kid-approved-explorerThe days of the “Wagon Queen Family Truckster: with it’s “exotic faux wood” paneling are gone. Boy is that a good thing, or what? Who, other than Clark Griswold, would long for an “Antarctic Blue Super Sportswagon”? No, these days we need our family ride to be so much more than sporty when we hit those holiday, or everyday, roads. Recently our larger than average family put the Ford Explorer Sport to the test, finding so much more than space for luggage, pets and road-trip snacks.

The first thing that you notice about the Ford Explorer Sport is just how “cool” it looks. Not a single homage to the “family wagon” in site. This car exudes a youthful swagger that will have your teenager begging you to pick them up at school (and not two blocks away). The lines are sporty, the interior literally glows with style.

explorer-lightingA Few of My Favorite Things

  • Leather Trimmed Seats, the luxury of leather with the kid-friendly durability of fabric.
  • 10-Way Driver and Passenger Adjustable Seats. Taking care of the co-pilot too.
  • Illuminated Scuff Plates, part of it’s uber-cool ambient lighting pacakage. This feature makes you feel more like you are piloting the car, rather than just driving.
  • Terrain Management System. We travel all over, from the city streets to Horse Country hills, in all sorts of weather. This feature is great if you do the same.
  • SYNC with My Ford Touch. Of all the tech integration systems I’ve tested, SYNC is one of the most user-friendly systems.
  • 6 Speed SelectShift. I learned how to drive in a car with standard transmission (stick-shift). During my years in Spain I drove the cutest little rust-bucket stick-shift. For me, driving a “standard” is the best way to drive, it’s fun and for some reason makes me feel like I have more control. This feature in the Explorer Sport gives me back my favorite way to drive, and still lets the “automatic only” hubby take the wheel.
  • 110 V Outlet. Seriously, every car should have this!
  • Power Folding Rear Seats.

Things You Need to Know

  • Total “sticker price” of the model we tested: $45,815.00
  • Inflatable Rear Safety Belts. From a helicopter-mom safety nut point of view, I like this feature. That said, the kids had a hard time with these. They are bulky and didn’t fit well into the booster seats of the smaller kids.
  • The visors come down rather low, which may or may not impede your view a tad, depending on your height.
  • You are driving a sport SUV (no Mini about it)  when you drive this car, and the gas milage reflects this. Though the sticker did state 16 mpg city, I averaged about 19 which was great!

And now onto the most important part of any She Buys Cars and Traveling Mom review… where did I put my purse? This is one area that the Ford Explorer Sport could use a little improvement in. Sure there is plenty of cargo space, and the console in between the front seats is roomy, sadly not roomy enough for my trusty (if worn) Michael Kors Boho Bag of tricks. I ended up with my bag either on the passenger seat, or in back of it on the floor. Nobody should have to put Michael on the floor.