2006 Ford Explorer SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Ford Explorer SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Explorer Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.0 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 210 hp @ 5100 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/19 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Ford Explorer

  • The 2006 Ford Explorer has a functional interior, ample passenger space, strong powertrains and a well-controlled ride, all of which contribute to its well-deserved reputation as a practical midsize SUV with few faults.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Excellent ride and handling characteristics for a truck-based SUV, strong optional V8, comfortable and quiet interior with user-friendly layout, standard Roll Stability Control.

  • Cons

    Low resale value, lousy fuel economy.

  • What's New for 2006

    Ford treats the Explorer to a number of significant improvements for 2006. Styling has been updated with a bolder grille treatment, a new tailgate and more attractive taillights. Interior furnishings get an upgrade, too, and additional sound insulation results in a supremely quiet cabin, while a stiffened frame and new shocks provide even better ride and handling characteristics than before. Ford tweaked the 4.0-liter V6 to cut smog-forming emissions by 74 percent and a new three-valve 4.6-liter V8 replaces last year's two-valve version. A six-speed automatic transmission is also new, and comes standard with the V8 engine. Trim levels are simplified, and front-seat side airbags, AdvanceTrac stability control and Roll Stability Control are now standard on all Explorers.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Transmission beyond hope

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Explorer XLS 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I bought the Explorer new and had a thermostat failure that blew coolant all over the engine warping engine parts resulting in $2500 repair. At 70,000 miles started having transmission issues starting with slipping and high revs between gears. Transmission locked up and was replaced. Since then the same slipping issues has caused multiple returns to the shop without resolution. My wife and I like the Explorer design but the engine / transmissions issues make it a nightmare that I would not wish on anyone. This is my last Ford.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2006 traded for a 2004

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Explorer XLS 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

we have 7 kids (4 at the time we bought it in(2006) it looked OK, were we ever wrong. The only good thing about it was it broke down under warranty(16,320 miles) it was used with 15,000 miles on it we barley owned it. every thing under the hood needed to be fixed, Everything. and ford wouldn't fix it. and it was under warranty.




Seized engine due to overheating

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Ford Explorer XLS 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

Our Explorer got warm once . Gauge shot from normal to 3/4 of the way up then went down, then shot almost to the red. I pulled over added water after waiting 45 minutes to cool engine (cool winter night) . There was no more overheating indicated & was driven a few more miles before the engine seized without Any indication of anything wrong . Dealer says piston is fused to block & will cost $ 5,100 for New ford engine, doesn't mention about the cause of the problem, most likely the Manufacturer Defective Radiator or the Head Gasket is to blame from my research on this Model/Year (06/07) of Ford. Transmission is sure to go out soon I fear




Heap of junk!!

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Ford Explorer XLS 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

At this current time my Ford 2006 Explorer XLS is at the service department at the purchase dealership. This time it was returned for the recall on and having too heavily accelerate when in reverse and especially in drive. They think it maybe an engine or transmission problem at (108000 miles). The joke is the transmission is sealed and must be returned to the service department for servicing and of course money. Also, the radiator has been replaced twice. I am very afraid to maintain this vehicle due to the current and previous mechanical problems. This vehicle is American Made but itís a heap of joke and I wonder was it assembled on Monday or Friday.




Not the best midsized suv

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Explorer XLS 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I have owned my Ford for just under a year now and have had some problems I would like to warn people interested in buying the car. First at 3200 miles I had to have the trans reprogramed not to big of a deal but the trans should not be slipping at all especially at 3000 miles. Second the passenger door was making the squeeks the the domestics are know again. I emphasize at less than 5000 miles. Build quality is up to snuff with the imports. It a far better car than the one it replaced. The other enormous draw back is the resale. I own a 2006 and payed about 24000 and is now woth about eleven.



2 of 10 people found this review helpful

99 durango was better

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Ford Explorer XLS 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

I purchased basic XLS V6 model. Vehicle looks nice. It has been in the shop 3 times since March 06 purchase. Lumbar support driver seat broke twice, still not fixed right; rear driver side window inoperable, transmission will not shift out of park more than half of the time when brake pedal is depressed. Fuel economy no better than my former Durango V8 5.9 liter. Gas pedal is too small and foot slips off. I am stuck in this thing for several years; can not afford loss of value to sell now.



Full 2006 Ford Explorer Review

What's New for 2006

Ford treats the Explorer to a number of significant improvements for 2006. Styling has been updated with a bolder grille treatment, a new tailgate and more attractive taillights. Interior furnishings get an upgrade, too, and additional sound insulation results in a supremely quiet cabin, while a stiffened frame and new shocks provide even better ride and handling characteristics than before. Ford tweaked the 4.0-liter V6 to cut smog-forming emissions by 74 percent and a new three-valve 4.6-liter V8 replaces last year's two-valve version. A six-speed automatic transmission is also new, and comes standard with the V8 engine. Trim levels are simplified, and front-seat side airbags, AdvanceTrac stability control and Roll Stability Control are now standard on all Explorers.

Introduction

The Ford Explorer debuted in 1990 as a 1991 model, and achieved instant success in a market that it ultimately defined, if not created. Based on the Ford Ranger pickup, the original Explorer had the winning combination of size, style and utility that people wanted in an SUV. It came as the volume-selling four-door or a less popular two-door, and replaced the Bronco II in Ford's lineup.

Initially, just XLS and XLT trim levels were available. In 1992, an Eddie Bauer edition joined the lineup, and a Limited model followed shortly thereafter. The Explorer's first major revision occurred in 1995, when it received a new independent front suspension, revised styling and a new interior. This iteration soldiered on through 2001 with few changes, but by then accusations that the Ford Explorer suffered a high incidence of tire failures and subsequent rollover accidents had tarnished the nameplate.

Ford blamed tire supplier Firestone for equipping the Explorer with flawed Wilderness A/T tires, and initiated a massive recall to replace the original equipment rubber. Firestone blamed the Explorer's design and Ford's recommendation that the tires be inflated to a relatively low 26 psi. Neither company publicly pointed fingers at consumers' indifference to the dangers of overloading vehicles, expecting a truck to handle like a car, failing to monitor tire pressures or dismissing the importance of seatbelts as possible contributors to blowout-related deaths.

For 2002, just as the Explorer rollover debacle was winding down, Ford launched the completely redesigned Explorer. A substantial improvement over the original, the new truck had a wider track, longer wheelbase, a fully independent suspension and seating for up to seven adults. It should have been a runaway success, but the Ford-Firestone media fight kept buyers away from showrooms and forced Ford to offer cash rebates and low-interest financing to keep sales afloat. Sales eventually recovered, allowing the Explorer to continue its reign as the best-selling SUV in the U.S.

The 2006 Ford Explorer gets revisions that keep it ahead of the pack. Although it doesn't qualify as a full redesign, the new Explorer is quieter, more powerful, better-handling, better-equipped and several rungs higher on the safety ladder than the 2005 model. Highlights include a new three-valve 4.6-liter V8 borrowed from the Mustang, extra sound insulation that significantly reduces cabin noise levels and a stiffened frame that provides an even more compliant highway ride than before. Safety-conscious buyers should take note that not only are front-seat side airbags and conventional stability control standard across the line, but so is the Volvo-engineered Roll Stability Control system, which provides additional protection against rollover accidents. This fully modern vehicle merits consideration by anyone looking for a spacious yet agile SUV that can transport a family of five in comfort and haul serious amounts of cargo.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The four-door, midsize 2006 Ford Explorer is available in XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited trims. The XLS comes with air conditioning, cruise control, an MP3-compatible CD player, keyless entry, and power windows, mirrors and locks. XLT models get a six-way power driver seat, 16-inch alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and rear ventilation ducts. Eddie Bauer models offer two-tone paint, 17-inch wheels, all-terrain tires, running boards, leather upholstery, heated seats, a 10-way power adjustable driver seat with memory, faux wood trim and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The top-line Limited comes with monochromatic paint, chrome wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power front-passenger seat, heated mirrors and an upgraded audio system with an in-dash CD changer and steering wheel controls. Major options include a third-row seat, a navigation system, a rear air conditioner, a DVD entertainment system, a sunroof, 18-inch wheels and second-row bucket seats.

Powertrains and Performance

The base engine is a 4.0-liter V6 good for 210 horsepower. Optional on all models except the XLS is a 4.6-liter V8 engine with 292 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard, and both two- and four-wheel drive are available with either engine. Properly equipped, a V8 2WD Explorer can tow 7,300 pounds.

Safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard, as are front-seat side airbags, AdvanceTrac stability control system and Roll Stability Control, which uses a gyro sensor to calculate the SUV's roll speed and angle. If the system determines that a rollover is imminent, AdvanceTrac takes corrective action to help avoid it. Any Explorer can be outfitted with the Safety Canopy system that includes first- and second-row side curtain airbags and a rollover sensor that keeps the airbags inflated longer in the event your Explorer does roll over. A reverse-sensing system can be added to all models except the XLS. The NHTSA has not crash tested the 2006 Ford Explorer, but last year's model fared well, earning four to five stars in all frontal- and side-impact tests, as well as a top rating of "Good" in IIHS frontal-offset testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

This year Ford has upgraded the Explorer's ergonomically sound but bland cabin with more attractive materials, a sharp set of gauges, and a shapely steering wheel and gear selector, along with additional insulation to reduce cabin noise levels. It's feasible to carry two adults in the third-row seats, but choosing the third-row option also reduces available cargo space. Seven-passenger Explorers max out at 81.3 cubic feet of cargo space, while five-passenger versions offer a more competitive 88 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

Any 2006 Ford Explorer model is a joy to drive, as SUVs go. Taking much of the credit for this praise is the rear independent suspension, which provides a smooth ride and keeps the wheels planted on rough pavement. Steering is surprisingly responsive and the brakes inspire confidence through a firm and progressive pedal. Power from either the V6 or V8 engine is acceptable, though we prefer the added refinement of the V8.

Talk About The 2006 Explorer

Read more about the 2006 Ford Explorer

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 14
  • cty
/
  • 19
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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