Saturday, September 10, 2011

making the Ford Explorer a family car

You know I am a Mom when you see pudding, brownies and whipped cream all over the back seat of the mom-mobile. This is what truly makes it a family vehicle.

So when the good folks at Ford asked if I would be interested in borrowing a "family-friendly vehicle" from their fleet, I laughed.

One, I am not a big Ford fan. I grew up driving everything but Ford. And I up until recently, I have had bad luck with Ford cars. I now only drive Ford trucks and SUV's.

Two, Grandpa2Amara works at the local Ford Assembly Plant so I'm forced to drive them anyways.

And three, Amara and I are kinda too cool for a "family" vehicle. So if we were to borrow anything, we'd want a Mustang convertible.

Yea, the reps at Ford didn't go for that. But they did give us a sweet 2011 Ford Explorer Limited for the week.


It arrived just in time for the first day of school. So Amara immediately wanted to drive a friend to class. And that was fine since this Explorer had three rows of leather seats. And on this hot August day, we turned on the climate controlled seats so my rear end had a nice cool breeze.

Amara and Friend2Amara loved all the space they had in the Explorer. And they discovered on their own that the SUV had inflatable seatbelts in the rear.

This SUV not only did carpool but it did Girls' Night Out in the Warehouse District, margaritas at Si Senor, and grocery shopping in my town. It saw it all in Northeast Ohio.

Now, I love my gadgets. But this was sensory overload for me. The MyFord Touch touch screens were too much. I don't know if I could get used to driving a vehicle with this much on the dashboard. (I'd have a photo for you but mysteriously, all but two of my Explorer photos have disappeared. You'll have to trust me on this one.) But at the same time, all I wanted to do was touch all of the pretty buttons on the eight inch screen! The satellite radio, climate control, GPS...oye!

But then again, the technie in me appreciated the USB ports and the hands free activated controls for my smartphone.

The Explorer Limited has reverse sensing and an alarm system, which was great. It's always a huge fear of mine backing out of the driveway that a neighborhood kid is approaching and I don't see him or her.

And let's not forget the ambient lighting galore in this SUV. At night, I kinda felt like I was in the pimp-mobile. Not the mom-mobile.

When I'm buying a car, there are two things that are very important to me - outside of safety of course. A sunroof, which this particular Explorer did not have. And the sound system. This Explorer Limited came equipped with Audio by Sony but, to me, it was severely lacking in bass. I like to feel the bass rattle my chest. And this just didn't do it. I want my music to envelope me. Yup, didn't feel it.

So is the Explorer a good fit for my family? Well, it's mammoth. I couldn't even put my elbow out the rolled down window because I'm that short and it's that big. And on a typical day, there is never more than Amara and me in the mom-mobile. We're a quaint lil' family.

But after a week of driving it, did I absolutely fall in love with it? Yes. Yes. Yes. I hated giving it back. The Ford Explorer Limited drives so smoothly. It's quiet. And it maneuvers curves really well. I'm sad I didn't get to try the Terrain Management controller and go off roading! Maybe next time.

I hope I get to drive a Ford Explorer again soon. I'm going to miss this SUV. I know Amara already does. She asks daily (seriously she does) if we can buy one. Maybe one day.

Oh and Ford, sorry about the pudding in the back seat. I cleaned it up as best as I could!

Disclosure: This post made possible by Ford Motor Company. Opinions stated, are always my own and never wavered by products received nor compensated unless, otherwise, stated.


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