By Bob Plunkett
The steep slope on a rough trace cut across Oregon's rugged Coast Ranges presents a challenge for a four-wheeling test drive through tall timber in a new2013 Ford Explorer Sport crossover utility vehicle.
Loose dirt and chat on the trail often causes even nubby tires like Explorer Sport's 20-inch P255/50R20 rollers to slip and skid on a steep descent, which in turn may propel the vehicle faster than prudent to maintain steady control for safe passage down the grade.
No way that runaway momentum will occur with the new Explorer Sport, however, because it stocks sophisticated electronic controls linked to the all-wheel-drive (AWD) system as well as the anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Ford's AdvanceTrac electronic skid control (ESC) device with traction control and roll stability control (RSC), which measures vehicle motion on both the yaw and roll axes.
And a new electronic safety device aboard is dubbed Curve Control -- it can detect when the driver runs too fast into a turn, then automatically deploy the brakes to slow and stabilize the wagon.
But there's more: Explorer Sport totes a serious power package. It incorporates a unique direct-injection and twin-turbocharged V6 -- promising the fuel economy of a V6 but the power and torque of a big V8 -- labeled by Ford as the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. To continue the review, click here.