by Tony West and Jamar Lee
My first drive in the 2013 Ford Explorer was pretty adventurous. The many new features of this high performance SUV armed me for some cataclysmic Chicago winter weather, with two snow storms and an ice storm thwarting our video shoot.
Slick Sporty Look
The longer wider lower Ford Explorer Sport is definitely more stylish than previous models. The Turbo SUV has a Sterling grey mesh grille and black lower fascia and black Explorer logo. From far away, the Ford Explorer looks like a Range Roger Evoque. The 7-passenger high performance SUV turned many heads. The 20-inch black wheels, black-out headlamps and tail lamps, and black roof rack rails give the usually mundane Explorer a bold sporty look. Chrome accents on door handles and tail lamps give it even more swag.The two-toned charcoal black interior of the 2013 Explorer turbo is huge with leather seats, a unique steering wheel stitching, and teal illuminated scuff plates and cup holders. At night, the interior looks like Tron legacy when panels are lit up.
Perfect for the Storm
We planned to test the Explorer on different terrains, but a snow storm hit Chicago hard the day after we got the Explorer and an ice storm and another blizzard followed. So instead, we got to test how the Explorer holds up in real adverse conditions.
As Oak Park, Illinois was pelted with 12-inches of snow and most were buried, I got ready to hit to road. The remote start was very helpful when starting to dig out the Explorer. Once I cleared the snow off the Explorer I didn’t need to shovel a thing. The 4-wheel-drive system with the amazing Terrain Management System was superior with getting me out of a parking spot 3-inches deep, atop of another near 6-inches of snow.The Terrain Management System optimizes power, torque, and handling under snowy conditions. So after turning the system to the “snow” setting, I adjusted the dual zone climate to a high temp, turned on my heated seats, and pulled off. Sport-tuned electric power-assisted steering and stiffer chassis allow for greater handling as I sliced through slippery snowy Chicago.
Impressive Under the Hood- Exciting Luxury Interior
The 2013 Ford Explorer Turbo comes with a 3.5 liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine with Ecoboost. The Turbo Engine has 365 horsepower and 350 ft-lb of torque. The new Explorer definitely gets up. A gentle push of the adjustable pedals take the Explorer from 0-60 in less than 8 seconds. A 6-speed automatic transmission comes with paddle shifters at the steering wheel. To my surprise, the Explorer was very fuel efficient with 16 mpg’s city and 22 mpg’s highway for a combined 18 mpg’s EPA, better than other high performance SUV’s with HEMI engines.Other features helpful during the storm were the defrosting mirrors, Trailer Sway Control, Traction Control, Hill Descent, Off Road Mode, Curve Control, the Rear View Camera with Park Assist, and the Blind Spot Information System.Great for hauling is the Power Liftgate and the Class III Trailer Towing Package. And with folding second and third rows, the Ford Explorer becomes an effective hauling machine.
The 2013 Ford Explorer is not just a weather proof premium hauling/ towing motel on wheels. Inside the Explorer has exciting luxury accouterments like SYNC with My Ford Touch driver connect technology. SYNC integrates devices with the Explorer ‘s Bluetooth, Navigation, Satellite Radio, and other cool features. A Sony Premium audio system is standard with HD Radio and 12 speakers. Some optional features include a 110 volt outlet, inflatable rear seat belts, Intelligent Access, Rain Sensing Wipers and power fold mirrors.
Thrill to Drive
The Ford Explorer was a phenomenal SUV to drive, especially effective in the wintery Chicago storm. We didn’t get to film it, but I got some great photos of the Explorer in the snow. The conditions were actually perfect to test how the premium SUV really performs under pressure-especially when the terrain is rough, especially in a snowstorm or rainstorm. In perfect weather conditions or in the dead of winter in Alaska the 2013 Explorer is a smooth swift ride with efficient EPA and a spacious leather trimmed luxury cabin. Ford has done an excellent job with this redesign. The 2013 Explorer Turbo is sure to be a top selling SUV.