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2011 Ford Explorer: Everything A Soccer Mom Could Want

Illustration for article titled 2011 Ford Explorer: Everything A Soccer Mom Could Want

Here's the all-new 2011 Ford Explorer unveiled today in its natural habitat — outside of Macy's in Manhattan's Herald Square. Mike Rowe was even there. It's a dirty job to reveal a new crossover, but somebody's got to do it.

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We just got back to the office from Ford's live reveal of the 2011 Explorer in Herald Square here in New York City. Two notes. First, the twin towers of Julie power, Julie Rocco and Julie Levine, the Ford Explorer team managers, told me the reason Ford calls this an SUV is because customer clinics overwhelmingly called this an SUV. We're glad to hear that the technical definition of a vehicle is left up to people walking into the Mall of America, but we're standing by our impression it's a crossover.

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Also, we were told the "4WD" system on the new Explorer is the Taurus/Flex system tweaked a little — not the Land Rover system. Moving on.

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DISCUSSION

I've always thought "crossover" was marketing BS. I realize that "crossover" is intended to define an SUV running on a car chassis, specifically they are unibody, but I think that's irrelevant.

The first time I recall "crossover" being used was to promote the Chrysler Pacifica. I think that's a better example of what a crossover is. An SUV desperately trying to look like a station wagon, much like the Toyota Venza, Ford Flex or the Honda Crosstour.

There have been unibody SUVs for quite a few years now, the Honda CR-V and Lexus RX come to mind, and they haven't ever been called crossovers. So the new Ford Explorer is indeed an SUV.

Truly off-road capable SUVs should probably be given another name.