The new 2011 Ford Explorer is just beginning to hit dealer showrooms, and the all-new-from-the-ground-up SUV is already beginning to collect awards. This time, it’s the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s “Top Safety Pick” award, given to vehicles that earn a “good” rating in offset frontal crashes, side impacts, rear impacts and roof strength testing. Top Safety Pick vehicles must also have electronic stability control.
The 2011 Ford Explorer comes with a serious amount of available or included safety features, including the industry’s first inflatable rear seat belts, designed to better dissipate energy in a crash. In addition to electronic stability control, Ford is introducing Curve Control on the new Explorer, which will automatically brake the vehicle if it senses a speed too great for the amount of steering angle input. Optional safety features on the new Explorer include adaptive cruise control, which maintains a preset distance between vehicles with the cruise control on; collision warning with brake support, which pre-charges the braking system and advises the driver via a red LED light bar when it senses a pending collision; blind spot and cross traffic alerts and MyKey, which allows owners to set speed limits and seat belt reminders for inexperienced drivers. All wheel drive Explorers also feature Ford’s Terrain Management System, which allows drivers to set steering, throttle response and stability control for the type of terrain they’re on.
The 2011 Explorer joins seven other Ford vehicles already on the IIHS list, including the 2011 Taurus, the 2011 Fusion, the 2011 Fiesta, the 2011 Flex, the 2011 Lincoln MKS, the 2011 Lincoln MKT and the 2011 Lincoln MKZ. Congratulations to Ford on all of their 2011 IIHS awards.