2014 Ford ExplorerBuying Guide • Review • Research
The Top 10 Reasons Why You May want to Buy a 2014 Ford Explorer:
What's new for 2014
The 2014 Ford Explorer offers new options that the 2013 didn't have. A fully electric steering wheel, automatic headlamps and larger brakes for increased stopping ability for all trim levels. The Limited comes with standard second-row heated seats.
Ten Reasons to buy a 2014 Ford Explorer - The pros
Multiple trim styles
The 2014 Ford Explorer has four trim levels to choose from, with a price range of $30,910 to $41,675 MSRP. This midsize SUV has a package for every discerning buyer: Explorer, XLT, Limited and Sport. The Explorer, XLT and Limited come standard with a 3.5L TiVCT V6 engine, boasting 290 horsepower. There is also an option for a 2.0L 4-cyl EcoBoost® with 240 horsepower. The 2014 Explorer Sport model is standard with a 3.5L V6 EcoBoost® with twin turbo, delivering 365 horsepower.
A combination of three technologies the 2.0L 4-cyl EcoBoost® engine puts out 240 horsepower built to produce the performance of a V6. Direct injection, turbocharging and twin independent variable cam timing (Ti-VCT) provides 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. This option is available for the Explorer, XLT and Limited trim styles. For a little more power, the Sport has a 3.5L V6 EcoBoost® with twin turbo and a 6-speed SelectShift Automatic® transmission has steering wheel mounted paddle shifters for changing gears easily. The 3.5L V6 EcoBoost® estimates 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.
Multiple available features
The 2014 Ford Explorer hosts a wealth of standard and optional features to make the daily commute safe and enjoyable. Electronic power assist steering uses a motor instead of hydraulics, allowing the steering wheel to move and adjust with ease. 6-way power driver and passenger front seats with lumbar support ensures a comfortable ride, no matter how long the trip. The Easy Fuel® Capless fuel filler makes stopping at the local gas station a breeze and eliminates worries of leaving the cap behind.
The 2014 For Explorer has developed a luxurious feel with interior improvements. Using high quality materials, the Explorer comes standard with cloth seats, an air filtration system, power windows, doors and locks, and a manual tilt/telescoping steering column. The XLT has cloth seats with an optional leather trim while the Limited comes with standard leather trimmed seats. The Sport level has a special perforated leather-trimmed seating to give it a more rugged look.
Perfect family crossover vehicle
The designers had active families in mind when sketching out the 2014 Ford Explorer. Three rows seat seven, providing ample room and cargo space. The 2nd and 3rd rows fold down for up to 80.7 cubic feet of cargo space. In the upright position, there are 32 cubic feet of space and a storage area behind the 3rd row. The seats fold down easily; however, there is a power optional available as well. The XLT, Limited and Sport offer bucket seats instead of the 2nd row bench seat.
The 2014 Ford Explorer has a 5-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is the top safety pick for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Safety Canopy® System has a combination of side curtain airbags are standard on the XLT, Limited and Sport trim with the option of inflatable seatbelts in the 2nd and 3rd rows. The inflatable seatbelts are bundled with blind spot monitors. Other safety features include curve control, a lane keeping system, trailer sway control and Hill start assist.
Excellent ride quality
The 2014 Ford Explorer steps away from its trucking past by constructing a carlike unibody frame, similar to other crossover vehicles. This construction provides fuel efficiency, added interior space and a smoother ride. The Explorer, XLT and Limited come with independent front and rear suspension systems. A new addition to the 2014 Ford Explorer are brakes with improved stopping ability.
Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System™
The 2014 Ford Explorer introduces an Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System™ which allows the vehicle to provide the optimal amount of traction necessary. Depending on road conditions, this system guides the powertrain and braking through mud, snow, grass, gravel and sand. It has Hill Descent Control™ and maintains a steady speed while driving downhill. The Sport model is the only trim where this feature is standard.
Loaded with technology
The optional tech features available for the 2014 Ford Explorer are extensive. No more fumbling for keys with intelligent access and push button start. A rear view camera helps with parking and playing with children. The remote start system combined with the automatic climate control system is a necessity on cold winter mornings. If parallel parking has always been a weakness, active park assist literally takes the problem out of the driver's hands. Adaptive cruise control uses lasers to detect changes in traffic and will modify the vehicle's acceleration.
SYNC® with MyFord® or MyFord Touch™
SYNC® with MyFord® uses voice activated commands from changing the music to hands free calling. It is Bluetooth® capable for wireless music devices and has a 4.2-inch cluster screen displays information. With the available navigation system, turn by turn directions to any destination. SYNC® with MyFord Touch™ takes it a bit further with a customizable eight-inch touchscreen and dual 4.2-inch cluster screens. It also has audio/video input jacks, two USB ports, Wifi® capability and voice commands for climate adjustment.
Reasons You may Not Want to Buy a 2014 Ford Explorer - The Cons
Even with all the mechanical and technological improvements, the 2014 Ford Explorer does have a few drawbacks.
The Chevrolet Traverse has more legroom and cargo space, extending up to 106 cubic feet and dwarfing the 80.7 cubic feet of the Explorer.
SYNC® with MyFord Touch™ infotainment system has a sharp learning curve. While it is an impressive tool for the daily commuter, the multiple features can be frustrating at first.
The internal structure of the vehicle creates a few blind spots and impairs visibility.
Although more fuel efficient, the unibody structure diminishes the towing ability to 5000 pounds. The Dodge Durango has more towing capacity at 6,200 pounds for its V6 engine, with 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
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The 2014 Ford Explorer has so many trim models, it's hard not to choose a style for any discerning driver. Packed with technology and safety features, this vehicle can tackle traffic and the great outdoors for family vacations. While other manufacturers offer crossovers with similar features, the 2014 Ford Explorer proves tradition can always be improved.