The 2011 Ford Explorer stages its comeback

January 7, 2011 12:00 AM

Once upon a time, there was an SUV that populated the roads of America. Everyone knew its boxy shape and truck-like strength, but the Ford Explorer suffered after the Firestone tire debacle that created a crisis similar to what Toyota faces today.

Sales might boost in Ford's SUV department soon, however, thanks to a completely new redesign of the Explorer for 2011. Gone is the signature box-shape hatch, and those faulty tires? Fuggedaboutit.

The car now comes with Roll Stability Control and a Safety Canopy sensor if an accident should occur. In addition, a new function called "Curve Control" reduces torque if drivers are going too fast on a turn. Brakes automatically kick in to decrease the pressure, and there is no way to turn it off.

Using the architecture of a Taurus, the Explorer now has "better packaging, fuel mileage, handling, and maneuverability for SUV-crazy Americans who long ago tired of trucky dynamics," says MSN Auto.

On the drive, MSN enjoyed the ride, calling it a perfect family vehicle and claiming that it handles the highway nicely. It is also reportedly smoother on rough roads than the Grand Cherokee.

Basically, the Ford Explorer is cool again. Can you name another car that has inflatable seatbelts?! We didn't think so.

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