At 20/28 MPG city and highway, Ford‘s Ecoboosted Explorer is the most efficient seven-passenger SUV on the market.
With 28 MPG on the highway that’s 3 more than a Highlander, 4 more than a Traverse, and 5 more than both the Highlander and Grand Cherokee. Not bad for a four-cylinder. Four pistons in an SUV, of course, still get the stigma of slowness, but the Explorer delivers 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. Thanks to the miracle of turbocharging, this is more torque than the 250 lb-ft found in the 3.5-liter V6.
And all on regular gas, too!
There are some drawbacks, however. Ford is saving the 2.0-liter Ecoboost for just the front-wheel-drive model. With that combination, towing capacity drops from 1979 Continental to Miata levels, or 5,000 to 2,000 lbs. And above all, the Boosted Explorer will feature a price premium of $995 over the V6, in a reversal of cylinder count posturing.
Will consumers accept the higher price and lower towing for better mileage? Either way, it’s nice to have the option.
Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2011 Ford Explorer Review or hit the jump to watch our video review:
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