This 2013 Ford Explorer video review describes this large crossover and its fuel economy, space, price, safety and technology features like MyFord Touch. We compare it to other three-row SUVs and let you know if it's a good family vehicle.
A few years ago it seemed like every driveway in America had a Ford Explorer in it. These days, there are a lot more SUVs and crossovers to choose from, but the Explorer remains a strong candidate. Pricing starts around $29,000 and can climb to nearly $50,000.
Although it looks very large on the outside, this is a more civilized vehicle than older Explorers. The ride is smooth and quiet, and inside, this family SUV feels downright upscale. Materials are high in quality.
It looks slick and modern, too. The MyFord Touch system combines audio, navigation, Bluetooth and climate functions. The interface needs fine-tuning, though, because the touchscreen is tough to use when you're on the move.
The XLT featured in our video seats seven. If you order bucket seats for the second row, capacity drops to six. Passenger space is cavernous in the first two rows, but the third row is kid-size. Cargo capacity is low for this class. If you need more room, rivals like the Chevrolet Traverse, Dodge Durango, Mazda CX-9 and even Ford's own Flex are better choices.
There's a wide range of available safety features, including inflatable second-row seatbelts and a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alerts. The government gave the Ford Explorer a four-star crash rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick.
You have two engine choices. The turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is a little more expensive, but unlike most engine upgrades that charge extra for more power, you're actually paying extra for better fuel economy. It returns 20 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, while providing sufficient acceleration. If you want all-wheel drive, you'll need to get the V6. It offers better performance at the expense of mpg.
One thing we don't like about the Ford Explorer is that it just feels big behind the wheel, and in particular, it can be a pain to park. Visibility isn't great, either, so you really end up relying on its safety aids. Competitors are better in this regard. Still, for big families who like tech features, this Ford has plenty to offer.