2012 Ford Explorer Long Term Road Test

2012 Ford Explorer: Will Riswick Fit?

May 01, 2012

 Riswick in the Explorer third row.jpg

All 6-foot-3 of me was legitimately comfortable sitting in the third row of our dearly departed long-term Ford Flex. The boxy tail end allowed for plenty of headroom, while the Vista roof glass panels and big rear quarter windows provided an open atmosphere. Because our Flex had the second-row captain's chairs that slide forward (the bench does not), leg room was excellent too.

So how does the Explorer do? Well, as you can see above, I certainly fit. My head is grazing the roof, however, and my bent knees are touching the non-sliding second-row bench. I could sit back there for maybe an hour, but I'd need a breather for anything more. I could've gone forever in the Flex.

As I recall, though, this amount of space is consistent with other large crossovers like the Durango and Mazda CX-9. The GM Lambdas and Honda Pilot (also boxy) are a bit better. In total, I would say the Ford Explorer's third row seat is very useable since a vast majority of its tenants won't be 6-foot-3.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 14,458 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2012 Ford Explorer in VA is:

$134 per month*
* Explanation