The all-new Ford Explorer will get 25% better mileage than the outgoing SUV, according to new data released by the EPA, which oversees federal mileage testing.
Having switched from a truck-based platform to a car-like crossover design, the 2011 Explorer will get 17 miles per gallon in the city, 25 on the highway, with a combined rating of 20 mpg. The old model got 14/20 in front-drive configuration, 13/19 with an all-wheel-drive powertrain.
Fuel economy concerns were among the most significant of the “past reasons for turning away” from the Explorer and other SUVs, noted Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global director of vehicle development.
With its new 3.5-liter V6 powertrain replacing the old Explorer’s 4.6-liter V8, Ford will be able to claim segment leadership on fuel economy. While the 2011 Toyota 4Runner matches Explorer in-town, it gets only 23 mpg on the highway. The all-new, 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee also got an EPA rating of 23 highway, but just 16 in the city.
“Today’s customers want no trade-offs, which is why we focused on fuel economy leadership,” product development vice president Frank Davis said at an Explorer preview, this week.