How could the best-selling passenger vehicle in America 14 years running, the mother of all mom-mobiles, the beloved suburban schlepper of millions, wind up on this list? Forget about the whole Firestone tire controversy. In its very success, the Ford Explorer is responsible for setting this country on the spiral of vehicular obesity that we are still contending with today. People, particularly women drivers, discovered that they liked sitting up high. Even though more fuel-efficient minivans do the kid- and cargo-hauling duties better, people came to prefer the outdoorsy, go-anywhere image of SUVs. In other words, people became addicted to the pose. And, as vehicles got bigger and heavier, buyers sought out even bigger vehicles to make themselves feel safe. Helloooo Hummer. All of that we can lay at the overachieving feet of the Explorer.
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