I had limited time behind the wheel of our short-term 2012 Ford Explorer last night for my short 3-mile commute home. My first thought was how much the Explorer has grown since I last drove one more than 10 years ago. Our tester was configured for 2+2+2 seating and it looked like there wasn't a bad seat in the house.
But sitting behind the driver's seat was a real treat. The instrument cluster pops with color and the much maligned MyFord Touch didn't take me too long to figure out. It doesn't get any simpler than the four-way split screen layout, and I found the climate control adjustments easy to use. The audio menu set up, however, could use some tweaking. I couldn't find an easy way to scroll through the satellite radio categories and channels.
Our tester is powered by Ford's new four-cylinder 2.0L Ecoboost engine with 240-hp and 270-lb-ft of torque. I was skeptical at first, but it seems adequate enough around town. I hope to try it out on the highway soon.