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Used Ford Explorer For Sale

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2012 Ford Explorer
36 photos

List price: $15,887

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Expires Nov 30, 2017.



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2004 Ford Explorer
18 photos

List price: $3,766

Special Offer

Expires Nov 30, 2017.

*FOR SALE DIRECT TO THE PUBLIC!!!! This vehicle is being sold in AS-IS CONDITION at wholesale NO HAGGLING pricing! This vehicle will only be available for a short time until our wholesalers arrive for liquidation.*


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2016 Ford Explorer
36 photos

List price: $28,999

Special Offer + Perks

Expires Nov 30, 2017.

Clean. PRICE DROP FROM $31,981, PRICED TO MOVE $3,000 below Kelley Blue Book! Heated Leather Seats, Moonroof, Navigation, Third Row Seat, Rear Air, Heated Rear Seat, Back-Up Camera, Flex Fuel, Power Liftgate, 4x4. READ MORE!EXCELLENT SAFETY FOR YOUR FAMILY: Child Safety LocksAFFORDABILITY: Reduced from $31,981. This Explorer is priced $3,000 below Kelley Blue Book.KEY FEATURES INCLUDE: Power Liftgate, Rear Air, Heated Rear Seat, Back-Up Camera, Flex Fuel. Rear Spoiler, Third Row Seat, MP3 Player, Privacy Glass, Remote Trunk Release.OPTION PACKAGES: EQUIPMENT GROUP 303A Engine: 2.3L I-4 Ecoboost, Rain Sensing Wipers, Auto High Beam Headlights, Tires: P245/50R20 AS BSW, Transmission: 6-Speed SelectShift Automatic (446), Enhanced Active Park Assist w/Parallel Parking, park out assist, reverse perpendicular parking and forward and side sensing systems, BLIS Plus Inflatable Rear Safety Belts Package, Auto-Dimming Driver's Sideview Mirror, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), Cross Traffic Alert, Inflatable Rear Seatbelts, 2nd row outboard seating positions, Multi-Contour Front Seats, Active Motion (front only), Lane Keeping System, 3.51 Non-Limited Slip Rear Axle Ratio, TWIN PANEL MOONROOF, MEDIUM LIGHT CAMEL, PERF LEATHER-TRIMMED HEATED/COOLED BUCKET SEATS 10-way power driver seat w/power lumbar and recline, memory driver's seat, 10-way power front-passenger seat w/power lumbar and recline and 4-way adjustable driver and front-passenger head restraints (2-way up/down when dual-headrest DVD entertainment system (50S) is ordered). Ford Limited with Guard Metallic exterior and Medium Light Camel interior features a V6 Cylinder Engine with 290 HP at 6400 RPM*. Serviced here, Non-Smoker vehicle.EXPERTS ARE SAYING: Edmunds.com's review says Materials are attractive and luxurious Pricing analysis performed on 11/18/2017. Horsepower calculations based on trim engine configuration. Please confirm the accuracy of the included equipment by calling us prior to purchase.


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2016 Ford Explorer
40 photos

List price: Not Listed

PRICED BELOW MARKET! INTERNET SPECIAL! -CARFAX ONE OWNER- NAVIGATION SYSTEM, BACKUP CAMERA, BLUETOOTH, LEATHER SEATS, AND 3RD ROW SEATING. This 2016 Ford Explorer Limited is value priced to sell quickly! It has a great looking Shadow Black exterior and a Blk/Black interior! Price plus tax, tags, and $539 dealer administrative fee on approved credit only. Please call us to confirm availability and to schedule a hassle free test drive. We are located at: 256 Swain Street, Fayetteville, NC 28303.


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2015 Ford Explorer
25 photos

List price: Not Listed

+ Perks

Crain Ford Jacksonville is honored to present a wonderful example of pure vehicle design... this 2015 Ford Explorer XLT only has 18,496 miles on it and could potentially be the vehicle of your dreams! This Ford Explorer XLT is an incredibly versatile vehicle that is a must have for any family. This low mileage Ford Explorer has barely been touched. It's the next best thing to buying new. You could keep looking, but why? You've found the perfect vehicle right here. More information about the 2015 Ford Explorer: The Ford Explorer has been rated one of the safest utility vehicles at any size or price; it's the first vehicle in the world to offer rear inflatable seatbelts. Curve control--a more advanced version of electronic stability control--is also a Ford exclusive. Ford's MyKey system helps parents reel in teen drivers. The Explorer also stands out for being one of the greenest choices available. Ford claims best-in-class gas mileage for non-hybrids and notes that the Explorer EcoBoost will go 20 percent farther on a gallon of gas than the Honda Pilot. This model sets itself apart with Quiet interior, good value, excellent ride quality, world-class safety features, and EcoBoost engine provides good mileage Every new and pre-owned vehicle is backed by the Crain Commitment, including our 100% low price guarantee, a 100 hour love it or leave it exchange policy, and a 100 year 100,000 mile warranty. The Crain Team's Got 'Em! Give us a call at Crain Ford Jacksonville 501-542-6046.



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2014 Ford Explorer
22 photos

List price: $23,000

2014 Ford Explorer XLT in White, Accessory Rewards with purchase, FREE TEST DRIVES:))), Hot Options include:, Recent Oil Change, and Service Rewards Program. Are you interested in a truly fantastic SUV? Then take a look at this wonderful 2014 Ford Explorer. Consumer Guide 2014 credits Explorer with a broad range of safety features and impressively quiet cabin. This Explorer is nicely equipped with features such as 2014 Ford Explorer XLT in White, Accessory Rewards with purchase, FREE TEST DRIVES:))), Hot Options include:, Recent Oil Change, and Service Rewards Program. So go ahead and feel free to flex your muscle in it. It will go from 0-60 in just about the same time it'll take you to catch your breath. Contact us and ask us how to minimize your time at the dealership! Your time is important, and we understand! Ask us how you can get in and out in around an hour, and make this the fastest, easiest purchase you've ever made!


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2015 Ford Explorer
36 photos

List price: $26,497

+ Perks

CARFAX 1-Owner. XLT trim. 3rd Row Seat, iPod/MP3 Input, Satellite Radio, CD Player, Bluetooth, Flex Fuel, Alloy Wheels, WHEELS: 18 PAINTED ALUMINUM, Rear Air, 4x4. READ MORE!KEY FEATURES INCLUDE: Third Row Seat, 4x4, Rear Air, Flex Fuel, Satellite Radio, iPod/MP3 Input, Bluetooth, CD Player. Rear Spoiler, MP3 Player, Privacy Glass, Keyless Entry, Steering Wheel Controls. OPTION PACKAGES: WHEELS: 18 PAINTED ALUMINUM (STD). EXPERTS ARE SAYING: Materials are attractive and luxurious, with a soft-touch dashboard and precise-feeling controls. The front seats are very supportive, and the cabin is particularly quiet as well. -Edmunds.com. BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: CARFAX 1-Owner MORE ABOUT US: Welcome to White Plains Chrysler Jeep Dodge! Complete customer satisfaction is our Number One priority. We are committed to earning your trust. Our commitment begins the moment you walk into our Elite Five Star showroom and continues throughout each and every visit to our service department. ALL OPTIONS LISTED FOR THIS VEHICLE MAY NOT APPY TO THIS SPECIFIC VEHICLE.OPTIONS ARE THOSE COMMON TO THIS TYPE OF VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION NUMBER LISTED BY THE MANUFACTURER PLEASE CONSULT WUTH SLAES PROFESSIOAL TO CONFIRM ACCURACY OF OPTIONS Please confirm the accuracy of the included equipment by calling us prior to purchase.


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2011 Ford Explorer
32 photos

List price: $14,250

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Sunroof | Moonroof, Clean Car Fax, and VERY CLEAN LOCAL TRADE!!. 3.5L V6 Ti-VCT. Gasoline! HardTop! This charming 2011 Ford Explorer is the SUV that you have been looking to get your hands on. Great outward visibility. Car and Driver credits Explorer with a silent cabin, cushy ride, refined drive train and potent towing ability. New Car Test Drive said, ...Ford put all the engineering effort it could muster into the new Explorer, and got the ride, handling, and NVH results they hoped for. The rigid chassis and careful tuning of the independent suspension produce a superb all-around ride... Jim Ellis Buick GMC Mall of Georgia provides the utmost in sales selection, having over 650 new and pre-owned vehicles. The Jim Ellis organization has won customer service awards 9 years in a row and supports our communities' families and their needs. Our new 55,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility features comforts of home to include specialty coffee and teas, fresh fruit, healthy snack options, and internet/computer access. Theatre seating with a huge projector TV gives our clients the opportunity to work or relax while they are in our service department. Voted number 1 business in Buford and the Top Certified Dealer in the Southeast for 2016!!! At Jim Ellis you can expect the best!


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2014 Ford Explorer
17 photos

List price: $16,919

Special Offer + Perks

Expires Nov 30, 2017.

2014 Ford Explorer / FWD / Power Equipment / Cruise Control / 3rd row seating / 1 Owner / Clean Carfax with no reported accidentsThis vehicle is located at 2828 Candlers Mountain Rd. Lynchburg VA. Please call one of our consultants and check availability at (434) 386 - 8439.*Our vehicles are hand picked and sent through a very detailed inspection to ensure we provide the highest of quality to you. We have no hidden reconditioning fees like most other dealers. Best of all, we provide Free State of Virginia Inspection for as long as you own your vehicle purchased from TERRY.


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2008 Ford Explorer
21 photos

List price: $7,991

50/50 CLOTH MANUAL FOLD-FLAT THIRD ROW SEAT,AUXILIARY CLIMATE CONTROL,BLACK RUNNING BOARDS,3rd Row Seat,BLACK ROOF RAIL CROSSBARS,Four Wheel Drive,4.0L SOHC 12-VALVE V6 ENGINE,SOLID PAINT,XLT SERIES ORDER CODEThis vehicle includes a Money-Back Guarantee* and passed our precise inspection process. Best of all the price you see is the price you pay. No haggling. No back and forth. No pressure. And this price is so good it is guaranteed. AutoNation Chevrolet North Denver is honored to present a wonderful example of pure vehicle design... this 2008 Ford Explorer XLT only has 147,707 miles on it and could potentially be the vehicle of your dreams! This Ford includes: 4.0L SOHC 12-VALVE V6 ENGINE (STD) V6 Cylinder Engine Gasoline Fuel *Note - For third party subscriptions or services, please contact the dealer for more information.* Drive home in your new pre-owned vehicle with the knowledge you're fully backed by the CARFAX Buyback Guarantee. This Ford Explorer XLT is an incredibly versatile vehicle that is a must have for any family. This 4WD-equipped vehicle will handle beautifully on any terrain and in any weather condition your may find yourself in. The benefits of driving a 4 wheel drive vehicle, such as this Ford Explorer XLT, include superior acceleration, improved steering, and increased traction and stability. The easiest choice in purchasing a new vehicle is choosing one with a complete and detailed history like this gently driven pre-owned vehicle. Clean interior? How about flawless. This Ford Explorer looks like has never been used. The incredible 2008 Ford Explorer XLT is an invigorating performance machine that will pump adrenaline into any driver who dares to take the wheel. Do you really need any other reason to want one? You demand the best in everything, so why would your automobile be any different? Enjoy the best features available in this stunning Ford Explorer. Added comfort with contemporary style is the leather interior to heighten the quality and craftsmanship for the Ford Explorer New tires are just one more reason this vehicle is a great deal. More information about the 2008 Ford Explorer: The 2008 Explorer is a traditional body-on-frame SUV, which makes it attractive to buyers in the market for a mid-sized SUV with towing and off-road capability. Safety equipment, including standard stability control with a rollover sensor, will appeal to the family haulers. Another plus for those with large broods is the availability of manual- or power-folding third-row seating. Strengths of this model include quiet cabin, good balance of around-town driving, towing, and off-road capabilities., and Generous standard safety equipment *Money-Back Guarantee is valid for 5 days or 250 miles, whichever comes first. Subject to certain terms and conditions. See store for details. Some restrictions apply.


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2012 Ford Explorer
23 photos

List price: $15,000

Special Offer + Perks

Expires Nov 30, 2017.

COME OUT TODAY AND YOU WILL BE IMPRESSED WITH THIS CLEAN 2012 EXPLORER LIMITED. WE WANT YOU TO FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR PURCHASE SO EVERY CAR HAS A PACKET WITH THE CARFAX AND OUR SERVICE BILL IN IT SO YOU CAN BUY WITH CONFIDENCE. This internet sale price has been reduced for quick sale so come out today and see why your next car should say Olathe Toyota on the back. We are open 7 days a week (Sunday 11-5) to make things as easy as possible. You can also call us at 913-780-9919 or visit us on the web at Olathetoyota.com or check us out on dealer rater.



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2015 Ford Explorer
24 photos

List price: $31,999

Special Offer + Perks

Expires Nov 30, 2017.

JUST REPRICED FROM $33,851, $1,500 below NADA Retail! Heated Leather Seats, Sunroof, Navigation, 3rd Row Seat, 4x4, Captains Chairs, Turbo Charged, Alloy Wheels, Trailer Hitch, EQUIPMENT GROUP 401A, POWER LIFTGATE READ MORE! KEY FEATURES INCLUDE Leather Seats, Third Row Seat, 4x4, Rear Air, Heated Driver Seat Rear Spoiler, Privacy Glass, Steering Wheel Controls, Child Safety Locks, Heated Mirrors. OPTION PACKAGES EQUIPMENT GROUP 401A Intelligent Access w/Push-Button Start, Power Liftgate, Universal Garage Door Opener (UGDO), Voice Activated Navigation System, in-dash screen, single CD/MP3 player, SD card for map and POI storage and integrated SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, Note: SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, Service not available in Alaska/Hawaii, Heated Steering Wheel, Power Adjustable Pedals, Power Tilt/Telescoping Steering Wheel, Ambient Lighting, BLIS Plus Inflatable Rear Seatbelt Package, Inflatable Rear Seatbelts, 2nd row outboard seating positions, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), Cross Traffic Alert, Memory Door Mirrors/Driver Seat Pedals, exterior mirrors memory feature, Power Folding Mirrors, 110V Power Outlet, DUAL PANEL MOONROOF, VOICE ACTIVATED NAVIGATION SYSTEM in-dash screen, single CD/MP3 player, SD card for map and POI storage and integrated SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, Note: SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link, Service not available in Alaska/Hawaii, 2ND ROW BUCKET SEATS power-assist fold feature, BLIS PLUS INFLATABLE REAR SEATBELT PACKAGE Inflatable Rear Seatbelts, 2nd row outboard seating positions, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System), Cross Traffic Alert, POWER LIFTGATE, ENGINE: 3.5L V6 ECOBOOST (STD). A GREAT TIME TO BUY Was $33,851. This Explorer is priced $1,500 below NADA Retail. Approx. Original Base Sticker Price: $43,100*. Pricing analysis performed on 11/16/2017. Horsepower calculations based on trim engine configuration. Please confirm the accuracy of the included equipment by calling us prior to purchase.



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2014 Ford Explorer
28 photos

List price: $29,423

Special Offer + Perks

Expires Nov 30, 2017.


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2015 Ford Explorer
27 photos

List price: $30,400

Special Offer + Perks

Expires Nov 30, 2017.

*** NAVIGATION *** POWER SUNROOF *** HEATED LEATHER SEATS *** 4 WHEEL DRIVE *** CLEAN, ONE OWNER CARFAX *** ALLOY WHEELS *** Dual Climate Control, Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, Steering Wheel Audio Controls, Rear View Camera, Cruise, Power Equipment and Side Air Bags. Ford has done it again! They have built some really good vehicles and this beautiful 2015 Ford Explorer is no exception! Open her up on an empty road and watch her go! AutoWeek reports many previous-gen Explorer owners love the Explorer. *Your additional costs are sales tax, tag and title fees for the state in which the vehicle will be registered, any dealer-installed options (if applicable), and a $299 dealer processing fee. Every Internet Price is subject to change, and prior sales are excluded from these offers. While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with the dealer.


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2016 Ford Explorer
25 photos


List price: $15,000

Special Offer

Expires Nov 30, 2017.

3.5L V6 Ti-VCT and AWD. You're always in the driver's seat. Gets you there on the double. Creampuff! This handsome 2011 Ford Explorer is not going to disappoint. There you have it, short and sweet! Car and Driver credits Explorer with a silent cabin, cushy ride, refined drive train and potent towing ability. This spirited machine can turn the everyday driver into a gearhead as they experience a whole new kind of acceleration and exceptionally potent power. New Car Test Drive said, ...Ford put all the engineering effort it could muster into the new Explorer, and got the ride, handling, and NVH results they hoped for. The rigid chassis and careful tuning of the independent suspension produce a superb all-around ride...


page 1 of 2,245

Ford Explorer History

1991-1994

Though not the first compact four-door sport-utility vehicle (Jeep's Cherokee and Isuzu's Trooper had been introduced around 1984) Ford's Explorer would prove to be one of the most popular vehicles in this relatively new market segment. Debuting as an early 1991 model, the Explorer could be had as either a two-door or four-door, both as either two- or four-wheel drive. Unlike some competitors, the two-door was built on a shorter (102.1-inch) wheelbase than the four-door, which had a 111.9-inch wheelbase. The logic behind this was that those who wanted a sportier, more maneuverable vehicle would go with the two-door whereas those who needed more passenger room would opt for the quattroporte. Curb weights ranged from around 3,700 pounds for a 2WD two-door to about 4,000 pounds for a 4WD four-door.

Explorers were basically available in three trim levels. The two-door models went from base XL, to Sport, to Eddie Bauer and four-door versions moved from base XL, to XLT and then to Eddie Bauer. The Sport added features such as blacked-out exterior accents, aluminum wheels and a few interior refinements like illuminated visor mirrors. An XLT threw in power windows/locks/mirrors, cruise control and tilt wheel. The Eddie Bauer Explorers were the most stylish rigs with two-tone paint schemes (such as the popular dark green and beige combination), alloy wheels and plush interiors.

With rugged body-on-frame construction, a 4.0-liter, 155-horsepower V6 engine hooked up to either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic gearbox powered all Explorers. Two four-wheel-drive systems were offered: an effortless "Touch-Drive" version with buttons on the dash and nothing cluttering the floor that allowed one to "shift on the fly," and for traditional 4WD buffs, a manual system with the lever on the floor and the manually locked front hubs. An antilock braking system for the rear brakes was standard as full ABS was not yet available.

For those who actually used these vehicles for some of their intended purposes, 4WD Explorers came with a Low range for serious off-road duty. And towing capacity was rated at up to 5,600 pounds, depending on the model and choice of equipment.

With many attributes such as available luxury car-like amenities (leather seating, a JBL audio system with CD player, etc.) combined with a high driving position, up to 81 cubic feet of cargo capacity (in the four-door) and truck toughness, the Explorer was an immediate success. In fact, for 1991 it placed third in truck sales, not bad for its first year.

The Mazda Navajo was also introduced as a 1991. Available only as a 4WD, two-door vehicle, the Navajo was essentially a rebadged Explorer and shared almost everything with its Ford twin. To set the two apart, the Navajo had a different grille, taillights and wheels. Inside it was even harder to tell one from the other, as seat fabrics and the steering wheel hub were the only apparent differences.

Two trim levels for the Navajo were offered, base and LX. The base version wasn't exactly stripped, as power windows/locks/mirrors were standard. The LX added features such as extra interior illumination and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. An optional premium package loaded up this sport-ute with luxuries including A/C, stereo with cassette deck, cruise control, sport seats with power lumbar adjustment and a pop-up/removable moonroof.

Explorer pricing ranged from $16,375 for a base 2WD two-door to $21,701 for an Eddie Bauer 4WD four-door. Mazda's pricing for the Navajo fell in line with comparably equipped Explorer two-doors.

Minor changes occurred for 1992 to Ford's red-hot contender in the SUV market.

A numerically lower, 3.27:1 rear axle ratio replaced the former 3.55:1 unit to improve gas mileage and reduce engine rpm at highway speeds. Performance of the air-conditioning system was also improved and different alloy wheels debuted for XLT and Eddie Bauer models. Luxury and convenience were both enhanced by the fitment of six-way power adjustment for the optional sport seats (standard in EB), dual front cupholders in the center console and a one-touch down feature for the driver's power window.

A 2WD Navajo was available for 1992, geared toward those folks who liked the cargo capacity, high seating position and sporty image of an SUV but didn't need the 4WD. Base models were now called DX, more in keeping with the Japanese manufacturer's way of referring to their base versions (such as Mazda's own 626 DX). Otherwise, Mazda's "Explorer" had so little changed that most of the photography used in the 1991 brochure was used for the 1992 brochure.

A major safety improvement, four-wheel antilock brakes, bowed for the 1993 Explorer. The stress-reducing binders were made standard on all Explorers. The 4.0-liter, V6 engine picked up 5 horsepower, for a total of 160 ponies. In keeping with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" philosophy, other changes were minimal — a new steering wheel, revised instrument graphics and new wheel designs completed the revisions to America's top-selling midsize SUV.

As expected, the Navajo picked up the same mechanical upgrades as the Explorer; the increased power for the V6 and the antilock brakes. Unlike the Explorer, however, the only other change was an optional CD player.

With a revamped version due for 1995, 1994 saw virtually no changes to the Explorer, save for the addition of a luxurious, leather-lined Limited four-door model. And new five-spoke alloy wheels for the Navajo LX were the lone change for this, the Mazda's last year.

1995-2001

Evolutionary and worthwhile upgrades took place for 1995 as the Explorer continued to ride a huge wave of popularity. The body received a facelift in the form of a new grille and light clusters (both fore and aft), a downward-sloping nose and new bumpers. The rhinoplasty added 4 inches to the Explorer's length, though other dimensions were unchanged.

While the previous Explorer had no airbags, the '95 came with both driver's and passenger's side bags. Other interior upgrades included a new instrument panel and seat trim as well as the addition of rear headrests.

A new "Control Trac" 4WD system allowed full-time use of the 4WD system by automatically sending power to the front wheels when the rears started to slip. Prior to this, the Explorer's 4WD could be used only on slippery surfaces and required the driver to make a decision whether to employ 4WD or not. And a Low selection was still offered for serious four-wheeling. Also the front suspension was revamped, with a more modern independent design replacing the old twin I-beam (2WD) and twin Traction-beam (4WD) architecture of the previous Explorers.

A big improvement underhood arrived for 1996, when Ford made their 5.0-liter V8 available in the Explorer. Boasting 210 horsepower, the V8 gave the Explorer a noticeable boost in performance, as well as an increase in towing capacity from 5,000 to 6,500 pounds. Unfortunately, it could be ordered only on four-door XLTs with 2WD.

Helping out the backs of parents with small children was a newly optional, built-in child seat for four-door Explorers. Finally, the Limited model acquired new alloy wheels.

1997 was a big year for the Explorer, as not only did a host of mechanical improvements take place, but also after a two-year stint as an only child, it once again had a twin, this time in the form of Mercury's Mountaineer.

Functional upgrades were the introduction of a powerful, 4.0-liter V6 sporting an overhead cam (OHC) design and 205 horsepower. And this potent powerplant was hooked up to a new five-speed automatic gearbox. This V6 brought the number of Explorer engines to three; the standard 4.0 V6 with 160 horsepower, the new V6 mentioned above, and the 5.0-liter V8, which could now be had with AWD and on any four-door model. On V8 Explorers, a full-time AWD (all-wheel drive) system was fitted. All-wheel drive differed from Control Trac 4WD in that the AWD system always powered all four wheels equally, whereas the Control Trac system normally sent almost all power to the rear wheels except when slippage was detected, in which case more power went to the front wheels.

Ford's cousin, Mercury, went after a piece of the increasingly popular SUV pie by intro-ducing the Mountaineer. Aimed at the upscale consumer, the Mountaineer was a loaded Explorer four-door (with the V8 and AWD), uniquely garnished with a chromed-out grille and different side moldings and tailgate trim.

Holding fast to its status as America's best-selling SUV (with nearly three million sold up to this point), the Explorer was further refined for 1998. Safety was enhanced by way of second-generation (reduced deployment force) airbags and improved antilock brakes. Helping to keep Explorers with their rightful owners was a new anti-theft "SecuriLock" system (which required an electronically coded key to start the vehicle) that was standard on all models.

Two-door Explorers now came strictly in Sport trim as the XL was dropped, while four-door models continued to be offered in XL, XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited versions.

From the outside, one could tell a '98 Explorer from a previous year by the rear end, which had new taillights and a bigger liftgate window. Interior perks for this year included steering wheel-mounted audio and climate controls for the Limited trim level and the debut of Ford's kickin', subwoofer-equipped "Mach" audio system.

The Mountaineer lineup was expanded to cater to the bourgeois by including 2WD, as well as V6-powered, versions of the SUV. The V6 chosen for Mountaineer duty was the high-output, 205-horsepower, OHC unit that was paired with the five-speed automatic transmission. This meant that in addition to the V8 AWD Mountaineer, buyers also had a choice of less costly 2WD or 4WD versions powered by the V6.

To further differentiate the Mercury from the Explorer, a new grille and headlight clusters debuted along with standard two-tone paint. And as with the Ford, audio system choices grew to please the most ardent audiophile.

1999 brought advances in safety to the Explorer. Side-impact airbags were optional as increased protection against red-light runners. And an available Reverse Sensing System alerted drivers to out-of-sight objects behind the vehicle. The system used sonar sensors (mounted in the rear bumper) and beeped with increasing frequency as the vehicle got closer to the object(s) in its path. It also made parallel parking the Explorer much easier.

Giving the Explorer's looks a slight update were new fog lights, front bumper and body moldings. Limited models got new wheels and some faux wood trim sprinkled through-out the cabin. A new XLS four-door debuted (positioned under the XLT), which included power everything, A/C, and alloy wheels. Optional Sport packages for the XLS and XLT models added aggressive wheel lip moldings, side step bars and upgraded wheels and tires.

Helping to appease environmentalists who decried SUVs for being gas-guzzling, ozone-killing monsters, was the '99 Explorer's low-emission vehicle (LEV) status. This meant that it spewed forth 40 percent less pollution than non-LEV rated,

1999 passenger cars. This is even more impressive when one considers that trucks don't have to meet the same stringent emissions standards as cars.

Mountaineer's modifications amounted to the same optional side airbags and Reverse Sensing System as on the Explorer.

Y2K was mostly uneventful for the Explorer, as the big news for 2000 was the dropping of the XL trim level.

Similarly, the Mountaineer received but a couple of new option groups, dubbed Premier and (taking a name from an old Mercury full-size sedan) Monterey. The Monterey package included color-keyed moldings, bumpers and running boards as well as a few minor interior upgrades such as woodgrain trim. The Premier added steering -wheel audio controls and unique paint and wheels.

2001 was a mixed bag for the Explorer. The four-door received the 205-horsepower, 4.0-liter, OHC V6 as standard, as both the former base engine (the 160-horse V6) and the five-speed manual gearbox were dropped. The addition of child seat-tether anchors in the second row was the only other change for this Explorer.

On the other hand, the two-door Explorer Sport got a complete facelift, and further distanced itself from the four-door. But an Edmunds.com dissertation on this Explorer will have to wait until that generation has run its course.

The sole change for the Mountaineer was the addition of the child seat-tether anchors.

Current Generation

The 2002 Explorer underwent the biggest changes since the truck debuted as a 1991. Nearly everything except the name was new. Bigger than before, the Explorer's clean and gimmick-free body style and sound cabin design were a hit with consumers and car reviewers alike.

A third seat became optional, made possible by a 2-inch stretch in wheelbase, a 2.5-inch-wider track and a new independent rear suspension that lowered the rear floor 7 inches. Other benefits of the independent rear end were improved ride and handling characteristics.

There were four trim levels available: XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited. Historically, the most popular Explorer tended to be the well-equipped XLT. The Eddie Bauer and Limited had virtually every luxury item standard, such as heated leather seats, automatic climate control and an in-dash six-disc CD changer. Standard safety features on all models included ABS with electronic brake distribution and a Securilock passive anti-theft system. Safety options consisted of side curtain airbags and a Reverse Sensing System.

Under the hood, either the workhorse 4.0-liter V6 making 210 horsepower or a new 4.6-liter V8 pumping out 240 ponies could be found. Only the XLS could be had with a five-speed manual gearbox. All other models, be they V6- or V8-powered, had a five-speed automatic transmission, which was optional on the XLS. A choice of two- or four-wheel drive was offered for each trim level.

The Explorer Sport, the two-door that rode on the old platform, continued virtually unchanged.

The Mercury Mountaineer came as a single trim level with several unique design elements, such as vertical grille bars, wrap-over headlamp clusters and aluminum interior trim that distinguished it from its more common Explorer cousin.

One key difference between the two was that the Mountaineer offered an all-wheel-drive (AWD) system with no buttons to push, as opposed to the Ford's four-wheel-drive Control Trac system. AWD means that all four wheels are powered all the time. The Explorer's system had 4x4 High and 4x4 Lo settings that were meant for slippery driving conditions, not dry roads.Control Trac, however did have an Auto setting, which operated in a rear-drive mode until wheel slippage was detected, at which point, torque was directed to the front wheels, as well.

2003

For 2003, the Explorer line expanded with the addition of Sport versions of the XLS and XLT trims along with a new trim level called NBX (No Boundaries Experience). The NBX included special exterior trim, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, a Yakima roof rack and a cargo area liner. All-wheel drive could be had on all but the NBX while XLS trims came standard with an automatic transmission. The volume-selling XLT got fancier via a chrome grille and metallic cabin accents. Other upgrades included more chrome exterior trim and new woodgrain interior accents for the Limited and an Off-Road Package complete with skid plates and a beefed-up suspension.

The Explorer Sport, meaning the aging two-door version, soldiered on essentially unchanged what would be its last year. Meanwhile, the Mountaineer was offered in three trims — base Convenience, midlevel Luxury and loaded Premier — ostensibly to broaden its appeal and attainability.

Safety advanced somewhat for 2004 when Ford's AdvanceTrac stability control system, previously available only on V8 models, became optional for all V6 Explorers except the XLS and XLS Sport. The NBX adopted the Off-Road Package as standard. A quad bucket seat arrangement became optional for the Limited and Eddie Bauer trims (if equipped with the third-row seat). Lastly, a tire-pressure monitor became standard on XLS Sport and higher trims.

Key changes for the Mountaineer included the availability of stability control for the two-wheel-drive versions and, for the upper two trims, the option of second-row bucket seats and a standard tire-pressure monitor.

With the exception of minor exterior and cabin trim changes and the adoption of roll stability control for the AdvanceTrac stability control system, 2005 was a quiet year for the Explorer. For the Mountaineer, stability control became standard on all models and a Designer Series package, with suede cabin trim and unique wheels, debuted.

After four years it was time for a mid-cycle refresh, so for 2006 Ford's popular family SUV received styling tweaks that included a new grille, tailgate and taillights. Inside, there was now more sound insulation for a quieter ride. Underneath, a stiffened frame and new shocks boosted the ride and handling characteristics.

Powertrain changes included revising the V6 to cut emissions and replacing the two-valve-per-cylinder V8 with a new three-valve version that made 292 hp, an increase of overmore than 50 ponies. The new V8 came paired with a new transmission, a six-speed unit that optimized performance and fuel economy. More standard safety features debuted, with all Explorers now having stability control and front side airbags. Trim levels were simplified with XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited comprising the lineup.

After the previous year's significant changes, 2007 saw detail refinements. The XLS was dropped, an audio input jack (for MP3 players) was added and new options debuted, including a navigation system, a heated windshield and power-retracting running boards. Triathletes may have been flattered that an "Ironman" package was offered for the XLT, consisting of a monochromatic black exterior scheme with a two-tone leather interior.

The Mountaineer's trim levels were trimmed from three to two, leaving the base and Premier versions while side curtain airbags and an audio input jack became standard for all.

For 2008, side curtain airbags were made standard across the board, while a capless fuel filling system debuted later in the model year. Ford's superb "Sync" system, which allowed voice commands for cell phones, the audio system, an iPod and the navigation system. The Explorer jumped on the big wheel bandwagon with the new option of 20-inch polished alloy wheels.

Standard features took a downward turn for both Mountaineer trim levels, as the base version lost its leather seating and dual-zone climate control while the Premier lost its power-folding third-row seat, parking assist and heated front seats. These all could be had as options, however.

The XLT Sport returned for 2009 while more substantial improvements included the addition of trailer sway control to the stability control system and the option of Sirius Travel Link for the navigation system. The latter included traffic reports as well as the ability to show local gas prices, weather forecasts and even sports scores and movie listings.

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