love ford

2012 #Ford #Explorer #Driveone

For the past week I’ve been Tweeting, Facebooking (is that even a word?), checking into Foursquare and posting a video to YouTube all referencing my week-long experience of driving a 2012 Ford Explorer thanks to Lebanon Ford. If you follow me on any of these social media channels than you have probably seen the status updates, pictures, check-ins and my video but I’m going to give my detailed experience here on my blog to help wrap up the week.

Last Thursday evening, @BellorZ (a.k.a. Zach from Lebanon Ford) dropped off the 2012 Ford Explorer to help kick off Lebanon Ford’s Drive One 4A Week Program and after a tutorial from Alex with the myTech Team I was ready to “explore” with my temporary Explorer.  One of the many cool things about this campaign is that Lebanon Ford really makes you feel like this vehicle is truly YOUR vehicle for the week. When Alex was giving me a tutorial on the Sync technology (which we’ll get to in a bit) he loaded my phone and all my contacts so that I really was able to experience the Explorer and all the features that came along with it.

{My #Ford #Explorer #Driveone Experience}

The past week was similar to any other week in regards to my driving habits; I was up to my parent’s house at least once, up to George’s parent’s house at least once, to the grocery store, back and forth to work and other extras like going to The Black Keys concert and picking up George’s dad from the Dayton airport. Needless to say I used my approximately 250 miles and one free tank of gas to almost the last mile (there are 25 miles left until empty). My family of three enjoyed the Explorer and the space that we had when others were in the car with us. So many features that I loved with the Explorer, check out my list below.

LOVE

  • Key-less engine start up – was a bit odd to get used to but really loved that you could just get in, press the brake and push the “Start Engine” button then go. 
  • Remote start – SOOOOO nice to have on the cold day especially with Abbey.
  • Third row seating
  • Heated seats – woah, loved the toasty buns! Pretty much going to be a must in my next vehicle.
  • Huge sun roof – In Cincinnati you could have the sun roof open one day and the heated seats on the next and that is pretty much what happened this week.
  • Many safety features including “air bag” seat belts.
  • Reverse safety was another favorite feature, when the Explorer was put in reverse you could view the area through the rear camera when you were backing up. I could quite literally prove to my husband that I was NOT the one driving through the yard when I was backing out of the driveway because the proof was right in front of his eyes. Of course I still get blamed :)
  • Part of the reverse safety and back up camera was also the feature of having the Explorer tell you when a car was coming and to stop backing up. Let me paint the picture for you: You are at Kroger in Blue Ash during a peak grocery shopping time. You get all the groceries packed up and you are trying to reverse out of your parking spot. If you know the Blue Ash Kroger you know that cars are coming from every direction and you pretty much need to have your head on a swivel to remain safe. Not with the Explorer! The Ford Explorer will tell you that a car is coming from the left or right and it helps you to not be a victim of the mad mom’s in their mini vans doing 90 mph in the parking lot. 
  • Blind spot safety was also pretty cool. When you were on the highway you could check your side mirrors for an orange light to show up when it was not safe to change lanes, meaning some car was in your blind spot.
  • Did I mention the “trunk” space? The back of the Explorer (while the third row seats are up right) has a great amount of room. I was able to get my normal grocery shopping trip packed into the trunk with no problem. But if we did need to haul a heavier load, the seats easily fold down or can be stowed so that you have a flat space with just a push of a button.
  • Another great “trunk” feature that was a favorite was the ability to push a button to open the rear latch or push another button and it closed. When I picked my father-in-law up from the airport, it was easy to pop open the back latch for him to drop in his luggage then press the button again for the latch to close all while I was in the driver seat.

I haven’t even got to the best part…..

  • Sync technology is super cool! Syncing my iPhone to the Explorer took all of minutes then syncing George’s phone was all very simple too. We were both able to sync our phones but would need to choose which was connected at one given time for phone calls, makes sense. I really did love that I could connect my phone with bluetooth and all calls coming in and going out were extremely clear. Never did I have anyone complain that they could not hear me. And TRUST me, I used this feature a LOT. Friday during the tornado-like storm I was talking with one member of my family at all times and not once did I lose connection or have a problem hearing them. This was a handy feature so that I could concentrate on white-knuckling the steering wheel to get to a safe place. 
Funny story…..
  • While driving the Explorer, George and I had to stop at the ATM. As I was hanging out of the Explorer getting money, the guy in an Escape behind me yelled out and asked if I liked my new SUV. I told him I did, but explained that it wasn’t “mine” and briefed him on the Drive One 4A week campaign. He mentioned to me that he and his wife loved the new Explorers and asked what I loved about the vehicle. I told him a few of my favorites as mentioned above and of course dropped the Lebanon Ford dealership for him to purchase from and gave him my blog address so that he could read about my review. You just never know who you will meet!

Needs Improved

  • The design for the console and “main control” area didn’t really give room for my iPhone. Sure I could stow it away (and maybe that is what they want you to do) but as user friendly the Explorer was to sync with my phone I could never find that right spot to stow it while driving. I just sort of let it sit in a cup holder until we had those both utilized.
  • I mentioned that we had a great amount of space above (we could fit more people) but then there was the space with the Abbey’s car seat. We put Abbey behind the passenger seat but in order for it to fit we had to move the passenger seat up to accommodate the space the car seat needed just to snap into the base. I could see this being an issue with more than one car seat and having to put a car seat behind the driver, what if the driver had long legs? 
  • Although I loved the Sync technology there is still room for improvement. This is mostly the case with all technology which is the beauty of it because you can always make it better. There were times when my phone would be connected and I could make calls with it but for some reason I couldn’t listen to my music. Little things like that would happen. We did figure out that you would need to have the Explorer in park and that would help sync up the music but again, slightly annoying.
  • The screen or what I was calling the “Main Controller” has mini dots all over it from my finger prints and that drives me CRAZY! Of course the main controller is touch screen so you are touching it to make either a change in the interior climate or make a phone call (you can also use the steering wheel for this – LOVED that) so it is inevitable for it to get dirty. How would you keep that clean?
  • Hard to get money out at the ATM when you are 5′ 2″ but that could be a height challenge more than a Ford Explorer problem :)
Overall, I was completely impressed with the 2012 Ford Explorer and I’m so grateful for my experience with Lebanon Ford. Everyone I have talked to from the dealership is personable and willing to help answer any questions with their myTech Team representatives basically on call for all their customers. I loved my opportunity to be part of the Drive One 4A Week campaign and would like to extend the offer to all of you. Just simply go to this link and fill out the form for the same opportunity that I had with Lebanon Ford.
And don’t forget to check out my video, there is an Abbey appearance!

For the lawyers: In full disclosure Lebanon Ford gave me a $25 PF Chang Gift Card for my family and I to enjoy some dinner during the #driveone campaign. Thank you again Lebanon Ford! 

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3 comments on “2012 #Ford #Explorer #Driveone

  1. Awesome write-up! I’m so glad we were able to get you the Explorer for a week and that you had a great time with it! You really did get to experience all the seasons of Cincinnati within the week that you had it.

    You literally missed the new MyFord Touch update by about 2 days. We ended up getting it to the dealership a couple days before the week was up. Ford fixed a lot of the user issues with this update. So if you ever want to check it out, let us know!

    Thanks again for teaming up with us and for just being pretty awesome in general!

  2. Leave it to you Jes to find this program and actually do it! Great fun and what a great way to really test drive a vehicle. My friend has this car and absolutely loves it so these new upgrades would just make it better. I do love when I am in her car and she uses the phone feature…..that rocks!

  3. Great job Jesy!!!!! I loved your video. I loved the ride you gave us…….it was very comfortable and what a beautiful vehicle!!!!!

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