2017 Ford Explorer
- Plenty of high-tech features that are easy to use
- Optional turbocharged V6 engine delivers plentiful power
- Cabin is quiet and comfortable on the highway
- Cargo space is generous behind the third row
- Depending on trim level, feels big and ponderous from behind the wheel
- Legroom in the second and third rows is subpar
2017 Ford Explorer pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Explorer does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating4.5 / 5
Available with plenty of features and three distinctly different engines, the 2017 Ford Explorer has a lot to offer if you're shopping for a three-row crossover SUV. Its outstanding quietness and quality cabin trimmings elevate this practical do-all crossover to the front of the segment.
A household name among American carbuyers, the Ford Explorer has evolved from its long-ago roots as a body-on-frame SUV into the comprehensively modern three-row crossover it is today. Depending on trim level and options (and how deep your pockets are), it can be downright luxurious. Our preference for the Sport arises from the "drives big" nature of other non-Sport trim levels — though comfortable, the soft suspension and numb steering of non-Sport models make their driving experience oddly ponderous.
Aside from that, though, there is an awful lot to credit to the Explorer. You can configure an Explorer that keeps things relatively basic, or you can go all-in on luxury. Versatility is a strong suit, too. You have your choice of three engines. You can get it with a second-row bench or captain's chairs and option the second and/or third row with power-folding functionality. Lots of cargo space is standard.
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Ford Explorer seats six or seven passengers, depending on how you equip it. There are five trim levels: base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum. Three engines are available, and all models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Sport and Platinum have all-wheel drive only, while Base, XLT and Limited models are available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Base Explorers have the basics covered, but going up one notch to the XLT gets you a few extra features plus access to more desirable options. The Limited and Sport have similar features, while the Platinum tops off the Explorer line as the fully loaded trim.
Entry-level base models have the basics covered with their 3.5-liter V6 (290 horsepower, 255 pound-feet of torque), 18-inch wheels, rearview camera, cruise control, rear climate controls, a 60/40-split second-row seat, 50/50-split third-row seat, an eight-way power driver seat (with manual recline), a 4.2-inch dashboard display screen, Sync (Ford's voice-activated phone and entertainment interface), Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system.
Going up one notch to the XLT trim adds a few features as standard, but the real draw is that it grants access to desirable options that aren't offered on base variants. We expect many buyers will find their needs met by an XLT with a few extra options added.
Base and XLT trims also offer an optional turbocharged 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (280 hp, 310 lb-ft of torque) engine. It's more fuel-efficient than the regular V6, but depending on how you drive, you might not realize a whole lot of savings. The V6 is our preferred choice of the two.
Limited models come with the turbo four-cylinder engine as standard (the V6 is optional) and add more comfort and convenience items such as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, an 8-inch touchscreen display with the new Sync 3 interface, a nine-speaker sound system and power-folding third-row seats.
It's nice, but we prefer the more substantive changes ushered in by the Sport variant. It has most of the Limited's features but comes with a gutsy turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (365 hp, 360 lb-ft of torque) and sport-oriented suspension tuning.
Likewise, range-topping Platinum trim levels are offered solely with the turbo V6 but not the unique suspension and steering tuning of Sport models. Platinum variants make standard the features offered as options on lesser trim levels. The result is the kitchen sink of comfort and driver assistance features to suit the most well-heeled buyers. Highlights include a panoramic sunroof, a parking assistance system, adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a 12-speaker Sony audio system. For the Platinum, a rear-seat entertainment system and power-folding second-row captain's chairs are optional.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Ford Explorer Sport (3.5L turbo V6; AWD; 6-speed automatic).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Explorer has received only revisions. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Explorer.
Noise & vibration4
Ease of use3.5
Getting in/getting out4
Child safety seat accommodation
Most helpful consumer reviews
2017 Ford Explorer video
MARK TAKAHASHI: I'm Edmunds editor Mark Takahashi. And here's your Expert Rundown of the 2017 Ford Explorer. The Ford Explorer has a ton of trim levels from basic to luxurious. We like the Sport model, in particular, because it's a little easier to drive, while other models feel a bit heavy and overly soft. You get three different engine choices, our favorite being the caboose V6, though fuel economy could be better. Unlike most SUVs in this class, you can have all three rows filled with passengers and still have plenty of room for cargo. Second row, you can get either a bench or captain's chairs. And to add a little convenience, they can be optioned with power folding, so that you don't really have to keep crawling back and forth to get stuff in. Here's the bottom line on the Ford Explorer. We like its space. We like the Sport trim and the V6. It competes well against the Dodge Durango, GMC Acadia, and Honda Pilot.
2017 Ford Explorer Expert Rundown
Looking for a great three-row crossover SUV with outstanding quietness and quality cabin trimmings? The 2017 Ford Explorer might be a good fit. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite Explorer safety features:
- Collision Warning with Brake Support
- Alerts the driver to an impending forward collision and pre-charges the brakes to shorten the stopping distance.
- Lane Keeping System
- Vibrates the steering wheel and reduces steering effort if the car veers toward the edge of its lane.
- Blind-Spot Information System
- Senses vehicles in adjacent lanes and illuminates a warning in the side mirrors.
2017 Ford Explorer for Sale
When it comes to hauling a larger family around, shoppers who don't want to go the minivan route often turn to midsize SUVs. And in the world of three-row SUVs, the 2017 Ford Explorer is one of the most well-rounded.
The new model year sees the introduction of a package available on XLT model Explorers called the Sport Appearance package. Added features include dark gray accents on the 20-inch wheels, grille, mirror caps and rear bumper appliqué along with black side moldings, roof rails and an Explorer hood badge. The package gives buyers the look of a Sport model without having to make the jump to the large turbocharged engine and Sport-level hardware. Inside, the package adds two-tone seats and door trim done up in dark gray leather and suede, as well as logo floor mats.
Additionally, XLT and higher grade models have the option to upgrade to Ford’s new Sync 3 infotainment system, which is more intuitive and quicker responding than the previous MyFord Touch system. The touchscreen uses swipe and pinch gestures and enhanced voice recognition with Siri integration. And when updates are available, the system will automatically update over Wi-Fi.
The Explorer spans a wide price range, from the low $30Ks for a base model to nearly $60K for the fully loaded Platinum trim, and its road mannerisms vary about as much as well. Where the base model makes do with less power and drives bigger than it looks, the Sport trim’s sharper handling and punchy turbo V6 engine shrink the Explorer from behind the wheel. There’s seating for up to seven passengers, which falls behind others in the segment that will carry eight, but it offers an above-average towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.
Naturally, there are other good options for three-row SUVs to consider. If you’re looking to maximize your cargo space and towing capability, the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse is worth checking out. There’s also the all-new 2017 GMC Acadia, which is slightly smaller than the previous model but more efficient. Both the Honda Pilot and the Toyota Highlander are excellent options thanks to their big cabins and comfortable rides.
Performance and MPG
Standard on the base and XLT trim levels is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. With this engine, you have your choice of standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. The latter gets hill descent control, hill start assist and Ford's Terrain Management System, which is a driver-selectable system that optimizes traction for a variety of driving situations.
According to the EPA, a front-wheel-drive 2017 Explorer with the V6 will deliver 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway). With all-wheel drive, the V6 drops slightly to 19 mpg combined (16 city/23 highway). In Edmunds testing, an AWD Explorer Limited with the base V6 went from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, which is about average for this size of vehicle.
Optional on base, XLT and now standard on Limited Explorers is the fuel sipper of the group, a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is optional. Fuel economy rises to 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway) with front-wheel drive and 21 mpg combined (18 city/25 highway) with AWD. Properly equipped, the four-cylinder Explorer can tow 3,000 pounds.
The Explorer Sport and Platinum trims come with a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine rated at 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive are standard. The EPA says to expect 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway). Properly equipped, an Explorer with either of the V6 engines can tow 5,000 pounds. In Edmunds testing, the Sport and Platinum models delivered a zero to 60 mph time of 6.3 seconds, which is very quick for this segment.
Standard safety equipment for the 2017 Ford Explorer includes stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a front-passenger knee airbag and MyKey, which allows parents to specify limits for vehicle speed and stereo volume. The Explorer's stability control system also includes Ford's Curve Control, which can monitor speed carried into a corner and decelerate if necessary.
A rearview camera is standard on the Explorer, while a 180-degree front camera is optional. Rear parking sensors are also standard on all but the base Explorer. Optional on the Limited and Sport but standard on the Platinum is a forward collision warning system with brake priming (bundled with the adaptive cruise control), lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist (Limited only), a blind-spot monitoring system (with rear-cross traffic alert) and inflatable seat belts for second-row outboard passengers. You can now get blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic in the XLT this year as well.
In Edmunds testing, an AWD Explorer Limited with all-season tires came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, a few feet shorter than average. An Explorer Sport with summer performance tires stopped in just 108 feet, a remarkable stopping distance for a vehicle of this size and weight.
In government crash tests, last year's Explorer earned a five-star rating (out of a possible five) for overall crash protection, with five stars for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave its top score of Good for the Explorer's performance in moderate-overlap front-impact, side-impact and roof strength tests. It received the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the small-overlap front-impact test. Its seat belts and head restraints earned a Good rating for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
Despite its practicality, a minivan is not every large-ish family's cup of vehicular tea. Some folks prefer a midsize three-row SUV to tote the kids and carry the cargo. Within that genre, the 2017 Ford Explorer stands as a well-rounded choice. Able to seat up to seven, the Explorer comes in a wide range of trim levels and offers a number of powertrains and family-friendly features.
New for this year, Ford's available Sync 3 infotainment system proves more intuitive and responsive than the previous MyFord Touch system. Just like a smartphone or tablet, the Sync 3 touchscreen uses swipe and pinch gestures. It also has enhanced voice recognition with Siri integration. One needn't worry about updating the system, as updates are done automatically via Wi-Fi.
The 2017 Ford Explorer family comprises five trim levels, ranging from the well-equipped base model on up to the plush Platinum. Under the hood, engine choices include a turbocharged four-cylinder and a pair of V6s, with one being turbocharged. Output runs from a respectable 280 horsepower to a muscular 365 horses. Lower trims offer a choice between front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD), while upper trims are AWD-only. EPA fuel mileage estimates range from 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway) for the turbo V6 with AWD to 22 mpg combined (19 city/27 highway) for the turbo-four with FWD.
Even the base 2017 Ford Explorer comes with niceties such as LED headlights and alloy wheels. Highlights of the Sport trim include the turbocharged V6 and a sport-tuned suspension, while the Platinum pampers with a large dual-panel sunroof and a power-adjustable, heated steering wheel. Newly optional for the XLT trim is the Sport Appearance package, which provides much of the Sport trim level's styling pizzazz but at a lower price point because it does without the Sport's high-performance hardware.
A wealth of standard and optional safety features bolsters the 2017 Ford Explorer's résumé. Depending on trim level and specification, technologies such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning can help prevent or mitigate accidents.
Although the 2017 Ford Explorer is generally a smooth, quiet and pleasant-to-drive SUV, most versions tend to feel quite large from the driver seat. The Explorer Sport changes that to some extent — its sharper handling, quicker steering and more spirited performance give it a nimbler and more manageable feel on winding roads. On the towing front, the Explorer can handle up to 5,000 pounds, translating to above-average capacity in this regard.
Within the wide-ranging Explorer lineup you're bound to find something suitable. But no matter what your preferences are, Edmunds is ready to help you find the 2017 Ford Explorer that's just right for your needs.
2017 Ford Explorer Overview
The 2017 Ford Explorer is offered in the following submodels: Explorer SUV. Available styles include XLT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6A), Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6A), 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A), and 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A).
What do people think of the 2017 Ford Explorer?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Ford Explorer and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 Explorer 4 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 2017 Explorer.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Ford Explorer and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 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.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
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.
What's a good price for a New 2017 Ford Explorer?
2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
The 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $54,775. The average price paid for a new 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $7,406 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $7,406 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$47,369.
The average savings for the 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A) is13.5% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 2 2017 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2017 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
The 2017 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $49,860. The average price paid for a new 2017 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is trending $8,791 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.
Edmunds members save an average of $8,791 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$41,069.
The average savings for the 2017 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6A) is17.6% below the MSRP.Available Inventory:
We are showing 3 2017 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2017 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)Available Inventory:
We are showing 1 2017 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
2017 Ford Explorer Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)Available Inventory:
We are showing 1 2017 Ford Explorer Sport 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.
Which 2017 Ford Explorers are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Ford Explorer for sale near. There are currently 16 new 2017 Explorers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $35,115 and mileage as low as 0 miles. 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 used 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 2017 Ford Explorer. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $8,791 on a used or CPO 2017 Explorer available from a dealership near you.
Can't find a new 2017 Ford Explorers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a new Ford Explorer for sale - 10 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $18,239.
Find a new Ford for sale - 3 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $7,623.
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Why trust Edmunds?
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.
Should I lease or buy a 2017 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.