The biggest driving factor behind the platform changes to Ford's Explorer was fuel economy, and we finally have the official EPA ratings.
Last Monday Ford began production of its all-new 2011 Explorer in order to keep up with the 15,000 pre-orders that had doubled initial estimates. Production also began nearly a week before the automaker had the official mileage ratings back from the environmental protection agency (EPA) regarding the SUV's fuel economy.
Now, thanks to a post on Ford's Explorer fan page on Facebook via GreenCarReports, we have learned that the new unibody-based Explorer will achieve a full 25 percent higher fuel economy than the outgoing model. To be exact, the new Explorer is rated at 17 miles per gallon city and 25 mpg highway with the V6 and two-wheel drive - compared to just 14 city and 20 highway mpg in the 2010 model it replaces.
Ford says that this rating puts the Explorer at the top of its class for V6 fuel economy, beating the more off road-oriented 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee by one city and two highway mpg.
(More after video)
Also keep in mind that the fuel economy rating is for the 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft. of torque V6 engine, the only engine available at launch, and not the mid-year addition 2.0-liter Ecboost inline-four that is expected to return even higher fuel economy.