Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Car Review: 2016 Ford Explorer

Ford Explorer
On a recent trip to Alaska, I reserved a Ford Escape rental car, thinking I'd need its four-wheel-drive capability in snowy Anchorage. When I got to the rental counter, they were out of Escapes (a small SUV) and so upgraded me to an Explorer (a full-size SUV) for the same price.

Now, as I've said before, I don't like SUVs. I prefer cars for their maneuverability. For example, the car I drive most of the time is a 4-door sedan (with all-wheel drive), is 194.4 inches long. The Explorer is 198.3 inches long. But those nearly 4 extra inches felt huge. Luckily the Explorer had a backup camera so I wasn't worried as much about backing into something.

The car was high off the ground and my diminutive wife had trouble getting in and out. I had a little trouble, too. And the vehicle was wide. Or so it seemed. Finding adequate parking was a problem.

When we got to Alaska, we were surprised to find it warmer than Eastern Washington and the roads were not snowy at all, but mostly bare and wet. So we would have been fine in a car.

One problem with rental cars these days is that car interfaces have become so complicated it's hard to jump in and drive them. It took me minutes to figure out how to change the radio station and I never did figure out how to tune the radio. Luckily, one of the presets was a station I liked.

The Explore accelerated adequately and cornered fine, as one might expect of an SUV. I guess if you like the size of the vehicle, it would be an okay choice.

I just don't like SUVs.

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