Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV
- 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.
- Low resale value, lousy fuel economy.
Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV for Sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
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.
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.
2006 Ford Explorer configurations
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
More About This Model
Let's get sexist. Let's get politically insurrect and start drilling beneath the surface of the 2006 Ford Explorer. Although it doesn't qualify as an all-new model -- there's still enough 2005 Explorer in the mix to prevent that distinction -- the 2006 Explorer has had a heck of a lot more work done on it than just a face-lift (that's not the sexist part -- the sexist part's still coming).
The new Explorer is quieter, more powerful, better-looking, better equipped, several rungs higher on the safety ladder, and a sweeter value than its predecessor -- (now comes the sexist part) and it's all because of a woman. That's right, Ford placed the fate of its best-selling midsize symbol of masculine needs and breeding -- the Explorer sport-utility vehicle -- in the hands of Judy Curran, chief engineer.
Judy's a quiet engineering filly, but man, does she ever know how to build an Explorer -- especially one for families.
Here are the Explorer basics for 2006:
It's slightly bigger and heavier than the 2005 model
Four trim levels: XLS and XLT models (for basic and one-step-up buyers), and Eddie Bauer and Limited editions (for the upper-crust crowd)
Two-row seating (for five occupants), or three rows (for six or seven)
V6 or V8 power
Rear-drive or all-wheel drive
Wheel choices ranging from 16-inch steel to 17-inch aluminum to 18-inch chromed
The Feminine Side: A Nice, Quiet Interior
No SUV ever lost points for being quiet enough to allow a conversation to take place between the first- and second-row passengers. Most SUVs, in fact, are echo chambers that bounce road noise, wind noise and engine noise around. Judy Curran didn't like that about SUVs, so her team loaded the Explorer with sound-insulation materials. Now the Explorer driver can even communicate with the kids in the optional third row without having to scream. Ford claims to lead the class in front-seat quietude, and we heard nothing to cause us to doubt it.
And in the absence of brain-rattling noise, you'll also notice that the Explorer's interior has been shaped up nicely, too. We drove the high-end offerings lined with leather (XLS and XLT models start with cloth seats) and packing V8 engines and all-wheel drive. The leather looked good -- felt good, too -- especially when accented by the Preferred Suede inserts. Not especially deep, the front bucket seats do provide good support for long-distance travel.
The driver benefits from a large speedo and tachometer, ringed in "chrome" on the upscale models. Headroom abounds in the first two rows, and second-row legroom is surprisingly generous, even in the three-row configurations.
So how much room do you need for your stuff? In two-row Explorers, there's 45.1 cubic feet of stowage space with the rear seats up, and 85.8 cubic feet in seats-down mode. That's generous for this class. Three-row Explorers present 13.6, 43.9 and 83.7 cubic feet as you move through the seats-down variations.
The Masculine Side: Horsepower
The Grrrrr factor for the 2006 Explorer comes in V6 and V8 forms. The 4.0-liter single-overhead-cam six, paired to last year's five-speed automatic transmission, put out 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque along with ultralow emissions (as good as Ford's Escape hybrid).
Bigger news, however, comes from the 292-hp V8. New to the Explorer this year, the optional 4.6-liter single-cam shares both spirit and three-valve-per-cylinder heads with the Mustang GT. The engine's 300 lb-ft of torque at 3,950 rpm, mated to a new six-speed automatic, raises the V8 Explorer's tow limit to 7,300 pounds. As a bonus, the six-speed also improves the fuel economy. The V8 lifts the Explorer off the line with decent escape velocity, but the midrange passing power was noticeably less Mustang-like -- this truck's torque is used for towing.
On four-wheel-drive models, the Control Trac system carries over, allowing the driver to select three modes: 4x4 Auto (essentially rear-wheel drive until rear-wheel slip is detected, then power is apportioned to the fronts), 4x4 High (which locks the center differential and splits the torque 50/50 front/rear), and 4x4 Low (for slow, rough off-road slogging through sand or what-have-you).
The Feminine Side: A Nice, Compliant Ride
The frame side of the Explorer's body-on-frame setup got a significant makeover. "Tube-through-tube" construction, adapted from the F-Series trucks, adds significant stiffness to the frame for better stability as well as less twisting, which means less "wringing out" of the body which creates squeaks. A new monotube shock design front and rear, and revised independent rear suspension settled the Explorer ride beautifully on-road and off.
The Masculine Side: Handling
And on those rare occasions when your Explorer does make an off-road appearance, you macho man from Mars, you'll appreciate how the Venusian comfort changes to the suspension also help you maintain control of the vehicle. And if you do run out of talent, the standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control will kick in (but not so early that you can't have a little fun playing in the dirt).
The standard four-wheel antilock disc brakes have been beefed up for 2006 to match the SUV's improved towing and payload capacity.
The Feminine Side: Safety
If you're shopping for a midsize SUV and you've placed safety at or near the top of your list, your list should include the 2006 Explorer. Ford has fortified the '06 Explorer to earn a galaxy of stars on federal front- and side-impact crash test ratings. In addition to the previous Explorer's front-impact and side curtain head-protection airbags, the 2006 model includes front-seat side-impact airbags. The '06 also employs a number of sensors designed to assess things like front-occupant size, seating position and crash severity, then deploy the vehicle's safety features to the greatest benefit.
Everybody Likes Value: The Sexist Conclusion
So how'd the skirt do? Well, she made the Explorer quieter. And safer. And nicer to live with. And better-looking. And better-riding. And better-handling. And more powerful than ever. In short, Judy Curran's Explorer priorities mirror what America keeps searching for in a family SUV.
Now here's the kicker: The 2006 Ford Explorer is less expensive than the 2005. Starting at $27,175 for a base XLS and moving up through the Limited (which starts at $33,160), you save an average of $1,750 over last year. Here's to a woman's touch.
Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV Overview
The Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV is offered in the following styles: Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLS 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.6L 8cyl 6A), XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLS 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 6A), and XLT 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 6A).
What's a good price on a Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV?
Save up to $220 on one of 8 Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, VA with prices as low as $3,996 as of11/15/2018, based on data from dealers and consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from2.5 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV trim styles:
- The Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV XLT is priced between $4,949 and$8,900 with odometer readings between 94371 and159041 miles.
- The Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV Eddie Bauer is priced between $4,584 and$5,990 with odometer readings between 127083 and136857 miles.
- The Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV Limited is priced between $7,994 and$7,994 with odometer readings between 113757 and113757 miles.
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Which used 2006 Ford Explorer SUVS are available in my area?
Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV Listings and Inventory
There are currently 8 used and CPO 2006 Ford Explorer SUVS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,996 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a prew-owned vehicle from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a used or CPO vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2006 Ford Explorer SUV. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $220 on a used or CPO 2006 Ford Explorer SUV available from a dealership near you.
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Should I lease or buy a 2006 Ford Explorer?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.