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2011 Ford Explorer



  • loachloach Posts: 246
    I think I can shed some light on this because I've been struggling a bit with the same questions. I currently own a GMC Acadia with the 116.9 cu. ft. claimed cargo space. It is quite spacious, but I'm looking to replace it because it has been a troublesome vehicle and I also have fundamental problem with Government Motors. But that aside, here's what I've found in digging into the cargo numbers.

    Yes, I suspect that GM might be fudging/gaming the numbers somehow. Car and Driver provides several "real-world" cargo tests when they review vehicles. One is the "beer case" test, where they see how many beer cases they can fit behind each row. Another is the "plywood" test, where they measure the largest piece of plywood they can fit with the back rows folded and the hatch closed. Consumer Reports also does a "real-world" test where they measure the volume of the largest rectangular "box" made of telescoping pipe that they can fit in behind the 2nd row with the hatch closed. Unfortunately, none of these tests are yet available for the 2011 Explorer, but here's some data from some competitors that shows that the Acadia/Traverse's 117 cubes doesn't necessarily translate into more real-world space. Note that I couldn't find numbers for some measures for the regular length Expedition, so I threw in the Nissan Armada instead just because I've shopped it.

    Manufacturer claimed cargo space (cu. ft.):
    Acadia 116.9
    Pilot 87.0
    CX-9 101.0
    Armada 97.1

    C&D "Beer Case" test (# behind F/M/R seat)
    Acadia 56/30/8
    Pilot 58/32/7
    CX-9 47/22/4
    Armada 61/35/10

    C&D "Plywood" test (inches)
    Acadia 85X48
    Pilot 78X48.3
    CX-9 81X46.5
    Armada 81X49

    CR "Pipe Box" test (cu. ft)
    Acadia 48.5
    Pilot 48.0
    CX-9 37.5
    Armada 58.5

    Note that the boxier shaped vehicles (Pilot and Armada) compete very favorably in the real-world tests despite having smaller claimed cargo capacity than the curvier CX-9 and Acadia. At one point, I saw the minimum length/width of the 2011 Explorer's cargo area listed as 74.4 X 44.9 on C&D's website - I think it's since been deleted so I have no idea whether it was accurate. But if it was, I suspect the Explorer's real-world space might be comparable to the CX-9, but lagging pretty far behind the Acadia/Traverse, Pilot and large SUVs such as the Armada, Expedition, etc. If you're looking for a non-GM CUV with real-world space comparable to the Traverse, the Pilot might be a better bet (it's where I'm presently leaning).

    Sorry for the long post, but I figured why not share some of my anal-retentive number-crunching. ;)
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    Another measure to look at is passenger volume. Here are those numbers (cu. ft):

    Acadia 154.0
    Pilot 152.7
    CX-9 139.0
    Armada 188.0

    2011 Explorer - 151.7 per Ford's specs. So maybe the Explorer won't be too far off the leaders.

    How can the Acadia have only 1% more passenger volume than the Pilot, yet have 34% more cargo capacity? I smell BS.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    The reason fuel economy figures haven't been posted is they don't have them yet from the EPA. You can't advertise them until they're certified. Expect them to be class leading based on previous Ford efforts.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Or Ford simply doesn't wish to publically expose just how HORRID the "EcoBoost" gas guzzling engines are when compared to a N/A DFI engine of equal displacement.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Or you have no idea what you're talking about.
  • Hey loach, thanks for the interesting and informative reply. The "beer case" test makes sense......56 cases for the Acadia and 58 for the Pilot which reports about the same cargo space as the 2011 Explorer. So GM must be gaming these numbers. I expect Ford is planning to compete with GM with the Explorer vs the Acadia, Traverse and Envoy regarding size, mpg and cargo space. I will not consider a [non-permissible content removed] car, so the Pilot is out...... I always try to buy an American car/suv from an American Company. I figure I can get another year out of my 1997 Expedition, so will at least wait to view the new Explorer in the "flesh" so to speak. I probably will not decide to purchase a new SUV till next spring or summer. Besides, Ford's products have been good to me over the years and they are building an even better product these days. Thanks again for your post...... you would think that "cargo space" should be measured the same by all companies...... just like mpg.
  • Your right about the fuel eco figures. I got a reply from Ford yesterday from their marketing people which basically said the testing has been done, but EPA has not signed off on it yet so they can not advertise the mpg yet. I expect the Explorer 2011 edition to have a slightly better mpg than the Chevy Traverse, since it is slightly newer technology. The V6 in the Explorer is a slightly smaller engine which gives more horsepower (slightly more) than the Traverse.
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    Don't want to start a whole "what is an American car?" debate here, but I'll just note that the Pilot is built in Lincoln, Alabama. I do like the idea of buying a Ford too, but my gut tells me from the number crunching I've done and the fact that the Explorer 3rd row is a 2-seater that the Explorer is just going to be a little too small for me compared to the GM Lambdas or Pilot. One thing I've noticed about Ford's Explorer marketing communications so far is they have not really mentioned the Lambdas as a competitor. More often vehicles like the Highlander get mentioned that have significantly less real-world cargo space (48/24/2 C&D beer cases). Cargo space is a primary concern for me because of all the crap I have to haul back and forth from my kids' colleges.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Twice a year doesn't really warrant driving a BMW all year 'round.
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    BMW? What are you talking about?
  • tgoodelltgoodell Posts: 19
    I personally don't know whether or not that's an accurate statement (re: many of us requiring off-road 4WD traction but NEVER go off-road), but I've always had a bad case of "Boyscout Syndrome"--that is to say I always tend to look at the worst-case scenario, and buy according to that. Overkill? Absolutely. But we do take our annual pilgrimage to OBX each year and do drive on the beach every day we're there. Off-roading was something I grew up with, our family enjoys it (even tho we only do it once a year) but few cross-overs on the market today would allow me to do that. My Subaru Outback does, but sadly my kids car seats are too large for it to be comfortable for everyone.

    That's an interesting viewpoint about the "decline of the Explorer". Personally, I think it's a little more straight forward; I suspect it fell out of popularity because it filled a niche as a small-turned-mid-sized SUV until cross-overs came about. By then, there wasn't anything compelling enough to make people keep buying Explorers. The performance and gas mileage were crappy enough that people looking at that market segment for the room or towing capabilities just opted for the larger Expedition. Those who wanted better gas mileage and didn't need to go off-road likely looked towards the more efficient, more stylish more versatile cross over market. For whatever appeal Explorer brings to the current SUV/cross over market doesn't bring enough of it.

    The cross-over market right now--good, bad or otherwise--is really hot right now. Ford would be stupid not to jump on it by offering all its latest and greatest technologies to take advantage of this "boom". I think that effort is much more likely to generate sales rather than dumping next-gen engines and technology into aging SUV platforms which as a market segment has been losing steam over the last several years. And to be honest, do you really believe that a mere 250 ft/lbs of torque of the new V6 DFI motor is going to do anything spectacular in any of Ford's big, heavy non-cross over vehicles? Full size trucks and SUVs need big engines (or slightly smaller turbo/supercharged engines) to move them. Period.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    But we do take our annual pilgrimage to OBX each year and do drive on the beach every day we're there. Off-roading was something I grew up with, our family enjoys it (even tho we only do it once a year) but few cross-overs on the market today would allow me to do that.

    Autoblog takes 2011 Explorer to Dubai sand dunes

    Doesn't sound like the beach would be a problem. Notice they buried it up to the axles and still managed to get out without a tow.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,726
    "Cargo space is a primary concern for me because of all the crap I have to haul back and forth from my kids' colleges."

    Just finished with all that. I think you'll probably find the Traverse ends up a bit bigger. However, you really need to think about usable space. I take a tape measure and check out 1) tailgate opening dimensions, 2) distance between wheels or seat clips (whichever are closer) and 3) measure the roof distance behind seat where you set it and top opening of tailgate (because they are usually sloped). These things are all going to really matter with the kind of stuff you'll be hauling because it goes from dorm to apartment. Honestly, no CUV is likely to be great. You may not like the image, but a minivan holds way more stuff. Otherwise, you may have to bite the bullet and buy an SUV like Expedition or Tahoe. I'm cheap, so I went with a minivan (which is also easier getting into and out of the seats).
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Why wouldn't you just borrow a trailer or rent one 2 or 3 times a year?
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    Absolutely minivans blow away CUVs and even large SUVs (except Expedition EL and Suburban) in terms of cargo space. No disputing that. But my wife drove one for 10 years and has proclaimed that she is done with them. So unless I want one as my daily driver....
  • loachloach Posts: 246
    Because it would be a pain in the [non-permissible content removed]. And if you want to take that approach, why not just buy a sedan and rent a minivan twice a year? Bottom line is, if the Explorer isn't competitive on cargo space, then I have no reason to own one.
  • berriberri Posts: 7,726
    "Why wouldn't you just borrow a trailer or rent one 2 or 3 times a year?"

    Because you end up hauling them and their friends around and I don't particularly like driving at Interstate speeds dragging a trailer around, nor do I particularly like those U Haul trucks with 140K on the odometer that sound like they are about to fall apart.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    It was just a suggestion. There are other options also - hitch carriers, roof top carriers. If you need that much room then why not just get a full size Expedition or Suburban?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025,0,3141110.story

    Some of my friends are going down to Kiener Plaza in St. Louis today to see it. Interestingly, the local tea party types are staging a "BUYcott" there, to urge people to consider buying the Explorer (in support of Ford not taking bailout money).


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  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    A roof top carrier on an SUV..?? A FORD SUV that already has a known history of propensity for rollover..??

    Hitch carriers "lift" the front wheels resulting in lowered directional control and drive traction, bad news, REALLY bad news, for the 2011 FWD or even the F/awd EXPLODER...!!
  • Wwest-

    I'm sorry, what empirical data do you have about the 2011 Explorer rolling over? Or any of the aforementioned vehicles for that matter? Of are you referring to Firestone tire blow-outs?

    Also, do you really think that 75 lbs (worst case) of tongue weight is going to lift the front end of any SUV of this size off the ground? Really?

    Or are you making an outrageous statement just to inflame everyone here? Apologies, but it does warrant asking.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited October 2010
    ALLL SUV's have an extraordinary high center of gravity and Ford has proven they will take engineering "shortcuts" (lower the tire pressure) in this area so extra caution is adviseable.

    Yes, ~75lbs of tongue weight might be just enough to "push" the F/R balance beyond the edge in certain situations. Remember this is NOW a FWD(***) vehicle, relying on front tire traction for BOTH drive torque and directional control.

    *** To help alleviate the potential for loss of traction and therefore danger to life and limb via loss of directional control the rear drive coupling is pre-emptively engaged ONLY during low speed acceleration or when turning. To do otherwise, even with the newly adopted PTO cooling, would put so much stress on the driveline that components would fail prematurely as they have been on the Escape and Mariner.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 8,018
    Let's just say that Willard (wwest) has some....ummm....interesting ideas on how cars work. Unfortunately nobody else in the real world agrees with him. I gave up trying to correct him - it doesn't work. Just ignore him.
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,284
    akirby is completely right. I came across wwest on another Edmunds forum. I ended up leaving due to all his trolling.

    Please don't feed the troll. :lemon:
  • berriberri Posts: 7,726
    When is this baby supposed to hit the showroom floors?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    According to the way it's being recieved over on FB it may never hit the showroom floors. Even if it does it may not be not in the current F/awd form. Explorer buyers, traditional Explorer buyers, are too well aware of the differences between F/awd and RWD/4WD to accept this level of change willingly.

    While the majority of those buyers may NEVER take the vehicle off-road there is a great deal of mental comfort involved in driving a vehicle that is off-road capable, especially on adverse wintertime roadbeds.

    Given the fall flat on the face sales efforts of the previous inceptions of "this" platform, the FreeStyle and Taurus X, one would think Ford would have know better than to think just re-badging a Taurus X as an Explorer would accomplish anything for those many still loyal Explorer fans.

    But I suppose the use of all that FreeStyle and Taurus X tooling and manufacturing capability was just too good to pass up.
  • vrmvrm Posts: 308
    All manufacturers engage in re-badging. In fact, Toyota and Honda re-badge and utilize the same platform more than any other car maker.

    You sound like a disgruntled ex-Ford employee. Did Ford fire you recently?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..Did Ford fire you recently...?"

    No, but I am in the process of flunking retirement, do you suppose that might be it...??
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,284
    You sound like a disgruntled ex-Ford employee. Did Ford fire you recently?

    Pretty please. Don't feed the troll. He will ruin this forum too.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    That's really enough conversation about other members. If you personally don't care for a member's posts, please kindly skip them instead of making accusations & personally-directed comments. They aren't helpful to the conversation.


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