2006 Ford Explorer SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Ford Explorer SUV

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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 Yes

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

  Average Consumer Rating (12 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

The achilles heel of the

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

I purchased my 2006 explorer in 2007 with 19k miles... It looks sharp and performs very well in traffic and on the interstate. Has a sport car feel imo.. however, the radiator started to leak,, then stopped for some time (seems to leak more in the colder months, not at all in the summer months) this happed at about 100k miles. I have also replace both front (wheel hubs), and the CD player. you can purchase an aftermarket radiator on-line for about $125.. much cheaper than the ford one for about 500.. The other design flaw is the Transmission.. I noticed that now 3rd gear was very shaky.. in the shift... hense the tranny is going .. .. at that point I traded the Ford for a GMC.




Nomorefords

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

Thank God for the extended warranty. 3 radiators, 1 A/C, shifter column, back windshield motor, tire sensor, and 4 other problems later I'm done with Ford. Several problems lurking too (transmission, 4 wheel drive). This vehicle is a piece of junk after 20,000 miles. Too bad cause I like the styling. Trading it in soon for a 4Runner. Resale value was surprising positive.




Transmission

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

I didn't have any problems with this car, in fact, I bragged to my husband all the time about how much I loved it. Then at 55,000 miles I was broke down on the side of the road an hour away from home because the transmission went out with no warning. Then it cost $2,200 to fix it.




2006 explorer issues

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

I bought this Explorer in 12/08 with only 20k miles and it was in pristine shape inside & out. Around 30k miles, I noticed that it would occasionally shift hard into reverse and finally took it in a month ago at 40k miles after reading many of these posts. Needless to say they had to rebuild the tranny, luckily it was under the drivetrain warranty. At 35k miles I replaced the radiator, which appears to be another huge issue with this model. As soon as the warranty is up, this thing is destined for sale or trade.




My other lady

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

I purchased my white-beauty brand- spankin' used in Dec 08. I still have a daily sedan, but I love the days when I drive my truck. It's so smooth and it feels solid, planted and secure. I have had two problems, a failed radiator(which is fairly common with this Explorer) and both my power outlets failed. All was covered under warranty. I love the high seating position and it's nice when travelling. The cabin is very capacious with the seats folded down. I have saved so much money when buying large items that previously would have required paying for delivery. This is my first Ford and my first SUV. I will definitely be steering my wife toward that new Taurus when her car needs replacing!!




Fantastic vehicle

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

I have had alot of vehicles before, this has been one of the best. I was scared at first of buying a ford so I bought a service contact for repairs. I have not had one thing go wrong in the vehcle. I would buy another one again.



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