I went to the Charlotte Auto Show this evening, and saw a lot of interesting things, more of which I'll be commenting on at later dates. One thing really stuck out though. Ford absolutely destroyed the Explorer.
Now, for full disclosure, I have always been a GM (particularly Chevy) guy. My family has owned seven different vehicles in my lifetime, and they have all been GMs (and, true to this commercial, I was brought home in a Chevrolet). That being said, I have always thought the Explorer was one of the best vehicles out there. (Sidebar: although I like the Explorer, I think Ford did a poor job of handling that rollover crisis they were having about a decade ago. They publicly blamed it on the Firestone tires...and then they did a redesign which lowered the center of gravity and changed the rear suspension...but trust us, it was the tires.) The Explorer was everything you expect from an American SUV: powerful, good looking, comfortable. If you go to the Wikipedia page, you'll see that the first four generations of Explorers (1991-2010) were indeed very good looking vehicles.
However, some time in the last couple years, Ford designers woke up and said "damn, we're tired of the Explorer looking like the quintessential American SUV," and came up with this:
this and this to this? I don't even know what to say about this, I'll just let you sit there and wonder why I pasted in a picture of one of Ford's other SUVs, only to get on Google image search and find that, yes indeed, the Explorer has been ruined.
One final interesting note: luckily, Ford did not elect to similarly ruin the Expedition. But I won't be surprised if they do in the near future.
Can anyone explain this? More importantly, does anyone think Ford made a good decision here?