Ford Explorer Sport Test Drive

After our visit to Sandbanks, we spent a few days in the city before hitting the road again for a trip to Huntsville. Technically, we went beyond Huntsville into Dwight, but telling people you're driving to Dwight is a recipe for confusion.

For this family road trip to White Birches Cottages we drove an Explorer Sport from Ford Canada. I have a sudden interest in cars with more than five seats, and the Explorer comfortably seats seven. Perfect.

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The Sport's twin-turbocharged and direct-injected 3.5-liter "EcoBoost" V6 is good for 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque! If you're a guy like me, who isn't certain what that means, be assured it's awfully powerful and great fun to drive. In fact, if you want power, you won't do any better for the price.

And now a word about SYNC... SYNC is Ford's "integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system that allows users to make hands-free telephone calls, control music and perform other functions with the use of voice commands" and I was first exposed to SYNC back in 2008. No other manufacturer's system is as easy and pleasurable to use. I could see myself buying a Ford just to get SYNC.

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I haven't returned the Explorer yet... my oldest son and I drove it to hockey last night and it was nice not having to cram our gear inside. Over the next several months, I'll be checking out other cars with three rows of seats, but the Explorer has set the bar awfully high.

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Comments (11 - click here to join in!)

Andrew

Glad you liked it... :)
Kerri and I had a blast again at White Birches... looking forward to our return trip next year!
Thanks again to Jenny and Jason for taking care of us... ;)

Cheers,
Andrew

August 27, 2015 @ 9:47 AM

Argie

@Mike
If you're looking for a 7-seater at a reasonable price, check out the Dodge Journey. Lots of good deals available now on 2015s.

August 27, 2015 @ 9:49 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Andrew

She loves you guys!

I'm going to write more about White Birches soon... Jenny's incredible.

August 27, 2015 @ 9:49 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

Yes, I'm looking at 7-seaters. But I'm not going to buy until 2016.

August 27, 2015 @ 9:50 AM

Douglas

There are a good number of 7-seaters on the market, but unless they're of the very large type, pick your compromise between seating and cargo capacity. I've driven a number of Ford's newer "EcoBoost" (what a stupid name, IMHO) vehicles, along with many other turbocharged vehicles (owned and not) over the years. When you're on the boost, forget about the "eco", and the way that Ford has done the engine-turbocharger setup on their cars, you're on the boost a LOT. Fuel consumption rises exponentially, not arithmetically, as you get on boost.

There's really no right or wrong here: Ford has gone with small turbos, which spool up much quicker to provide more torque off the line that the (sometimes too) small engine doesn't have on its own. North Americans are used to the shove of solid torque off the line (torque is what gets a vehicle going, but everyone focuses on horsepower), and typically drive with really heavy feet. Just watch people pull away when a red light turns green. You'd think it was a drag strip Christmas tree. The number one complaint on Ford EcoBoost vehicles (apart from pre-2015 versions of SYNC)? Poor real-world fuel economy versus even the now somewhat pessimistic Canadian and US government numbers. If you could look at a boost gauge on most of the EcoBoost vehicles, you'd be stunned at how often the engine goes into boost mode.

August 27, 2015 @ 10:21 AM

Rick C in Oakville

How was the fuel mileage, or could you not resist keeping your foot off the pedal? Usually with the 3rd row, you almost don't have any storage behind the last row, did you have a roof carrier, or was there sufficient room for a tent etc.?
2nd picture looks like Jarvis doing a pre trip inspection of the tires!

August 27, 2015 @ 10:23 AM

Rick C in Oakville

Meant to ask what the MSRP is?

August 27, 2015 @ 10:24 AM

Andrew

@ TorontoMike - well, the feeling is mutual. We can't wait to get back up there next season.

Cheers,
Andrew

August 27, 2015 @ 11:40 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Rick C in Oakville

I didn't take the Explorer camping, so I didn't have to load in the tents and sleeping bags and cooler and bbq, etc. Good thing, too... because there wasn't room for all of that unless we left the third row empty.

The Yukon XL went camping with us, and had more than enough cargo space.

August 27, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

MSRP is $37,142 for the basic Explorer. I drove the Sport version, which is $53,996.

August 27, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

Jason from Sudbury

SYNC is awesome. I love it.

August 27, 2015 @ 3:40 PM

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