By James Bergeron

Day 1:

2006 Ford Explorer
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With recent gas prices going from extreme highs across the country to more sane levels in the past few days, manufacturers want to remind you the SUV is still around and are better than ever. This week I step into the 2006 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition.

As luck would have it, I tested one of the largest SUVs around last week, the Cadillac Escalade; as a result the Explorer seems down right small in exterior dimension and road presence. Interior dimensions though are more forgiving in the Explorer, leg room and head room seem more abundant even though the Explorer’s overall dimensions are smaller.

2006 Ford Explorer
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The Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition is powered by either a 4.0L SOHC V6 engine or as is the case with my tester a 4.6L 3-valve V8 engine producing 292hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The V8 engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with overdrive, driving all four wheels with Ford’s ControlTrac four-wheel drive system.

Although not nearly as decked out as the Escalade at half the price of the Escalade the Explorer holds its own with leather seating, navigation system, 18�? chrome wheels and climate control.

Almost immediately I noticed the independent rear suspension provides a smoother ride and better lateral control than SUVs equipped with conventional solid axles. Bumps and cracks in the road are smoothed out, providing almost a car like feel.

2006 Ford Explorer
MSRP as tested: $54,57500

For more information on Ford and the Explorer visit Ford Canada

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