New Ford Explorer leaves the truck behind

CNET Car Tech reviews the 2011 Ford Explorer XLT.

2011 Ford Explorer XLT
Josh Miller/CNET

We were pretty excited to see the 2011 Explorer, as Ford completely modernized this vehicle. Gone is the frame-based architecture in favor of an independent suspension. And the console gets nifty touch buttons for climate control, while MyFord Touch makes up the new interface. Ford is also boasting its new four-cylinder Ecoboost engine for the Explorer, although that model is not available yet.

But ultimately, the Explorer did not meet our expectations. The current 3.5-liter V-6 is modern enough, but leaves this SUV feeling underpowered. The new navigation system frequently lost its bearings, and had a hard time relocating the vehicle, and the MyFord Touch interface proved sluggish. The new Explorer makes a decent suburban family hauler, but doesn't seem as multiuse as it should be.

Check out our 2011 Ford Explorer XLT review.

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