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Old 07-29-2010, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Dallas, Texas
164 posts, read 463,016 times
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Pictures of the newly redesigned Ford Explorer look impressive. But they were able to improve fuel economy only by 20-30% from 14 miles per gallon.

The reason why the sales went down for the larger SUVs was because of the fear that gas prices will go up again. No one wants to pay high fuel costs in this economy - especially when there are other SUVs getting much better fuel economy on the market. U.S. is much more conscious of fuel efficiency after the last hike in fuel costs.

Unless the fuel economy gets above 23 miles per gallon, I doubt that the new Ford Explorer will be a major hit in the U.S. market.

Last edited by northlakemetro; 07-29-2010 at 10:17 AM..
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Old 07-29-2010, 10:26 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 40,626,867 times
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Well, with the 4 cylinder ecoboost they are claiming 18 city and 26-27 highway. Given the segment the Explorer will compete in, that would be class leading fuel economy.

I think some of Ford's product is becoming jumbled and I think either the Explorer or Flex needs to go as does one of the Escape or Edge. To me I don't think they needed to redesign the Explorer, but it is what it is and they felt they needed something to more directly compete with the GM Lambda's among others.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 28,624,742 times
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20-30% increase in fuel economy is HUGE. How many other vehicles have increased their mileage that much in one year?

Note too that the new base engine - the 3.5L V6 - has 290 hp. Far more power than the previous 4.0L slug of an engine (only 210 hp) and better fuel economy. The 3.5L engine is powerful enough that Ford doesn't offer a V8 for the Explorer any more.

I don't see any 3 row mid-size SUV that will have 23 MPG city mileage anytime soon running on gasoline.

NJGoat - I disagree that Ford didn't need to replace the Explorer. The existing Explorer is decidedly mediocre and sales were falling and well under 100K units in 2009.

I agree Ford needs to be careful with their SUV line to avoid confusion. They need to keep the Edge as a "sport" SUV. It is not for big families and should never get a 3rd row. The Flex is a people hauler, not really a xUV. The Escape needs to stay its current size - to compete against the Forrester and the CRV.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:34 AM
 
14,781 posts, read 40,626,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
NJGoat - I disagree that Ford didn't need to replace the Explorer. The existing Explorer is decidedly mediocre and sales were falling and well under 100K units in 2009.
I agree 100% that the old Explorer had to go, I just think the Ford lineup is getting crowded and redundant in the SUV arena. Just forgetting about Lincoln, they have the Escape, Edge and Explorer and the Flex might as well be thrown in there too.

They could really make do with two of them. IMO the Escape is pointless next to the Edge (except the Escape is a popular fleet vehicle) and I can see the Explorer and Flex stealing each others sales. I like them all (well, not the Escape so much), but they could just as easily market their lineup with 2 vehicles in place of the 4 they have now by dumping the Flex and providing an upcontented Explorer and getting rid of the Escape and providing a cheaper entry level Escape. They dumped the Taurus X, because it was getting crowded, but it still is.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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ford has always had large selections in their wagon line ups, and if you think about it, all suvs are just the new style station wagon.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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I think they need to keep the Escape because they will need a SUV with 30 MPG potential. The Edge is too big for that.

I think the Flex should be marketed primarily as an alternative to mini-vans - great hauler for kids and stuff.

What I really want to know is what does Ford have in store for the Expedition.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Morgantown, WV
997 posts, read 2,167,488 times
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Who cares about the MPG...the real problem is that this thing was built on top of the Taurus platform. It looks awsome, but underneith it all lies the VERY definition of a useless "soccer mom" vehicle.
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:37 PM
 
705 posts, read 1,568,651 times
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Originally Posted by TelecasterBlues View Post
Who cares about the MPG...the real problem is that this thing was built on top of the Taurus platform. It looks awsome, but underneith it all lies the VERY definition of a useless "soccer mom" vehicle.
98% of the people who buy Explorers don't use them for anything more than snowy roads, so I think its irrelevant its built on a sedan platform. Even if they did use them for dirt roads, a body on frame suv is really not necessary.
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Old 07-29-2010, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,228 posts, read 13,751,725 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TelecasterBlues View Post
Who cares about the MPG...the real problem is that this thing was built on top of the Taurus platform. It looks awsome, but underneith it all lies the VERY definition of a useless "soccer mom" vehicle.
You're right. Outside of sitting on a dealer lot, no one could use one for anything. In fact, if they tried to use it as a large station wagon with ground clearance, it'd just quit on them just to prove how useless it is.

Or...

Can you pinpoint exactly the flaw in using the Taurus' platform here? Be specific. It retains all of it's capability while being more fuel efficient.

If it had been a rehash of the BOF truck based SUV, peopel woudl ***** that it needed to get with the times and become unibody and more carlike for beter suspension, on-road use, and safety, as well as better fuel mileage. SInce it WENT that way, it's criticized for having done so. Three of the best selling SUVs in America are the Escape, CR-V, and RAV4. Seems people want car-based crossovers. A good number of people have woken up and realized they don't need a body on frame truck with a transfer case with a low range to take their kids to school. Stop crapping on them and on Ford for realizing it. Buyers of rugged, spacious, reasonably efficient family utility vehicles don't need to tackle the Rubicon trail. They need space, the ability to take on a crappy, washed out road to a campground or fishing spot, and enough fuel economy to justify itself as a daily driver. That's why crossovers are all over the place: just capable enough for most, just fuel efficient for most, just spacious enough for most. They don't master any speciality, but they do pretty well at everything their owners need from them. If you want something that's brilliiant offroad, or incredibly good to drive, or gets amazing economy, they're not for you, but they balance those three in a way that makes sense to a lot of people.

SUVs were touted as the next station wagon as far back as 1960. Something like this makes more sense than either an old-style SUV OR a station wagon, as it can be either, and do 100% of the job for 90% of the buyers of either of those two categories. The other 10% can go play elsewhere, and Ford won't (nor should they) care.
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Old 07-29-2010, 03:12 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,719 posts, read 28,624,742 times
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It appears Ford sees the handwriting on the wall. Truck based SUVs are less valuable today than they were. I absolutely believe that if you asked 1000 SUV owners - less than 25% would even know if their vehicle is unibody or body on frame. Almost no one cares. They just care that the vehicle does what they want it to.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is unibody- and it is definitely capable offroad.

Only a tiny percentage of people need to tow more than 5000 lbs. A 20 ft. wakeboard boat on trailer weighs a little less than that.

Ford picked a good platform for the new Explorer, appear to have some appropriate and interesting engine choices, and gave it some very nice looking interior features.

I think it will bring some mid-size SUV shoppers back into a Ford showroom.
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