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Discussion Starter #1
The 2010 Ford retirees meeting is going on this afternoon across the street from my office. They have it every year during the industry think-tank week which brings up all the brass from GM/Ford/Chrysler.
They also bring in some models from the upcoming year - so I thought I'd share a few with the forum:



2011 Mustang GT/cs 5.0, 6 speed auto. Sticker 46-5



2011 Explorer. Very nice interior on these.



2011 Ford Fiesta. The nightmare heap of the 80s, reborn and looking sweet. Nice entry level car.
 

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1992 Town Car Cartier & 2014 Accord LX MTX
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I've seen a few Fiestas around in the last week. Looks like they're finally hitting showrooms. I have to agree, they're quite nice for that segment. Not my cup of tea, but nice cars for those in that segment. I'd definitely take one over a Fit, Scion or Yaris.

It's funny, everyone's complaining about the Explorer being unibody, but it's oldest competitor, the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, have been unibody since their respective introductions in 1984 & 93, and they're fantastic off-roaders. What angers me more about the Explorer is it's I-4 and V-6 engine layouts.
 

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02 Escalade | 02 Corvette "Goldilocks" | 03 Blazer 4x4 | 92 Caprice Wagon LS1/T56
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That Explorer is hideous...

Then again, I guess they all are. lol

Fiesta isn't bad for what it is. I've yet to see one.
 

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2011 Crown Vic LX, 2009 Chevy Malibu 2LT
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The Explorer being unibody isnt an issue. Its that its a jacked up Taurus.

But I'm sure most owners won't notice.
Why isn't that a good thing? The Taurus' underpinnings are excellent and are probably perfect for the Exploder.



Even left as it is, I'm sure that's plenty beefy for an Explorer. Being multilink, it probably won't ride like an ox-cart like the Explorer has in the past.
 

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2002 Seville STS F55, 2006 Mazda Miata
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Why isn't that a good thing? The Taurus' underpinnings are excellent and are probably perfect for the Exploder.



Even left as it is, I'm sure that's plenty beefy for an Explorer. Being multilink, it probably won't ride like an ox-cart like the Explorer has in the past.
Because of the potential for it to be another Honda Ridgeline.
 

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I think that class of vehicle is exactly where the Explorer should be. Have you paid attention to the new Explorers roaming the streets? They are monsterous! Especially in the last 10 years, the Explorer was getting bloated/overweight, almost leaving Ford competing within itself with the Expedition. In fact, I'm pretty sure that in the last 10 years you could even get the same drivetrains in the two. The company should never be competing with itself. Something had to change. I think it's a smart move to make this a crossover and leave the full sized SUV to the Expedition.

The problem with Honda was that there was no larger offering from them. They only had the compact CRV and the midsized Ridgline with no fullsized. Because the Ridgeline is Honda's largest, I think everyone mistakes it for Honda's fullsized and is then obviously let down since that's not what it's supposed to be.

At least with Ford, if you don't like the Explorer you can step up to the Expedition or step down to the Escape and everyones happy. Each vehicle has an identity and is not too closely related to the other, maximizing Fords ability to market these vehicles. If the Explorer continued on the path it was, I think that eventually Ford would have had a hard time marketing the Explorer against the Expedition and something would have gotten the axe, leaving a huge hole in Fords lineup.
 

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I'm gonna have to agree with Drew on this one. I do think that the modern day Explorers are a bit too large. The 1990-01 Explorers were a great size IMO. Too bad there aren't really any SUV's in that size class anymore. GM's Trailblazers/Envoy/Rainier are bigger than the S-10 based trucks in all ways, and the Durango was always bigger than the early explorers, but smaller than the Tahoe/Suburban. Even Toyota's 4-Runner has gotten to be quite large nowadays. Anyways, the size difference between the Explorer and Expedition, nowadays, is very small (pun not intended).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
How many Explorers have you seen romping down a muddy two track? At least they're not pretending anymore. These are street cars for city people in northern climates.
 

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How many Explorers have you seen romping down a muddy two track? At least they're not pretending anymore. These are street cars for city people in northern climates.
A lot, surprisingly. I used to own a '91 (and for one weekend, a 96). The forums and clubs have a dedicated group of serious off-roaders. Its also true that as the Explorer grew and softened, the off-road enthusiasm died down significantly.

The percentage of Explorers used on anything but pavement is very low, probably lower than Cherokees and Grand Cherokees, but more Explorers were sold. A lot of them also get used for towing. Out of the box, they aren't as good off road as Cherokees, but a few cheap mods are all they need.


Really, if GM is able to put a new badge on a new class of vehicle (Acadia, Outlook, Traverse, Enclave) and sell all of them at a rapid pace, there's no reason for Ford to use the damaged Explorer name on a crossover. Its a much different vehicle, and after the Firestone debacle, there isn't a whole lot of enormous goodwill behind it.
 

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I agree with Jesda in not using the Explorer name. I always think back to those poorly built 1990's models. Notice that you don't see any more 90's Explorers around, but you still see 4 Runners, Pathfinders, Blazers on the road.
 

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The Explorer was the #1 trade in C4C last year.
 

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^ That

Goverment was giving you 2-3 times what your worn out Exploder was really worth.
 

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A friend has a 99 or maybe 2000 Blazer, 4 door. It has 120k miles on it, and its amazing how well its held up. Doesn't squeak/rattle/interior is mint, really looks like it only has maybe half the miles on it.
 

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I still miss my '93 Blazer, was a great truck.

As for Ford, I approve of just about everything they're doing right now. If I were to buy a new domestic today, it would have a blue oval on it.
 

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What's really funny is that a 4.3 powered Blazer is quicker than a 5.0 powered Explorer.
 
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