2011 Ford Explorer: an SUV or a crossover?

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2010

In response to the question likely intriguing many fans, Ford has disclosed that the redesigned 2011 Ford Explorer will be an SUV (rather than a crossover).

But then this model is actually in an evolving subniche that is affected by a shift throughout the industry. The Explorer shares a front-drive car platform with the Taurus and will boast a fuel economy that's similar to that of a crossover.

Replacing the boxy SUV styling are clean, aerodynamic lines. Ford asserted that its reduced towing capability will still be able to comply with the requirements of most buyers.

As the trend moves away from conventional SUVs, different combinations are being created. The vehicles are found in a spectrum that could either be said to be designed closer to an SUV or more similar to the redesigned 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The Chevrolet Traverse is certainly closer to crossovers. At the middle, there's the Explorer. However, Ford emphasizes that the redesigned Explorer as an SUV should not be underestimated.

Said Deep, a Ford spokesman, asserted that this model will do everything that an SUV customer wants it to do." He clarified on his next statement though that what he meant was most customers.

For instance, if customers want a vehicle that can rock-crawl, there's another brand for that. The redesigned Explorer ignored the traditional SUV formula, including: rugged body-on-frame construction, rear-wheel drive, V-8 power and four-wheel drive with low gears for serious off-roading.

Ford Explorer doesn't have any of these but Derrick Kuzak, Ford's head of global product development, claimed that the intent was still to develop an SUV.

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