To be honest, I never envisioned myself owning a Ford Explorer. As a lifelong fan of Nissan and Toyota, my previous car—a 2008 Nissan Xterra—was the epitome of a no-frills SUV. While it was undeniably reliable, it lacked creature comforts. However, my opinion changed when I discovered the Platinum trim of the Ford Explorer, and I eventually chose the 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum. Here’s why:
What captured my interest:
- Captivating car seats: The exquisite quilted design of the car seats instantly drew me in, evoking the luxurious feel of a Bentley.
- Leather-clad interior: With leather upholstery on the dashboard and door panels, there’s no room for complaints about cheap plastic interiors.
- Second-row captain’s chairs: This seating configuration appealed to me, offering ample spacing and easy access to the third row when necessary.
- Powerful engine: Both the Ford Explorer Sport and Platinum boast an EcoBoost 3.5L V6 engine. Initially, I assumed that “EcoBoost” prioritized efficiency over performance. However, further research revealed its impressive output of 365 hp and 350 lb-ft torque—comparable to a 2007 Ford F-350 6.8L V10’s 362 hp.
- Fully loaded features: As the top trim, the Platinum edition is packed with amenities like a dual-panel sunroof, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot warning system, lane-keeping assist, front and rear cameras, and automatic self-parking.
- Sync 3 technology: Exclusive to the 2017 and later models of the Explorer Platinum, this feature offers Android Auto compatibility, which I appreciate.
- High sales figures: A total of 1,930,263 5th generation Explorers were sold, which matters to me because greater sales numbers indicate better aftermarket car parts and support from the community.
The drivers seat. What a beauty.
All leather dash
Points of concern:
- Lower MPG rating: The 5th generation Explorer Platinum’s fuel efficiency of 16 mpg city / 22 mpg highway falls short compared to the 6th generation model, which boasts 18 mpg city / 24 mpg highway.
- Smaller fuel tank capacity: Despite having similar fuel efficiency to my previous car, the 2008 Nissan Xterra, the Explorer Platinum features a smaller 18.6-gallon tank compared to the Xterra’s 21.1-gallon tank. Fortunately, the 6th generation Explorer Platinum offers a 20.2-gallon tank, though only the Platinum and ST models have this larger capacity.
- Price and depreciation: With an MSRP of $53,235, the Explorer Platinum’s value drops significantly after four years, with pre-owned models ranging from $29,000 to $34,000 and 40,000 to 51,000 miles. This equates to a depreciation of roughly 41.76% or $22,235.
- Perceived luxury: Despite its price tag, the Ford Explorer Platinum may not be regarded as a luxury vehicle on par with brands like Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes.
As for why I didn’t opt for the latest 6th generation Ford Explorer Platinum, I generally prefer purchasing a model that has been on the market for 3-4 years, allowing the manufacturer time to resolve any issues. Perhaps I’ll consider upgrading to the 6th generation model in the future.
Moving forward, I plan to use my 2008 Nissan Xterra as a reference point in upcoming blog posts. While I understand that some readers may view this as an unfair comparison, it’s important to note that the Xterra is the only vehicle I’ve driven daily for the past 12 years, making it my primary basis for comparison. By no means do I dislike the Xterra—it has been a reliable companion and I’ve treated it with the utmost care, much like one would cherish their first love.
In reflecting on my journey to owning the 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum, I’ve discovered that sometimes it’s worth stepping outside of our comfort zones and exploring new possibilities. This SUV has truly surprised me with its luxurious features, powerful engine, and advanced technology. While it may not be perfect, it’s been an exciting change from my reliable Nissan Xterra, and I’m eager to see what adventures lie ahead.