There are five models of 2011 Ford SUVs for buyers to choose from. The models are the Escape, which competes in the compact SUV class, the Edge, Explorer, and Flex, which while distinct, compete in the mid-size SUV class, and the Expedition, which competes in the large size SUV class. Each has undergone changes for the 2011 model year. This article focuses on Ford’s 2011 mid-size SUV models.
The 2011 Ford Edge is significantly redesigned. It offers more power and fuel efficiency that last year’s model. The Edge has two V-6 engine options with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost engine expected to debut later in the model year. The Edge has seating for five and optional all-wheel drive. It has a starting price of about $28,000 and competes against other five-passenger midsize crossover SUVs such as the Nissan Murano and Toyota Venza.
The 2011 Ford Explorer is totally new this year. The Explorer, which was the best selling SUV of the 1990s, has now morphed into a unibody frame crossover SUV. It is now built on the same platform as the Ford Taurus and no longer offers a V-8 engine option.
The Explorer is offered with a 3.6-liter 290 horsepower V-6 engine. During the 2011 calendar year, an optional 2.0-liter 237 horsepower turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine will be available. The EcoBoost engine gets 20-mpg city and 28-mpg highway, a 30 percent fuel economy improvement over the 2010 model.
The Explorer is offered in three trim lines: base, XLT, and Limited. It has standard seven-passenger seating with optional all-wheel drive on all trims and goes on sale starting in December 2010. The Explorer competes in the seven-passenger midsize crossover SUV segment with models such as the 2011 Dodge Durango, Chevrolet Traverse, and Toyota Highlander.
The 2011 Ford Flex is a seven-passenger mid-size crossover SUV. The Flex is in its third model year and has more boxy styling that the Edge or Explorer. The Flex adds the Titanium trim line for 2011, in addition to the SE, SEL, and Limited trims. Three-rows of seats are standard on all trim lines.
The Flex is offered with two engine choices, a 3.5-liter V-6 producing 262 horsepower or the powerful 3.5-liter V-6 355 horsepower twin-turbocharged EcoBoost engine. The EcoBoost engine can propel the Flex from 0 to 60 in about 6 seconds. Fuel economy for Flex all-wheel drive models is 16-mpg city and 21-mpg highway. The Flex competes against seven passenger mid to large size SUV models such as the Honda Pilot and Mazda CX-9.
2011 Ford SUVs offer buyers a variety of choices. Ford’s three midsize offerings, the Edge, Explorer, and Flex stand out above the outdated Escape and Expedition. However, these mid-size SUVs each have a starting price of about $30,000 and a well-appointed Flex Titanium can reach near $45,000.