand why your coworkers want to convince you into buying a truck instead. If you stay at that job for some time, you eventually will get a truck I can promise you.

    Anyway, I don't have the sport, but love our XLT. My wife is the main driver and we use it as a people hauler more than anything. It is fairly comfortable on long trips, & gets descent fuel mileage for it's size.

    Good Luck with whatever you choose, and also Good Luck with your job.
     
  13. WhatTheFehl

    WhatTheFehl New Member

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    Thanks man. Yeah, working in the field I do it seems to be almost a requirement to own a truck, most of my coworkers seem to drive some form of truck. In fact one of the guys on my crew (younger than me... he's 20) just bought a brand new 2014 Ram 2500 crew cab with the Cummins, pretty much fully loaded.

    For us, we take company vehicles everywhere, it is against company policy to drive a personal vehicle onto a well pad. So even for work I don't need a truck. I like having AWD/4WD because of the weather in this area, but I don't go plowing up rough lease roads in my own car. I leave that to the crew vans and supervisors' trucks.

    I work for Halliburton Energy Services... I'm on a frac crew. I think I lucked out and ended up on the best crew in the North East. I have the coolest supervisors, and I felt welcomed there from day one. Some guys I know who ended up on other crews were treated like trash and left after a few rotations. I ended up working with an awesome group of guys, thankfully.




    Anyway, I stopped in at Washington Ford today and test drove a 2015 Sport. It was only a short test drive because it was absolutely pouring down rain, but it was enough that I got a feel for the car. I loved it, although when I gave it the beans the transmission went LOLWUT and didn't really shift when I expected it to. I guess since it only had 10 miles on it or so the transmission hasn't really learned a driving style yet.

    I also stopped at the Subaru dealer and drove a 2015 Outback 2.5i Premium. I wanted to drive a 3.6 but they didn't have one. I certainly liked it a lot more than I thought I would, but pretty sure the Explorer wins out.
     
  14. kirstenb

    kirstenb New Member

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    On the down payment, wait and see what terms they offer. Our 14 XLT came with 0% financing, so you could invest that $$ down payment somewhere else. We bought it in April.
     
  15. WhatTheFehl

    WhatTheFehl New Member

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    So TrueCar says I should be able to get a fully loaded Sport with moonroof, rear buckets and console, heated steering wheel, etc for $47K in my area.
     
  16. 2TimingTom

    2TimingTom Well-Known Member

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    Also work in oil......

    My company uses a mix of F-150s, F-250s, Explorers and the new Escape. The pickups tend to get stuck in the mud easier (even with decent tires) than the Explorers with highway tires.

    But if you're going to be carrying a bunch of big/dirty things, then without question, get a pickup. But if not, then an Explorer could be fine.

    But if you're an office only worker (like myself), then it really doesn't matter.
     
  17. WhatTheFehl

    WhatTheFehl New Member

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    The dirtiest thing mine will see is work clothes and boots at the end of the hitch.
     
  18. Halwg

    Halwg Active Member

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    I don't let muddy, dirty people in my Explorer. They have to change clothes first.
     
  19. WhatTheFehl

    WhatTheFehl New Member

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    I've never let dirty, muddy people into my cars. I'm saying in the cargo area and one of my first purchases will be a rubberized cargo mat.
     
  20. Goobr

    Goobr New Member

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    +1 on Kirsten's statement. Same with my 14 Sport I bought back in September. I did put 8k down on it though,,, just me. You sound like a young man with a good head on his shoulders. You will do well. :thumbsup:

    Your story sounds almost like mine with the old Subie. I bought a new 2001 Outback in Oct of 2000. Ordered by my spec with 5sp manual. 13 years of torture, trailering track motorcycles to all road tracks in the SE US including Hallet just outside Tulsa, OK. My track buddies referred to the Subie as "The Hotel Outback" because it's where I slept at the track. Fold down the back seats, blow up a twin air mattress and voila', instant bed, HVAC and entertainment system. The Hotel Outback also doubled as my work vehicle even though I could have checked out an Escape from the company motorpool.

    Anyway, about this time last year it was on its last leg and I was forced to buy a new vehicle within a week. I bought a new 14 Forester with the CVT. I'm kind of a big guy too, not so tall but wide. ;) Upon test driving the CVT I didn't like it but figured I would get used to it, well, I didn't almost a year later. I began to hate it.

    Searching for a used 1 or 2 year old SUV I ran across a local 2013 EX Sport. I didn't even know there was a "Sport" model available. Test drove it and fell in love with it. Problem was, the dealer wouldn't back off the asking price even 1 penny, I walked. Contacted my company's fleet manager asking him to drop a name and he did.

    "Jim" is our commercial vehicle salesman and a gentleman to boot. Jim kept running up on great deals on XLTs but I just had to have the 3.5L EcoBoost and good looks of the Sport, mind you, all the new EXs look great, just my taste. Finally after about 2 months, Jim found it, even in the color I wanted. Ingot Silver. We closed the deal 2 days later without me ever seeing it.

    Fehl, your dealer will have mucho grande to do with your buying experience. Go with your gut and screw the dealer that doesn't take you seriously.

    I currently have about 3k miles on mine, 60 miles round trip to the office with a genuine mix of hiway/city driving and getting 18.1 mpg. Do realize this ain't an economy car, but boy is it fun to drive. :D

    In you OP, you asked about hop up parts and the like. Yes, I do imagine that Ford would void the warranty. I'm going to give it about 12k and with no problems, I might start playing with it a bit. There is an outfit in Longwood, FL (Orlando area) that's big into tuning F150's and other longitudinal EcoBoost V-6s. I called him a few weeks ago inquiring about my Sport and he said the transverse V-6 is next on his list. Asked me if I would be a beta tester and of course, I replied, "yes, but we'll talk first".

    Okay, you said you ramble,,, got me beat? LOL,,,, I Was Born a Ramblim' Man. Take care, hope ya get the EX Sport.
     
  21. WhatTheFehl

    WhatTheFehl New Member

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    Well, I did it. I picked up my CPO'd '14 Sport not this past Saturday but the one before. It was exactly the one I wanted. The right color, options, everything. I am absolutely in love with it. Every time I drive it I am glad I bought it.

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