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Used 2019 Ford Explorer Platinum SUV Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2019 Ford Explorer Platinum SUV.

5 star(100%)
4 star(0%)
3 star(0%)
2 star(0%)
1 star(0%)
5.0 out of 5 stars
3 reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

5 out of 5 stars
My Platinum 2019 Explorer
Tom Hull,02/13/2019
Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
The styling of the Explorer, I think is one of the best in the industry. Performance is spectacular. Trading up to the 2019 Platinum, from the 2014 Limited was a wonderful surprise. If anyone is considering a upgraded version of an SUV the Platinum Explorer is what I’d recommend.
5 out of 5 stars
Great Car
CClark,02/27/2020
Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
Have had a number of SUV’s. The EXP is big but not too big plus handles better in the snow than the others. It’s ‘car-like’ but has elements of a truck which I also have. Highly recommended.
5 out of 5 stars
Love it
#hello2245,12/05/2019
Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl Turbo 6A)
I have the platinum. I Love it!!!!

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2019 Ford Explorer Platinum SUV

What’s new

  • Minor changes to the availability of certain features among the various trim levels
  • Part of the fifth Explorer generation introduced for 2011

Pros & Cons

  • Quiet and comfortable cabin
  • Strong acceleration from optional turbocharged V6
  • Its infotainment and tech features are easy to use
  • Depending on trim level, feels big and ponderous from behind the wheel
  • Subpar legroom in the third row
  • Doesn't offer automatic emergency braking


Which Explorer does Edmunds recommend?

Without question, the Sport trim is the version of the Explorer we like best. It's one of the few ways to get the twin-turbocharged V6, which delivers power in spades. Plus, its suspension enhancements improve the Explorer's handling reflexes without making its ride quality punishing or noisy.

Full Edmunds Review: 2019 Ford Explorer SUV

What’s new

The Explorer heads into 2019 with only minor changes to the availability of certain features among the trim levels.

Vehicle overview

The Explorer hasn't changed much since this generation's introduction in 2011, though it had a face-lift in 2016. But it still offers solid refinement, and its three engine offerings give it a lot of versatility. It's had to face increasingly stout competition as the years pile up. In the wash, the Explorer's tight third-row legroom and at-times ponderous routine handling stand out as drawbacks. On the plus side, the Explorer's list of tech-oriented features is long, yet it's user-friendly.

In Sport trim, the Explorer shines brightest. It handles significantly more sharply than lesser trim levels, which can feel detached and ponderous around town. We're also fans of the exceptionally powerful and refined twin-turbo V6, though it's reserved only for upper trim levels.

2019 Ford Explorer models

There are five different ways to configure your 2019 Ford Explorer: the base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum trim levels, which cover a broad swath of features. The base, XLT and Limited models are available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, while the Sport and Platinum are offered solely with all-wheel drive. Regardless of trim level, every Explorer is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.

The base trim, predictably, sits at the very bottom of the Explorer range. Standard feature highlights include 18-inch wheels, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a rearview camera, a 4.2-inch central display, Bluetooth, a USB port and Ford's Sync voice command system. Under the hood is a non-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (290 horsepower, 255 pound-feet of torque), while a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (280 hp, 310 lb-ft of torque) is available as an option.

The XLT trim level is one rung up the ladder, adding a few standard features over the base trim level such as a power-adjustable front passenger seat, satellite radio and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. There are two main option packages to consider with the XLT. The first is the Driver Connect package that includes an 8-inch central touchscreen with the Sync 3 interface, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and extra USB ports. You can also get a Ford Safe and Smart package that comes with blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist and automatic wipers.

Buyers who want to amp things up will be attracted to the Limited trim, which adds the features from the XLT's Driver Connect package plus leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, premium audio and power-folding third-row seats. Note that the Limited comes standard with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but you can still get the regular V6 if you want.

While those additional comfort items are desirable, we're partial to the Sport variant's more fundamental changes. These models come with a powerful turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 (365 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque), firmer suspension tuning and a towing package.

It's possible to get the turbocharged V6 paired to the softer suspension of non-Sport models by going for the top-of-the-line Platinum trim level. It comes with the Ford Safe and Smart package, a panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable pedals, an automated parking system, premium leather upholstery, a premium audio system and more.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Ford Explorer Sport (turbo 3.5L V6 | 6-speed automatic | AWD).

Driving

Unlike other models dubbed "Sport," the Explorer Sport is indeed sporty, thanks to its turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, stiffer suspension tuning, quicker steering and our test vehicle's optional summer performance tires. The result is lots of speed and impressive handling and braking.

Comfort

Given the Explorer Sport's handling prowess, we expected ride quality to suffer. We were wrong. Although it loses a small degree of overall plush compared to the regular Explorer, the tauter handling is worth the minor trade-off. The seats are comfy, except in the third row.

Interior

We're glad Ford finally got rid of the touch-sensitive controls on the Explorer's center stack. We highly recommend the optional sliding second-row bucket seats — you lose a seat but gain comfort as well as better third-row access and space. Rear visibility is a problem.

Utility

The cargo area's deep well is useful even if the total cargo volume isn't exceptional. There's a good variety of cabin storage overall.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2019 Ford Explorer in Virginia is:

$67.75 per month*
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