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First ride: Is new Ford Explorer a 'proper' Ford?

ford explorer 2 1600x1067 a44126b7 f3a1 4a83 b7be 65cd904d9a95
ford explorer 2 1600x1067 a44126b7 f3a1 4a83 b7be 65cd904d9a95

What can you learn from the wrong side of the car in 15 minutes on slow suburban roads?

Well, we certainly can't verify or refute Ford's lofty claims that the Ford Explorer will be more dynamically adept than its Volkswagen Group platform-mates, although our chauffeur seemed to relish the opportunity to put it in Sport mode and throw it into some of the tighter bends on our route, if that's any indication...

What struck me, watching from the passenger seat, was the more overtly sporting posture facilitated by the 'squircle' (that's Ford parlance, categorically not mine) steering wheel, compared with a conventional round item.

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It seems to encourage a more purposeful grip and exacerbates the responsiveness of the steering that, even from the other side of the centre console, looked to be at once more direct and communicative than anything I've tried on the MEB platform so far.

 

 

We were in the single-motor rear-driven Explorer so had a 'mere' 282bhp at our disposal on the straightaways, which of course is more than sufficient in such a practicality-focused proposition.

In Sport mode, there was a perceptible urgency to its acceleration, albeit delivered in a smooth, fluid manner that mitigated the uncomfortable head-lolling that you might be susceptible to as a passenger in other SUVs with this much power.