FORD EXPLORER FIRST LOOK: X marks the spot or has Ford lost its way? / Electrifying
So we know what were going to be dealing with, but under this cover is an all new electric car, from the biggest name in British motoring and Ive not seen it yet youre going to be seeing it for the first time. At the same time, I do lets see what we think Music. What do you think Im quite surprised? To be honest, this has a much more chunky American feel than were used to with Fords in Europe. So it looks nothing like a fiesta or a focus or a cougar. Does it also, these wheels are huge, these are 21s and this is the top spec model, but even the lowest model will get 19 inch Wheels. Although I didnt see any pictures of the new Explorer, I did get this specification list which lists some of the features on there and its got things headed sync move my private locker and a mega console which all sort of sound like the stuff that a 10 Year old would have on their Christmas list, but well have a look at those details later. So first lets get the important stuff out of the way. If you are thinking the Explorer name is familiar its because its been used before on a big gas guzzling American SUV, which was briefly sold in the UK a couple of decades ago. It wasnt a huge success here, but it did have its moment of Fame in Jurassic Park. This new model makes the old SUV look like a real dinosaur at 4.
4 meters, long, its almost exactly the same length as the best selling Nissan Qashqai. So lets have a look at the inside because this is where the 10 year olds Christmas list comes. In first thing: you notice is this huge screen and you can see down here. There are permanent controls for the heating and things like the defroster, which you use. Every day, but its got another trick up its sleeve, if you press this button down here, screen moves upwards now, this is what they call sync move, which I thought was something to do with relocating a basin, but no this means that, if youre in town, you Can use the navigation and have it in your eye line and if youre just cruising home – and I want it to look a bit smoother, you can have it like this thats, not all if you put it up in this position. Youll see theres this space under here, where you can put valuables like your mobile phone or say youre going jogging, which I do a lot and you want to put your keys somewhere safe. You can put it in there, then you put it down like that. Lock it in place lock the car and nobodys going to be able to get in there without a crowbar. Now the mega console, I thought was something that you might be able to play Mario Kart on, but its not its this Locker here. So, underneath this handy armrest is this enormous storage space theres a separator to stop things wrapping around which pulls out and you can use it as an ice scraper handy now you can fit three 1.
5 liter soft drink bottles in here or if you want to remove This and it stores under the screen so its not rattling around too much. You can then put a laptop in there or your handbag shut it up and then pop to the shops without worrying that its on site. So in front of me here on the top of the dash, is this sound bar, which is a big speaker like youd, have in your living room, gives a bit of a softer feel to the face here there, but also youve got this light strip here, which Can change color depending on your mood or if you select different Drive modes, it changes color too in front of me here: theres a smaller screen, which has all the essential information you need for driving every day without taking your eyes too far off the road. So theres your speed, theres, the navigation theres, also the battery charge level. Now some of this Tech will come as a welcome surprise to buyers, because underneath the full designed body are some mechanical bits borrowed from Volkswagens electric cars, its sort of like copying your homework from the clever kid in class, sort of a fake fault or a fraud. Even that means it shares the motor or Motors if you opt for the four wheel, drive version and battery packs with cars like the id4 and skoda enyak. But there is one thing which the class swap VW has never managed to get right and thats the infotainment systems, so fault has used its own phew.
Behind this squircle steering wheel, which is half square and half circle, are some stalks here which only recognize from a Volkswagen ID buzz and we didnt like them in that and I dont think were going to like them here either. So this one here does the gears and this one does everything else so youve got this kind of Rubiks Cube puzzle to solve. If you want to turn on the rear wiper, there are a few other Volkswagen influencers and the one that worries me most. Is these window switches here now there are only two buttons to do four windows and it means you have to press buttons and take your eye off the road to get it to work properly. It really annoys me in the bournal. I think its going to annoy me here too. I really like the seats now. This is the top level version, so they are just 12 ways electrically and theyre covered in something which looks like leather but is actually called sensiko, which is an artificial leather theres. Also much more of a quality feel in here everywhere. I prop theres some really nice soft touch materials, but lets see how it is in the back now some of the Plastics arent, quite as nice as they are in the front of the car, but it doesnt feel quite the contrast that you get in, like a Volkswagen ID3 theres loads of knee room here, although the floor does feel quite high up, presumably because theres batteries under that space now theres another Headroom too now Im not particularly tall at five foot eight.
But you can see theres theres a big gap between me and that glass there, but if I was right on the edge because theres three people in the back here, I think I might bang my head on this roof lining there confusingly Ford hasnt confirmed the battery Capacities yet – and they might not be quite the same as the VW and skoda equivalents. However, Ford has given the range figures and does seem to have teased a bit more power from some of the motors too. The entry level Explorer will use 170 horsepower motor driving the rear wheels with an official range of up to 218 miles. It will charge it up to 130 kilowatts at a suitable rapid DC point. A 286 horsepower rear wheel, drive variant with a bigger battery, will take a charger up to 170 kilowatts and have an official range of 335 miles. If I was to guess Id say it has a capacity of about 82 kilowatt hours. Big daddy is this version, which has two Motors and 340 horsepower. Its also got the bigger battery, so the range will be over 300 miles, its estimated now at 304 horsepower, which is plenty for a family car, is almost identical to a Tesla Model Y, which Im sure is no coincidence using a rapid charger. Both batteries will charge from 10 to 80 percent in around 25 minutes, using this flap on the rear wing. Here you also get to look at the nicer sticker on the side here you can tow with them too, with limits of between a thousand and 1200 kilograms.
Oh and all Explorers have a heat pump, which extracts a warmth from the surrounding air to heat the interior, its a bit like putting the aircon in reverse and is far more efficient than using heating elements powered from the bathroom. So the boot capacity is 450 liters, which is quite a lot less than an id4 or a skoda enyag, but its a lot bigger than an ID3 or a Nissan Leaf, for example, with the seats down its 1400 liters. Those figures are about the same as a Toyota, bz4x or a Nissan area. Now initially, I thought Ford had done what Tesla have done and just got rid of the rear parcel shelf, but its clever than that theyve made it fixed to the rear tailgate. So it goes up here when you open the boot. That means you can get rid of the side supports here, and you have a bit more space to put stuff in just remember its there. If youve got a dog in the back, if you like the look of the Explorer youre going to have to wait until the Autumn before theres one covered in balloons and Bunting in your local Ford dealer, we dont know a price yet either. But Id guess its going to be somewhere between the Volkswagen IDs, starting at between 35 and 40 000 pounds that will leave some space in the range for the smaller electric Puma, which well see in 2024. Sometime its going to be a couple of months before we get a go behind the wheel, but Im pretty sure Ford will want to put its own stamp on those borrowed mechanical bits.