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2016 Ford Explorer to Become First-Ever Wheelchair-Accessible SUV

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author photo by Doug DeMuro July 2015
  • Ford Explorer modified by BraunAbility to offer wheelchair accessibility
  • Changes include sliding doors, a ramp, and increased interior room
  • BraunAbility says the Explorer-based "MXV" will reach dealerships this fall

An all-new wheelchair-accessible SUV is on its way. Based on the 2016 Ford Explorer and dubbed the BraunAbility MXV, the new SUV is expected to reach dealerships this fall.

That's the latest from BraunAbility, the world leader in wheelchair-accessible vehicle production, who has been modifying vehicles for years with ramps, suspension work, and increased interior room. Other current BraunAbility models include a modified Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country and Toyota Sienna, all minivans, which means the Explorer-based MXV will offer a more distinctive ride for shoppers in wheelchairs.

Turning the regular 2016 Ford Explorer into a wheelchair-accessible vehicle isn't easy. To do so, BraunAbility must convert the standard Explorer's rear doors from hinged to sliding, so they open like a minivan's. The SUV also offers an automatic ramp, a revised interior for additional space, and removable driver and passenger seats. The latter feature allows wheelchair users to drive the vehicle from a wheelchair, or ride in it as a passenger.

"The MXV is a revolutionary vehicle, and we're thrilled with Explorer's role in helping bring it to market," said Craig Patterson, Ford utility vehicle marketing manager. "For 25 years, the Explorer name has symbolized freedom and adventure, and the BraunAbility MXV adds another chapter to that story."

Although the wheelchair-accessible vehicle market was once limited solely to minivans, increasing consumer taste for SUVs has prompted a higher demand for wheelchair-accessible versions. A BraunAbility rival, MobilitySVM, also offers a wheelchair-accessible version of the Chevrolet Suburban and GMC Yukon XL.

While BraunAbility has not yet announced pricing for the Mobility MXV, the firm says the SUV will be available at its approved retailers this fall.

What it means to you: Disabled drivers -- or passengers -- now have a more distinctive option to choose from, thanks to the BraunAbility MXV.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Ford Explorer to Become First-Ever Wheelchair-Accessible SUV - Autotrader