The 2013 Ford Explorer, with its dramatic looks and somewhat less inspiring performance, has been due a truly potent version, some might say, since the V-8 of the last model died with it. As Ford's solution to the V-8 power requirement while delivering (slightly) better fuel economy, the V-6 EcoBoost engine makes good sense.
But does it make sense in the Explorer? Dynamically, it's uninspiring--particularly when compared to the likes of the Flex, or even the Edge. But more power means more towing, better highway passing, and more overall flexibility, as well as more money at the pump--the Explorer Sport only yields 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway. Ford says it's the most efficient high-performance SUV on the market.
Those with an eye to minimizing the Explorer's thirst already have a good option, however: the smaller EcoBoost brother, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Rated at 28 mpg highway, that smaller EcoBoost engine is on the very efficient end of the spectrum for conventional crossover SUVs.