- February 22, 2011
- Reaction score
- City, State
- Year, Model & Trim Level
- 2021 Explorer ST
I agree with you. This was part of the reason I got a 2015 instead of a 2014 (2015 now has heated wheel, but still no rain sensing wipers). But I paid dearly, as much better deals could be had on 2014's.
I think there are two reasons for the missing options. Ford is conscious about price point. To have the Sport come with all the same things as the LTD would probably force its MSRP up too much over $50k, and they believe that sales will drop off. So they intentionally keep out a few luxury items that their research tells them people will accept it without. The other reason I suspect is that they think loading it too much might cause the price to get too close to the Lincoln products, causing confusion or competition. I can't believe that the skimping on the LTD options is due to production reasons - the cars are all very similar and made in the same place; it actually seems like it is more work to leave out certain options than to include them.
I am a buyer who's moving out of a series of higher-end German SUVs, having been attracted to Ford value for $, very disappointing durability issues with those high-technology German brands (they build in complexity seemingly just for complexity's sake), and an almost complete absence of independent repair facilities willing to work on them. (They become money pits when you own them out of warranty, and dealer repair shops (the techs at many of which are just parts-swapping guessers) are your only repair option.) On the new Sport, I would definitely have gone for HID lights, heated wheel, rain sensing wipers and power folding rear seats if they were offered in a 2014, as these are readily available features on Mercedes, Audi and BMW. Having said all that, I am really pleased that Ford makes an SUV that can come so close or exceed those brands. The Sport is just as fast or faster than the base level X5, Q7 and ML350; has most of the same features, has more seats and looks great. You have to spend A LOT more to get a comparably equipped Mercedes, Audi or BMW.
Actually, Ford removed the Climate Control option from the right side of the main dashboard on ALL Explorers for 2014, not just the Sport Model. Have no idea as to why, most likely as they want people to use the Climate Voice commands more and look at the dashboard less.
that's just silly.
The reason to have both trims, yet while allowing optioning of peripheral accessories, is the drivetrain & suspension setups. Arguably the twin turbo & sport suspension isn't on everyone's wanted list (but it is on mine ;-)
"I, for one, would love the sport engine but you can keep the suspension, I like the plush ride of the Limited. "
All the go but nothing to keep it cornering safely? Naw, you wouldn't want that (that's what Mustangs are for ;-).
Before even considering the Sport I test drove the heck out of it to see if it was compatible with my bad lower back (was directly contrasting to the Ltd). I found it surprisingly plush yet firm enough to make me feel swadled in place through the rolls & turns...and that's before break in. It fit my backside like a glove so admittedly this may be subjective. Yes, I will keep that suspension - it's a welcome feel from the taxi cab mush suspension of my ole daily driver Taurus, where the softness of the suspension & is actually harsher on my back. I'll also note the Sport is much more complaint than my V8 Mountaineer AWD (that I just traded in last Friday).
Anyway I still think that the drivetrain & suspension answers the question of why have those 2 trim levels and will respectfully disagree about options. IMO HIDs are a stupid omission from the Sport - it shrugs off performance minded customers and Ford is leaving money on the table (since it's already a limited option it would be significant increased margins for them to also offer it for the Sport which already has a big alternator, and other supposedly luxury options like heated steering wheel etc). DVD head rests but not HIDs is a really weird mixed message if it's really suppose to be Limited = luxury and Sport = sports'ute. Just watch - next year HIDs & rain sense wipers & lane assist will be an option for top level trims whether they finally go with the new design or if they keep this one for another year.
As for other more obviously luxury only options like hands free parking assist - that I leave to the non Sport minded customers....though Rover includes such things in their highest ticket == highest performance trims so I'm not sure Ford's option suite is as logical as the more they spend on base price the more the high margin options we will offer. <shrug>
Well my sport is no longer eta tomorrow and is instead ETA Saturday which is a bummer.