Watching the progress that small cars and hatchbacks have been making in regards to fuel economy has been fairly noticeable, so noticeable that when you compare it to the trucks and SUV market, the gains made so far seem lacking. There are few 30 MPG SUV options, none of which are Ford SUVs.
Ford's newest entry into the world of Green sport utility vehicle, the 2012 Ford Explorer still won't be quite be a 30 MPG SUV, but it will break ground in another way. It will become the largest of the Green new cars for sale.
The newest entry of Ford cars for sale will get 28 MPG on the highway, a fairly modest gain over the competition that's even more flattering when you're comparing sizes. Most other new cars for sale in that class are so called cross over vehicles, lacking the true size and power of the Explorer.
And while it may seem like the truck and SUV markets are barely making any fuel efficient gains, it's important to stop and consider what a used SUV five years ago made do on. If you used the Ford dealer locator five years ago and found a 2007 Ford Explorer, it would have only gotten 21 MPG Highway if you were lucky.
That may not seem like blistering gains, but it's much harder to change the aero dynamics and weight for an SUV like you would with other Ford cars for sale. Instead you have to make gains in engine performance like Ford SUV engines are making with the 4 cylinder ecoboost engine to make strides in performance.
Now before you do run off to the Ford dealer locator all lathered up, it is important to note there still are some trade offs for this step up in economy. First it tows less than half the weight of its 6 cylinder cousin, and second you cannot get it in 4x4. This makes the 2012 Ford Explorer perfect as a personal carrier, but less desirable if you pull a trailer, for which finding a good used SUV is probably the cheaper alternative still. Maybe one day we can finally get both.