Recently I have tested the new Ford Explorer 2006 RSC Advanced Trail. And I was impressed. I leave you to find a complete list of specifications of this the most selling SUV in North America somewhere else on numerous websites, in car magazines, and present below impression and opinion of my own.Ford Explorer 2006 is the real proof that straggling company is on a right track to gain back trust of Americans significantly corroded in a last 15-20 years, although Explorer, as it mentioned before, remains the bestseller through these years of Japanese auto expansion to the American market.
The new Explorer is one of those vehicles that present well balanced combination of SUV and car abilities. Its highway ride on a 100/120 km per hour is smooth and absolute cars' like. In fact I regret while on a front passenger seat that this SUV is missing a handle above the window which is standard on every well equipped car model. Other than that it is provide car's comfort in every dimension with very good noise protection.Powerful engine almost silent, suspension soft enough, dashboard is well designed with all buttons of a right size and in proper place except maybe gear shifter that looks like an on/off switch on a kids electronic toy.I am a car guy, so to continue SUV/car comparison I have also figured out that the front passenger of new Explorer is slightly discriminated (as at most trucks and cars) compare to the driver in its ability to go in/out of the truck.
While driver enjoys "seat moving back" feature when key is out from ignition, passenger is climbing in its seat with far less comfort ability.Nevertheless both driver and passenger seats are comfortable even for a long ride. Praising designers for the Explorer's dashboard I will withdraw a few compliments back while talking about inside door handles.
As for me they are located too low to be good to grab to open/close the door for an average size man.Every vehicle today is a receptacle of cap holders and Explorer is no exception. But not every one has convenient and big enough glove compartment, so our tester is definitely not a winner here.I like adjustable pedals, it is a great option.
But is it safe to allow the driver to adjust pedal while driving?.There is plenty of room on a second raw seats and roomy enough although less comfortable on a third. At least you have an option: carry 6 passengers and no luggage or 4 with descent cubic footage on a back of your Explorer.For some reason all four doors of new Explorer in their lowest part are sharply curved towards the body of the vehicle and it's cool and probably gives some extra rigidity.But if you are tended to notice with regret every new scratch on your beast/beauty body (pick the one!); you will see them (scratches) for sure right after taking Explorer off road for a first time. Scratches easily appear on a lower part of rear doors which sandwiches between the vehicle's frames and sidestep with so small clearance in between, that sand and muds sticking to the doors are working as abrasives for all surfaces.
Few years ago I have tested then new Explorer 2001 along with others SUVs in a same class like Nissan Pathfinder, Jeep Cherokee etc. That Ford Explorer was not much different or worse than other contestants in terms of off road capabilities. But it was squeaking and crackling on every serious pothole or bump. There is nothing like this on Explorer 2006.Year after year customer demands more and more from the vehicle and auto manufacturers should accommodate those demands to keep pace. Ford made it with the new Explorer.
It is really great truck..Journalist, car enthusiast.
By: Serge Vankevich