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Ford Explorer: Built for Family Travel

One of the great things about my kids getting older is that they can do more road trips. Not just be in the car without complaining, but also hike, kayak, bike or do whatever outdoor adventure suits our vacation.

The newly redesigned 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum Edition is perfect for our lifestyle. Maybe because Ford thought about us (us, and all weekend warrior families) when they designed the car. There’s the third row of seats that’s been upgraded for a more comfortable ride, park assist for tight spots, and front seat chairs with a massage feature – great between long hikes or long drives to work – and a heated steering wheel for cold days. Last week, I was able to test-drive the Explorer on a press trip through Canada from Kamloops, British Columbia to Calgary, Alberta.

the 2016 Ford Explorer in Alberta Canada

It was spectacular. The area of Canada we visited was stunning, full of waterfalls, hiking trails, and beautiful scenery. I was paired with a friend and we really put the car to the test. We drove across the Trans Canada Highway, up and down windy mountain roads, and through rainfall. The drive led us to some incredible natural wonders like Takakkaw Falls (pictured below) in Yolo National Park.

akakkaw Falls in Yolo National Park, Alberta Canada

It was raining during our drive to the falls and the road was curvy in places. The Explorer handled it beautifully. The Explorer Platinum has intelligent four-wheel drive with Terrain Management System that reassesses conditions to provide precise handling and traction. Needless to say, I felt very safe in the Explorer.

It was also helpful in situations you might yourself in every day like having to parallel park in a crowded parking lot. When we got to Lake Moraine there was one spot left and I had to squeeze into it.

parallel parking in a ford explorer

The Explorer has enhanced active park assist with semi-automatic parallel parking. That means the car will help with steering while the driver operates the accelerator and brake pedals. Being a Los Angeles driver who often parallel parks, I wanted to try parking it myself. The backup cameras with lines to guide me in and sensors to beep if I got too close to the car behind or in front of me, were very handy.

I especially liked the front camera and the temperature controls. The front camera is there to help see the blind spot areas when pulling out of parking spaces and the temperature controls have the temperature outside (it’s Celsius in the picture so 39 degrees Fahrenheit) and the temperature inside. The front seats had a seat warmer that came in very handy.

Related: Baby Road Trip Essentials

instrument panel ford explorer

We drove for two days and most of the time listened to Sirius XM on the radio. The Sony Premium Home Audio sound system for the Explorer Platinum was incredible. It made hearing “Can’t Feel My Face” 12 times on the drive okay because it sounded so good.

Another feature that I think my family would love are all of the USB ports in the car located in both the front and the back. Plus they charge 2 times faster than regular car charging ports.

I can’t say enough good things about the car or the trip. The car drives like a luxury car – smooth and so comfortable. It’s not cheap, but if you’re like me you have cars for a long time (I’ve had my current car for 8 years). The Explorer Platinum like the one we drove starts at $52,970.

To learn more about the car, visit Ford Explorer

Disclosure: Ford paid for my airfare, lodging, and meals. I drove the car (taking turns) over two days from Kamloops to Revelstoke and Revelstoke to Calgary. All opinions are my own. 

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The Washington Coast

Monday 12th of December 2016

What a great review! That looks like a great road trip vehicle, for sure. Fun trip too!

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