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2013 Ford Explorer Sport Debut

Ford's Popular SUV gets a big boost under the hood


2013 Ford Explorer Research Click to hide

What's New

The most exciting new feature on the 2013 Ford Explorer Sport is the addition of the 3.5-liter V-6 engine with EcoBoost--the same engine found in the Taurus SHO, F-150 EcoBoost, and Flex EcoBoost. While the previous models had, and can still be equipped with, the smaller, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with EcoBoost, this V-6 has 110 more horsepower and is what many felt should have been included in the Explorer in the first place. In addition to the twin-turbocharged engine, the "Sport" in the name translates to extra athleticism via a reinforced platform and stiffened suspension, four-wheel drive, stronger brakes, and subtle design cues to distinguish it in the lineup.

Who It's For

The 2013 Ford Explorer Sport is for active yet uncompromising people who desire performance to the same degree they require utility. The Explorer Sport is therefore aimed directly at the Jeep Grand Cherokee/Dodge Durango R/T, and Range Rover Sport crowd. This is where we used to comfortably say "suburban dads," but that's not really the case anymore.

Key Features

More so than previous Explorer's, the 2013 Explorer Sport prioritizes performance without sacrificing efficiency and utility.

  • The 350 turbocharged horsepower is 110 more ponies than in the previous Explorer EcoBoost
  • The Explorer Sport's 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway is better than Hemi-powered Grand Cherokee and Durango R/T, and Range Rover Sport
  • Also features four-wheel drive, electric power steering, larger brakes, and unique 20-inch wheels

What We Think

We'll reserve judgment until we drive one, but on paper, pencil us into the crowd who feels that this engine should have been included from the start. And if it performs well and is competitively priced, the Explorer Sport could be the standout SUV to match Ford's excellent F-150 EcoBoost.

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