Made tough and certainly a reliable brand, the new Ford Explorer Sport is poised to take those loyal to Ford and looking for that zippy mid-sized SUV to task. The 2014 is outfitted with “sporty” accessories and design elements, but truly reaches the definition of its name with the 3.5-liter twin turbo V6 engine.
Delivering 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque, this mean version of the Explorer is not going to disappoint. While the power may be too much for this size SUV, it is quick and reliably powerful. It takes some getting used to the speed capabilities when driving initially because the EcoBoost® twin turbo does lurch a bit and does not have the “roar” that one may desire in a souped-up vehicle. The 6-speed SelectShift Automatic® is smooth and features paddle shifters that truly make using the powerful engine a cinch. Gear changes come easily and this Ford engine can handle the higher RPMs.
The Sport features a suspension package that makes cornering and performance a comfort. The “sport-tuned” suspension is meant to perform on tight corners while remaining stable. The wider stance of the Explorer design has given this model a mean look since its redesign in 2010. The Sport comes complete with a black painted grill with “sterling gray” mesh, giving the front end a tougher than tough appearance. The “blackout treatment” on the headlights and the taillights coupled with the 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted black pockets makes for a noticeably mean arrival.
The interior is well planned and comfortable with the standard-feature sport-style “perforated” leather-trimmed heated bucket seats. Stitched to maintain a sporty look, the interior is quite impressive with seats that offer 10-way adjustable power and lumbar support. The second row includes a captain’s chair-style of seating with space between, and a third row is fully tuck-away-able. Space is so well engineered that passenger’s may feel they are in a full-sized SUV. The back storage is spacious and conveniently adjustable for small items or large loads.
2014 Ford Explorer Sport
City MPG 22
Hwy MPG 16
0-60 MPH 5.5 sec
Transmission 6-speed automatic
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