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Did a 1,400 mile test drive of 2018 Explorer 2WD Limited MSRP $45,500 with options

1 Had as little, if not less foot room than our Outback. Hips were locked during the trip.
2 Averaged 20.8 mpg per trip computer, 20.2 calculated with 2.3 EcoBoost
3 Was noisier than even our 2015 Outback
4 Safety features not as rich as Eyesight.

Result - not on our list for 2019 purchase
 

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Did a 1,400 mile test drive of 2018 Explorer 2WD Limited MSRP $45,500 with options

1 Had as little, if not less foot room than our Outback. Hips were locked during the trip.
2 Averaged 20.8 mpg per trip computer, 20.2 calculated with 2.3 EcoBoost
3 Was noisier than even our 2015 Outback
4 Safety features not as rich as Eyesight.

Result - not on our list for 2019 purchase
Good move. The current Explorer is a lame duck with the new RWD-based one coming for 2020. The one you drove has its roots going back to 2011. I bet there are hefty discounts though.

A far as gas mileage, I'm seeing about the same in my Ascent as you did with that Explorer.
 

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Rumor is that the 2020 Explorer will be getting an ST trim. This should mean a more powerful twin turbocharged 2.7l V6. The larger engine will probably come with standard awd, but no powertrains have been confirmed.
 

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The current Explorer is ancient in vehicle design and age. Its old as dirt in car speak.

If you like it save thousands and by the same exact one a few yrs old and save half your money.

The 2020 Explorer is due out May June time frame. It will be ground up new platform new far far more efficient engines and more power! Plugin hybrid option with no impact on interior space or missing spare tire!! It will have both!

If you want to see it? Look at the Lincoln Aviator just announced/revealed two weeks ago at the LA Auto show.

I would recommend a proctologist visit over buying a new err old Explorer at this point. At least the Doctors visit has some value to it!
 

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Well hopefully the new Explorer gets rid of the horrible front passenger wheel well design sticking out. If you are y’all like myself you have to kind of sit caddy corner to stretch your feet out because the wheel well takes up half the left side of your leg room.
 

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The current Explorer is ancient in vehicle design and age. Its old as dirt in car speak.

If you like it save thousands and by the same exact one a few yrs old and save half your money.

The 2020 Explorer is due out May June time frame. It will be ground up new platform new far far more efficient engines and more power! Plugin hybrid option with no impact on interior space or missing spare tire!! It will have both!

If you want to see it? Look at the Lincoln Aviator just announced/revealed two weeks ago at the LA Auto show.

I would recommend a proctologist visit over buying a new err old Explorer at this point. At least the Doctors visit has some value to it!
Latest spy pics show it with minimal cover up. Looks a lot like the current one IMO. Perhaps a longer wheelbase with some increased overall length. The interior is typical Ford with the jutting touch screen sticking out of the dash. The only option I like over the Ascent is the multiple engine options. I believe with the AWD versions there is only 2 power plant options. Of course when it is reviewed it will be the latest and greatest 3 row SUV. And the Pilot Highlander makeover is next. By that time the Ascent will be rated at the bottom in this class according to the experts.
 

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The new Explorer is pretty sweet. If I'd ever get one I'd wait until year 2 at least. I was OK with buying a first year Toyota and now the Ascent but I wouldn't be personally comfortable doing that with an American car.

From a design standpoint I really like the short front overhang of the new Explorer. While Subaru's have longitudinal engines they don't have traditional RWD-style proportions due to the placement of the symmetrical drivetrain. This results in even longer front overhang than FWD cars. Subarus are weird and that's a good part of why I like them.
 

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First time ever the Explorer will accommodate a 4x8 sheet of plywood flat on the load floor! Thats kinda a big deal.

No more transverse engines either! Finally were getting back to properly mounted linear engines. Thats a huge deal!

The reveal was really weak sauce the details people want were really poorly conveyed if at all. The only decent speaker was the engineer who spoke to the little design aspects that families will like to see.

That Ascent thread on how stiff the 2nd row flip forward function is. They actually mentioned a seat feature that was set up so young kids can trigger the fold forward with a press of a button from the 3rd row.

I’m sure there will be other little things like that once proper auto reviews can be done.

The 2.3L 300hp 310ftlb torque 10spd combo is rated at 5300lbs towing capacity.

The 3L 369hp version is rated at 5600lbs.
Monday the 14th the Plugin Hybrid and ST get revealed.

Also something to note the top brass said from here on all the new SUVs will have a plugin hybrid version. Its already known that the plugin hybrid Explorer has the battery under the car opposite the fuel tank with no impact on trunk space or spare tire which it has a full sized spare. This is a big deal!!! Especially in my area where 80-90% of my local kid hauling would easily be handled by the EV side of the vehicle. Not to mention the heavy traffic that often affects longer trips the hybrid function is nearly as important as eye sight cruise control ability to stop and go without driver input. Ford is putting the same eyesight tech Subaru uses in all the Explorers.

Based on numbers it’s similar to the Q7 but superior interior dimensions.
 

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If not for the reliability issues; I should have waited this car. I like the look especially their sport trim aka Ford ST. IT should be fun to drive with the 365 hp from 3.0 tb engine.
 

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I think the Ascent will still stack up well to the 2020 Explorer.


A couple of reasons this will happen -


1. Size - The new Explorer has grown in size. It was already considered a full size crossover, this just serves to extend the gap. Once you start getting that large you start scaring away potential buyers who don't want to drive something that large.


2. MPG - With the 10 speed coming in, MPG will certainly go up, but I suspect that it will be similar, but not beat the Ascent unless you get the hybrid. The Ecoboost engines tend to under-perform in real world MPG. So for the bulk of purchasers, the Ascent will fair well against the Explorer.


3. Looks - People have different tastes. But I will say that Dat Tablet on the explorer center console is polarizing. But we'll see what production look like.


4. Ground Clearance - Haven't seen numbers, But I'd guess the new platform sits at the same height as the old one giving the Ascent an edge here.


5. Price - Numbers aren't out yet but based on current model pricing, the Explorer is trim for trim more expensive than similarly spec'ed Ascents


6. Seating - The Explorer can still only seat a max of 7. So still technically a win for the Subie.


In the end it all boils down to buyer preference, but I do think the Ascent is picking up steam. I have seen more driving around town lately in a town that is normally a sea of Explorers and Pilots.
 

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If not for the reliability issues; I should have waited this car. I like the look especially their sport trim aka Ford ST. IT should be fun to drive with the 365 hp from 3.0 tb engine.
The ST is likely 400hp or higher.
The Lincoln hybrid is actually 450hp 600ftlb of torque. LoL

The police hybrid no doubt gets the Lincoln specs plus some beefy stuff. Colorado law enforcement got to run tests on it and it blew them away fastest by far of the current options and capable of 24mpg.
 

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I think the Ascent will still stack up well to the 2020 Explorer.


A couple of reasons this will happen -


1. Size - The new Explorer has grown in size. It was already considered a full size crossover, this just serves to extend the gap. Once you start getting that large you start scaring away potential buyers who don't want to drive something that large.


2. MPG - With the 10 speed coming in, MPG will certainly go up, but I suspect that it will be similar, but not beat the Ascent unless you get the hybrid. The Ecoboost engines tend to under-perform in real world MPG. So for the bulk of purchasers, the Ascent will fair well against the Explorer.


3. Looks - People have different tastes. But I will say that Dat Tablet on the explorer center console is polarizing. But we'll see what production look like.


4. Ground Clearance - Haven't seen numbers, But I'd guess the new platform sits at the same height as the old one giving the Ascent an edge here.


5. Price - Numbers aren't out yet but based on current model pricing, the Explorer is trim for trim more expensive than similarly spec'ed Ascents


6. Seating - The Explorer can still only seat a max of 7. So still technically a win for the Subie.


In the end it all boils down to buyer preference, but I do think the Ascent is picking up steam. I have seen more driving around town lately in a town that is normally a sea of Explorers and Pilots.
I read some where that the exterior length only increased a few inches but they lengthened the wheel base to fix the seating space issues the old nearly 12yr old prior model had. Shorter overhangs also improves the front and rear angles for off road. But lets be real here the Explorer is just a big sport wagon its not a 4x4. The Bronco clearly will be the proper 4x4 sitting on the next generation Ranger platform which the New ranger will get in 2022.

For road trips and typical driving needs the Ford will be better than the Ascent regarding performance. Off road the Ascent will probably have a very slight edge but won’t compete with the Bronco at all.

The Ascent will be cheaper no doubt!! But personally I’d rather have the 10spd being used in 400+hp vehicles and one vehicle rated for 11,000lbs towing. I would also be very likely buying the plugin version. We have a plugin Fusion Titanium and its been an awesome vehicle 50,000 miles no issues 65mpg winters 75-80mpg summers!
 

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I was debating on waiting for the new Explorer and it looks like a good vehicle. I'm curious as to ground clearance and AWD system. One of the reasons I liked the Ascent so much was it had over 8 inches (8.7 to be exact) of ground clearance and nothing else came close.

Also even though I really like where Ford is going and I believe they really work hard on their SUVs I do agree with waiting a year for any issues to come out. Ford can be good or bad to work with depending on the dealership and how high you want to escalate but from my experience they will take care of you if you complain enough. Can't say how Subaru is as I haven't had to complain (knock on wood).

I will probably check one out and see how it feels but I highly doubt it will match the outward visibility in the Ascent which I think is best the best 3 row I've driven. I'm really excited about the engine and hybrid option as I have a 9 mile commute that takes 45 minutes due to traffic that really lowers my MPG in the Ascent.

Either way I think competition is good and we as consumers win the as they keep trying to make a better vehicle!
 

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Ground clearance is a funny thing. With Subaru due to the long overhangs Subaru has always needed to be a little higher or you drag the nose on everything. However!! The new Explorer is also linear mounted engines but the smaller more compact engines and probably some fancy design on the 10spd which is in many of its vehicles is probably keeping that overhang issue fairly minimized still.

No specs on height are released yet but the front clip approach angle has been mentioned as improved over the prior generation. This generation is also far more performance focused so I highly doubt ground clearance is much over 7 inches. Having said that every Subaru I have owned suffered dramatic ground clearance reduction when loaded for road trips. Even empty my 9yr old Subaru for sure isn’t 8inches ground clearance lol. Its a bit saggy in classic Subaru fashion
 

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I considered the Explorer. It was on our short list of SUVs to evaluate for purchase. One thing that dissuaded my wife and I was the poor safety ratings it received.
 

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I considered the Explorer. It was on our short list of SUVs to evaluate for purchase. One thing that dissuaded my wife and I was the poor safety ratings it received.
Again 12yr old vehicle vs the all new 2020
Explorer being a totally new modern vehicle.

I never liked the old Explorer even 12yrs ago.
 

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Nice...But in the greater Phoenix area, these are everywhere! I have a need to be a little more against the grain. Hence, a Subaru.
 

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Nice...But in the greater Phoenix area, these are everywhere! I have a need to be a little more against the grain. Hence, a Subaru.
Agreed any Ford or GM your just another device taking up space on the road. I keep cars a long time I have 2 2005’s still. Today I find tech ultimately is why I upgrade. And the stuff Ford is doing especially plugin hybrid 7 pass SUV with over 300hp, along with all the other tech stuff makes it attractive to me. The Ascent Touring is/was of interest but no bench 2nd row no Plugin hybrid option its going to be old tech in 5 months lol.
 
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