In the UAE, there is a big demand for large SUVs and as we all know the market is dominated by the Toyota Land Cruiser. But it has been years that the Land Cruiser is not the only car of the segment and there are some strong rivals. Ford Explorer is one of the latest SUVs in the market with its sixth generation that introduced in 2020 with more tech, equipment, and refinements over the previous generations.
The latest generation of Ford Explorer follows its boxy design like the previous models but with a fresh design and new look. The big headlights in the fifth generation now are replaced with slim headlights that are reached to the big grille. Like the fifth-generation, the A, B, and D-pillar are colored in black while the C-pillar is thicker and has the same color as the body that gives the Explorer a distinctive look.
Ford Explorer is available in different trims and buyers can get a chrome grille of the black grille with black wheels. the Explorer measures 5,050mm long, 2,004 mm wide, 1,775 mm tall, and offers 3,025 mm of wheelbase that puts it in the same size as the Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol.
Inside the cabin, Ford Explorer offers a modern and functional design with generous space for 7 passengers. Boot space and headroom are good front and rear but compared to some rivals like Volkswagen Atlas or Chevrolet Traverse, third-row passengers in the Explorer have less comfort.
Ford Explorer offers a reasonable list of standard equipment like power steering, power windows, electric mirrors, cruise control, tri-zone climate control, automatic LED headlights, 8-inch infotainment system screen, 6-speakers, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, cloth seats, 8-way adjustable power driver's seat, power tailgate, a rearview camera, 18-inch alloy wheels on its base model. Higher trims come standard with leather seats, hand's free liftgate, 20 and 21-inch wheels, a fully digital instrument cluster, and a premium audio system.
On the safety side, the Explorer comes standard with 7 airbags, ABS, brake assist, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitor, forward-collision warning and post-collision braking, and lane-centering steering assist.
In the US, the Explorer is available with a range of four-cylinder, V6, and plug-in hybrid engines. In the UAE, it is available in four variants. The first model is a 2.3-liter four-cylinder with rear-wheel drive. The turbocharged engine can produce 300 hp and 420 nm of torque that is enough to hit 100 kph in 7.0 seconds and reach the top speed of 180 kph. The RWD model’s fuel economy is 8.4 l/100km. With a 4WD system and the same engine, it can hit 100 kph in 6.9 seconds and the fuel economy increases slightly to 8.5 l/100 km.
The next model is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 model with 400 hp and 563 nm of torque. This model can hit 100 kph in 5.7 seconds and consumes 9.5 l/100km. The last model is a 3.3-liter V6 plug-in version with 318 hp and 437 nm of torque. The 0-100 kph acceleration figure for this version is 7.9 seconds and the fuel economy is 8.1 l/100 km.
All models are equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission and the top speed on all of them is limited to 180 kph.
Ford Explorer offers a soft and comfortable ride. Handling is decent but that soft suspension means that at the corners there is some amount of body roll.
The engine and transmission perform very well and it feels more enjoyable to drive compared to the Toyota Land cruiser. Though there is some body roll but the Explorer feels sporty.
Passengers also won’t complain about ride quality and the only issue is the third row that is only suitable for kids and adults can not be comfortable there for a long time.
Pricing for the 2021 Ford Explorer starts from AED 155,000 for the 2.3T XLT 4×2 model and ends at AED 237,000 for the 2.3T Sport 4×4. Its main pros are good fuel efficiency, reasonable price, good cargo space, and powerful engines. Its main cons also are third-row space, pricy options and lack of USB port for the third-row.