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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey all, first post. Hope I'm in the right place.

I’m a young guy in my twenties — and in a bit of a funny car bind.

So I’m finally in the market for my first 4-door vehicle, and I’ve narrowed my search down drastically after hard thinking of what I truly want to drive, and I’m basically down to a couple vehicles: the Explorer being on top so far.

Why not a truck? I’ve probably had a thousand people suggest I get a truck, but I have zero need for one, and the bed will obviously worsen maneuverability. I don’t haul stuff, so why waste the money?

Why not a car? Been there, and I’ve learned that I HATE riding low on the road. I’m 6’3 and I can’t stand crawling in and out of them + the blocked visibility from anything taller than the car.

So, I opted for the midsize SUV market. It’s usually only me driving, but I do want more space. Bottom line, I’m down to the Explorer and the Jeep Grand Cherokee. I’ve been a little disenchanted by the JGC lately because of the well-known FCA reputation; but then again, I’m the current owner of a 2dr wrangler that has 0 issues. Bet that could change though. I've always been veeery particular about my cars. I hate the bubble shaped cookie-cutter looks of most of them these days, which is another reason why I enjoy the more boxy look the outgoing explorer offers.

My ONE pullback is this: … ain’t these on the soccer-mom side? I assume if I got either in black or something they’d separate from that appeal, but I always get that “this is for families only” vibe. I know it’s about what my taste is, but still.. ya know. I personally can’t find anything I’d like besides these two choices, so I’m curious if there’s any younger folks (or just folks in general) who can chime in on this.

For reference, this isn't a purchase I'll be making particularly soon, but something I'm planning on. Probably next year.
 

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It does seem a bit of a mismatch for a younger guy, unless you have family or loads to haul around, loads that don't need a full pickup bed and you'd like to keep in the passenger compartment.

I'd expect a younger guy, and myself included, to prefer the upcoming Bronco, but I expect it'll be in high demand when first released and have poor pricing, even above sticker.

I would have preferred that the Explorer didn't keep getting bigger. Wider yes for better stability but it's only a midsized SUV because everything else kept getting larger too!

What surprises me about it is that despite having 3 rows of seats, or possibly because of it, the cockpit area isn't all that roomy. I mean you can put the seat back, and down towards the floor but I still feel a bit cocooned in... guess it's what you're used to, I don't plan to do any juggling in it (lol) but but being a bit older I remember the days of bench seat old American cruisers where you could lay down and tap a nap across the front seat, or just about could juggle in them.

Anyway if you're looking to buy Ford, the Explorer is what's available for now, unless you want to go a little smaller to the Ford Edge or smaller (and cheaper looking interior too) with the Escape.

A lot of people consider any of these unibody SUV/crossovers to be soccer mom vehicles but that's the way the market has gone unless you want one of these:

https://carbuzz.com/features/awesome-suvs-based-on-trucks-you-can-still-buy-today

Losing the frame does make the Explorer and other unibody SUVs fare worse for the wear in areas that salt the roads in winter, but having the option of AWD makes them decidedly superior to a soccer mom minivan for snowy winter roads or "light" off-roading.

In the end I wouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks about it, rather it just has to put a smile on your face when you go out to get in it, not be something you felt you settled for.

As far as those two you mentioned, the Explorer is better on roads, the Jeep gives up a little for the off-road clearance but they are pretty similar vehicles overall. I'd test drive them, make a list of pros and cons for each, and make up your mind from that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It does seem a bit of a mismatch for a younger guy, unless you have family or loads to haul around, loads that don't need a full pickup bed and you'd like to keep in the passenger compartment.

I'd expect a younger guy, and myself included, to prefer the upcoming Bronco, but I expect it'll be in high demand when first released and have poor pricing, even above sticker.

I would have preferred that the Explorer didn't keep getting bigger. Wider yes for better stability but it's only a midsized SUV because everything else kept getting larger too!

What surprises me about it is that despite having 3 rows of seats, or possibly because of it, the cockpit area isn't all that roomy. I mean you can put the seat back, and down towards the floor but I still feel a bit cocooned in... guess it's what you're used to, I don't plan to do any juggling in it (lol) but but being a bit older I remember the days of bench seat old American cruisers where you could lay down and tap a nap across the front seat, or just about could juggle in them.

Anyway if you're looking to buy Ford, the Explorer is what's available for now, unless you want to go a little smaller to the Ford Edge or smaller (and cheaper looking interior too) with the Escape.

A lot of people consider any of these unibody SUV/crossovers to be soccer mom vehicles but that's the way the market has gone unless you want one of these:

https://carbuzz.com/features/awesome-suvs-based-on-trucks-you-can-still-buy-today

Losing the frame does make the Explorer and other unibody SUVs fare worse for the wear in areas that salt the roads in winter, but having the option of AWD makes them decidedly superior to a soccer mom minivan for snowy winter roads or "light" off-roading.

In the end I wouldn't worry about what anyone else thinks about it, rather it just has to put a smile on your face when you go out to get in it, not be something you felt you settled for.

As far as those two you mentioned, the Explorer is better on roads, the Jeep gives up a little for the off-road clearance but they are pretty similar vehicles overall. I'd test drive them, make a list of pros and cons for each, and make up your mind from that.
Yeah, it’s a shame that most of the alternatives in this car category blend in almost identically, which is why I became so hard pressed on my decision. Truthfully, I am more sold on the looks and the size department with the JGC, but doing even a little research on them makes me a bit nervous. Lots of “never buying one again”’s and “in the shop all the time” comments online. Then again, I see some great things said about them too.

I actually knew someone back in high school who’s first car was a 90s-era Chevy Suburban, and I do see younger guys riding in similar SUVs from time to time, so I know there’s a little something for everybody. Most seem to opt for sedans though.
I’ve been very excited about the news of the new bronco resurfacing! Assuming they stay true to what we expect, I’d probably be waiting for that ride, but what you said is going to be true without a doubt: it’ll be out of my budget, and I’ve been told to steer clear of first generation models.

Whenever I get the chance to visit another lot, I’ll immediately test drive my top two choices as of now. I have a feeling I’ll like them both.

Big thanks 🙂
 

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Ford has a little edge over Jeep for reliability, but if you want that, go with Toyota.
 

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I'm on my third Explorer. Had two with the 3.5 and finally found a 2016 Sport I could afford. I've had a lot of Cars in my life. Bought a Bronco in 86 and have had one car since then. A Mustang. it only stayed in the garage for 4 months. Back to an SUV. Have had 3 Broncos, one Expedition, one Flex and 3 Explorers.Out of all the above mentioned vehicles the Explorers are by far the best of all. My Sport will go anywhere, haul most anything, with all the seats down it's a pick-up bed back there. Handles and rides better than most cars including my better half's Lexus. I'll stop buying Explorers when they stop making them. BTW, I'm a very young 79 years old!
 

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Currently own JKU(09) and Explorer(16).

A few years back, before Fiat, I bought a JGC and traded it away within 6 mo of purchase, absolutely hated it.

JKU - Love it.
Explorer - Also Love it. The Explorer has more expensive pieces/parts to give headaches, but so far has been a great reliable vehicle.

Officially the JKU is mine and the Explorer is the wifes, but I do find myself choosing her car sometimes for the convenience/comfort it offers not to mention the MPG.
 
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