In a road test, the all-wheel drive Ford Explorer was found to have responsible steering and firm suspension. With a 300-horsepower turbocharged engine, the Ford Explorer gets up to speed quickly.
Overall on its road test, Consumer Reports gave the 2021 Ford Explorer 78 out of 100. It got 4 out of 5 for routine handling, acceleration, and braking.
Inside, the Ford Explorer offers plenty of headroom and a wide range of seat adjustments. Its front and rear seat comfort were both ranked 4 out of 5. Consumer Reports also notes that the Ford Explorer’s seating and cargo areas are easy to reconfigure.
Even though the Ford Explorer has responsible steering and firm suspension, Consumer Reports suggests the ride quality is not up to par with rivals. The vehicle has a noisy engine, "clunky" transmission, and there is frequent jiggling in the cabin.
The review also pointed out that the Ford Explorer does not have a fuel economy advantage over some of its competitors, and that low-speed shifts from the 10-speed automatic transmission are "noticeably rough."
While its front seat and rear seat comfort ratings are good, the third-row seat comfort only scores 1 out of 5. This is because the third-row seat is low, which forces the knees to bend uncomfortably and offers no leg support for adults.
Perhaps worst of all, in terms of predicted reliability, Consumer Reports only gave the Ford Explorer 1 out of 5.
Despite the negatives cited by Consumer Reports, the 2021 Ford Explorer has a lot going for it and remains popular in the market. It just goes to show that sometimes there is a disconnect between what critics and drivers are looking for.
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Lisa Steuer McArdle is an insurance writer with over 15 years of experience writing and editing content in a variety of industries, including insurance and personal finance. Lisa specializes in taking deep dives into make and model-specific content that helps car owners and buyers make solid money-saving choices. Lisa has written over 350 articles for Jerry on topics including electric vehicles to classic cars. Before joining Jerry, Lisa worked in various aspects of the printing industry as a content writer, developer, and editor and earned her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Lycoming College.