Many people consider what car insurance on a new vehicle costs before they will even go take a test drive. If you are among these budget conscious consumers, an affordable car insurance policy is as important as a great interest rate. The Ford Explorer runs the average person around $1,400 a year for insurance.

Crossover SUVs are a popular choice with consumers looking for sport utility size and sedan fuel efficiency. In 2011, Ford retired the old Explorer truck chassis for a larger car like chassis thus entering into the crossover market. The 2012 model comes in three trim levels and starts at $28,280.

Trim levels and optional features will affect the cost of insurance. A base model may only cost you $1,200 and the fully loaded limited edition might be closer to $1,550. When you get an insurance quote, think about trim levels and options you hope to have. If you have already found the Explorer you want, ask the dealer if they will provide you with the VIN number. This helps car insurance companies provide you a better quote.

Is the Ford Explorer safe?

Safety has always been a hot topic where SUVs are concerned. The weight and truck chassis made them top heavy and prone to rolling over in crashes. Ford earned a bad reputation with the Bronco and Explorer when Consumer Reports published about its higher than average rollover rate.

Even though they were cleared of this claim, when the 2000 Firestone tire controversy came up, it left many skeptical. The defective tires were prone to tread separation and Explorers equipped with the tires experienced higher rollover rates. Firestone promptly responded to Ford’s blame by redirecting the blame on the Explorer’s design. As a result, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigated the frame and found no design flaws.

The 2012 model has come a long way since then. It scored rating of good on safety tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which is their highest rating. It also received four out of five stars from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for safety.

Ford has equipped the Explorer with traction control, terrain management, and curve control. The new lightweight frame is constructed from boron steel to be stronger than a traditional steel frame. It also has front and side airbags as well as roof airbags.

What other features come on the Ford Explorer?

In addition to safety features, the Ford Explorer offers a variety of luxury features. The new model features Ford’s turbocharged ecoboost engine in all trim levels. It also has class leading fuel efficiency with 25 mpg.

The explorer also comes with the MyKey technology allowing parents more control over how their child drives. It takes a few minutes to set up and can limit stereo volume and top speeds. It also features fuel monitoring. When combined with blue tooth sync technology, parents can also block incoming calls and texts while their child is driving.

Other features include push button start, keyless entry, and dual zone climate control. You can also get My Ford Touch with sync. This gives you touch screen navigation and HD radio controls. Sync allows voice activation and blue tooth connection for hands free calling.

The Ford can also equip your new Explorer with their optional rear view camera and blind spot assist side mirrors. Blind spot assist can also be paired with the new rear seatbelt airbags. Every model comes with the Ford’s air filtration system for cleaner breathing.

Some features can only be found on the Limited edition. This trim level starts at $37,855 but optional features will raise the price. The first option offered is the luxury-seating package. This package has heated and cooled front row seats with 10-point power adjustments. It also features an electronic folding third row.

It also offers features like rain sensing wipers, dual moon roof, and power lift gate. The limited edition can have park assist and cruise control with collision avoidance and braking.

What are reviewers saying about the Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer has received many positive reviews for its advance technology features. It is a leader in horsepower and fuel efficiency as well. Drivers also loved the upscale cabin design and smooth ride. It has the most headroom of any midsize SUV with 41.4 inches and second in shoulder room.

Kelley Blue Book consumers gave it four stars and Edmunds four and a half. Consumers gave it high ratings for comfort and being fun to drive. It has much better handling and maneuverability than leading competitors and previous models. Many people liked how quiet it was too.

Not all the reviews were positive though. Many reviewers thought the technology such as sync did not function as well as it could and many of the options were pricey. The third row seat and cargo area is also smaller than some of its competitors. Some reviewers felt the heavier weight of the Explorer caused the new ecoboost engine to be less powerful than its predecessor. It also lacked towing capacity over 5,000 pounds.

All reviewers agree on one thing though. This crossover SUV is perfect for everyday driving and hauling kids. While many are disappointed that it is no longer the rough and tough SUV it used to be, it is amazing in its new role.