If you’re looking for information on a newer Ford Explorer, we’ve published an updated review: 2018 Ford Explorer Review
When you take a road trip, you need a vehicle that’s comfortable and has ample room for your stuff, especially when your spouse is bringing the house. Luckily, we had a 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum to help with this problem. With the flat-folding third-row seats, we were able to bring everything in the house with ease and some space to spare. The multicontour leather seats were comfortable for the long drive, and they even came with a massaging function. I thought my copilot would be excited about this feature, but she felt that it was loud and didn’t provide much in the way of massaging. You’ll find enough seating for 6 to 7 passengers in this vehicle, even with an upgrade to second-row bucket seats, which is a nice feature. See the 2017 Ford Explorer models for sale near you
Our Platinum model comes standard with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, which never lacked power, even when it came to climbing mountains. Our mileage averaged the EPA estimates of around 16 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway, which you noticed with how often we had to fuel up. It’s a great highway cruiser with little to no road noise, but can be lazy when driving in the city. A few safety features that enhanced the driving were the lane-keep system and adaptive cruise control. Even though the lane keep was at times either slow to respond or overly aggressive, it’s worth having on when traveling for long periods of time. Personally, I don’t use cruise control; however, I did test the adaptive cruise. It’s a great feature, particularly in areas where there’s moderate congestion with consistent speeds. These two safety features can’t be optioned on all 2017 Explorer models, but will be available for the 2018 model year with the Safe and Smart package.
SYNC 3, which is the newest version of Ford’s infotainment system, is standard with the Platinum model. It’s worth upgrading in other models, because of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Apple CarPlay is nicely integrated with the SYNC system. The only issue I found is that when transitioning away from CarPlay navigation, the SYNC navigation doesn’t pick up the destination information. One feature that was missing (but that’s coming in 2018) is a Wi-Fi hotspot. These days, Wi-Fi is essential for long road trips so the driver doesn’t continue to hear "Are we there yet?"
Overall, our 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum was a solid vehicle for a road trip. It provided the comfort and room we desired without much sacrifice. This is a vehicle for people who don’t need a full-size SUV but still need space and powerful engine options.