2017 Ford Explorer SUV Review

The three-row 2017 Ford Explorer is the ideal family vehicle for everyday life and fun adventures. This SUV is designed to conserve fuel, while still providing exhilarating and capable performance when you need it.

With five unique models available, you can select the one that offers the right combination of technologies, comforts and conveniences. Ultimately, this is a vehicle that accommodates everything you need, and more.

Performance

To help you find the right balance between power and efficiency, Ford offers three engine choices for the Ford Explorer. Despite being the base engine, the 3.5-litre V-6 is impressive. It produces a peak 290 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque.

If you're looking to save on gas, but are concerned about performance, the 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is an excellent solution. Through a combination of turbocharging and direct injection, this engine produces 280 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, so you get plenty of power upon pushing down on the accelerator.

A 3.5-litre EcoBoost V-6 engine is also in the lineup, being the standard engine for the Sport and Platinum models. It kicks things up in a big way, pumping out 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. Like with other EcoBoost engines, turbocharging and direct injection combine for explosive results.

Two-wheel drive is standard on all Ford Explorers with the first two engines. An intelligent four-wheel-drive system, plus a terrain management system and hill descent control are standard with the 3.5-litre EcoBoost, but still available as an option for the other two.

Safety

Practical safety features for the Ford Explorer help you avoid dangerous situations, and protect everyone from injury in a crash. No competing vehicle can be equipped with rear inflatable seat belts like those available for the Ford Explorer. They're designed to spread out crash forces, so passengers are less likely to be injured.

Included on each model, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control helps you manage things like wheel slip and oversteer automatically. The technology also includes Curve Control, which slows down the SUV if you're entering a turn too quickly.

Bringing along a trailer, camper, boat or whatever else is possible, thanks to the maximum tow rating of 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg) when the Ford Explorer is equipped properly. A rearview camera is standard, which helps when hitching up a trailer. You also get trailer sway control and hill start assist.

Convenience

While the Ford Explorer certainly has a comfortable interior, the SUV also offers some practical conveniences that make life easier to manage. One clever option is the power liftgate, which you activate by waving a foot under the rear bumper. If you're carrying items you don't want to put down, and you can't dig out your key fob to press a button, this is a feature you'll truly appreciate.

Passengers will love the available smart-charging USB ports, located on the backside of the front centre console. They charge devices twice as fast as most ports, so topping off the battery on a smartphone, tablet or whatever else takes less time.

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