Ford Explorer 2014 Luxury SUV Review
Ford Explorer 2014 Luxury SUV Review. It’s not as versatile or roomy as some other large crossover SUVs, but the Ford Explorer 2014 is still a respectable pick in this class thanks to it’s high-end cabin and long list of advanced features.
Only minor changes are in store for the Ford Explorer 2014. Among them are automatic on/off headlights with wiper activation that become standard on all models, and 2nd-row heated seats that are now included in Limited models. Just as the latest-gen Explorer shed its old skin for a more refined, contemporary image, and so it goes when you hop behind the wheel. The Explorer feels more like… a soft-sprung sedan than a rigid truck because its underpinnings are essentially the former. This makes for a comfortable ride. Visibility to the front and sides is good thanks to a commanding view from the driver’s seat. But rearward visibility suffers from blind spots. We quickly became thankful for the wide-view mirrors and available blind-spot monitoring system. The Ford Explorer 2014 is a large crossover SUV available in base, XLT, Limited and Sport trim levels.
All Ford Explorers, except for the Ford Explorer Sport, come standard with a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 hp and 255 pound-feet of torque along with a six-speed automatic transmission. With this engine, you have your choice of front-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive (there is no low-range gearing). Four-wheel-drive models have Ford’s Terrain Management System, a selectable four-mode system that optimizes traction electronically for different conditions. Hill descent control and hill start assist are also included. In testing, a 4WD Ford Explorer 2014 Limited with the base V6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, while a lighter 4WD XLT model was slightly quicker at 8.1 seconds. A front-drive V6 Explorer returns an EPA-estimated 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway and 20 mpg combined, also average for the class. Four-wheel drive lowers this to a still respectable 16/22/18. Optional on all front-wheel-drive Ford Explorers is the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. It also uses the six-speed automatic transmission. In testing, a four-cylinder-equipped Ford Explorer 2014 went from zero to 60 mph in 9.1 seconds, which is on the slow side for the class. Fuel economy, however, is best-in-class at 20/28/23. The Explorer Sport is 4WD only, and it comes with a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine and the six-speed automatic. The turbo V6 is rated at 365 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
The Ford Explorer 2014 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting at $30,495 for a base version with front-wheel drive. The mid-level XLT version starts at $33,495, and a top-trim Sport model is $41,675 before options.