2012 Ford Explorer 2.0L EcoBoost Gets 20/28 MPG

Ford’s 2012 Explorer is about to become the most fuel-efficient seven-passenger SUV available. The EPA has just certified the 2012 Ford Explorer with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. The Explorer will be the first Ford to offer the 2.0L EcoBoost engine in North America.

The EPA has officially certified the 2.0L engine at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder puts out 240 horsepower at 5,550 rpm and 270 lb-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic. To compare the 2011 Explorer’s 3.5L V6 has 283 horsepower and gets 17/25 mpg.

To achieve its fuel economy goal with the new four-cylinder, Ford used direct-injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). A variable-displacement air conditioning compressor and electric power-assisted steering system also improved its efficiency.

“Today’s SUV buyers place a high priority on miles per gallon, so Explorer has expanded its portfolio of fuel-efficient engines with an all-new EcoBoost offering,” said Amy Marentic, Ford group marketing manager. “SUV buyers deserve economy with their capability, so Explorer now offers best-in-class V6 and four-cylinder fuel efficiency.”

The 2.0L will only be available on front-wheel-drive models. It arrives in August and adds an extra $1k over the price of a comparable V6 equipped model.