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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Review: 2011 Ford Explorer Limited

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2011 Ford Explorer Limited - Click above for high-res image gallery

They call it a reboot. It happens all the time in Hollywood when a movie franchise falls flat. After a blockbuster wears out its audience with a string of lesser sequels, the studio starts over, retelling the story from an entirely new angle.

The best example is Batman. The combination of Michael Keaton and director Tim Burton produced critical acclaim and big box office numbers for the first two Caped Crusader films in 1989 and 1992. Then came a new director, Joel Schumacher, who just about killed the franchise with Batman Forever in 1995 and Batman & Robin in 1997. Eight years passed before someone in Hollywood realized the Dark Knight's name could still fill theater seats, and the franchise was rebooted in 2005 with the dark and gritty Batman Begins.

The totally redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer is the Blue Oval's Batman Begins. Ford's most famous sport utility vehicle has desperately needed a reboot ever since the Firestone tire recall in 2000 made it Rollover Enemy Number One. Rising gas prices haven't helped either, but the tire debacle hurt the brand badly, with the Explorer going from this country's third best-selling vehicle in 2000 with 445,157 sold to just over 60,000 bought in 2010. But just like Batman, the Explorer name had value that Ford couldn't let go to waste. And so the 2011 Explorer is the sport utility story retold by Ford from an entirely new angle. The question is whether or not the Explorer's name can still put butts in seats.

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Gallery: 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD: Review


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Review: 2011 Ford Explorer Limited originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 11 Feb 2011 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 12:34 PM
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I guess Ford needs another glorified minivan in their lineup. The Explorer should continue to be a real truck. My mom has a 2000 5.0 4 door with the grey trim package, it is a sharp little truck. I put 255-70-16 Cooper ATRs on it a few years ago, it is nearly unstoppable in Midwestern winters.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 03:09 PM
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Personally I don't like where the Explorer is going (well has gone) but it is what the market (soccer moms) want. Real off-road capability is not needed so Ford is using good logic in getting rid of the body on frame design and going FWD.

I do ask the question why does Ford need 4 Minivans (Windstar, Flex, Edge and not Explorer)? I don't care if only one of them has a sliding door they are all minivans.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-13-2011, 06:01 PM
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Ford's trying to squeez every potential model out of the D3 platform they can like they did with the Fox, the difference being the fox was versatile in that it happily matched the function of what the make/model demanded.

Not to get political, but it will be interesting to see the backfire "CSUV's" cause under the current cafe regs. given the only reason SUV's ever got popular was because the old cafe standard practically killed off traditional RWD V8 cars many buyers still wanted.

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