Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Great ride and handling characteristics for a truck-based SUV, spacious and quiet interior with user-friendly layout, healthy tow rating, high safety content.
- Weak engines compared to competing SUVs, some low-grade interior materials, poor expected resale value.
Although engine performance is mediocre, the midsize 2008 Ford Explorer deserves consideration from anyone shopping for a traditional SUV with substantial towing and hauling capabilities. But for those who just need a family cruiser, newer seven-passenger crossovers provide more space, superior driving dynamics and slightly better gas mileage.
The king has fallen. For more than a decade, the Ford Explorer was the undisputed ruler of the SUV kingdom and an elemental reason for the sport-utility craze that is still going on. But in recent years the Explorer has been dethroned by several other SUVs, falling precipitously in the sales rankings amidst high gas prices and the success of crossovers. While the 2008 Explorer is the best yet, its truck-based underpinnings are starting to make it look like a dinosaur amongst the new species of crossover SUVs.
This doesn't mean the 2008 Ford Explorer wouldn't be a good choice, especially if you need three rows of usable seating in a midsize SUV body. Ford made substantial upgrades to the Explorer for the 2006 model year that refined its already impressive road manners. We consider it one of the best-handling truck-based SUVs on the market, and its smooth, quiet highway ride makes it a natural road trip candidate. Plus, its truck-based, body-on-frame chassis can handle greater towing loads than crossovers can, and the dual-range gearing of four-wheel-drive models provides a bit more off-road ability.
For 2008, Ford adds its innovative Sync system to the Explorer. This technology, co-developed by Microsoft, allows drivers to control communication and entertainment devices like cell phones, PDAs, iPods and other MP3 players via voice commands. It is a potentially revolutionary technology and a considerable selling point for the aging Explorer. Later in the model year, all Explorers gain a capless fuel-filling system, which cuts gasoline vapor leaks and eliminates the embarrassment of driving off without re-capping your gas tank.
Although the 2008 Ford Explorer has plenty to offer in the way of utility and technology, compared to other traditional, truck-based SUVs, it's lacking in power. The base V6 engine makes only 210 horsepower. Not only is this a low number for this hefty class of vehicles, it's also 53 hp south of Ford's smaller Edge crossover. The optional V8 is smoother and puts up a more impressive 292 hp, but it still lacks the low-end pull of competitors' V8s and, increasingly, their V6s as well.
For buyers who aren't concerned about having the quickest SUV on the block, the Explorer is an impressive package. It's comfortable enough to serve carpool duty, yet rugged enough to handle a 7,000-pound camper or the dirt trail leading to your secluded mountain hideaway. Those last two points are important, because truck-based SUVs like the Explorer are best suited to people who really need them. For family-minded buyers who just need copious amounts of cargo and passenger space, a crossover SUV or minivan is apt to be a better fit.
2008 Ford Explorer models
The 2008 Ford Explorer is a four-door midsize SUV available in XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited trim levels. The XLT seats five and comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air-conditioning, a CD/MP3 stereo with an auxiliary input jack and full power accessories. Eddie Bauer models provide two-tone paint, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, heated front seats, Ford Sync connectivity, faux wood interior trim and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The top-line Explorer Limited has those features plus monochromatic paint, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control (with a separate rear air-conditioner), power-adjustable pedals, a manually folding third-row seat (for seven-passenger capacity), a power front passenger seat and seat memory for the driver. Also included with the Limited are heated exterior mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and an upgraded audio system with an in-dash CD changer and steering-wheel-mounted controls
Major options include a third-row seat (with or without a power-fold feature), rear-seat climate control and upgraded stereo on non-Limited trims, power running boards, a heated windshield, second-row captain's chairs, Sync hands-free communication and entertainment integration system, a voice-activated navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, a sunroof, satellite radio, 20-inch wheels and a Class III/IV towing package.
Performance & mpg
The Ford Explorer's base engine is a 4.0-liter V6 good for 210 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque. Optional on all models is a 4.6-liter V8 engine with 292 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard with the V6 engine, and the V8 comes matched to a six-speed automatic. Either engine can be equipped with a choice of two-wheel-drive or a four-wheel-drive system with a push-button transfer case. Properly equipped, a V8 2WD Explorer can tow 7,300 pounds. When it comes to acceleration, a 4WD Explorer equipped with the V8 takes a mediocre 9 seconds to reach 60 mph. For comparison, a V8-equipped Nissan Pathfinder does the same run in 7 seconds flat.
All major safety equipment is standard on the 2008 Ford Explorer, including antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, and first- and second-row side curtain airbags. The stability control system includes an important feature called Roll Stability Control (RSC), which uses a gyro sensor to calculate the SUV's roll speed and angle. If RSC determines a rollover is imminent, it activates the regular stability control to help avoid it. A reverse parking sensor system is standard on the Limited and optional on other trims.
The Explorer earned a perfect five stars in all frontal- and side-impact crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as well as the top rating of "Good" in the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety's frontal-offset crash testing.
Any 2008 Ford Explorer is a relative joy to drive compared to other truck-based SUVs like the Dodge Durango and Chevy Trailblazer. 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 adequate, though most buyers will prefer the V8's extra helping of low-end torque and refinement.
Despite incremental improvements over the years, the Explorer's materials quality remains mediocre and its design rudimentary, though sharp two-tone color schemes make this workaday SUV feel a little more upscale. It's feasible to carry two adults in the third-row seats, but choosing the third-row option slightly reduces the available cargo space and results in a not-quite-flat load floor. Seven-passenger Ford Explorers max out at 83.7 cubic feet of cargo space, while five-passenger versions offer 85.8 cubic feet. Notably, the 60/40 sections of the second-row bench seat recline only if your Explorer has a third-row seat. The "quad seating" option on Limited models drops passenger capacity to six and places reclining captain's chairs in the second row with a storage console between them.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover3 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
- Side Impact TestAcceptable
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintPoor
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV Overview
The Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV is offered in the following styles: XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), XLT 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV 4WD (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.6L 8cyl 6A), XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV AWD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (4.6L 8cyl 6A), XLT 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 6A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (4.0L 6cyl 5A), and Eddie Bauer 4dr SUV (4.6L 8cyl 6A). Pre-owned Ford Explorer SUV models are available with a 4.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 210 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV comes with four wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic. The Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV 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 SUV?
Price comparisons for Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV trim styles:
- The Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV XLT is priced between $6,999 and$6,999 with odometer readings between 155190 and155190 miles.
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Which used 2008 Ford Explorer SUVS are available in my area?
Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV Listings and Inventory
There are currently 1 used and CPO 2008 Ford Explorer SUVS listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,999 and mileage as low as 155190 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 AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Ford Explorer SUV.
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Should I lease or buy a 2008 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.