WTH is it with you old fogie, old school, stick-in-the-mud Ford truck people??? Ever hear of progress .......... change ......... the new world? Don't you think Ford engineers knew what they were doing when they built the NEW EXPLORER....... killed off the Ranger and Sport Trac ????
They obviously had a rectal-cranial inversion !!!
'94 F150 4x4 4.9L/M5ODR2/3.55(H9) 160K miles
'02 Escape XLT 3.0L DOHC/auto 165K miles
'14 TRANSIT Connect 2.5L DOHC
I've seen how they are set up, and while I don't like the transverse design, they are very solidly built. It is a very robust design. Sure it will be a lot harder to lift, but it actually has great ground clearance as is. It has tons of power, a lot more than the old V8 ever had even with the base 3.5L V6.
You can get stuck up on your old school opinions, but run a stock '11 or newer Explorer against a stock older Explorer, it will out corner, out pull, out run, out off road the old one, plus it looks better and gets better gas mileage too.
It sure will. That new 6 speed trans is much tougher, and you are confusing transverse mount engine with FWD. Yes, the base model is FWD, but the model that most people will actually buy who would care will be the 4WD, which does transfer power to all 4 wheels. Between the power and the transmission, I would say these will definitely out tow a V8.
The basic 3.5L found in the Taurus you have spent time in still has as much power and torque as the V8 found in the previous year model. However, the 3.5L in the Explorer produces more power than the one in the Taurus.
Sounds to me like you are making a lot of assumptions about something you have not test driven. I tried one, have to say I am impressed. The transverse layout, while I'm not thrilled with it, it can easily be overlooked unless you plan on doing a lot of hardcore offroad stuff, tasks best left to an older model that you are ok with beating up a little anyway.
Simple fact, at least 90% of Explorers sold will rarely if ever go off road. That being said, fuel economy trumps an antiquated design. Ford has to decide where they stand, to they pander to a minority market? Or do they embrace the future?
Your older Explorers will be around for a while. So at least be greatful that your platform was not entirely discontinued, like the Ranger was.
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