Smooth ride for a truck-based SUV, spacious and quiet interior, decent towing specs.
Expensive options, weak engine compared to competing SUVs, nonintuitive placement of some interior features, low-grade interior materials.
For more than a decade, the Ford Explorer was at the top of the midsize SUV heap. From its introduction, the truck-based utility vehicle was a hit, and its success subsequently sent other automakers scrambling to develop (or improve) SUVs of their own. But in recent years, competitors have rolled out superior products and many consumers have shied away from SUVs altogether in favor of smaller crossovers. Sales of the Explorer have plummeted.
That's not to say the Explorer is a bad automobile. In fact, its design, handling and powertrain have steadily improved over the years. Now three years into its fourth generation, the 2008 Ford Explorer is still a worthy workhorse for those who truly need the utility of a body-on-frame SUV. Yet although it offers a healthy tow rating and three spacious rows of seating, the Explorer is still somewhat weak when it comes to off-roading capability. So whether the Explorer is still a wise purchase these days depends on what you're looking for.
Our 2008 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD tester came equipped with a 4.6-liter V8 engine good for 292 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. Although this is adequate power for hauling people and a moderate amount of cargo, the combination of the Explorer's motor and six-speed automatic transmission is a bit underwhelming, especially compared to other SUVs in the segment. Both the V8 versions of the Nissan Pathfinder and the new Kia Borrego, for example, make more than 300 hp.
During a previous test of a similarly equipped model, the 4WD V8 Explorer chugged from zero to 60 mph in a mediocre 9.0 seconds. By comparison, a V8-equipped Nissan Pathfinder does the same run in 7 seconds flat. At least the brakes are responsive; a firm and progressive pedal instills the driver with confidence.
While we didn't get the chance to tow anything with this 2008 Ford Explorer, this trim level has a tow rating of 7,130 pounds, which is on par for its class. Its dual-range gearing provides more off-road ability than a typical crossover, but the Explorer's ground clearance of 8.2 inches is slightly less than some of its truck-based competitors. So while the Explorer can theoretically handle rugged tasks, we wouldn't consider it anything special.
Fuel economy for the 2008 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD is rated at 13 mpg city/19 highway. The new EPA combined fuel estimate is 15 mpg, which outperforms the comparable Nissan but can't touch the V8 4WD Kia Borrego's 17 mpg.
What the 2008 Explorer might lack in power, it makes up for in smoothness. Its rear independent suspension provides a comfortable ride, which is a welcome attribute on long trips — especially for rear-seat passengers. And the third row fits two adults reasonably well. The cabin of the Explorer is also pleasantly quiet; there's not much road or wind noise when cruising down the highway.
Steering and handling, while adequate, are nothing to write home about. The Explorer is relatively easy to maneuver, but retains the slightly disconnected feeling that is characteristic of a truck-based SUV — although it doesn't shimmy loosey-goosey over bumps like some utility vehicles we've driven.
In the cabin, our power driver seat offered a wide range of adjustability, but we didn't feel particularly supported. And although the power-adjustable pedals ensured easy access to the throttle and brake for drivers of any height, a telescoping steering column was glaringly omitted. We'd expect better from a vehicle loaded with more than $10,000 in options.
While there isn't anything glaringly wrong with the way the 2008 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4WD functions, it's the little things that prove annoying time and time again. The front door handles are hard to find and inconvenient to use; they curve over the top of the front-most edge of the armrest, which, admittedly, gives them an integrated appearance with the rest of the door, but requires driver and passenger to wrap their hands around the lever in a clawlike motion and pull up. In addition to being confusing, it's ergonomically challenging.
Another gripe concerns the small, awkwardly shaped parking brake release, hidden way down near the driver's footwell, where a hood release would normally be. We had to break out the instruction manual to even find the thing in the first place. In addition, the Explorer's conventional antenna on the passenger side often thunked against low-hanging objects in parking garages. We'd dump the old-fashioned mast in favor of the window-integrated antennas that many competitors now use. And perhaps of most concern is a huge blind spot created by the Explorer's broad C-pillar. Individually, none of these drawbacks is earth-shattering, but collectively, they could be real deal-breakers for the aging SUV.
On the plus side, we like Ford's voice-activated Sync system, which allows the driver to control the navigation and audio settings just by speaking. It takes a little getting used to, and occasionally the voice recognition program misunderstands commands, but overall, this feature works well and helps keep the 2008 Ford Explorer current with its competitors. And despite some wacky design elements like the aforementioned door handles, the Explorer's interior is roomy and versatile. The power-folding 50/50-split third row is a breeze to stow and put back into place, although it offers slightly less total cargo space than Explorers equipped without that option, and fails to fold completely flat. Luggage capacity for our 2008 Ford Explorer is 83.7 cubic feet (versus about 86 for five-passenger models), which bests the Pathfinder's 79 cubic feet but falls far short of the Dodge Durango's 102 cubes.
Design/Fit and Finish
Despite gradual improvement over the years, the Explorer's materials quality remains mediocre and its design rather antiquated. Despite being equipped with the latest technology such as navigation and Microsoft's innovative voice-activated Sync system, the controls look as if they've been carried over from the 1990s. In addition, hard plastics abound in the cabin, and various styling cues like the gargantuan gearshift lever and flat, sunken steering wheel further cheapen the Explorer's look. On the outside, the Explorer has evolved with a more contemporary look, but the keypad on the driver's door is a bit of an eyesore.
Who should consider this vehicle
Outdoor-oriented families who need high towing capacity, off-road capability and plenty of cargo space.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2008 Ford Explorer Overview
The 2008 Ford Explorer is offered in the following submodels: SUV. Available styles include XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), and XLT 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A). Explorer models are available with a 4.0 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 210 hp, depending on engine type. The 2008 Explorer comes with four wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic. The 2008 Explorer comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2008 Ford Explorer?
Save up to $300 on one of 45 used 2008 Ford Explorers for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $5298 as of Nov 23, 2017, based on data from 18 dealers and 95 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 3 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2008 Ford Explorer trim styles:
The 2008 Ford Explorer Limited is priced around $9779 with average odometer reading of 118441 miles.
The 2008 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer is priced around $10080 with average odometer reading of 102299 miles.
The 2008 Ford Explorer XLT is priced around $7346 with average odometer reading of 114370 miles.
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Is the 2008 Ford Explorer a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2008 Ford Explorer and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2008 Explorer featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2008 Ford Explorer? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2008 Ford Explorer and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2008 Explorer 4.2 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2008 Explorer.
Review I've owned Explorers since they were introduced and have owned several. I have used them for business. They are, absolutely, the best, most dependable vehicle I have ever owned. New or previously owned. I still have the first one I bought. It has almost 290k in mileage on it. Other than standard maintanence, oil changes, tires, brakes, scheduled maintenance, etc. I have never had not one single problem with this vehicle. Not one. I just purchased a very low mileage 2008 limited. And it's like coming home again. Only better. The one that I have is a 99' and it's like the every ready bunny. It just keeps going and I love the new one. These are really fantastic SUV's.
2008 Ford Explorer inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Ford Explorer for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 1494 new and 1859 used and CPO 2008 Explorers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 5298 and mileage as low as 58368. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a 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 2008 Ford Explorer. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 300 on a new, used, or CPO 2008 Explorer available from one of 2797 dealerships in your area.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
2008 ford explorer XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), 5-speed automatic, regular unleaded 15 combined MPG 13 city MPG/19 highway MPG
2008 ford explorer Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), 5-speed automatic, regular unleaded 15 combined MPG 13 city MPG/19 highway MPG
2008 ford explorer XLT 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), 5-speed automatic, regular unleaded 16 combined MPG 14 city MPG/20 highway MPG
What options are available on the 2008 Ford Explorer?
Available Ford Explorer 2008 Submodel Types: SUV
Available Trims: Sport, Base, Platinum, XLS, Eddie Bauer, XLT, XLT Sport, Limited, NBX, XL, XLS Sport
Exterior Colors: Shadow Black, Ingot Silver Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Magnetic Metallic, White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat, Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Blue Jeans Metallic, Oxford White, Smoked Quartz Tinted Clearcoat Metallic, Oxford White Clearcoat, Sterling Gray Metallic, White Gold Metallic, White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat, Blue Metallic, Deep Impact Blue Metallic, Dark Side Metallic, Caribou Metallic, Black, Platinum Dune Metallic Tri-Coat, Canyon Ridge Metallic, Bronze Fire Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Sterling Grey Metallic, Sunset Metallic, Burgundy Velvet Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Kodiak Brown Metallic, Black Clearcoat, Guard Metallic, White Suede, Pueblo Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, True Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Cinnamon Glaze Metallic, Green Gem Metallic, Dark Copper Clearcoat Metallic, Aspen Green Clearcoat Metallic, Brilliant Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Stone Clearcoat Metallic, Medium Wedgewood Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Red Fire Clearcoat Metallic, Sangria Red Clearcoat Metallic, Blue Flame Metallic, Dark Blue Pearl Metallic, Kona Blue Metallic, Torch Red, Vapor Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Bordeaux Reserve Red Metallic, Cinnamon Metallic, Ginger Ale Metallic, Mineral Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Blue Pearl Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Cherry Clearcoat Metallic, Toreador Red Clearcoat Metallic, White Sand Tri-Coat, White Suede Clearcoat, Golden Bronze Metallic, Oxford White Clearcoat (Fleet), Silver Birch Clearcoat Metallic, Stone Green Clearcoat Metallic, Tropic Green Clearcoat Metallic, Carbon Clearcoat Metallic, Cashmere Clearcoat Tri-Coat Clearcoat Metallic, Ceramic White Tri-Coat Clearcoat Metallic, Colorado Red Clearcoat, Deep Jewel Green Pearl Metallic, Estate Green Clearcoat Metallic, Mineral Gray Clearcoat Metallic, Sport Blue Clearcoat Metallic, White Pearl, White Pearl Tricoat Clearcoat Metallic
Interior Colors: Ebony Black leather, Charcoal Black leather, Ebony Black w/Red Accent Stitching leather, Medium Light Stone leather, Medium Light Camel cloth, Medium Light Camel leather, Ebony Black premium leather, Medium Light Stone cloth, Ebony Black premium cloth, Charcoal Black premium leather, Medium Stone leather, Charcoal Black premium cloth, Medium Parchment, Medium Soft Ceramic premium leather, Medium Light Stone premium cloth, Midnight Grey, Pecan premium leather, Medium Light Camel premium cloth, Camel leather, Charcoal Black w/Sienna Insert premium leather, Graphite, Camel leather/suede, Medium Prairie Tan, Black leather, Stone leather, Camel cloth, Charcoal Black w/Sienna Insert leather, Black cloth, Black/Camel (Late Availability) leather, Black/Stone leather, Medium Graphite, Medium Light Stone premium leather, Stone cloth
Popular Features: Post-collision safety system, Alarm, Back-up camera, Keyless Entry/Start, Power Liftgate/Trunk, Mobile Internet, Navigation, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Cooled Seats, Remote Start, Sunroof/Moonroof, Blind Spot Monitoring, Upgraded Headlights, Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking, 2nd Row Bucket Seats, Upgraded Engine, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Upgraded Stereo, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Aux Audio Inputs, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Power Driver Seat, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Towing Hitch, Trip Computer, AWD/4WD, 5000lb Towing Capacity, Pre-collision safety system, Bluetooth, Leather Seats, USB Inputs, 6000lb Towing Capacity, Auto Climate Control, Heated seats, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Parking sensors, Rear Entertainment System, Third-row seating, Heads up display