Test of the Ford Explorer, XXL SUV with a plug-in hybrid engine


With its XXL size (5.06 meters long and 2 meters wide), the Ford Explorer does not go unnoticed. And will give some cold sweats to drivers who dare to venture into city centers. Clearly cut for American roads, where it has also met with great success (it is the best-selling SUV by the brand across the Atlantic), the Explorer arrives in France in a difficult context, where SUVs are more and more in addition singled out by the government and environmental associations.

And it is clear that we had to face slanderous looks from some passers-by during our test in the Paris region. Does the Ford Explorer pollute? Yes of course. But not as much as its big 4×4 look suggests. Because under its hood, it houses a plug-in hybrid engine, the only one offered in Europe. Its 100 hp (73 kW) electric motor allows it to run entirely electric over a distance of 42 km, according to the manufacturer.

In practice, do not expect to do more than 30 km with a light foot because the Explorer is heavy (almost 2.5 tons) and its battery is too small compared to its size (13.6 kWh capacity) . Even the new, smaller Ford Kuga PHEV has a larger battery (14.4 kWh). When the battery runs out, the heat engine takes over. This large 357 hp turbo petrol V6 (i.e. 457 hp with the electric motor) seduces with its pleasant sound and good performance (from 0 to 100 km / h in 6 seconds), but it has the unfortunate tendency to increase fuel consumption. from the on-board computer. Even at a normal pace and despite the 10-speed automatic transmission, it quite easily exceeds 10 l / 100 km on average. Hence the importance of frequently recharging the battery (a little more than 4 hours on an 11 kW terminal, 6 hours on a 230V domestic socket) to regain a more reasonable consumption, of around 8 l / 100 km during our test. .

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