Ford Explorer Review & Features

2018 Average MSRP
$38,500
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$1,902
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2018 Ford Explorer
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Car News

2018 Ford Explorer Gets Minor Updates

Ford isn't taking any chances when it comes to its Explorer midsize SUV. After receiving numerous updates for the 2016 model year, the Explorer is once again getting a refresh. The changes for the 2018 model year aren't extensive, but they'll help keep the Explorer competitive in a class where having the latest features and styling means the difference between a top seller and a midpack laggard.

One must-have feature that will be offered on the 2018 Ford Explorer is connectivity. An onboard 4G modem will give the Explorer the ability to become a Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple devices as well as work with the FordPass app, which allows for remote interaction with the vehicle through a smartphone. Features such as remote start, locking and unlocking, fuel level check and maintenance reminders are just a few of the features available through FordPass.

2018 Ford Explorer

Like many other SUVs in the midsize segment, the 2018 Ford Explorer will offer a safety package that bundles all of its available active and passive crash avoidance technology into one single option. Dubbed the Safe and Smart package, it will include blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, cross-traffic alert, automatic high-beam headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

Updates to the exterior are minor. There are a few changes to the front fascia, including a revised grille and foglights. Models with the 3.5-liter V6 engine get standard quad exhaust tips, while all models will get new wheel designs and revised exterior color options. Sales of the 2018 Ford Explorer will begin in the fall of 2017.

Ford Explorer Review

The Ford Explorer is widely regarded as the catalyst that started America's love affair with the SUV back in the early 1990s. Certainly there were SUVs before the Explorer, but they were mostly utilitarian in nature. The Explorer was the first go-to SUV for the car-buying public. Throughout its life, the Ford Explorer has delivered versatility, a reasonable amount of comfort, affordability and, perhaps most importantly, more style than a station wagon or minivan.

Early generations of the Explorer were built like trucks, but newer Explorers are much more carlike in both construction and road manners. It's given up some off-road prowess over the decades — though it's still more competent in the dirt than many competitors — in exchange for improved handling, ride quality, fuel efficiency, acceleration, and better interior materials with more luxury and technology options. The justifiably popular Explorer should be part of any serious SUV search.

Current Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer offers a quiet cabin made with quality materials, seating for seven, and a range of engine choices. With all the bells and whistles, the top trims rival luxury offerings for performance, comfort and technology. Dipping into the options menu can quickly add cost, but the Explorer has a lot to offer buyers.

There are five trim levels: base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum. Though even the base version comes well-equipped, moving up the list provides luxuries such as leather seating, the Sync voice command system, a rearview camera, keyless ignition and entry, and upgraded audio systems. In addition to its potent engine, the Sport trim features a sport-tuned suspension as well as unique interior and exterior trim details. Optional highlights (depending on trim level) include a navigation system, a rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, a heated steering wheel and even an automatic parallel parking system. Stability control and a multitude of airbags are standard, with blind-spot and collision warning systems available on upper trims.

A 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is standard on all but the Sport trim, which comes with a turbocharged version good for 365 hp. Optional on all but the Sport and Titanium is a fuel-efficient turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that makes 280 horsepower and returns 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway). All engines are hooked up to a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard on all but the Sport and Titanium, which have all-wheel drive standard. The latter is optional for all other Explorers.

In reviews, we've found the Ford Explorer to be one of the best choices for a family-oriented SUV. It drives well, gets good fuel economy for its class, and still retains the versatility that made people like SUVs in the first place. Fitted with most of its optional high-tech features, the Explorer is also one of the most advanced SUVs available, luxury brand or not. The Explorer's most notable downside is that it doesn't provide as much third-row and cargo space as some rival large crossover SUVs. Our favorite version is definitely the Sport for its buttoned-down handling and improved steering response. Other trims can seem sluggish with the smaller engines, and handling can feel a bit ponderous.

Used Ford Explorer Models

The latest Ford Explorer represents the fourth-generation Ford Explorer, which debuted in 2011. It represents a major change for the nameplate, as it switched from body-on-frame construction (most commonly found in pickup trucks) to unibody construction (which cars use). This move alone radically improved the Explorer's on-road manners. A whole new range of more powerful and more efficient engines was also introduced, along with a completely new interior and upgraded technology. This generation represented a quantum leap over the previous one.

Some changes have occurred within the current generation. The turbocharged V6 didn't arrive until 2014, and the 2.3-liter four-cylinder debuted for 2016. Prior to that the Explorer's optional four-cylinder engine was a less powerful 2.0-liter producing 240 hp. It could only be had with front-wheel drive as well. Explorers from 2016 and up also feature the latest Sync 3 infotainment interface (older models have the finicky and often-criticized MyFord Touch system), updated styling and new safety features. If you're shopping for a used Explorer of this vintage, it might be worth trying to find a '16 or newer.

The third-generation Explorer ran from 2002 to 2010, with a significant refresh in 2006. A longer wheelbase and an independent rear suspension allowed room for a fairly accommodating third-row seat and also improved ride and handling performance. A 210-hp V6 was joined by a new 4.6-liter V8 with 239 hp, and both were matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. Initial trim levels included the XLS, XLT, and the more upscale Limited and Eddie Bauer.

For 2003, a few new trim levels debuted, including the XLS Sport and the NBX (No Boundaries eXperience — we're not making that up). The latter came with all-terrain tires, special trim and a Yakima roof rack. An off-road package became available as well, complete with a beefed-up suspension and skid plates. The following year, equipment levels were shuffled, stability control was made available on most trims (previously it could only be had on V8 models), and Limited and Eddie Bauer models got a quad bucket-seating option. The stability control system was upgraded with roll stability control for 2005.

For 2006, a substantial update took place that included revised styling inside and out, an improved frame, enhanced safety systems and a more powerful V8. The latter made 292 hp (up from the previous 239 hp), though the 210-hp 4.0-liter V6 continued unchanged. The V8 came paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission. Safety equipment was upgraded, too, as front-seat side airbags and stability control were made standard on all Explorers. More recent Explorers benefited from the arrival of the voice-activated Sync music and phone interface (2008) and a revised navigation system (2009).

In general, we liked this Explorer and found value in the excellent ride and handling characteristics, comfortable and roomy cabin and, on V8 models, strong power and high towing capacity. Though later outclassed by newer crossover SUVs in terms of comfort and design, this Explorer is a solid pick, particularly if you plan to use a V8 model for towing.

Model years 1995-2001 represent the second-generation Explorer. Though neither as refined nor as powerful as the generation that followed, this group is still a respectable choice for an SUV. For most of this generation's run, three engines were available: a standard 160-hp V6, an optional 210-hp V6 ('97 and later) and a 210-hp 5.0-liter V8. The familiar XL, XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited were the available trims, and there was a two-door Explorer known as the Sport. Editorial reviews at the time noted that the Explorer had a comfortable cabin and decent utility but fared poorly in terms of road handling and off-road ability.

The original, first-generation Ford Explorer debuted in 1990 as a 1991 model, and it replaced the Bronco II in Ford's lineup. It 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. Initially, just the XLS and XLT trim levels were available. In 1992, an Eddie Bauer edition joined the lineup, and a Limited model followed shortly thereafter. For power, these Explorers had a 155-hp V6. Output went up slightly to 160 hp in 1993; this was also the year Ford made antilock brakes standard equipment.

Ford Explorer Cars for Sale

2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
MSRP$54,875
Special Offer See special offer Jerry's Ford of Leesburg(6mi)(6)
Dealer Notes

Equipment Group 600A, Navigation System, Power moonroof, and Wheels: 20 Bright Machined Face Aluminum. All the right ingredients! HardTop! Be the talk of the town when you roll down the street in this wonderful 2017 Ford Explorer. This Explorer engine never skips a beat. It's nice being able to slip that key into the ignition and not having to cross your fingers every time. Call us directly at (703) 777-0000 to confirm availability! Jerry's Leesburg Ford is located at 847 East Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia. If you have any questions, please contact us directly and we'll be glad to help! Our sales department is open 7 days a week: M-F 9AM-9PM, Sat 9AM-6PM, Sun 11AM-5PM. Jerry's Leesburg Ford is a full-service Ford Dealership. Ford Sales, Ford Finance, and Ford Service conveniently located in the town of Leesburg, Virginia.

2017 Ford Explorer Limited
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Limited
MSRP$50,655
Special Offer See special offer Koons Sterling Ford(6mi)(1)
Dealer Notes

MOONROOF.. ADAPTIVE CRUISE.. COLLISION WARNING.. 2ND ROW BUCKET.. NAVIGATION.. HEATED/COOLED SEATS.. BLIS.. ACTIVE PARK ASSIST.. LANE-KEEPING SYSTEM.. MULTICONTOUR SEATS.. SONY PREMIUM SOUND.. PREMIUM LEATHER.. SYNC 3.. FRONT/REAR SENSING.. 2017 Ford Explorer Limited 4wd Canyon Ridge w/ Ebony w/ Red Perforated Leather, 3.5L V6... This Explorer is Loaded Up with Twin Panel Moonroof, Adaptive Cruise Control Forward Collision Warning with Brake Support, Second Row Bucket Seats, 20-inch Polished Aluminum Wheels, Voice-Activated Navigation, BLIS Plus Inflatable Rear Safety Belts Package, Enhanced Active Park Assist System, Lane-Keeping System, Rain-Sensing Wipers, Auto High Beam Headlamps, Multicontour Seats with Active Motion, Perforated Leather Seating Surfaces, Heated and Cooled Front Seats, Ambient Lighting, Adjustable Pedals, Memory Group, Second Row Heated Seats, PowerFold Third Row, Power Tilting/Telescoping Steering Wheel, Universal Garage Door Opener, Front 180-Degree Camera, Rear View Camera, SONY Premium Sound, California Emissions, Front Rear Sensing, Heated Steering Wheel, SYNC 3, Remote Start, Dual-zone Climate Control, Handsfree Power Liftgate, LED Fog Lamps, LED Signature Lighting, Perimeter Alarm, SiriusXM Radio, Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start, Autolamps, Hill Start Assist, AdvanceTrac Stability Traction Control, Roll Stability, Curve Control, Safety Canopy Airbags, Side Impact, Driver Knee Airbag, Easy Fuel Capless Fuel Filler, Roof-Rack Side Rails... Call Koons Sterling Ford at 1-800-796-2075... NOT AVAILABLE FOR TRANSFER... Call us about Additional Rebates that may be available to reduce your price even further! Some examples of Additional rebates that you may qualify for include Active Military, Recent College Grad Competitive Lease Conquest Rebates... WOW prices include some available rebates and incentives that may not be compatible with special rate programs and may require Ford Financing on select models! Financing is subject to approved credit. All prices are special internet prices only and do exclude freight, tax, tags, and processing. WOW prices are valid based on manufacturer incentive program time periods and may vary based on zip code. Please let us verify all rebates that you qualify for... We are a full-service Ford Dealership. We have an Excellent Finance Department and secure financing for the majority of our customers. WE WANT YOUR CAR and are offering top dollar on nice trades. Be sure to call for availability. With our Best Deal WOW Price up front on all In Stock vehicles, our vehicles have been selling very quickly. If you aren't local, no worries. We have been selling vehicles throughout the U.S. for many years. We will gladly handle everything for you to ensure that this is an exceptional car buying experience. Give us a Call and let us WOW you with our Great Prices, Excellent Service and Top Quality vehicles!

2017 Ford Explorer Limited
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Limited
MSRP$50,905
Special Offer See special offer Sheehy Ford Lincoln Of Gaithersburg(17mi)(174)
Dealer Notes

2017 Ford Explorer Limited

2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
MSRP$54,875
Special Offer See special offer Battlefield Ford(19mi)(5)
Dealer Notes

Price includes: $2,500 - Retail Customer Cash. Exp. 10/02/2017, $500 - Retail Bonus Customer Cash. Exp. 10/02/2017, $1,000 - Ford Credit Retail Bonus Customer Cash. Exp. 10/02/2017

2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
MSRP$55,390
Special Offer See special offer Koons Ford of Falls Church(21mi)(3)
Dealer Notes

Check out this great value! Settle in and experience the rush! A turbocharger is also included as an economical means of increasing performance. It includes power seats, automatic dimming door mirrors, front dual-zone air conditioning, and the power moon roof opens up the cabin to the natural environment. Under the hood you'll find a 6 cylinder engine with more than 300 horsepower, and for added security, dynamic Stability Control supplements the drivetrain. Four wheel drive allows you to go places you've only imagined. We have the vehicle you've been searching for at a price you can afford. Stop by our dealership or give us a call for more information.

2017 Ford Explorer Limited
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Limited
MSRP$51,845
Special Offer See special offer Jerry's Ford Alexandria(23mi)(16)
Dealer Notes

2017 Ford Explorer Limited in Smoked Quartz Metallic Tinted Clearcoat. BLIS Plus Inflatable Rear Safety Belts Package (Auto-Dimming Driver's Sideview Mirror, BLIS Blind Spot Information System, and Inflatable Rear Seatbelts), Class II Trailer Tow Package, Equipment Group 301A (Auto High Beam Headlights, Enhanced Active Park Assist System, Lane-Keeping System, Multi-Contour Front Seats w/Active Motion, and Rain-Sensing Wipers (Front Only)), 20 Polished Aluminum Wheels, 2nd Row Console, Adaptive Cruise Control & Fwd Collision Warning, Heated 2nd Row Bucket Seats w/Power-Assist Fold, Navigation System, and Twin Panel Moonroof. Call us directly at (703) 256-5000 for any questions or to confirm availability. Jerry's Alexandria Ford is located at 6510 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria, VA 22312. Our sales department is open 7 days a week: M-F 9AM-9PM, Sat 9AM-6PM, Sun 11AM-5PM. Jerry's Alexandria Ford is a full-service Ford Dealership in Alexandria, VA. Ford Sales, Ford Service and Ford Financing serving the greater Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. Area!

2017 Ford Explorer Base
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Base
MSRP$34,755
 Request price quote The Frederick Motor Company(27mi)(2)
2017 Ford Explorer Sport
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Sport
MSRP$51,110
Special Offer See special offer Cowles Parkway Ford(28mi)(20)
2017 Ford Explorer Limited
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Limited
MSRP$50,375
Special Offer See special offer Koons of Silver Spring Ford(29mi)(1)
2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
NEW 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum
MSRP$55,470
Special Offer See special offer Apple Ford Lincoln(37mi)(2)
Dealer Notes

AWD. Self-stick with leading-edge traction control. Sticking power with super traction control. Zoom Zoom Zoom! This great 2017 Ford Explorer is an awesome, top-down cruiser. You gotta drive it! It's unbelievable how it drives....really! This Explorer is nicely equipped with features such as Equipment Group 600A, AWD, 12 Speakers, 3.16 Axle Ratio, 3rd row seats: split-bench, 4-Wheel Disc Brakes, ABS brakes, Adjustable pedals, Air Conditioning, Alloy wheels, AM/FM radio: SiriusXM, Auto High-beam Headlights, Auto tilt-away steering wheel, Auto-dimming door mirrors, Auto-dimming Rear-View mirror, Automatic temperature control, Blind Spot Sensor, Brake assist, Bumpers: body-color, CD player, Compass, Delay-off headlights, Distance-Pacing Cruise Control, Driver door bin, Driver vanity mirror, Dual front impact airbags, Dual front side impact airbags, Electronic Stability Control, Emergency communication system, Exterior Parking Camera Rear, Four wheel independent suspension, Front anti-roll bar, Front Bucket Seats, Front Center Armrest, Front dual zone A/C, Front fog lights, Front License Plate Bracket, Front reading lights, Fully automatic headlights, Garage door transmitter, Genuine wood dashboard insert, Genuine wood door panel insert, Heated 2nd Row Bucket Seats w/Power-Assist Fold, Heated door mirrors, Heated front seats, Heated rear seats, Heated steering wheel, Illuminated entry, Knee airbag, Leather steering wheel, Low tire pressure warning, Memory seat, MP3 decoder, Navigation System, Nirvana Multi Contour Leather Cooled Bucket Seats, Nirvana Multi Contour Leather Cooled Bucket Seats_, Occupant sensing airbag, Outside temperature display, Overhead airbag, Overhead console, Panic alarm, Passenger door bin, Passenger vanity mirror, Pedal memory, Power door mirrors, Power driver seat, Power moonroof, Power passenger seat, Power steering, Power windows, Premium audio system: Sony, Radio data system, Radio: Premium Sound from Sony, Rain sensing wipers, Rear air conditioning, Rear anti-roll bar, Rear reading lights, Rear seat center armrest, Rear window defroster, Rear window wiper, Remote keyless entry, Roof rack: rails only, Security system, Speed control, Speed-sensing steering, Speed-Sensitive Wipers, Split folding rear seat, Spoiler, Steering wheel memory, Steering wheel mounted audio controls, SYNC 3 Communications & Entertainment System, Tachometer, Telescoping steering wheel, Tilt steering wheel, Traction control, Trip computer, Turn signal indicator mirrors, Variably intermittent wipers, and Ventilated front seats. It will allow you to dominate the road with style, and get outstanding gas mileage while you're at it. When you purchase a New or Pre-Owned vehicle from Apple Ford Lincoln, we will provide you the following benefits, simply for choosing us... Engine Warranty For Life. Car Washes For Life. Oil Changes For Life. Safety Inspections For Life. Tire Rotations For Life. Customer for Life Program has stipulations, excludes certain vehicles and equipment. See dealer for details. Price does not include tax, tags, $300 dealer processing (not required by law), destination and delivery. Some factory incentives included may require financing a portion of the vehicle with the Manufacturer's lender at standard rates. Not all will qualify. Price includes: $2,500 - Retail Customer Cash. Exp. 10/02/2017, $500 - Retail Bonus Customer Cash. Exp. 10/02/2017, $1,000 - Ford Credit Retail Bonus Customer Cash. Exp. 10/02/2017