Ford Explorer

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Ford Explorer

 

The Ford Explorer wasn’t the first sport utility vehicle, but it hit on the right formula to become the best-selling SUV and help fuel the popularity of the class. Starting as a truck-based SUV, the Explorer continually added carlike features and refined ride quality. Eventually, sales took a hit thanks to increased competition and the Firestone tire failures, but they’ve been improving with the popularity of recent versions. The Explorer has been redesigned for the 2020 model year, and this new generation marks a return to the SUV’s rear-wheel-drive-based roots. Other previous variations included the Explorer Sport Trac, which had a pickup bed, and the Explorer Sport, a name used on early two-door versions as well as a later performance offering. The Explorer’s architecture was also used for the Mercury Mountaineer, Lincoln Aviator and Mazda Navajo.

Explorer – 6 Generations

  • 2020–24
  • 2011–19
  • 2006–10
  • 2002–05
  • 1995–2001
  • 1992–94
  • 2020–24
  • 2011–19
  • 2006–10
  • 2002–05
  • 1995–2001
  • 1992–94
Latest generation

2020–24 Explorer

With its 2020 redesign the Explorer returns once again to a rear-wheel-drive-based platform. Its styling is similar to the previous generation, though the SUV is a bit bigger and has a longer wheelbase that helps create more cargo room. Power comes from a standard turbocharged 2.3-liter

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  • MSRP range$36,760–$56,525
  • Consumer rating
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  • Combined mpg 20–24
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$36,760–$56,525
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 20–26
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2023:
  • Three-row SUV
  • Rear- or four-wheel drive
  • Choice of two turbocharged gas engines
  • Hybrid drivetrain available
  • Performance-focused ST and off-road-oriented Timberline trim levels

  • MSRP range$35,510–$55,630
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 20–26
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2022:
  • New ST-Line trim level
  • Three-row SUV
  • Rear- or four-wheel drive
  • Choice of two turbocharged gas engines
  • Hybrid drivetrain available
  • Automatic emergency braking standard

  • MSRP range$32,925–$54,600
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 20–25
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2021:
  • New Timberline, King Ranch trims
  • Three-row SUV
  • Rear- or four-wheel drive
  • Choice of two turbocharged gas engines
  • Hybrid drivetrain available
  • Automatic emergency braking standard

  • MSRP range$32,765–$58,250
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 20–24
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2020:
  • Redesigned for 2020
  • New rear-wheel-drive platform
  • Four-wheel drive available
  • Two turbocharged gas engines
  • 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Hybrid and high-performance ST models offered
Previous generation

2011–19 Explorer

In a major change, Ford moved the Explorer from a truck-based, rear-wheel-drive body-on-frame platform to a car-based, unitized front-wheel-drive platform. Though still marketed as an SUV, it was now more accurately a crossover. The largest engine was a V-6, while turbocharged four-cylinders

 

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  • MSRP range$32,365–$54,165
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 18–22
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2019:
  • Seats up to seven in three rows
  • V-6 engine standard
  • Turbo four-cylinder and turbo V-6 available
  • Front- or four-wheel drive
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto connectivity available
  • Hands-free power liftgate available

  • MSRP range$32,140–$53,940
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 18–22
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$31,660–$53,235
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 18–22
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2017:
  • New Sport Appearance Package
  • Seats up to seven in three rows
  • V-6 engine standard
  • Turbo four-cylinder and turbo V-6 available
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Hands-free liftgate available

  • MSRP range$31,050–$52,970
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 18–20
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2016:
  • Seats 6 or 7 in three rows
  • New Platinum luxury model added
  • More powerful 2.3-liter, turbocharged 4-cylinder
  • Available front and rear cameras with washers
  • Hands-free liftgate feature

  • MSRP range$30,700–$43,100
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 18–20
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2015:
  • New Appearance Package for XLT models
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels now standard
  • Seats six or seven
  • Inflatable rear seat belts available
  • Terrain Management system available
  • 365-hp Explorer Sport

  • MSRP range$30,015–$41,675
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 18–20
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2014:
  • Turbo four-cylinder or choice of V-6s
  • Seats six or seven
  • Optional inflatable rear seat belts
  • Available Terrain Management System
  • 365-hp Explorer Sport

  • MSRP range$29,100–$40,780
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 0–20
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2013:
  • New 365-hp Explorer Sport
  • Turbo four-cylinder or choice of V-6s
  • Seats six or seven
  • Optional inflatable rear seat belts
  • Available Terrain Management System

  • MSRP range$28,280–$39,855
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 19–20
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2012:
  • Turbo four-cylinder or V-6
  • Car-based platform
  • Optional inflatable rear seat belts
  • Available Terrain Management System

  • MSRP range$28,360–$39,535
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 19–20
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2011:
  • Redesigned for 2011
  • New car-based platform
  • Available turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Available Terrain Management System
  • Three rows of seating standard

2006–10 Explorer


The 2006 Explorer grew about 4 inches longer and 1.5 inches wider on a new frame due to a subtle redesign. The optional V-8 got 53 more horsepower, paired with a new six-speed transmission. Tire pressure monitoring and electronic stability control became standard. The SUV now offered

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  • MSRP range$29,280–$38,600
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 0–17
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2010:
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Capless refueling system
  • 292-hp V-8
  • Five- or six-speed automatic
  • Sync multimedia system
  • Stability system with Roll Stability Control
  • Available power-folding third row

  • MSRP range$28,470–$39,180
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg 16
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2009:
  • Side curtain airbags
  • New exterior colors
  • Capless refueling system
  • 292-hp V-8
  • Five- or six-speed automatic
  • Sync entertainment system
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control
  • Available power-folding third row

  • MSRP range$26,495–$36,690
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2008:
  • Side curtain airbags
  • New exterior colors
  • Cap-less refueling system
  • 292-hp V-8
  • Five- or six-speed automatic
  • Sync entertainment system
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control
  • Available power-folding third-row

  • MSRP range$25,370–$35,365
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2007:
  • Available Ironman Package
  • New exterior colors
  • Standard audio input jack
  • 292-hp V-8
  • Five- or six-speed automatic
  • Optional Safety Canopy system
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control
  • Available power-folding third-row

  • MSRP range$26,530–$35,940
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2006:
  • Fully independent suspension
  • V-6 or new 292-hp V-8
  • Five- or six-speed automatic
  • Optional Safety Canopy system
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control
  • Available navigation system
  • Available power-folding third-row seat

2002–05 Explorer


For 2002, Ford put a larger, all-new body on a unique platform. Combined with a new four-wheel independent suspension, it allowed the Explorer to have a third-row option for the first time. Powertrain upgrades included a new V-8 and five-speed automatic transmission across the

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  • MSRP range$27,165–$38,050
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2005:
  • Fully independent suspension
  • V-6 or V-8
  • Five-speed automatic
  • Optional Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control

  • MSRP range$26,600–$37,555
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV
Notable features in 2004:
  • Fully independent suspension
  • V-6 and V-8 engines
  • Five-speed automatic
  • Side-curtain airbags/Safety Canopy
  • ControlTrac 4WD

  • MSRP range$26,285–$37,000
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$24,585–$34,510
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

1995–2001 Explorer


This Explorer was restyled to differentiate it from its truck predecessor. It rode on the same frame, but with extensive suspension revisions for improved ride on-road. The interior was redesigned, with more available features and dual airbags. Initially, the past generation’s

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  • MSRP range$25,210–$34,660
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$19,970–$34,565
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$20,065–$34,540
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$19,880–$33,720
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$20,085–$35,005
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$19,770–$34,950
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$18,985–$33,935
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

1992–94 Explorer


The first Explorer derived directly from the Ford Ranger pickup truck and was criticized for poor handling. Despite its truck roots, the upper trim levels, XLT and Limited, were nicely equipped, and the Explorer became the country’s best-selling SUV. The sole engine was a

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  • MSRP range$17,970–$28,910
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$16,690–$27,422
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV

  • MSRP range$15,854–$23,553
  • Consumer rating
  • Combined mpg
  • Body style SUV
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