2011 Ford Explorer Reivew – She’s a Beaut!

Recently I had the opportunity to drive a 2011 Ford Explorer XLT V6, it was a wonderful opportunity as my family will need to buy another vehicle in the spring. I’ve never owned a Ford and had little expectation but was hugely pleased with this vehicle.

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It’s a great looking vehicle, the one I was given was Ford blue with lots of chrome to satisfy my love of bling! When I peeked in the window and noticed there was a 3rd row of seating I was excited, this vehicle comfortably seats 7! This means I wouldn’t have to worry about squeezing our girls in with their friends and gear when going out.

The front seat area is roomy, there is a well thought out console with 2 cup holders and a very convenient stow away area which includes usb plugs which were handy when my iPhone battery was dying. The front leather seats have power controls for positioning and lumbar support, oh have I mentioned that they are heated?? Heavenly!

Ford has some amazing technology, including Ford SYNC® with MyFord Touch™ driver-connect technology. These systems allow you to sync your phone with the vehicle and communicate by hands free voice control.

From the Ford Canada website: MyFord Touch™ is a revolutionary in-car technology that helps you stay connected to your world through simple voice and touch-screen commands. It’s all powered by SYNC® and features a gorgeous 8-inch touch-screen display and instrument cluster screens for complete control. Listen to music from your MP3 player, USB, or portable hard drive — and play it as loud as you want without having to worry about missing a call. Find your perfect temperature with ease. Or get directions to just about anywhere you need to go.

We really enjoyed these features, the GPS was fantastic, but it is frustrating that we couldn’t program it while the vehicle was moving. This is a positive safety feature but perhaps having a sensor have it be active when it recognizes a passenger would help. The only other suggestion I would make is to move the hazard light function, currently it’s below the touch screen and I kept hitting it with my palm while touching the screen.

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There are a few favorites with the Explorer, the first is the rearview camera which includes guides that let you align your vehicle with a parking space or when hooking up a trailer. This puppy beeped at us if anything was in our vicinity while reversing, a serious benefit for me with neck issues.

Another is Ford’s BLIS™ system which uses radar in the rear quarter panels to identify if a vehicle has entered the defined blind spot zone and the system alerts you with a warning light in the appropriate side view mirror. Cross Traffic Alert also uses radar to watch for traffic behind you when you’re slowly backing out of a parking spot or your driveway.If it detects vehicles approaching from up to 20 meters (65 feet) away it sends an audible warning, a visual display in the corresponding mirror and a signal in the message center.

Honestly for someone such as myself with fears of driving and back/neck injuries these safety features are a blessing! Needless to say they are high on my wish list for our next vehicle!

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Another favorite feature of the Explorer was the space, the rear seats easily folded flat, creating a large amount of space to pack our family’s gear for a long weekend away up North.

Our two daughters loved this vehicle, they had their own environmental controls (which created something to bicker about), spacious back seat (where they could still reach each other), plenty of cup holders (too bad they weren’t allowed drinks in a borrowed vehicle), adjustable seats and the kicker…..they had their own sunroof!

 This vehicle had a front seat sunroof and a huge one over the 2nd row of seats.

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There really are too many features to list, from the adjustable headrests, the remote close rear door, voice controls to the well planned locations of cup holders this vehicle was impressive.

None of these things impressed me quite as much as the safety features.

Having been in a major car accident, safety will probably always come before luxury for me when choosing a vehicle.

  • Inflatable rear safety belts: These safety belts help reduce pressure on the chest while controlling head and neck motion for rear-seat passengers. In the event of a frontal or side crash, the inflatable safety belts help hold the passenger in the appropriate seating position, helping to reduce risk of injury.* These safety belts are compatible with child safety seats.*
  • BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross Traffic Alert
  • Curve Control – has the ability to read when your vehicle is going too fast for the terrain of a curve and slow it down
  • Collision Warning with Brake Support utilizes a sensor that scans ahead and detects slower moving traffic. It flashes a warning that appears in your windshield and emits an audible alert if it detects a collision is imminent and pre-charges the brakes for faster response.
  • AdvanceTrac with RSC to help you maintain control whenever it detects wheel slip, understeer, oversteer, or roll motion. It also helps maintain control in poor road conditions such as ice, gravel, or rain.

Thanks to Ford Canada for allowing us to review the 2011 Ford Explorer XLT V6, we look forward to testing more of your vehicles as we research our next purchase!

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5 Responses

  1. I had the very same problem with the hazard button – very same!! That things touchy!
    Santa I have been really good this year, the Explorer Limited is on my wishlist. Seriously. I cut out a picture and taped it to the fridge…. subtle hint?
    Loved everything about mine when I did a testdrive, though I’d love to test it again in the winter. Winter driving here in Alberta is my clincher when deciding on a vehicle!

    My Organized Chaos

    1. Oh Tammi you are so right, the roads in Alberta are dicey in the winter. You would definately need to try it out then! I’ll watch for that review, don’t know if I’m quite brave enough yet to do winter reviews.

  2. What a fun opportunity—you can’t really get a feel for a new car with just a quick test-drive sometimes. I’ve tested out a lot of cars on my wishlist through the car co-op in Vancouver, luckily. This one looks like it has a lot of amazing features!

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