Ford Explorer 2011 Limited Edition

Earlier this month my family had the chance to review the Ford Explorer 2011 Limited Edition. One glance and quick introduction left me knowing that this was one great vehicle. Yet, since I was able to test drive it for a couple of weeks, I really got a chance to ‘know’ this vehicle and review all it’s features. And indeed, it left a lasting impression with everyone in my family.

A car parked in a parking lot

As you can see, the body type has changed remarkably – it looks to be more crossover than ‘hardcore’ SUV. And, I say ‘hardcore’, since the phrase ‘SUV’ in itself makes me think of rough, rugged and made to tackle any road condition and terrain. The 2011 Ford Explorer Limited Edition packs that punch that SUV’s need, with the off-road management system {choice of from normal, Hill Descent Control or Sand, Sno and muddy terrain. Also, you can drive in either manual or automatic transmission. Yet Ford stepped up the luxury and comfort to a whole new level with this model. In short, I find this vehicle ideal for adventurers and casual drivers alike and I had many side glances from everyone while driving – it’s one vehicle that gets it’s share of attention!



Being well versed when it comes to Ford vehicles {we have owned many over the years}, we were immediately surprised and shocked at just how much room there is inside the 2011 Ford Explorer. In fact, the term ‘cockpit’ comes to mind. Also to note, there is more head, leg and comfortable space driving the Ford Explorer than my Husbands ’09 Ford F350. It was quite humorous actually, my van got the almighty kick out of it’s parking space for the new addition. And, that first night, husband and I sat in the Explorer, in the garage, until 2am – getting accustomed to the functions and marveling at the generous space inside the vehicle. The neighbors were most likely wondering why were were jumping from vehicle to vehicle to vehicle – comparing space, features and comfort.

A group of people We were also impressed that the 2011 Ford Explorer ‘works’ with 3 children without the feeling of being too cramped, thanks to 3 row seating. This is especially remarkable since 2 of my children sit in big sized convertible car seats {the other in a booster} and I had always assumed that we only had options for minivans and large SUV’s when it comes to room for our whole family. My double stroller still fits nicely in the hatch, and has ample room for everything I’d need to store.


Mileage is one of the first questions when considering any type of vehicle. After having owned an SUV in  the past, I expected to go through more gas in the 2011 Ford Explorer than my minivan. Not true. With a 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 engine and 290 horsepower, the all new Explorer has really good fuel economy {11.9L/100km (24 mpg) in the city and 8.0L/100km (35 mpg) on the highway}. Again, another point when it came to the Explorer.

Safety Features:

It’s almost daunting to even begin to introduce you to the Ford safety features. Yet, they are ones to definitely note and learn about. It’s true that because of them, I look at new Ford vehicles on a whole new level and respect.

With one glance at the steering column and the dash, you’ll see that the Limited Edition 2011 Ford Explorer is stocked with the latest technology. And it’s true, the sound coming out of the speakers is top notch – but it’s more than that, and all with safety in mind…

A close up of a car

 In tune with the gamers generation, the driver can control almost everything the Explorer has to offer, without leaving the 10+2 hand position. From the steering wheel you can control the cruise, stereo and so much more with My Ford Touch. With the voice activated system, you can make a call, start the GPS navigation system, change the temperature and so much more. This is one feature that I grew to adore and miss terribly when I returned the Explorer. Without even taking my eyes off the road and my hands off the wheel, I could react to my kids’ requests of; ‘Mom, I’m hot’, ‘Mom, I love this song! Louder!’, ‘Mom, did you call Dad back?”. Convenient, practical and a luxury? Yes! But also a much safer way to drive, especially when trying to keep all the kids happy and occupied in the back.

A close up of a carTHE Back Up Camera = Love! Since I had 2 large convertible car seats in the back row, I had limited space to see out the back window for shoulder checks {it’s like this in my van as well, they are just that big of car seats}. Yet with the back up camera in the 2011 Limited Edition Ford Explorer, I felt safer when in reverse. Plus, the sensors are on the side of the vehicle too, so an alarm sounds if something is approaching from the left or right. I was in awe of this feature since there has been so many times I tried backing out with 2 huge trucks on either side and it’s always a little scary to try and see if vehicles are approaching.

Active Park Assist: This was a feature that I was a little nervous about trying out. After all, I hadn’t successfully mastered a paralled park since my road test many years ago. I was curious but also apprehensive about letting a vehicle do the parking for me. Yet, one I tried it once – wow! I could certainly use that feature in my next vehicle!

A side view mirror of a carBlind Spot Monitoring System = genius. When another vehicle is in your blind spot, an orange light will appear in your side mirror. Again, with the car seats and not being able to 100% see out of every inch of the windows – brilliant! Just one additional safety step to ensure that you and your passengers are safe.

The one feature that my 2011 Limited Edition Ford Explorer {ha, notice that I say ‘mine’ when in reference} didn’t have, is the rear inflatable seat belts. Not that I would ever want to technically test them, just knowing that there is one more safety aspect protecting your loved ones, is more than reassuring. After all, it’s usually the elderly and children that are rear passengers – the most at risk when it comes to injuries sustained by seat belts. One more brilliant addition, Ford!!

I had a chance to drive the 2011 Ford Explorer Limited Edition in town for everyday activities such as shopping, errands, taking my daughter to her soccer camp and even a trip to emergency. Yet I also got to take this vehicle on the highway and to the Canadian Rockies during my trip to #NokiaUnfenced {the Explorer is beautiful against the mountains, isn’t it?!}.

A car parked on the side of a road

This is where I fell in love with the GAP feature in the cruise control, ensuring that there was always a safe distance between you and the car ahead of you. When using GAP, the Ford Explorer slows down when a vehicle ahead is too close. Then, once you pass that person or they are no longer in your ‘space’, cruise speed resumes to the initial set speed. I also was able to fully test out the Navigation system, finding my way to and through the rocky mountains. The all new Ford Explorer was a smooth and comfortable ride, proving top be a luxury vehicle for short and long trips alike.

Other features of the limited Edition 2011 Ford Explorer is air conditioned seats, rain sensing wipers, 20 inch polished aluminum wheels {sweet} and a sunroof and a moon roof. I sure loved the power liftgate and power folding seats – they would have been especially wonderful when I had 2 babies and bags in hand!

A group of luggage sitting on top of a car

I could literally go on forever in this post explaining why family loved driving the 2011 Ford Explorer Limited Edition. In fact, for the first time I have not one complaint or issue with a vehicle. I do think anyone would be hard pressed to find fault with this all new Explorer. In fact, hubby and I discussed getting one of our own, at length. We concluded that we’d want to take it for a Winter test drive before we committed to another vehicle purchase. This is only because we are in deep snow for the majority of the year, so our chosen vehicle has to stand up to our winter-driving needs. As well, we’d like to see if ou family of 5 would prefer the larger Ford Model – the Expedition. Until then, I miss this vehicle for everything I’ve stated above. And I mean – MISS, it was very hard to give it back.



    1. It really was, Kristin! I thought maybe we’d feel cramped in there, thinking our only choices were a minivan and a large SUV for a family with 3 kids.
      I’m so happy to have tested it out, and proved that wrong.

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  2. that’s a thorough review, thanks for that. Appreciate the ton of information, especially from a family standpoint.


  3. That looks like an awesome ‘truck’. We had an older Ford Explorer for a short time in BC and we liked it a lot. We’re not in the market for a new vehicle for a while, but I know hubby really wants something a little more robust than our minivan. Thanks for the review. It’s well done, with lots of the kinds of information I’m interested in. Will pass the link to my sweetie as well! 🙂

  4. This review is better than any I’ve ever seen in an automobile magazine. It is so thorough and detailed – thank you so much for that! I’ve already sent this link to my husband as our lease is up in September and were looking for a crossover that fits our budget. I can’t believe all of features of this car, it looks like a great family option and not just for off-roading.

    1. Great to have provided information, Lily!
      I’ll be testing out other vehicles too, watch for more reviews from a family standpoint!

  5. OMG. How did I not see this review? I just spent about 10 minutes pouring over every detail. Now THAT is an SUV. LOVE the back up camera – we live on a street with lots of kids on bikes and sometimes it takes me 10 minutes to back out of the driveway for fear I saw something in my rearview. And the blind spot metering system is also pretty cool.

    Sucks that you had to give it back! You should be their spokesmama – I’d better you’d sell a hell of a lot of vehicles based on your detailed reviews alone!

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