PINEHURST, NC — October 22, 2020 — Most of you know that Laurie has been getting new cars to review for a long time. And, you probably know those cars are brought to us each week by companies who specialize in press car deliveries. Neither of our great companies could come up with a car for us this week, so I had the bright idea of calling an old friend, who also happens to be car salesman here in the area. I explained to Mike Thomas of Cooper Ford, in nearby Carthage, my predicament and Mike said, “Come on over.”
We walked the Cooper Ford lot looking at new 2020 vehicles, and Mike asked, “What haven’t your driven?” I told him that while Laurie and I had tried the Expedition and Mustang, we hadn’t tried the Explorer. Mike picked out a Silver Metallic Platinum Explorer 4-wheel drive and said, “Let me get the keys.”
You know what car salesmen really are? The are product knowledgeable sales people who are going to point out the best features of the cars they sell. I don’t have a problem with that. As a consumer, we do have some responsibility to ask the right questions, and with the internet, there is no reason to not be armed with knowledge ourselves when we go to purchase anything.
Here’s what I know – Ford has been making the Explorer since 1991, and the Explorer of today is a far cry from the original. There are five models – The Explorer, The Explorer XLT, The Explorer Limited, The Explorer ST, and The Explorer Platinum. The Explorer starts at …. (wait for it), $32,765, which, in my opinion is not a lot of money for a well-made SUV.
Base models have the 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine (Inline 4 cylinder with twin overhead camshafts), Turbocharged with Direct Injection, and all have the very smooth, 10 speed transmission. The XLT and Limited have 17.9 gallon fuel tanks, while the ST and Platinum have 20.2 gallon fuel tanks. The four cylinders tend to get 27 city and 29 highway mpg. The ST and the Platinum models get 18 and 24 respectively, BUT the ST and Platinum have 3.0L 6 cylinder, and the ST has twin turbos to 400 HP and a top end speed of 143 mph. Not much use for that in Pinehurst, or probably Yonkers, either. Both the ST and Platinum have Intelligent 4-wheel drive, which I appreciate.
The Platinum model is the high-end model of the Ford Explorer and carries a $59,245 price tag. There are however many things that come ‘standard’ on the Platinum to consider. Let’s do a quick review of the outside features and then focus on the inside and safety.
Here are some things to like about the exterior of the 2020 Explorer Platinum – Adaptive and Automatic LED headlamps (these are the lights that turn left or right as you do), Hands Free Lift Gate, Quad Tip Dual Exhaust (cool for Sport Mode), Trailer Sway Control (Yes, it has a trailer hitch ready to go), Twin Panel Moonroof, and Rain Sensing Wipers.
I included a picture of the interior to show off the 10.1” LCD Capacitive Portrait Touchscreen in Center Stack with Swipe and Pinch to Zoom capability. It is very much like having your notebook attached to your dash, and with voice capability, you have a lot of information at your fingertips and words. Ther is also a 12” LCD Digital IP Cluster, heated and cooled front seats and heated rear seats. The front seats are Multicontour Seats with Active Motion (you know, ‘massage’). The leather wrapped steering wheel is heated. The third row seating power folded, and the steering column also is powered for tilt and telescoping. The Rotary Gear Shift is illuminated. There are smart charging ports, 4 of them, and wireless phone charging pad as well. There are three zones of temperature control and wood grain interior accents.
The Rotary Gear Shift Dial sits just at the right hand of the driver with the Driving Mode control just behind that. You have your choice of Normal, Eco, and Sport. Each changes the dash board display, gear ratios, and performance. The sport really opens up the Quad Tip Exhausts and sound more like a Mustang than an Explorer. Too Cool!
Functional equipment includes 360 Degree Camera, Active Park Assist; a 14 Speaker, 980-watt Bang and Olufsen Sound System; Class III Trailer Towing Package; Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist*; FordPass Connect 4G Wi-Fi Hotspot Telematics Modem; Wireless Charging Pad I mentioned; a Remote Start System; a Reverse Sensing System; Sind Wind Stabilization; Terrain Management System; and Voice Activated Navigation.
[* Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist – Blind Sport Warning, Lane Keeping System, Pre-collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Evasive Steering Assist, Reverse Brake Assist, Rear View Camera, Active Park Assist 2.0, Auto High-Beam Headlights, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Trailer Coverage, Pro Trailer Backup Assist, and Hill Descent Control]
Under Safety and Security, we have Advance Trac with RSC*; lots of airbags; Latch Child Safety System’ Perimeter Alarm’ Personal Safety System; and the SOS Post-Crash Alert System
Oh, did I mention the great ride, the quiet ride, the exception handling, and, when you drop the third-row seating, the incredible amount of cargo space you get (50 cubic feet behind the second row of seating)?
And lastly, it is America’s All Time Best-Selling SUV. That’s right. Made in America.
Why did I get to drive and ride in this super vehicle? How did I learn about half the things I wrote here? Because a guy I met, and bought a car from several years ago, took the time to ‘help’ me because I needed a car to review. People helping people. We need more of that these days.
Closing – Most of our lives are built on relationships with other people – our wives, husbands, children, friends, coworkers, people in general. The Bible refers to many people with two words, “Behold” and “Beware”. All the good people we know have a “Behold” somewhere in front of their name. Carpenter, outfitter, or car salesman – “Behold the people who make a difference.”
5292 US 15 501 Hwy, Carthage, NC 28327
Pinehurst, NC is only 10.82 miles to Carthage, NC.
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Smith Cairns Ford
900 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10704
Sales: 1 (914) 377-8100
Service: 1 (914) 377-8100
Parts: 1 (914) 377-8100