I'm not much of an SUV guy, I like pickups more, but I do like the Explorer.
But there is room for improvement in a big way.
Recently a good friend of mine, was in the market for a new SUV. He called me because he knows I'm a car nut. I of course tried to push him towards the Explorer, but he ended up buying a Chevy Trailblazer instead. Now it would have been a tough sell for me. You see, his new Trailblazer with the 4.2 L I6 has 275 hp and the Explorer's 4.0L V-6 only has 210 hp. To beat the Chevy he would have had to opt for the V-8 and even then I don't think it would. The last time I checked, the 4.6 L SOHC V-8 made 260 hp, not 275.
Another deciding factor for him was price and the Chevy came in over $2,000 cheaper even with the XM radio, Moonroof and Leather interior.
As much of a Ford fan as I am, I could not seriously tell him he was wrong. He aslo checked Jeep and Dodge and they were more expensive.
When you think about it, the Explorer while being one of the best selling SUVs on the market, is one of the lowest powered. Hell even the Nissan Extera has a 265 hp V-6. Ford, you need to do something about this and quick. The 4.0 SOHC V-6 is too wimpy and sucks gas as bad as some V-8s.
Does anyone at Ford listen? Do they care? Am I going to buy elsewhere?
Hell anyone who knows me, would say probably not to that last one, but the truth be known I have had non Ford vehicles before. Here's the list;
1968 Pontiac Tempest
1977 Plymouth Fury
1978 Chevy Monza
1981 Chevy K-10 Stepside Pickup
1984 Honda Accord
1994 Chevy S-10 SS
So loyalty is one thing, but buying power is another.
Of the above only the SS S-10 was bought new, and my friends gave me a hard time. Me a Ford fanatic driving a Chevy. But the S-10 had 195 hp, while my Ford Ranger has 170 hp.
The only reason I traded the Chevy in on the Ford, was that I needed 4 wheel drive and Chevy S-10's went up in price.
Ford has to do something about this before they loose more market share.