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Actual mileage will vary with options, actual driving conditions, driving habits and the vehicle's condition.
Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition, and other factors.
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The Ford Explorer has long been one of the best-selling SUVs in the market. A capable tow vehicle and off-roader, it also offers the generous interior space, comfort features and safety technologies necessary for day-to-day tasks.The 7-passenger Explorer is available in both front- and four-wheel drive configurations, with a choice of five trim levels: Base, XLT, Sport, Limited and Platinum. A 290-hp 3.5-liter Ti-VCT V6 engine is standard on the Base and XLT, while the Limited gets the 285-hp 2.3-liter turbocharged Ecoboost four-cylinder; Sport and Platinum trims boast a 365-hp 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6. All engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual mode; 4x4 models also get a user-friendly terrain management system. Trim-dependent standard equipment includes: 18- and 20-inch aluminum wheels, dual panel moonroof, hands-free power liftgate, LED fog lights, LED headlamps, automatic high-beams, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated/ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, Intelligent Access with push-button start and front/rear cameras with washers, along with satellite/HD radio, voice-activated navigation and Ford's SYNC communications and entertainment system. Standard safety features consist of AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and Curve Control function, traction control and anti-lock disc brakes, as well as Ford's MyKey owner control feature and seven airbags. Industry-first second-row inflatable seatbelts are available, as well as a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross-Traffic Alert; additional standard/optional technologies include Lane Departure Warning & Lane Keep Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning, along with enhanced Active Park Assist with perpendicular park assist, park-out assist and semi-automatic parallel parking.Following a complete redesign last year, the Ford Explorer gets minimal changes for 2017. Most notably, Limited models are now powered by the 2.3-liter EcoBoost® 4-cylinder engine, and a new SYNC® 3 communications and entertainment system debuts.
[The] Ford Explorer is a relative joy to drive compared to other truck-based SUVs like the Dodge Durango and Chevy Trailblazer.
For many years, the Ford Explorer has been one of the best-selling SUVs in the market. A capable tow vehicle and off-roader, the Explorer also offers the generous interior space, comfort features and safety technologies necessary for day-to-day tasks.
New Car Test Drive
Performance in government crash tests is good.
The Car Connection
With its 113-inch wheelbase, the Ford Explorer is bigger than it's ever been, about the same size now as the Chevy Traverse and Honda Pilot.
Explorer looks rugged, but that's deceiving.In fact, it should be viewed as a front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive family wagon.It's not rough and tumble like it used to be, back in the day when it was body-on-frame, and had locking hubs and a low-range transfer case.With the right options, today it can tow 5000 pounds and seat seven people, but so can the Kia Sorento.
For 2016, Explorer got a light re-do, including smoother bodywork, nicer and quieter interior, new available engine, and Sync 3 infotainment system.For practical purposes the generation stretches back to 2011, when it went crossover.
For 2017, Explorer offers a new Sport Appearance Package for lower trims, rendering a more aggressive look with 20-inch wheels, a gray grille insert and black cladding, black roof rack, and gray leather seating with gray suede accents and contrast stitching.Otherwise, it carries over unchanged.
Base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that's used in many other Fords, from Flex to Fusion.It makes 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in about 8.5 seconds, using the standard 6-speed automatic transmission.It comes as front-wheel drive but all-wheel drive is available on upper models.
A popular engine is the four-cylinder 2.3-liter turbo, available on some models and standard on Explorer Limited AWD.This EcoBoost four can be found in the Lincoln MKC and Ford Mustang, and in the Explorer makes 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.It's better than the V6 in every aspect, including the sound that comes from the tuned exhaust system.
The most powerful and most fun engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 making 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, in the Platinum and Sport AWD models.If they made an Explorer SHO it would have this engine.The Explorer Sport with this twin turbo V6 gets 20-inch wheels, bigger brakes and a stiffer chassis, but it's still a long way from the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT.
Naturally, fuel mileage for that engine is the lowest of the three, at an EPA-estimated 16 City, 22 Highway and 18 Combined miles per gallon.The base V6 doesn't do much better, at 17/24/20 mpg, while the EcoBoost turbocharged four 19/28/22 mpg.It's worth noting that many EcoBoost buyers complain that their mileage doesn't match the EPA rating.
The Explorer earns five stars in its NHTSA crash rating in every category except rollover, but we can't think of any tall SUV that gets five stars there.With the IIHS, the Explorer got top scores in the moderate-front overlap, side impact and roof strength tests, but only Marginal in the small-overlap crash test.
One feature that might enhance safety but doesn't factor into crash ratings is the Explorer's Curve Control within the stability control; it adapts throttle and brake to upcoming corners.Also standard is trailer sway control.
The Ford Explorer ($31,160) comes standard with the 3.5-liter V6 engine, front-wheel drive, cloth upholstery, air conditioning.Explorer XLT upgrades with 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition, satellite radio, navigation, and 10-way power driver's seat.Explorer Limited features leather seating, 20-inch wheels, heated steering wheel, interior ambient lighting, heated and cooled front seats, heated second row, power folding third row, 12-speaker Sony sound system.
All-wheel drive is available for all trim levels, including Explorer XLT AWD ($35,775).
Explorer Limited AWD models get the 2.3-liter turbo engine.Explorer Sport and Platinum ($53,235) get the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 and come standard with all-wheel drive.
Explorer's styling might be considered authoritarian, with sharp corners and clean edges, as well as a textured grille and a lot of cladding.It's sixteen and a half feet long, and weighs from 4400 to 4900 pounds.It's not exactly rugged, and it's not much like what made the Explorer successful back in the day.Explorer Platinum models get LED lighting and distinctive trim that say more about today's Explorer.
The cabin of the Ford Explorer ranks with those of the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango in its handsomeness, even a bit more contemporary, with metallic plastic on the center stack.Ford says it wants the Explorer to be up there with Audi and BMW, and will keep improving until it is.
It's got some room to go, namely in polishing the Sync 3 infotainment system.It was a huge step last year to get rid of the painful MyFord Touch system, but Sync 3 still isn't a better alternative to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.There are more real buttons than touch-screen functions, which is good.
With tight door seals, engine mounts that absorb vibration, and acoustic glass all around (except for the Base), it's soft and quiet in the cabin.Forward visibility is good thanks to a high seating position, although there are over-the-shoulder blind spots thanks to thick rear pillars.
The front seats (heated on most models) are supportive and comfortable, with soft cushions, the right amount of bolstering, and high and soft armrests.The rear seats provide plenty of legroom, but they aren't so comfortable.They could use more padding, the horizontal cushion is short and slanted awkwardly, and there's not enough width in the center for an adult.Rear bucket seats are available, and they work better; your big SUV loses a seat, but it's also easier to reach the third row.The dual-panel moonroof really opens things up.
The third row like so many is cramped for adults, but okay for kids, who (if you don't have the rear buckets) climb back there over the forward-flipped second row.The third row folds forward, with available power, to create a vast 81 cubic feet for cargo with a floor that's nearly flat.There's still 21 cubic feet even with all rows up.
The base V6 engine is quick enough from a standstill with your foot on the floor, but on a winding road requiring acceleration between the curves, the weak torque on the lower part of the powerband will have you flailing the shift lever.Most models have a sport mode, and its quicker throttle and shift responses help some; but without that sport mode, the shifts are slow.One really good thing is that the transmission will hold its lower gears when told.No paddle shifters here.
The 2.3-liter four-cylinder turbo is way better.It not only gives sharper acceleration, it sounds sweeter, throaty, with amplified engine notes piped into the cabin.It's got good low end and spurts away from corners.It loves sport mode.If you're the least bit enthusiastic about driving, you need it.
The suspension uses MacPherson struts in front with an isolated subframe, and multi links in the rear, with anti-roll bars at both ends.The Sport gets a quicker steering rack, firmer suspension bits, and a strut tower brace with stiffer anti-roll bar in front.
The Explorer's off-road capability is modest (and it always has been).It'll get you and six friends or family through the snow to a ski resort, and more important, back down off the icy mountain safely.The system has Normal, Mud, Sand, and Snow modes, and electronically varies the throttle and braking to deliver the best traction.Rugged terrain is not its forte.
The Explorer has a lot of competition nowadays.We think the EcoBoost 2.3-liter turbo is the way to go, but research the fuel mileage issues first.We wish it were more off-roady, the 6-speed transmission had paddle shifters, the Sync 3 infotainment system were simpler, and the second-row seats more comfortable.
Sam Moses contributed to this report, with driving impressions by The Car Connection staff.
The following list of optional equipment represents a combination of optional dealer or factory installed features that are AVAILABLE for this vehicle. Please note that this list is intended for informational purposes only and does not represent this specific vehicle's current features. Some of these options must be added by the manufacturer during the production process while others may be installed here at the point of purchase. If you have any questions please contact us for clarification.
California Emissions System: Required on units for California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington registration. Optional for Cross-Border States (Arizona, District of Columbia, Idaho, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia and We
California Emissions System Not Required: Dealers ordering a vehicle without a California Emissions system and which is being shipped to a California Emissions State dealer are also required to use code 423 to attest either that the vehicle is not being registered in a California Emissions State or that code 936 is applicable. Note: In Mai
California Emission Exemption: For public service and emergency vehicles. The exemption may only apply in certain California Emission states. Ordering dealer is responsible to contact the proper state authorities for clarification on qualifying exempted vehicles for registration. Only available on units sold for authorized pub
Federal-Emissions State Dealer Order: For California Emissions States Registration. Federal Emissions State dealers ordering a California Emissions System (code 422) are also required to use code 93N to attest that the vehicle is to be registered in a California Emissions State. Note: It is a violation of federal law for a Federal Emi
Base Vehicle Price (K7B)
SiriusXM Satellite Radio: Note: Includes a 6-month prepaid subscription. Service is not available in Alaska and Hawaii. Subscriptions to all SiriusXM services are sold by SiriusXM after trial period. If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter an
Cloth Bucket Seats: Includes 8-way power driver's seat with power lumbar and manual recline, 4-way manual passenger manual passenger seat with manual recline and 4-way adjustable driver and front-passenger head restraints.
Ford US New Hire Car Voucher Ford US National Ford US New Hire Car Voucher
Eligibility: Employee/Retiree Source: Ford Credit
Ford US College Student Purchase Program Ford US National Ford US College Student Purchase Program
Eligibility: Student Source: Ford Credit
Ford US Mobility Motoring Program Ford US National Ford US Mobility Motoring Program
Maximum $1000 for drivers and passengers with physical disabilities (except for alert hearing devices, lumbar seats or running boards limited to max of $200). Eligibility: Automobility Source: Ford Credit
Ford US X-Plan Performance Partner Recognition Direct Offer Ford US National Ford US X-Plan Performance Partner Recognition Direct Offer
Eligibility: X-Plan Source: Ford Credit
Ford US Ford Always On Conquest Direct Offer Ford US National Ford US Ford Always On Conquest Direct Offer
Eligibility: All Source: OEM
Ford US Argo Al Employee New Car Voucher Program Ford US National Ford US Argo Al Employee New Car Voucher Program
Eligibility: Targeted Source: OEM
Ford US Focus RCL Owner Loyalty Direct Offer Ford US National Ford US Focus RCL Owner Loyalty Direct Offer
Eligibility: All Source: OEM
Ford US Focus Retail Owner Loyalty Direct Offer Ford US National Ford US Focus Retail Owner Loyalty Direct Offer
Eligibility: All Source: OEM
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