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2011 Ford Explorer Named An IIHS Top Safety Pick

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2011 Ford Explorer

2011 Ford Explorer

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For the first time ever, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the Ford Explorer its Top Safety Pick Designation—meaning that the Explorer has achieved top 'good' ratings in frontal, side, and rear-impact tests, as well as 'good' roof strength results, from the insurance-supported group.

The all-new 2011 Ford Explorer, which is slated to begin reaching dealerships in January, takes a secure step toward the crossover side of the SUV realm—meaning it has a few more carlike driving experience, a bit more emphasis on passenger space, and even better attention to cabin appointments than previous versions. Ford hasn't entirely forgotten about off-roading either; as we reported in a First Drive of the Explorer, this ute gets a Land Rover-like multi-mode system that can still tackle steep slopes, mud, and sand.

The former Explorer, a longtime best-seller, failed to achieve top results in side impact, despite a full range of airbags and standard safety features in recent years. But the Explorer has been a top 'good' performer with respect to frontal impact since the 2002 model year.

The new 2011 Explorer has all the goods: dual front, side and curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control; and active headrests. Rear-seat inflatable seatbelts make their debut in the Explorer, and blind-spot detectors, adaptive cruise control and "curve control" that predicts tight corners are all available.

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