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Just stopping in to catch up - Work's been too busy BUT I did test drive a 2013 loaded Explorer Saturday - very luxurious, capable, and generally impressive. It leaves very few "it would be cool if it had/did x feature" comments from this engineer. I hammered it through some twisty paved over cow-paths and while doing so with ease & comfort I also found the newer Sync UI to be completely responsive & intuitive (my eyes never left the road as I verbally put it through infotainment & navigation paces). Couldn't help but wish the beast (4WD 3.5L) had more gears (CVT equiv. or otherwise) or better yet a lighter weight (yea I know - the option toys & tow ready frame add up) ....and of course the gas mileage similar to my also heavy old V8 5.0 Mountaineer. Am saving my pennies and salivating over the 2013 option list (FINALLY heated steering wheels from Ford....geeze it's only been decades ;-)...oh and AC cooled seats something I've appreciated since the new Taurus given that - would be oh so nice on the rump in these sweltering days & long commutes!

Thanks for the updates Rob et al.
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