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2011 Ford Explorer Photo
7.0
/ 10
On Green
BASE INVOICE
$26,886
BASE MSRP
$28,360
On Green
Better than average in the crossover class, the 2011 Ford Explorer scales down its powerplants to score big fuel-economy improvements.
7.0 out of 10
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GREEN | 7 out of 10

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EPA

Gas mileage is notably better.
New York Times

...The new version comes with a 25% improvement in fuel economy over the 2010 version, up to 25 miles per gallon on the highway.
Los Angeles Times



Ford's earned some wide green stripes in the past few years with its Fusion Hybrid sedan and the Fiesta fuel-miser hatchback.

With the Explorer, it's going to grab more green, since the new ute has made a sea-change, with smaller-displacement engines and turbocharging taking the place of big, old, inefficient V-8 engines.

The only engine available with the Explorer as of yet is the 3.5-liter V-6. The EPA hasn't yet confirmed its ratings, but Ford says it's looking at fuel-economy scores of 17/25 mpg, with all-wheel-drive versions likely to drop a mile or two per gallon from that figure. On a long day trip in a loaded Explorer XLT AWD, we netted a nice, round 20 mpg. Ford says numbers like those are a 25-percent improvement over the previous Explorer's base V-6, while the actual street performance feels as good as the outgoing V-8. Those numbers also are a bit better than the Flex's 17/24 mpg, and a boost over the Grand Cherokee V-6's 16/23 mpg.

Ford's prepping a 237-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for this new Explorer, and it's claiming fuel-economy improvements of 32 percent for that powerplant. We weren't able to drive it--it's not available until mid-2011.

Conclusion

Better than average in the crossover class, the 2011 Ford Explorer scales down its powerplants to score big fuel-economy improvements.

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