The Ford Explorer is a newcomer to Europe. If he is a big one among the small ones in our regions, it is quite astonishing to realize that this juggernaut of 5 meters long and 2.28 meters wide (with the mirrors) is a small among the large ones across the Atlantic . It then seems totally disproportionate, parked in a Parisian campsite (Editor’s note: yes, it does exist). But the Ford Explorer has unsuspected resources that should interest more than one. This is what we will discover together.
It’s a big jig to handle around Paris. It is true that quickly, I take myself for the terror of the bitumen. If it does not pass, it still does, I say, passing a poor little Smart. But when I then cross a semi-trailer, I suddenly remember that we always find bigger than is, fortunately without incident.
Consumption in the city is probably the first thing that will scare you, moving its 2.5 tons. However, imagine that under this shell hides a 13.6kw rechargeable electric motor. This invaluable help makes it possible to severely limit one’s appetite in town and during recovery phases. This 100 horsepower engine has a range of over 40km in all-electric mode. We have seen this in real conditions. Note that the Ford Explorer is a plug-in hybrid since it is a PHEV. On the other hand, when the electric motor is no longer active, do not expect to drop below 10l / 100km. This is the case, for example, on a motorway at stabilized speed.
During a toll exit, the Ford Explorer catapults us in 6 seconds from 0 to 100 km / h. The noise would have nothing to envy a Ford Mustang. Indeed, the 357 horsepower V6 gasoline has just woken up. All in all, it’s 457 horsepower and 825Nm of torque that pass through the 4-wheel drive of the Ford Explorer. As much to tell you that it surprises!
The American SUV atmosphere is unmistakable, characterized in particular by its large chrome grille, its rectangular lights or its rear quarter windows in the trunk. Either way, he’s assembled in Chicago, hard to be more chauvinistic. Unfortunately, it also benefited from the usual poor level of finish in this country. But let’s not be too hard on them, the efforts are notable from year to year. We simply should not expect to find there the enormous progress made by the French in recent times. Even less to find a semblance of German finish.
The Ford Explorer is not intended to be used on sidewalks or in the city. Even though it’s pretty cool to look at, it’s meant to be useful. It is not stingy in crossing, as we have seen in the park of Marquenterre, in the heart of the Bay of Somme. Sandy terrain is not the easiest, especially for a vehicle with such a large mass. However, he is doing brilliantly thanks to his good level of power. However, you will have to be careful to respect a few rules. It is necessary to put the thermal mode only, in order to avoid the too brutal torque and the power of the electric, deactivate the traction control and put the snow and sand mode. With this, you don’t even need to deflate the tires or have specific tires. But make no mistake, this is not aLand Rover Defender
With the best will of the city dweller that I am, I found a way to go tank myself in a beautiful tank of water without probing the depth. It was to make you a beautiful shot! But I quickly felt the Ford Explorer fail. As we were taking our photos, a troop of tourists and locals stopped to watch how we were going to get out of there. With the aforementioned precautions, a good dose of acceleration and we were out as if to laugh. Onlookers did not have a great story to tell when they returned from their walk. But apparently a smaller car had stuck there shortly before.
I will conclude with the fact that, like me, you are probably not a buyer of this type of vehicle. However, if you are, I can guarantee that the Ford Explorer will be a great product that will meet all your expectations. Surprisingly enough, I had a lot of fun aboard this mega-SUV and believe it or not it turns heads in its path. Either because you will have won a standing start against a small sports car at the start of a red light, or because we will wonder if your Ford Explorer has really been marketed beyond the United States.
Many thanks to Ford for organizing this test in such special sanitary conditions.