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  1. #1
    Ambassador jess71903's Avatar
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    2010+ Explorer and Pilot owners come in!

    We are nearing new-to-us vehicle shopping. The Pilot and Explorer are the 2 I am interested in. We will be buying used. These 2 seem to match up pretty closely as far as reviews I can find online, which surprised me because Ford usually gets dumped on pretty hard.

    Just looking, I like silly things, like the fact that the shifter on the Pilot is on the dash, leaving lots of room for storage of things. That's a petpeve of mine. Why would anybody want a big shifter right in the middle? What's wrong with a column shifter? I like the exterior of the Explorer better, but the interior of the Pilot.

    Anyway, just give me your reviews, with pictures if possible. I have 2 in boosters now and generally only take an extra person or 2 with me, so extra huge isn't necessary. We did just get a German Shepherd puppy, and travel quite a bit, so cargo room is a must, but generally with 3rd row stowed.

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  3. #2
    Carseat Crazy
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    I have a Flex, which I love, but I'm driving a 2011 Explorer ATM while my Flex is being serviced. The Explorer has 96k miles on it, and I haven't seen a single thing that looks worn or doesn't work correctly. It also still drives well. It doesn't have that loose, worn out feeling that some cars begin to have at higher mileage. The one I'm driving is a Limited model with most of the options. I have my dd's Parkway SGL installed in the second row driver's side, and it works fine. I'll have this car until at least Monday, so if you need a measurement or have a question, I'm happy to get it for you.

    Also, an acquaintance has a Pilot. She has had some sort of major problem with it that required the replacement of the engine or transmission. I don't remember the exact situation, but the vehicle was less than two years old when it happened. It was covered under warranty, but I was very surprised about having such a major issue when the vehicle was so new.
    Mama to Josie (4/08, 47lbs & 49"), retriever-cat Hotrod, munchkin-cat Gizmo, and hell-cat Leggs.

  4. #3
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: 2010+ Explorer and Pilot owners come in!

    We have a 2012 Pilot and we love it. We looked at the Explorer when we bought the Pilot but it has been 4 years now so I don't remember all the reasons we picked the Pilot. I know one was we liked the way the second row slide out of the way instead of having it tumble the seat to get to the third row. In the Pilot, you can have some boosters there and slide the seat and it was just easier for the kids to do it on their own. We have 3 kids that ride in it most days and more than once I have had 6 kids in the back (at one point all 6 were in some sort of car seat or booster). Every combo I have tried fits in the middle, though some combinations are easier than others to access the third row. We have a small Springer Spaniel so her crate isn't a big deal. When we first bought the Pilot we had 2 dogs though (a lab and our current dog) and we were able to fit them both with the third row down.

    We haven't had any issues with ours. Just normal oil changes and filters changed and we replaced the tires awhile back. We don't have a ton of miles, around 40,000.

    We do have a Ford Fusion that is now 7 years old. It has been pretty good to but it has needed a little more maintenance on it. Nothing crazy, but more than we expected. Most things have been covered under warranty. It also doesn't have that many miles on it, right around 80,000.
    Former CPST and Mom to
    C-13 years old, B-11 years old
    A-8 years old riding in a Harmony Youth Booster or Graco TurboBooster

  5. #4
    CPS Technician Kegracin's Avatar
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    Re: 2010+ Explorer and Pilot owners come in!

    I have a 2014 explorer I love it but if dh drives the kids complain about leg room. I do have one booster issue drivers side buckle is long and my cybex booster doesn't like it the passenger side is fine but that's the smaller seat so I'd rather be able to fold it down. (I use my 3rd row since I have 3 kids).


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  6. #5
    Ambassador jess71903's Avatar
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    Re: 2010+ Explorer and Pilot owners come in!

    All very useful info. DH is 6'4", so that's big. Thanks, guys. I am literally evenly split. One day I lean Explorer, the next, Pilot. It will probably come down to the deal we can get.

    We are apparently color snobs, too. I'm so sick of shades of gray in vehicles. So drab. The only other common color I see is red, and dh hates red. Weirdo. I'm done with white but I would put money on finding the best deal ever in a white one.

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  7. #6
    Senior Community Member
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    Re: 2010+ Explorer and Pilot owners come in!

    Our Pilot is the dark red with black leather interior. I like it, though it wasn't my first choice. It is really common around her, though a lot of the red one has beige cloth interior here. I really wanted the chocolaty brown color but Dh hated it. We didn't want grey, black or white so our color choices were limited.
    Former CPST and Mom to
    C-13 years old, B-11 years old
    A-8 years old riding in a Harmony Youth Booster or Graco TurboBooster

  8. #7
    Carseat Crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kegracin View Post
    I have a 2014 explorer I love it but if dh drives the kids complain about leg room.
    Some models have second row seats that adjust front to back. I think both sides do so in the captain chair second row.
    Mama to Josie (4/08, 47lbs & 49"), retriever-cat Hotrod, munchkin-cat Gizmo, and hell-cat Leggs.

  9. #8
    CPS Technician
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    2009-2015 Pilots are all the same as far as seats/car seating. 2011 and newer Explorers are all the same as well.

    I have a 2011 Pilot and have worked in 3 newer Explorers over the last 2 years. The Pilot is SO much more car seat friendly. It has more front to back space for rear facing car seats, actually will fit 3 across the 2nd row, and has top tether anchors for all 2nd and 3rd row seats (Explorer only has 1 tether anchor 3rd row).
    DS1 (April '09) Britax Parkway SGL & Clek Olli, DD (March '12) Britax Frontier 90 & Evenflo Maestro, DS2 (April '15) RF Nuna Rava & RF Clek Foonf
    2011 Honda Pilot
    2009 Honda Ridgeline

  10. #9
    Carseat Crazy
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    Quote Originally Posted by aporthole View Post
    . 2011 and newer Explorers are all the same as well.
    While the seating layout and basic options haven't changed in the 2011+ Explorers, there are multiple layouts available. There are 6 passenger and 7 passenger models, and some, but not all, have fore and aft adjustable second row seats. I'm currently driving a seven passenger 2011 model than doesn't have the adjustable seats, but my dad had a 2014? Six passenger with adjustable seats.
    Mama to Josie (4/08, 47lbs & 49"), retriever-cat Hotrod, munchkin-cat Gizmo, and hell-cat Leggs.

  11. #10
    Ambassador jess71903's Avatar
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    Re: 2010+ Explorer and Pilot owners come in!

    Quote Originally Posted by kathysr98 View Post
    While the seating layout and basic options haven't changed in the 2011+ Explorers, there are multiple layouts available. There are 6 passenger and 7 passenger models, and some, but not all, have fore and aft adjustable second row seats. I'm currently driving a seven passenger 2011 model than doesn't have the adjustable seats, but my dad had a 2014? Six passenger with adjustable seats.
    One I have saved is a 6 passenger that looks really nice. I wonder if the seats slide. It's also Kodiak Brown, quick is really dark. I like it. It's the most pricy one I have saved, though. I also have a...dark red -forget what they call it -Pilot, and it's one of the better deals I've seen.

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  12. #11
    Carseat Crazy rosey2007's Avatar
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    I have an 03 Explorer and I love it.

  13. #12
    Ambassador jess71903's Avatar
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    Re: 2010+ Explorer and Pilot owners come in!

    Quote Originally Posted by rosey2007 View Post
    I have an 03 Explorer and I love it.
    I had an '02 and an '06, and currently have an '05 Expedition. Love them all. The 2011+ Explorer is a different beast, though.

    We're pretty set on a Pilot at this point. Now to find the right one for the right price. The Expy was showing signs of being near death, but it turned out to be a bad plug and coil, so not nearly the bad ($$) news we were expecting.

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