An Honest review of 5th generation Explorer (long) | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

An Honest review of 5th generation Explorer (long)

2010 XLT Version - 15 MPG city, 19 MPG highway at 70 mph.

2014 XLT Version - 17 MPG city, 25 MPG at 70 mph.

So there has been a pretty big increase in mileage, especially cruising on the highway. I have hit 26.5 with this unit on the highway. But that still doesn't alter the fact that it is a girly car with pretty poor build quality.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





A+ for the review. I actually just left working for a Ford dealer after 6+ years and out of every vehicle sold the 11+ Explorer had the most disappointment.

If you have a pre 2010 Explorer and want another similar Ford you have to look at the Expedition. Up until 2015 the Expedition had outdated driveline like the E series vans. Now the 2015 Expedition can be bought with the ecoboost or V8 and is still body on frame.
 






A+ for the review. I actually just left working for a Ford dealer after 6+ years and out of every vehicle sold the 11+ Explorer had the most disappointment.

If you have a pre 2010 Explorer and want another similar Ford you have to look at the Expedition. Up until 2015 the Expedition had outdated driveline like the E series vans. Now the 2015 Expedition can be bought with the ecoboost or V8 and is still body on frame.

I believe the 2015 EXPEDITION is V6 only. I can't find anywhere that says different.
 






I believe the 2015 EXPEDITION is V6 only. I can't find anywhere that says different.

You might be right, but its the same ecoboost from the f150 so it has plenty of power and has proven to be reliable. The 2015s are definitely about 6" lower than previous models and lost a good bit of weight so it shouldn't need as big of an engine.

Ok done with the thread hijack, just trying to keep 11+ explorer owners in the same breed
 






Really? Plot Explorer sales against gas prices. It's called inversely proportional meaning when one goes up the other goes down. They're still selling less than half the volume they sold of my beloved 2003. As I mentioned the fuel economy of the new Explorer doesn't justify gas savings as being a motivating factor.

Keep in mind, there are MANY MANY more SUV/CUV's out there than there was back in 2003 so not entirely apples to apples. Sadly the last BOF SUV's still built are Tahoe (all bigger than the EX), Expedition, Suburban, Yukon/XL, Escalade etc.... notice that the cutoff is now large SUV and it's a tough balance with the CAFE *MPG requirements at a corporate level*, sales ROI and what people REALLY use them for. Sadly there aren't that many of use really using them offroad and leaves towing at the biggest need for BOF (in many minds) but the uni-body SUV/CUV can tow quite a bit now.
 






A+ for the review. I actually just left working for a Ford dealer after 6+ years and out of every vehicle sold the 11+ Explorer had the most disappointment.

If you have a pre 2010 Explorer and want another similar Ford you have to look at the Expedition. Up until 2015 the Expedition had outdated driveline like the E series vans. Now the 2015 Expedition can be bought with the ecoboost or V8 and is still body on frame.

I've also been casually looking at the Expedition. While roomy and comfortable, it feels like a trip back in time sitting in it. It seems more like a 4-5 year old vehicle compared to the Explorer. To get an Expedition Platinum short version with most options hits the upper $60s. Way too much money unless you really need a good tow vehicle.
 






When I got my 2003 V8 XLT Explorer an Expedition, similarly equipped, was only about $2k more expensive. I even considered just getting an Expedition even droving one home but it took too much room in the garage. When I got the '14 I looked at the Expedition and they were $10k+ for a vehicle with fewer bells and whistles.
 






When I got my 2003 V8 XLT Explorer an Expedition, similarly equipped, was only about $2k more expensive. I even considered just getting an Expedition even droving one home but it took too much room in the garage. When I got the '14 I looked at the Expedition and they were $10k+ for a vehicle with fewer bells and whistles.
The Tahoe beats the Expedition hands down. The Expedition is far past needing a refresh. It's pretty pathetic compared to the GM competition.
 






The Tahoe beats the Expedition hands down. The Expedition is far past needing a refresh. It's pretty pathetic compared to the GM competition.

In the last comparison test at Car and Driver, the refreshed Expedition won out over the Tahoe. Tahoe's demerits include the packaging compromise from the old school stick axle, a 5.3 V8 that isn't as good at towing as the 3.5 ecoboost and relative lack of room, particularly in the 3rd row, and luggage capacity with all seats up. Particularly surprising was the handling advantage the Expedition had - even though it was 400# heavier. Aside from the abysmal fuel consumption, the Expedition is a decent tow vehicle.
 












2011 Explorer 5th generation is my first and last experience with an Explorer. I think the style with the dual sunroof and 20" wheels is very nice, not to mention the leather seats. I think Ford rushed a bunch of technology to the market with the my Ford touch and sacrificed quality. I have owned 5 previous Fords and none have added up to how many times this one Explorer has been in the service department. I like the style, like the ride, decent mpg, but poor quality.
 






2011 Explorer 5th generation is my first and last experience with an Explorer. I think the style with the dual sunroof and 20" wheels is very nice, not to mention the leather seats. I think Ford rushed a bunch of technology to the market with the my Ford touch and sacrificed quality. I have owned 5 previous Fords and none have added up to how many times this one Explorer has been in the service department. I like the style, like the ride, decent mpg, but poor quality.

Hopefully, Ford has managed to fix any issues it had in 5 years time. The Explorer isn't the best seller in it's class because it's an inferior vehicle.
 






I like the style, like the ride, decent mpg, but poor quality.

Agreed.

The engine/powertrain does not concern me.

The fit and finish of interior molding and exterior panels as well as issues with the paint job have me quite concerned for buy and hold owners like me as the years role along.

I have a 2003 Saab. Minor wear issues on the driver's seat leather that are hardly noticeable after 12 years. Paint job is still like new. Car is still firm. Not a rattle or any interior noise. Yes, it has had several not too expensive engine issues, but the overall build quality of what was $42k in 2003 for the exterior body parts for fit and quality paint job and interior cabin is far superior to the 2011 Ex I have that stickered for $42k too. And I mean it is far superior today as a 12 year old used car compared to a 4 year old Ex.
 






Grade and quality are different things. I feel the Explorer grade may be "B" compared to your Saab and that's fine. If it were the of the same grade and had relatively lesser quality then that would be another thing. For its grade the Explorer offers significant value vs. its direct competition in my opinion.
 






Grade and quality are different things. I feel the Explorer grade may be "B" compared to your Saab and that's fine. If it were the of the same grade and had relatively lesser quality then that would be another thing. For its grade the Explorer offers significant value vs. its direct competition in my opinion.

I think the jury is out on that considering fit/finish and paint problems.

I agree if you are leasing. These problems may not crop up in the short term and you just get a new one every 3 years. Plus they are covered under bumper-to-bumper and the Ex is not a bad vehicle at all outside of fit/finish/paint and now that MFT is fixed.

TBD per my concerns how the Ex holds up for the 8-10+ year owner like me. ESP will be expired and/or won't cover things like the paint job or rust bubbles on the hood, rust lower inside lower door panels.

I'm taking my Ex in for a new hood this morning due to rust bubbles. Big $$$ out of my pocket and it is only 4 years old. That, to me, is unacceptable.
 






I.agree rust should.not be happening at that early juncture. I thought the food was aluminum?
 






I.agree rust should.not be happening at that early juncture. I thought the food was aluminum?

It is aluminum. Since I am getting a whole new hood as previously repainted ones with the bubble issue had the bubbles come back, it would seem the aluminum hoods were not properly manufactured and perhaps this has been fixed, but one poster said he still noticed it on newer Ex's at a dealer feeling under the lip.

Technically aluminum does not rust, but it does corrode. I don't think the hoods have been properly manufactured to prevent corrosion and paint bubbles. Where the paint bubbles start is under the lip where a lot of water gets in and it is not a full paint job with clearcoat under there. It should not be a problem with a properly anodised aluminum hood even with one base coat under the hood, but it has been a problem, and the corroded aluminum and paint bubbles will eventually migrate to the top of the hood - as we have seen in numerous cases.

Aluminum without the proper mixture of oxide actually corrodes faster than steel rusts. With the proper mixture of oxide it will corrode slower than steel will rust. What you need to make aluminum better than steel is the proper mixture of oxide in the manufacturing process. Anodising increases the thickness of the oxide layer and thus improves the strength of the natural corrosion protection. I think the problem with the hoods has been a bad anodising process.
 
Last edited:






Thanks for the explanation!
 






We bought a new 2015 Sport back in April and after 6 weeks and 1,500 miles our particular vehicle seems to be fine. Way too short of a time to judge obviously. I did some (poor) due diligence on this forum before buying but only looked at Sport specific threads. Had I done a better job of reading the multi-page threads on paint issues, steering issues, water leaks, exhaust smell and so on I'm not sure we would have bought the car. I'm amazed by how many threads start in 2011-13 and so on and there are recent posts saying my 2014 or 2015 has the same thing.

Even recognizing that few people join a forum to say how great their car is, it still is somewhat surprising.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





I have to say after spending time on this forum, I have never seen so much negativity. I have been on several GM forums and have never seen members so disappointed with a particular vehicle. Is the latest explorer generation the worst Ford has ever made? I am guilty of also not doing my due diligence, if I had I would be driving a Chevy Traverse.
 






Back
Top