November 20, 2017

Ford Explorer Sport 2013

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I almost feel bad for the Ford Explorer Sport.  It was delivered to my door right as the Cadillac ATS was being driven away.  The change in pace, size and style was almost hard to overlook.  Lucky for the Explorer Sport it snowed that same day and I was traveling from one state to another.  The long drive through suburban roads, a city and on major highways showed me exactly what this SUV could do and how it handled in all sorts of driving conditions.

Boasting 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway (the best in its category) the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport is a high-performance SUV with 365 hp EcoBoost power and Terrain Management System.  It beats out the Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango and Land Rover Range Rover Sport by several miles per gallon.  It is also very safe.  This model has the new standard front-passenger knee airbags, Curve Control that can slow a vehicle up to 10 mph if a curve is being taken too fast and BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with a cross-traffic alert.  The Inflatable rear seat belts (available in the XLT) is a first and gives the passenger correct seating and more safety by evenly offering protection across the body.  I wonder how it works in conjunction with booster seats and car seats though.

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On the inside the Explorer Sport has the latest SYNC system with MyFord Touch and two-toned leather seats with a slightly sportier design.  MyKey allows parental controls on driving speeds (nice touch) and the Push to Start with its ability to start the car before you enter it is not to be taken for granted.  This was a feature I used not just in the cold weather but late night parking lots at my gym, hardware store and grocery store.  The interior is comfortable for all passengers with an average amount of space in the second and third row (between 39.6-40.6 inches of legroom).  I was able to fit three booster seats and one large convertible car seat within it.  A Safety Canopy System gives passengers side air curtain protection in both the first and second rows.  Ford has done wonders with safety in its latest cars.  Each year brings something new and I love the s SOS Post-Crash Alert System and AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control).  A dial by the gear shift allows you to choose the terrain you are driving on and for the Explorer to really go to work. I used this feature going up steep hills and in the snow and found it to be safe, calming and easy to employ.  It seats up to seven passengers but I would say six comfortably.  The seats in the third row fold down fast and I was able to configure the cargo space to suit my needs during the week I tested it.

The exterior on the Explorer Sport showcases 20-inch all-season wheels and a unique grille that is both aggressive and strong. It has a sporty quality to it that doesn’t look overdone.  It holds up to 18.6 gallons of fuel and has 350 lb-ft. of torque to accompany the 365 horsepower.  It is a standard six-speed transmission SelectShift Automatic 6F55 with paddle activation for precise control.   This 4WD can also tow up to 5,000 lbs.

Inside and out the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport is a fun, safe ride that offers comfort and reliability for all of its passengers.  It rides well and has good pick-up when you need it and medium to strong feeling when braking.  The steering is smoother than some SUV’s in its class and you feel confident when driving this vehicle.  It’s a practical car for a family or the active individual.  MSRP on the Ford Explorer Sport starts at $40, 780 and goes up from there.

 

MPR Rating: Four Stars.

Disclaimer:  MPR was not paid for this post. Products received are for review purposes only.  Opinions are MPR’s only.