Ford’s 2014 Explorer. Photo credit: Ford Motor.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has a history of responding when its back is against a wall. Every time critics have thought the Blue Oval was down and out, a fresh design and groundbreaking vehicle was designed, saving the company from its demise. After the war effort it was the Thunderbird that revived Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) factories. In the ’70s it was the iconic muscle car that won over the hearts of America — the Mustang. In the ’90s, which would be Ford’s best and most profitable decade ever, it was large SUVs that brought home the big bucks. Those were the glory days for the Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) Explorer, but that trend would quickly disappear as gas prices elevated. Most large SUVs wouldn’t live into the mid 2000s, but the Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) Explorer is bucking trends and soaring back to popularity. Here’s why it’s important for consumers and investors alike.
The Explorer topped 400,000 in annual sales for years — something only Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s F-Series has accomplished over the past decade. It then took a long tumble before beginning its climb back to relevance over the past three years.
It’s on pace to sell roughly 190,000, and if the economy and the seasonally adjusted annual rate continue to improve, it could top 200,000 this year — something it hasn’t done since 2005. Its sales are up 11.2% for June and 25.9% for the entire year, compared with last year’s figures. So what is it about the Explorer that’s driving its recent success?
SUVs were forced to adapt to remain a viable ride in the 2000s, giving birth to a smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicle. The Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) Explorer is especially flexible with its engine options. If you opt for the standard 3.5-liter V6, it features a decent 20 combined mpg while pushing out an impressive 290 horsepower. That gives it the ability to tow up to 5,000 pounds. For those aiming for better fuel efficiency rather than towing capacity, you can opt for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, which still pushes out about 240 horsepower and 270 pound feet of torque.
In addition to the flexible engines, here are a few options you can expect to have with the 2014 Explorer.
AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control.
Tire pressure monitoring system.
SOS post-crash alert system.
Keypad entry system.
Active park assist.
Power liftgate and rear view camera.
Navigation system and MyFord touch infotainment system.
The Explorer’s interior doesn’t disappoint with its modern and sleek appearance, especially when considering its starting price tag of just under $30,000, according to Edmunds.com.