2012 Ford Explorer SUV

The 2012 Ford Explorer is the most capable Explorer ever. It starts with the structure – thanks to high-tech materials and advanced forming technology. To help you handle everything from rugged off-roading to snow-covered roadways, there’s the available Intelligent 4WD System and available Terrain Management System™. For your peace of mind, Curve Control, an enhancement to AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™, delivers enhanced control in turns. Open the door. The Explorer offers up to seven-passenger seating capacity and seats that fold down for cargo space on demand – up to 80.7 cubic feet of space. You expect capability in an SUV. Explorer delivers it.

My first thought when I saw the Ford Explorer was that it is a nice looking vehicle! It isn’t too big, but has the appearance of a vehicle that can handle some rough and tumble activities, and looks are not deceiving. One of my favourite features about the Explorer is the Available Terrain Management System.

The available Terrain Management System allows you to easily shift on the fly into one of four settings to match the terrain you’re driving in: • Normal – biases torque to the front wheels and sends it to the rear only as needed • Mud/Ruts – switches the throttle to a more aggressive mode, limits upshifting and desensitizes stability control allowing the tires to spin as needed • Sand – the throttle throws maximum torque to the wheels, placing the transmission in lower gears for as long as possible, which allows the wheels to spin aggressively • Grass/Gravel/Snow – places the throttle in a setting to minimize wheel slip.

With just a simple turn of the dial, your vehicle is ready for whatever you are going to put it through. We had our first snow fall of the year while I was test driving the Explorer, and I switched over to the snow setting. It was perfect! While other cars were sliding, the Explorer offered incredible traction and control.

The interior space of the Explorer was a little tight for my entire family. When you have kids and car seats, I had to move seats forward to be able to get kids in, but I think it would be ideal for a family of four, or for a family whose children don’t require car seats. The seats were very comfortable and there was heated seating in the front. You can see the back and middle row seating here…

Third row seating

Second row seating

The back seats came equipped with inflatable safety belts. The inflated belt helps distribute crash force energy across more of the occupant’s torso than a traditional belt, which helps reduce the risk of injury while providing support to the head and neck. In the event of a frontal or side crash, the inflatable safety belts hold the passenger in the appropriate seating position, helping to reduce risk of injury. These safety belts are compatible with child safety seats. In consumer tests, most respondents said the inflatable rear safety belts felt similar or softer and more comfortable than conventional safety belts. This can help encourage safety belt usage. I really liked this feature and felt that my kids were extra safe when wearing these belts. They were a little harder for them to do up, because they had to pull the belt from the top and the side,but they figured it out eventually.

Another great safety feature is the Blind Spot Information System. The available BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert uses sensors in the rear quarter panels to monitor your blind spots and will illuminate an alert display on the appropriate exterior mirror if another vehicle is detected there before you change lanes. Cross-traffic alert can detect approaching vehicles while you’re slowly backing up.

In my terms…it is a little light that shows up in the driver and passenger side mirrors to tell you when someone is in your blind spot. I love this. It was so useful when driving on the major highways, and even when in parking lots. I still did my shoulder checks, but this was a little added safety feature that I really appreciated.

There was also the rear camera to let me see what is behind me when we are in reverse. With so many sad stories about parents running over their small children when they didn’t know they were behind the car, I think this is an incredible safety feature. And it makes it so much easier to back out.

The GPS system worked well too, and we could use bluetooth technology to operate our phones as well. I found the SYNC a little more challenging to work than the system that was in the Flex, but it wasn’t too difficult to figure out. There was one occasion when my husband started the vehicle and the stereo volume was on the highest and would not adjust. He turned the vehicle off for a little while and SYNC had reset itself when he turned it back on.

There was a double sunroof that you could cover or uncover with the push of a button. The seats all folded with simple button pushes as well. I like the lumbar support in the front seats, and that the driver seat moves up when you start the vehicle, and back when you turn it off. I also like that the Explorer starts with the push of a button rather than a key.

The back seats can be stowed away completely to allow for a huge amount of cargo space, as you can see below. That would be great for camping trips!

Overall, I love the safety features and the technology available in the Explorer. It is nice to drive and offers a lot of extra comforts. It would be a great vehicle for an active couple!



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Sheri McDonald is a family lifestyle blogger who has been sharing her parenting and travel adventures online for the past eight years. You can find her discovering the world with her children when she's not at home enjoying a good book.


Lifestyle Blogger. Traveler. Writer. Social Media Marketer. @SunwingVacay #Kidcations Expert Panel. Member of ITWA @PTBAssoc IG: familyenroute
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