2011 Ford Explorer

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited December 2010 in Ford
The 2011 Explorer is set to launch and Ford is in the house! Please post your questions and comments here. A representative of Team Detroit will be providing more information and answering your questions.

Also see Ford Explorer on Facebook.


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    We're going unibody. Same platform that's used by the Ford Flex so it should ride more like a car than a truck.

    Spy Photos: 2011 Ford Explorer Spotted in Dearborn (Straightline)

  • bstednickbstednick Member Posts: 3
    no more lift packages and less durable :mad: thanks ford!
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    What's going to be the main differences between the Edge, Flex and Explorer? It seems like at least two of these are going to be so close...why have two?
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    When will the 2011 Explorer show up on the dealer lots?
    Has Ford announced any dates yet?
  • kenokakenoka Member Posts: 218
    Edge and Explorer will both be SUVish crossovers, with some mild off road ability. Edge with five passengers, Explorer with seven.

    Flex is a pure family hauler, with no off road pretensions.
  • nextmoonnextmoon Member Posts: 386
    I spoke with a representative from Ford at the NY Auto show and he saids it's to debut in summer time. It will not be at a auto show but at some event. He didn't have any more info then that as he saids corporate was tight lipped about it.
  • fawltytowers44fawltytowers44 Member Posts: 58
    Any word on what advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, pre-colision systems, blind spot information, cross traffic warning, heads up display and other devices will be available on the 2011 Explorer?
  • berriberri Member Posts: 10,165
    So what's everyone's verdict? Now that I've seen the whole vehicle I'm not sure about the back third. I guess I'll have to see it in person so I can better understand the proportions. The grill is a bit like an electric razor, but the car doesn't seem bad overall. The two issues I'm wondering about is whether the driver foot well will have the same kind of cramped feeling as the new Taurus (can't really tell in the pictures) and how much usable hauling space. I had a '99 and it didn't really hold much more than a CRV. I think this is a noticeably larger vehicle though?
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    Lets get the model year straight first. This is a 2011 and not 2100. In the year 2100 the Explorer will not use fossil fuel to power its engine.

    The vehicle looks great and puts both Honda and Toyota on notice. It boldly announces that there is a new sheriff in town. I predict that the Explorer will win back market share from the Pilot and Highlander.

    The Nissan Pathfinder will have to find a new path soon. Nissan better redesign the Pathfinder. The Pathfinder performance & gas mileage are lame when compared to this vehicle.
  • tangmantangman Member Posts: 127
    Does the 2011 have a transfer case for low 4 wheel drive. Or is it just an AWD car that has an SUV look? Anyone see what the 4x4 version weight?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    No transfer case, no 4X4 low.

    Most buyer never make use of 4X4 low so no big loss there.

    FWD or F/awd like the Escape and Venza.

    Hazardous in the very conditions for which many of us have learned to rely on more functional 4WD systems, R/awd systems, OLD Explorer and 4runner, for instance.

    Ford = IDIOTS.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Don't start your crap here. It's not hazardous at all.

    Ford sold 52K old explorers last year. They'll sell at least 100K of the new ones - maybe 150K. It has everything that modern consumers want - SUV style and looks, mild off-road abilities, great fuel economy and lots of gadgets plus a very nice interior.

    Tangman - it's a FWD/AWD system just like the Flex, MKS, Taurus, etc.but it has more sophisticated controls which combine changes to throttle response, torque distribution, etc. to handle sand, mud, snow, etc. It also includes hill descent control and more ground clearance than your traditional crossover.

    It's still a soft-roader - but looks like it will be one of the best. And since that's what sold the vast majority of the original ones I think it will be a hit.

    Pay no attention to wwest - he lives in some alternate reality world where the laws of physics are reversed.
  • fawltytowers44fawltytowers44 Member Posts: 58
    edited July 2010
    Strange comments by wwest: The AWD/4wd system is excellent and serves 99.8% of everyone's needs including those of BOF Explorer owners. There are other fine Ford vehicles available for the 0.2% who believe they need them.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Anytime you drive in adverse wintertime road conditions while relying ONLY on the front wheels for drive traction, engine braking, AND stearing control you will be at risk moreso than even a simple RWD vehicle.

    "...Ford sold 52K old explorers last year..."

    Yes, and EVERY one of those represented a much more safe platform than the new one can ever hope to be.

    I would bet you good money that if the new Explorer F/awd model doesn't already have the ability to disable TC, Traction Control, in order to get up and moving on a slick roadbed, or even UNSTUCK, it soon will have.

    While it is really nice that these new F/awd systems will PRE-EMPTIVELY engage the rear drive at the most likely times of need (acceleration from a stop or low speed) the flip side of all that is that you will find yourself "dead in the water", completely so, should the front wheels slip due to drive torque subsequent to rear drive engagement.

    These days with the technology so common, readily available across the market, and reasonably inexpensive, no manufacturer will risk loss of control due to loss of traction on the front wheels, FWD or F/awd.

    So, for safties sake, today's FWD and F/awd vehicles will INSTANTLY dethrottle the engine while simultaneously using the brakes to alleviate the possibility of loss of directional control once front wheelspin/slip due to engine torque is detected.
  • cohenfivecohenfive Member Posts: 85
    i think ford is doing the right thing by designing a vehicle that meets the needs of 95% of potential buyers...the other 5% will be 'relegated' to the bigger pure trucks in the lineup. the interior and exterior looks good to me (not sure about the rear third yet), and we'll see how it stacks up in terms of fuel economy vs the competition but it sounds like it should be at least on par. i can see getting one of these in a year or two to tow a small camper trailer which we don't yet have....:) you have to like what ford is doing as a company these days!
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Most Fords now have electronic traction control whether they're FWD, AWD or RWD. They apply brakes to the spinning wheel to transfer torque to the other wheel. If that doesn't work then it will cut engine torque. Every vehicle also allows you to turn off Traction Control when you need wheel spin such as going up a snowy hill.

    There is nothing dangerous about FWD only in the wintertime. Take your crusade and incorrect information somewhere else.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    But they'll now be going up against the Toyota Highlander, MDX, etc.

    I admit that I like, really like, everything I see about the new Explorer with the exception of the drivetrain, the lack of a DFI engine, non-turbo DFI engine, and the apparent loss of the Sport-Trac.

    And one really does wonder that since the Escape is experiencing so many PTO/PTU failures with this very same drivetrain design has the Explorer version been beefed up enough mechainically, made more robust, to not only overcome those failures but in a much heavier vehicle to boot.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Sorry, no...!

    While I wish, sincerely wish, you were correct the facts differ in a significant way.

    You are correct in that once wheelspin/slip is detected the brakes will be used, moderately applied, in order to sustain engine torque at a fairly high level for any wheel(s) that remain with traction. The bad news is that with FWD or F/awd the potential for loss of directional control in this instance is so great that the engine is also fully dethrottled simultaneously.

    So there you sit, "STUCK".

    Toyota has already adopted a TC disable PB for just this very reason. If the driver is involved, makes a conscious decision, to risk an accident or even injury via disabling a safety function then that alleves the manufacturer of liability, at least somewhat.

    Many RWD and R/awd vehicles now use TC in much the same manner with the exception that engine dethrotting is delayed for a few hundred milliseconds to give the driver an opportunity to react by "feathering" the throttle. Since with RWD or R/awd wheelspin/slip there is no real threat to safety the brakes are only used, differentially, to simulate an LSD or to prevent overheating of the brakes in case the driver is an idiot.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    So where does the safety risk come in? Allowing a FWD to spin the wheels or not allowing it to spin the wheels?

    As long as you're moving traction control helps you maintain steering control.

    If you stop, turning off traction control lets you dig through loose sand or snow to find traction. You only start moving once you get traction and if you have traction then you have steering control.

    Driving a FWD with TC turned off is no different than driving FWD with no traction control which we did for decades.

    You have no idea what you're talking about. Why don't you share with everyone else what vehicle YOU drive and how you think summer only tires are better in the wintertime.
  • fawltytowers44fawltytowers44 Member Posts: 58
    edited July 2010
    This wwest post would be just humorous if not for the misinformation, disinformation and contradictions relating to driver safety it contains. Instead the post could be dangerous for people not familiar with the real world safety enhancements of AWD. Best to ignore essentially all of wwest posts as the noise of a prankster.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    "...So where does the safety risk come in.."

    If you're stopped, stuck, or moving only very slowly there is, basically, no risk to a FWD or F/awd vehicle operating on a slippery surface. On the other hand if you at a speed, and road conditions, wherein momentum will be a serious factor in maintaining, helping to maintain, or worse yet, adverse to directional control then you quite clearly need the entire traction coefficient dedicated to lateral control. So, as you can readily see, a slipping or spinning front drive wheel or wheels can almost instantly result in loss of directional control.

    A spinning or slipping rear wheel can also prove to be detrimental, especailly to a driver inexperienced with driving on adverse or slippery road conditions. But again, and anyone can see, directional control is easily, more easily vs FWD or F/awd. maintained.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Unfortunately he's not a prankster - he actually believes what he says.

    We've had the same discussion on multiple forums but he still thinks he's right and everyone else in the world is wrong.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Can you tell me why you insist on attacking me personally, in a global" sense instead of using your intelligence, logic and obvious knowledge to refute my thoughts and logical positions...?

    Why not, instead, advise everyone, in detail, what, where, and how I'm wrong??

    "Instead the post could be dangerous for people not familiar with the real world safety enhancements of AWD."

    How so..?

    No one is denying that there are safety enhancements to "AWD", even F/awd.

    But ALL have limitations, some more detrimental than others.

    Would you much rather that everyone be blind to the shortcomings of the differing, VASTLY differing, "AWD" systems out there in the marketplace today? Maybe so, since you seemingly insist on continuing to use the "AWD" term generically rather than even adopting the more definite F/awd or R/awd terms.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    The Range Rover will give you the options you are looking for. However, it will only cost $35,000 more than the Ford Explorer.

    Are you ready to put your money where your mouth is??
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    I would first buy the 4runner.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    "...Why don't you share with everyone else what vehicle you drive.."

    My daily driver is a 2001 F/awd RX300.

    Also have a 1994 R/awd Ford Aerostar for "planned" excursions into wintertime conditions, snow skiing, etc.

    2001 Porsche 911/996 C4 that remains garaged throughout the winter.

    And yes, I am of the firm belief that on ice and packed snow a summer tire with more surface contact area will always outperform most any specialty winter tire. For those "in between" conditions I always have a set of tire chains on board the RX, two sets in wintertime. First set for the rear wheels and second set for the fronts if need be.

    I do live and work on the Seattle eastside so I more often go to wintertime conditions rather than have them come to me.
  • jack_sparrowjack_sparrow Member Posts: 3
    They are dominant when it comes to sales and they are the dominant SUV in North America.The new 2011Ford Explorer is seems an updated version of the Taurus X, which is a good one........., one of my friend had one for last 3 years and love it. I hope this new Explorer 2011 should be great, looking forward to getting the first one that arrives at our dealer. So atleast I can get to drive it once.................. :)
  • getbeachgetbeach Member Posts: 1
    I must be one of those few folks hat is not willing to compromise on safety when I moving around the Blue Ridge Mountains here in Virginia. What I am looking for is the full-time all-wheel-drive mid-size SUV that MINIMIZES the chance of EVER losing traction, anytime, anywhere.
    I don't care about F/awd, R/awd, TC or any other cheaper way of getting the job done for the 95% solution.
    Does any current AWD system in a mid-size SUV or crossover (other than Range Rover) offer at least some torque full-time to all four wheels?
    This sounds like Subaru to me but what about Ford, GMC, Jeep?
    Do those of you who know more than me have any suggestions without telling me I ought to be satisfied with that 95% solution?
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Subaru, Jeep Grand Cherokee are probably your best bets.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    edited August 2010
    I am of the understanding that the Toyota 4runner has a full-time R/awd system that uses a "Torsen" center torque sensing differential ("transfer case") to dynamically allocate engine torque to the front driveline. It also has the ability to lock the center differential for a true 4WD "part-time" mode.

    I don't remember if it has a true 4X4 mode, granny-grunt low range, but I consider that useless for my purposes anyway.

    Once the 4runner V6 gets DFI and a 6(9) speed automatic it will be a real contender for my next SUV purchase.

    Now that the Explorer has gone over to the 95% market, FWD or F/awd, the 4runner is likely to have the 3rd seat row market in it's class all to itself. On the other hand we might soon see the 4runner shifting over toward the 95% market using the new electrohydraulic clutch system but to couple in the front drive dynamically just as Porsche now does with the new 911/997 C4 and C4S.

    Unlike the Torsen the new electrohyraulic coupling system could easily reduce the torque drive to the front incrementally as lateral, turning, G-forces build up.

    A 4runner with a DFI V6, 6 speed, and electrohydraulic, dynamically coupled or LOCKED front drive (no weighty transfer case), and I would dump my RX300 IMMEDIATELY.
  • rhlrhl Member Posts: 1
    After reading many of the articles on the 2011 Explorer one thing I found missing was that there will be no Diesel offering. Doing a little research on the web I found a few interesting facts on Ford Diesel engines. The new Ford 4.4 L diesel made in Mexico is to be used by the Land Rover and not on any Ford vehicle and is estimated to get 30 MPG! Also Ford in the UK manufactures a 3.0 L V6 Diesel (AJ-V6D Gen III) and a 3.6 L V8 Diesel (Lion V8) that is used in the Land Rover and Jaguar. The V6 produces 235 Hp and 368 Ft LB the V8 268 and 472 ft lb (verses 290 hp and 255 ft lb of the 2011 Explorer’s gasoline V6) so both would be more than adequate for the new Explorer and most likely give better than 30 mpg given their smaller displacement than the 4.4 L and the lighter weight of the Explorer. So the question is why does Ford continue not to offer a diesel? A diesel would provide better fuel mileage and provide better towing capability.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Same reason nobody else is offering diesels outside of trucks - they're super expensive in the U.S. due to stricter emissions and customers simply don't want them. Ford has already said they can easily bring diesels to the market if the market appears.

    Honda had big plans for a diesel accord. Then it became a diesel TSX. Then they cancelled the program.

    It's not Ford - it's consumers and gov't regulations.
  • fawltytowers44fawltytowers44 Member Posts: 58
    Does anyone know when the 2011 will be available for inspection in real life?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Hopefully NEVER...!!

    Ford should relabel it as an Edge/EXD (EXtenteD) and go back to the design board with R/awd front/center as a new 2012 Explorer concept. Use that new electrohydraulic drive coupling clutch to energize the FRONT driveline dynamically.

    And while you're there why not give us a new N/A DFI engine, even a 4 cylinder if equivalent to the Venza I4 but w/DFI.

    But of you LOVE boosted engine so much why not a....

    West/Otto/Atkinson/Miller multi-mode 4 cylinder engine...??

    15:1 base/native compression ratio.
  • vrmvrm Member Posts: 310
    The 2011 Explorer will start arriving in dealer lots by end of September. So less than 2 months to go!

    However, Ford plans to do a "road show" with this vehicle. Its unclear which cities or towns are going to be on this show.
  • roadmaster45roadmaster45 Member Posts: 13
    Hello akirby, if volkswagen is having good luck with these jetta TDI models here in the U.S. Ford should have just as much good luck and sales with diesels here. I would even buy an explorer then, considereing buying one anyway but would like to see how they stand up for first year. thanks
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    Show me where VW is making money on jetta TDI models in the U.S.

    Ford has diesels readily available from Europe and Ford wants to make money, therefore if Ford thought it could make money with diesels then we'd already have them. The fact that nobody else outside of VW is trying to do diesels is all the proof you should need.

    Europe favors diesel with taxes and lax emissions requirements which makes them more desirable and profitable. That doesn't exist in the U.S.
  • fawltytowers44fawltytowers44 Member Posts: 58
    Thanks vrm! That is great news. So far everything I have seen, heard and researched looks very promising - especially the standard and optional advanced safety provisions. I will be focusing on the top line AWD model. For me it will now all come down to driver comfort and overall safety. This will be my first American car in about 30 years.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    [Quote] You are correct that both #18 and #35 disables the rear drivetrain and at least in the '07 MMH, it should be #35 that is pulled as pulling #18 causes the MIL to turn on.

    In my product design experiences, often the constraints of the marketing product specifications dampens design engineers ideas and findings and design engineers find ways to incorporate their discoveries in a manor which conforms with the marketing product specifications.

    During design of the FEH, marketing wanted a vehicle where the hybrid system was transparent to the owner and fit the regular FE drivability. The product design engineers perhaps discovered that disabling the rear wheels in a AWD vehicle would yeild greater MPG and decreased PTU wear when not needed and suggested a switch be added. Adding this switch was outside the product specifications and was denied. So the engineers incorporated the switching function in a fuse and coupled it with the seat heaters which is another system that is not needed in summer.

    Then when the FEH was redesigned in the '08 model, the original design engineers were gone or on different projects and the idea was lost. The seat heaters were move to the climate controls and they moved the power steering in its vacated position.

    Or it could be an amazing coincidence. At any rate, pulling #35 in my '07 MMH has yeilded great results.[/quote]

    "..perhaps discovered.."

    No, it is generally well known, at least in the automotive drive train design engineering community, that having both the front and rear drives engaged, even partially engaged, continuously will result in so much driveline windup and tire scrubbing that the mechanical and tire life would be severely foreshortened.

    And then the knowledge level of, or lack there-of, the general buying public must be considered.

    Have a switch to turn on "AWD" mode...."..? Then you best have a serious public education program if you wish to sell it outside the "off-roader" venue. The general public is not even aware that the majority of the myriad of "AWD" designs, most especially F/awd designs, now available are not functional in the very conditions for which the vehicle was purchased. Then consider, if you will, that most of these F/awd designs are actually patently UNSAFE to life and limb when driven in those conditions.

    Trust the general buying public, SUV buying public, to know when to use, and when NOT to use, an AWD "engage" switch, NEVER gonna happen.

    These new F/awd systems are designed in an effort to somewhat alleviate the "patently unsafe" aspect of FWD vehicles. Ask someone with "first level" knowledge in the SUV community what's wrong with RWD or R/awd vehicles and they will undoubtedly respond with loss of control due to spin-outs or skidding.

    Why doesn't the same thing apply to FWD and F/awd vehicles...?

    Super sensitive TC (Traction Control), and VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) systems, that's why. And of course it helps mightily if at the time of threatened spin-outs due to excessive throttle you can automatically move a portion of the engine torque to the rear drive.

    So now, rather than automatically derating (dethrottling) the engine in the lower gear ranges, you can have, and make use of, SAFELY make use of, engines in excess of 200HP in a FWD (F/awd) vehicle.

    Detroit can now go back to selling what it's good at, selling HP. Ford SHO...F/AWD

    EcoBoost = HP, NOT FE, actually to the detriment of FE since the EcoBoost engines must run in derated/detuned mode 99% of the time.

    Just look at how, and why, the new Ford Explorer got castrated.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    So how do you explain the 2.0L ecoboost best in class fuel economy?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    "..Class.." as in 0-60 times and HP/Torque, NOT FE.

    Take the VERY same engine, mill the head to raise the base/native compression to ~12:1, "wire" the wastegate fully open, and see a highway cruising FE improvement of not less than 15%

    Check out the new DFI 4 cylinder in the Sonata.

    Or use the new Toyota e/VVT-i technique now being used in the RX450h to shift the engine from Otto mode (15:1 CR) to Atkinson (13:1) and see a highway FE improvement in the range of 50%

    And if you then still desire that stellar 0-60 time then add a variable speed/volume (CVT/PSD "driven") positive displacement SuperCharger(***) and use e/VVT-i to reduce the effective CR (before BOOST) to 10:1 or below with WOT.

    *** The Atkinson engine mode is so efficient at using all of the power of combustion to push the piston downward that there is NOT enough energy left to spin a turbine, only enough energy left in the exhaust to heat the catalyst,
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    And while you're at it, throw on a Tornado, one of those magic 100 mpg carburetors and an electrolysis hydrogen generator and you'll be at 200 mpg - easy!

    Seriously - where do you make up this stuff?
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    The very same video could have been make with the Taurus X.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    Well, let's see...

    The variable speed/volume SuperCharger was put into use back in the mid-fifties on the Studebaker Golden Hawk series. Used a V-belt type CVT to drive the SC.

    Eveything else is in current use.
  • explorerkidexplorerkid Member Posts: 5
    I ordered out a new 2011 Ford Explorer XLT V6 4WD last week. Silver metallic exterior, gray leather interior, Option Package 202A, 3.5L V6, Trailer Package, Navigation system, etc. MSRP as ordered $38,580 minus $720 discount on 202A package minus $500 Early Order Bonus. DELIVERED PRICE $35,468. Dealer Invoice $35,668.29.
    Do you think this is good deal? :)
  • roadmaster45roadmaster45 Member Posts: 13
    I think you got a good deal, curious to know where you purchased it. I also like the new explorer thinking of buying one thanks Roadmaster45
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Congrats! Please report on your deal over in the Ford Explorer/Mercury Mountaineer Prices Paid and Buying Experience discussion.
  • wwestwwest Member Posts: 10,706
    In reality you just purchased a restyled/rebadged Taurus X.

    And Ford is misusing, abusing, the 4WD term, this is NOT your father's Ford Explorer. The "old" Explorer was R/awd, quite reliable driving and handling on even the worse of wintertime adverse roadbed conditions, even off-road conditions.

    The "new" Ford Explorer has been castrated, it now has a simple and inexpensive to manufacture FWD or F/awd system. Patently UNSAFE FWD and not all that much better F/awd for use on wintertime adverse roadbed conditions..

    If you feel you will need 4WD capability then the Toyota 4runner might be your best choice.

    Regardless I would drop the "captive" nav system like a HOT potato(e) and buy a portable GPS/nav.
  • akirbyakirby Member Posts: 8,062
    In reality you don't have a clue what you're talking about.
  • fawltytowers44fawltytowers44 Member Posts: 58
    Congratulations! I think you have made an excellent purchase; the Explorer will be the high bar to match or beat by the other manufacturers for several years to come. This is a strong, sophisticated, safe and likely reliable vehicle. I am waiting to drive one late this year and if it fits me I will be ordering one with everything. This will be the first American car I have considered in the last 30 years or so.
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