If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Loaner carlopnik

My F-150 has gone to the dealership for a couple of recalls. Nothing big, just adding shields to the door latch assembly inside the door and trimming insulation around the seat belt pretentioners. I don’t really care much about either recall, but this will get Ford to stop sending me letters. I’ve got mixed feelings about it going into the shop, as this will be the first time since it rolled off the dealership lot with 6 miles on it that anyone other than myself has touched a bolt on it.

They gave me this thing as a loaner car. My quick Oppo review is “not bad.” 2019 Explorer, 3.5 V6, FWD. I guess I can see why these tall cars are popular. Drives like a car, roomy back seat (although lacking a center armrest) and lots of space in the back. I always thought these looked bigger than it turns out they actually are. I find it surprisingly small and narrow to drive and park.

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The drivetrain does its thing with enough gusto, and it handles better than I was expecting. For a tall car, it is well composed around the twisty stuff. This isn’t a fancy one, but the interior is nice enough. Soft materials on anything you touch, and the rest is hard plastic that isn’t offensive looking or feeling. The dash and control layout is standard Ford fare. I’ve you driven any Ford vehicle made in the last 5-6 years, you’ve basically driven all of them in terms of controls and menus. The stereo plays noises.

There is one glaring problem, though. Actually, two. Someone appears to have spilled a drink on the climate control console, so only some of the buttons work.

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Hello GPS tracking device, I’m assuming

What the fuck is this? A pedal operated parking brake? In 2019? I thought well got past this nonsense like 20 years ago even in ‘merican cars, and even 10 years ago in trucks. If my F-150 doesn’t have one of these, there’s no reason for a tall car to...

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Overall, this is a vastly superior vehicle to the body-on-frame explorer of old. If you don’t need body-on-frame towing capability, or a legit 4WD system with a locking center diff and low range, and I’m pretty sure most folks don’t, this would be a fine family truckster.

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