Would the real Explorer stand up

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 09:22
ThreadID: 9766 Views:2061 Replies:8 FollowUps:8
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Latest 4x4 Monthly did a write up on Ford explorers As did 4x4 australia in November (I think) Dunno if any one else has read both articles but you would be forgiven for thinking they were writing about different vehicles whos right?
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Reply By: Roachie - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 09:43

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 09:43
I agree with you about different journo's having a different view of a particular product. Take the recent driving light comparo in 4wd Monthly.....compare their opinion of the Lightforce 170 driving light with 4X4 Australia's in their September 2002 issue. 4WD Monthly reckon they're fantastic, whereas 4X4 Australia say they weren't very good. I use 240 Blitz's and swear by them for what it's worth.
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Reply By: flappan - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 10:00

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 10:00
Which ever one said the Explorer was crap, I would agree with.

These vehicle tests to a large % are just journo's views. Read em all, take from them what you want, test drive the vehicle yourself , then make a decision based on your experiences. Simple really.

Bit like reviewing Movies. I find the movies I like seemed to be ALWAYS bagged by the critics . . . But then no one has accused me of having exceptional taste.

PS. I still think the Explorers are crap.
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Follow Up By: cokeaddict - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 12:53

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 12:53
Just make sure when you road test one, you take it off road. I'm sure if its just a quick test that you will be impressed with how smooth it rides on the black stuff, but if your intention is to take it offroad for some medium level stuff, then you will see how limited its ability is offroad.

In my opinion, its really just a BIG family car, not a true 4wd.I love it when you talk DIRTY !
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Reply By: pathfinder - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 12:40

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 12:40
4WDMonthly has more of and off-road bias than Overlander and 4x4 which are a bit more conservative/touring biased. 4WDMonthly also seems to be a bit more fearless than the others and doesn't shy away from bagging advertisers products. Their testing is also a bit more rigorous than in other mags who usually just tend to quote from manufacturer's promotional material and say how wonderful everything is...
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Follow Up By: ross - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 14:55

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 14:55
Another thing to remember is magazines rely on advertising to offset the cost of publication and if you bag a particular brand too much they will take their dollars elsewhere. Car companies can not win a magazines "car of the year" unless they advertise in the mag .
If you look back at some magazines such as Wheels who voted the Sigma car of the year in 7? you see just how much the advertising dollar can affect a journos thinking.
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Follow Up By: Dennis (Brisbane) - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 20:52

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 20:52
or the BA Falcon.............

We got the upmarket Fairmont versions at work and they are crap compared to the Commodore Acclaim. They sit out the back and everyone fights to get the Commodore.

Yet that was last years COTY.
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Follow Up By: Dennis (Brisbane) - Friday, Jan 16, 2004 at 00:19

Friday, Jan 16, 2004 at 00:19
Further demonstration, I just found this........ direct quote from the Age.


**** Toyota has also gone to extraordinary lengths to test new campaigns, including a deal with PBL's Carpoint website. Coincidentally, it happens to be the week Holden has chosen to launch its updated VY Commodore.

Toyota also claims to have bought 10,000 copies of the respected enthusiast magazine Wheels in a deal to ensure the Camry appears on the cover.

"We're doing great things with the media giants in some sort of collaboration with the Packer press," Mr Conomos said***

So they buy 10 000 copies and throw them in the bin just to get a picture on the cover? What a f**ked up world we are creating.
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Follow Up By: Davoe - Friday, Jan 16, 2004 at 03:12

Friday, Jan 16, 2004 at 03:12
Pathfinder, Thats what I thought but the 2 writeups were on used explorers and 4x4 Australia were absulutly scathing not only on its off road ability which both mags agreed was modest but on a host of other issues including reliability, build quality and difficulty to work on. Whereas 4x4 monthley either directly contradicted some of the other mags statements or didnt address them. They were reasnably complimentary of it. For my money the article in 4x4 Australia seemed much better researched. Could be alot of truth in the advertising thing though- makes sense
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 18:54

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 18:54
I try to stay away from issues I know nothing about but I have seen first hand a Ford Explorer "melted" on the CSR this year. I have AMAZING photos of the state it was in and the story can be read in our CSR journal - go to the Trip Planning Menu at the top of the site here now, then pull down to Journals and click on the CSR Well 33 - Halls Creek link or take this link to it directly
There's a pic I took on the page of the melted Explorer. We were there first hand and spent at least an hour going over it to determine the cause. We do not believe it was caused by spinifex build up, but indeed a fire with flames licking on beneath the engine bay had been what stopped it. The determined cause was some malfunction in the engine bay/electrics and it was suprising to see how flamable the chasis and engine bay actually was. There was a lot of fyberglass lying around - you know? Certainly wasn't a good wrap for the Explorer in our opinion....Regards Michelle,
Spread the word - ExplorOz.com
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Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 19:02

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 19:02
That's exactly why they're nicknamed "Ford Exploders" lol.Nice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
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Reply By: mik*2 - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 22:36

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 22:36
whilst trying to find info on the 2003 Navara, Overlander magazine tore threads of the Navara, 4x4 Monthly, correct me if I'm wrong, gave it 4x4 ute of the year....work that one out. I've decided just to look at the pictures from now on!

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Reply By: Rowie - Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 22:44

Thursday, Jan 15, 2004 at 22:44
I too have had first hand experience with the Ford Explorer as an Emergency Service Vehicle. Since 1988, having driven Landcruiser 80's (great vehicles) & 100's and all the Patrol diesel combos since 1988, I can assure every member of this group, that the most disappointing 4WD vehicle I have ever driven is the Explorer without doubt. The current model Explorer, whilst an improvement over the previous, still falls a long way short of what can ever be considered a real or substantial 4WD.

Some body has already responded to this group stating the Explorer is merely a glorified passenger vehicle. - which I feel is somewhat complimentary. There are far better passenger vehicles out there that use about 40% less fuel!!

The Explorer may be a good tow vehicle, maybe?? I've never towed with an Explore, but the lack of a Diesel Engine option will always hamstring it. But, having said that I must confess to having a bias towards diesels for a myriad of reasons.

If I were going for a proper 4wd of the Exlorer's size, without hesitation, I'd go for a Intercooled 3.0 TD Patrol as it is a slightly better vehicle in the serious stuff than a comparible Cruiser and about $6000 cheaper.

If money was no option I'd go for the Intercooled 4.2 TD Cruiser with over 150kw of power and slightly better comfort. (If going for the Cruiser ditch the standard tyres before you pick it up, because they are utter rubbish.)

But no matter which way you go, the Cruiser and Patrol are so far ahead of the Explorer, the Explorer is truly not worthy of consideration if any off road use is the intention.
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Follow Up By: Dennis (Brisbane) - Friday, Jan 16, 2004 at 00:29

Friday, Jan 16, 2004 at 00:29
Father in law has one to tow a van or his boat. Adequate for that task but that is all on the black top.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jan 16, 2004 at 00:50

Friday, Jan 16, 2004 at 00:50
People still waste money on 4b mags? 90% ads, and 10% crap.

As you see here, they never state the same thing 2ice.

Like the spotty comparison while back... They were nearly 100% Opposite from one mag to the other.

Did someone mention advertising, like full pages after the comparisons?
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Reply By: Member - Bob - Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 07:35

Sunday, Jan 18, 2004 at 07:35
I don't know how the Explorer is marketed, but I am not aware that it purports to be an outback tourer or off road vehicle. My understanding is that it is an all wheel drive station wagon for American families, and is sold here as the same concept.
Whoever took one on the CSR made a mistake. It would be like taking a WRX Impreza on the CSR because it is a 4WD vehicle.
As far as flammability goes I think I have seen burned out shells of all the major makes. Whether it burns completely or just a little doesn't make much difference if you can't continue your journey. In fact, it may be an advantage to have the vehicle totally destroyed so the insurer wont be tempted to repair it.Bob
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Follow Up By: Barry F - Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 13:06

Tuesday, Jan 20, 2004 at 13:06
Aaah the Ford Exploder, believe it or not, we have had no major problems with our frord exploder and having been to the territory and fraser and stockton and sidetracks off these destinations, including Tassie, most of which was dirt ranging from good to bloody terrible, just to name a few. Don't get me wrong i'm not saying they are a great 4x4 but in the right hands a capable vehicle, to put it into exploroz rating from 1 to 3 and a half cars, and fingers crossed it will not let us down when we go to the Cape in June/July this year, oh i forgot to mention we were towing a trailer as well !!!!. Maybe ours is an exception but when it comes down to it a vehicle is a personal choice and we chose the exploder mainly for comfort and luggage room mainly comfort in the back seat after all passengers have to be comfortable too. Our Ford is a 99 manual with the OHV engine fitted with BF Goods and polly airs had to fix that suspention !!!
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