The Ford Explorer is a medium size crossover sport utility vehicle, one that utilizes unibody construction for a firmer, but lighter frame. The current generation Explorer was introduced for 2011, a seven-passenger model that is sold in front- or all-wheel-drive. The performance version of this popular SUV is called the Explorer Sport, a four-wheel-drive edition that features a turbocharged V-6 engine.
Engine and Transmission
Every 2013 Ford Explorer Sport is powered by a 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6 engine. That engine, trademarked as “EcoBoost” by Ford, also brings in direct fuel injection. Thus, you get an engine that produces 350 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and reaches 350 foot-pounds of torque within a range of 1,500 to 5,000 rpm according to Ford estimates.
The Explorer Sport’s engine is of aluminum block and head construction and has a 10.0 to 1 compression ratio. This engine measures 92.5 mm bore by 86.7 mm stroke. Ford pairs the Sport’s engine with a 6-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission. Paddle activation enables the driver to enjoy more spirited driving.
Fuel economy estimates are 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway. This vehicle takes regular grade gasoline, but premium gasoline improves its performance. An 18.6-gallon fuel tank is included.
Handling and Braking
The Explorer Sport is equipped with electric power-assisted steering. Its standard terrain management system “optimizes vehicle capability to specific situations” according to Ford. What that means is powertrain and braking controls interact for whatever driving and road conditions are present. A switchable knob activates the system, effectively delivering improved fuel economy as well.
This model is outfitted with MacPherson struts up front and an independent multilink suspension with a stabilizer bar in the rear. Front and rear vented disc brakes, four-wheel four-channel anti-lock brakes with traction control, and 20-inch all-season tires help to keep the Explorer Sport firmly planted.
Explorer Sport Dimensions
The 2013 Ford Explorer Sport sits on a 112.6-inch wheelbase and is 197.1 inches long by 90.2 inches wide by 71.0 inches tall. This model weighs 4,859 pounds and has a 5,000 pound towing capacity.
Total passenger volume measure 151.7 cubic feet and storage capacity is 21.0 cubic feet behind the third row seat. Behind the second row seat storage capacity increases to 43.8 cubic feet. Behind the first row seat storage capacity is a maximum of 80.7 cubic feet.
Front row headroom measures 40.6 inches; second and third row headroom comes in at 38.3 and 37.8 inches. These measurements reflect the standard moonroof.
First row legroom measures 40.6 inches; second row legroom is 39.8 inches; third row legroom comes in at 33.2 inches. First row shoulder room measures 61.3 inches; second row shoulder room is 61.0 inches and third row shoulder room is unavailable. First row hip room measures 56.3 inches; second and third row hip room measures 56.7 and 40.7 inches respectively.
As the flagship for the Explorer fleet, the Explorer Sport comes well equipped. Its interior features two-tone leather surfaces with contrasting stitching and unique Sport logos. This model features a tilt and telescopic steering column, dual zone climate control, a premium Sony audio system with 12 speakers, and Ford SYNC. Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities, an available navigation system and SiriusXM satellite radio are among the amenities found in the Explorer Sport.
On the exterior, blacked-out features give this model a sporty look and its 20-inch alloy wheels are a statement maker. This model includes MyKey, curve control, an available blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, and an airbag system with driver and front passenger knee airbags.