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Ford explorer seat rehearsal at the L.A. Auto Show: Take us on a journey, Explorer

Jochen Knecht
Seat sample Ford explorer at the LA auto show
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E This is not the case American families would be fundamentally larger than Germans. They obviously need more space. Much more space. There is simply no other explanation for the success of full-size SUVs like the Ford Explorer. For the L.A. Auto Show, the giant part was given a new look and now looks like a somewhat too big Ford Edge. There are definitely worse design relationships. The massive front with the two-part radiator and the forward-sloping C-pillar are striking. And just its size. Such an Explorer is a little over five meters long. For comparison: A VW Touareg that doesn't look very delicate on European roads is over 20 centimeters shorter.

Infinite widths in the interior

Elegant and inconspicuous is not the business of the Ford Explorer. This also applies to the cockpit. A bulky center console, a massive multifunction steering wheel and, in the top version Platinum on display in L.A., also lots of leather, a 500-watt Sony sound system, countless buttons and a lot of aluminum and real wood. It doesn't quite fit the bulky plastic dashboard, but it still looks good.

It gets really impressive with a view to the rear. Three seats with business class legroom, then two more large seats that can be lowered into the vehicle floor in the third row. Behind it, another trunk the size of a bathtub. Anyone who wants to travel similarly spacious and comfortable in Europe needs a minibus with luxury seating. And even then, it’s difficult to top the Platinum frills. All seats have access to USB sockets for charging portable entertainment electronics and are covered in cuddly soft leather, which Ford calls 'Nirvana Leather' in a very theatrical manner.

No more V8 for the Ford Explorer

Oh yes: the big four-wheel cube also has a drive? Sure. And the first real surprise is waiting for you. A V8 is not even available for money and good words. In the top model Platinum there is at least a 3.5 -Liter large Ecoboost V6, which lifts 370 hp. Coupled to it: a six-speed automatic. The standard versions also have a 3.5-liter V6 under the lid, but without Ecoboost expansion stage and with 'only' 294 hp. Opposite There's also a new four-cylinder Ecoboost that generates 274 hp from a 2.3-liter displacementreasonable downsizing. But: A fully packed Platinum Explorer alone weighs over 2.2 tons when empty. With their crew and luggage, the Americans will think twice about using the more powerful six-cylinder.

Once in motion, the tour in the Explorer should actually be as relaxed as possible. Anyone who has ordered Platinum actually only has to steer. Radar cruise control, lane keeping system, brake assist, blind spot warning. Everything on board. Upon request, the Explorer can park itself in and out of a parking space. A terrain management system records the nature of the ground and automatically adjusts the all-wheel drive (series from V6). Nice detail: the large radiator grille closes automatically on the highway, which lowers air resistance and saves fuel.

Fancy a long journey with the Explorer? No problem. The good piece is available from practically every US car rental company.

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