As milestones go, achieving 100,000 sales of a redesigned vehicle is pretty impressive. Now that the new Ford Explorer has reached that pinnacle, the Dearborn, Michigan automaker is touting that the Explorer is the fastest-growing mid-size utility in the country.
This may be some comfort to the Blue Oval folks after what has to be a stinging blow from Consumer Reports’ 2011 Annual Car Reliability Survey (subscription required) showing Ford dropping to 20th spot this year, from 10th place last year. This was attributed to three new models that “blemished” Ford’s record: the Explorer, Fiesta and Focus, all with below-average reliability.
Still, consumers are gravitating to the new Explorer crossover SUV. Ford switched from the Explorer’s previous truck-based architecture to car-based underpinnings, dramatically changed the styling, and introduced the fuel-efficient 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine for the 2012 model year. Being the owner of the newest Explorer certainly has some appeal.
As noted in TheCarConnection, our sister publication, Ford conducted extensive research with consumers prior to developing the 2011 Explorer and, contrary to some critics’ issues with its unibody construction, reduced towing capacity and somewhat limited off-road capability, consumers seem to like the new version.
As for the fuel-efficient EcoBoost engine, now available in the Explorer and Edge, Ford says sales of models equipped with the engine are up 15 percent.
See why FamilyCarGuide gives the 2012 Ford Explorer an overall 9 (out of 10) rating here.