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Ford Explorer

Ford Explorer Price Analytics

About Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is widely regarded as the catalyst that started America's love affair with the SUV that began in the early 1990s. Certainly there were SUVs before the Explorer, but they were mostly utilitarian in nature. The Explorer was the first go-to SUV for the Everyman. Throughout its life, the Ford Explorer has delivered versatility, a reasonable amount of comfort, affordability and, perhaps most importantly, more style than a station wagon or minivan. During much of the '90s, Ford was consistently selling more than 400,000 Explorers a year.

As if part of a Greek tragedy, however, the Explorer became embroiled in controversy at the start of the new millennium. Models fitted with certain Firestone tires were found to have higher than average instances of tire failure and subsequent rollover crashes. Though the Ford SUV was largely exonerated in subsequent analysis, it never fully recovered in terms of sales or image. Ford has put all that in the past, however, and its latest Explorer boasts many improvements to driving dynamics and feature content. New or used, the justifiably popular Explorer should be part of any serious SUV search.

Current Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is a large three-row SUV that can accommodate up to seven passengers. A 3.5-liter, 290-horsepower V6 is standard, while a more fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, 240-hp turbocharged four-cylinder is optional. Both engines are hooked up to a six-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional for the V6.

There are three trim levels: base, XLT and Limited. Though even the base version comes well-equipped, moving up the list provides luxuries such as leather seating, the Sync voice command system, a rearview camera, keyless ignition/entry and upgraded audio systems. Optional highlights include a navigation system, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, adaptive cruise control and even an automatic parallel-parking system. Stability control and a multitude of airbags are standard, with blind spot and collision warning systems available on upper trims.

In reviews, we've found the Ford Explorer to be one of the best choices for a family-oriented SUV. It drives well, gets very good fuel economy for its class and still retains the versatility that made people like SUVs in the first place. Fitted with most of its optional high-tech features, the Explorer is also one of the most advanced SUVs available, luxury brand or not. The Explorer's most notable downside is that it doesn't provide as much third-row and cargo space as some rival large crossover SUVs.

Used Ford Explorer Models
The current-generation Explorer bowed for 2011. Among the big changes was a switch from body-on-frame to unibody architecture for more carlike driving dynamics and improved space efficiency. Not much has changed since, although the turbocharged four-cylinder engine wasn't offered in that initial year.

The third-generation Explorer ran from 2002-'10. A longer wheelbase and an independent rear suspension allowed room for a fairly accommodating third-row seat while also improving ride and handling performance. A 210-hp V6 was joined by a new 4.6-liter 239-hp V8, and both were matched to a five-speed automatic transmission. Initial trim levels included the XLS, XLT and more upscale Limited and Eddie Bauer.

For 2003, a few new trim levels debuted, including XLS Sport and the NBX (no boundaries experience -- we're not making that up). The latter came with all-terrain tires, special trim and a Yakima roof rack. An off-road package became available as well, complete with a beefed-up suspension and skid plates. The following year, equipment levels were shuffled, stability control was made available on most trims (previously it could only be had on V8 models) and Limited and Eddie Bauer models got a quad bucket seating option. The stability control system was upgraded with roll stability control for 2005.

For 2006, a substantial update took place that included revised styling inside and out, an improved frame, enhanced safety systems and a more powerful V8. The latter made 292 hp (up from the previous 239 hp) though the 210-hp 4.0-liter V6 continued unchanged. The V8 came paired with a new six-speed automatic transmission. Safety equipment was upgraded, too, as front-seat side airbags and stability control were made standard on all Explorers. More recent Explorers benefited from the arrival of the voice-activated Sync music/phone interface (2008) and a revised navigation system (2009).

In general we liked this Explorer and found value in the excellent ride and handling characteristics, comfortable and roomy cabin and, on V8 models, strong power and high towing capacity. Though later outclassed by newer crossover SUVs in terms of comfort and design, this Explorer is a solid pick, particularly if you plan to use a V8 model for towing.

Model years 1995-2001 represent the second generation Explorer. Though neither as refined nor as powerful as the generation that followed, this group is still a respectable choice for an SUV. For most of this generation's run, three engines were available: a standard 160-hp V6, an optional 210-hp V6 ('97 and later) and a 210-hp 5.0-liter V8. The familiar XL, XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited were the available trims, and there was a two-door Explorer known as the Sport. Editorial reviews of the time noted that the Explorer had a comfortable cabin and decent utility but fared poorly in terms of road handling and off-road ability.

The original Ford Explorer debuted in 1990 as a 1991 model, and it replaced the Bronco II in Ford's lineup. It achieved instant success in a market that it ultimately defined, if not created. Based on the Ford Ranger pickup, the original Explorer had the winning combination of size, style and utility that people wanted in an SUV. It came as the volume-selling four-door or a less popular two-door. Initially, just XLS and XLT trim levels were available. In 1992, an Eddie Bauer edition joined the lineup, and a Limited model followed shortly thereafter. For power, these Explorers had a 155-hp V6. Output went up slightly to 160 hp in 1993; this was also the year Ford made antilock brakes standard equipment.

Auto blog

Ford Mustang 50th anniversary edition brings in $170k

Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:15:00 EST

Just the other day, we reported on the first Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat selling for a whopping $825,000 at auction. But impressive as that sum was, the Challenger wasn't the only sought-after modern muscle car to cross the Barrett-Jackson auction block in Las Vegas this past weekend. So did this rare Ford Mustang.
The last of 1,964 special-edition 50 Years Limited Edition pony cars sold for a princely $170,000, with proceeds benefiting the Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute, a branch of the Henry Ford Health System.
The pony car in question is based on the 2015 Ford Mustang GT and upgrades with a performance package and nearly every option on the book, along with a unique appearance package to set it apart in celebration of the Mustang's 50th anniversary. It's available in two exclusive shades - Wimbledon white or Kona blue - with either a manual or automatic transmission. Only 1,964 highly symbolic examples were to be built, and this was the last of them.

2015 Ford F-150 claims segment's best payload, towing ratings

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:28:00 EST

While we are set to drive the new, 2015 Ford F-150 in the coming days, there's a big piece of news on the latest-generation of the Blue Oval's bread-and-butter pickup coming out of Dearborn, and it focuses on the truck's hauling and towing abilities.
The new F-150 will have a maximum payload of 3,300-pounds (V8 models), and, perhaps more importantly, a 12,200-pound tow rating (EcoBoost V6 models), which for the first time are compliant with the Society of Automotive Engineer's J2807 standards. Those best-in-class figures are significant feathers in Ford's cap as the Detroit Three continue duking it out for the title of top pickup.
"As founding members of the SAE trailer towing committee, we will meet SAE trailer towing standards," Ford's Aaron Miller told Autoblog.

2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost already hitting 12-second quarters

Sun, 28 Sep 2014 12:30:00 EST

The arrival of a new Ford Mustang means many things to many people, but not least of them is drag racers. The pony car has always been a mainstay of the drag strip, and the Ford Racing team aims to carry that reputation forward with this latest generation. So it cooked up a few basic modifications on three new 'Stangs and headed to the strips at US 131 and Milan Dragway to see what they could coax out of 'em.
Impressively, the 5.0-liter V8 Mustang GT with a few modifications (but no forced induction) managed to clock a quarter-mile time of 11.77 seconds. Another Mustang GT fitted with a supercharger clocked a blistering 10.97 seconds. But just as intriguing was the modified EcoBoost model that, with only four cylinders and 2.3 liters of displacement, still passed the gates in just 12.56 seconds - nearly half a second better than expected. This with modification limited to a new subframe, half-shaft, drive shaft loops, exhaust, engine calibration, slicks, roll cage and bucket seat. Well done, boys.

Porsche 911 Turbo and Nissan GT-R Nismo star in World's Greatest Drag Race 4

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 17:01:00 EST

We love Motor Trend's annual World's Greatest Drag Race video. Now back for its fourth appearance, the idea of lining some of the world's fastest cars up for a ten-wide, straight-line, full-throttle run is, well... it's pretty freaking badass.
The lineup this year boasts some impressively fast cars to be sure. The group of ten includes the following darlings: Alfa Romeo 4C, BMW i8, BMW M4, Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Ford Fiesta ST, Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, Nissan GT-R Nismo, Porsche 911 Turbo S, Subaru WRX STI and, last but not least, the Volkswagen GTI. Give us any one of those for the weekend, and we're happy to take the keys.
It must be said though, that for a publication that draws as much water as Motor Trend does, there are some big cars that we might expect to be here instead. The Lamborghini Huracán or Ferrari 458 Speciale would have added some exotic flare to the list, and the omissions of the Chevy Corvette Stingray (for the second year in a row) and the Dodge Challenger Hellcat are real head-scratchers.

11 vehicles from Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas worth watching

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:14:00 EST

This weekend will see the world's collector car crowds descend on Las Vegas, NV for one of the biggest shows on Barrett-Jackson's popular auction circuit. There are hundreds of vehicles up for bidding, ranging from a brand-new Lamborghini Aventador to a spattering of Art Deco classics and a huge swath of classic muscle cars.
While it's virtually impossible to assemble an inarguable list of the best cars coming during the three-day, 700-plus vehicle auction, we've sifted through the listings for this year's show - it was a tough assignment, we promise - and assembled a list of what we think will be some of the most interesting lots. We'll admit, it's a bit heavy on American iron, but if you browse BJ's listings, you'll come to a similar conclusion. Still, scroll down for our list of what we think will be the most interesting vehicles at the upcoming auction.

Ford recalling 850,000 cars and SUVs for airbag issues

Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:01:00 EST

Ford has announced a major recall of 850,000 vehicles from model years 2013 and 2014 due to a problem with the "restraints control module."
According to Ford, a short circuit could develop in the module, causing the airbag warning light to illuminate. In more severe cases, dependent on where the short develops, the airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners may not work in the event of an accident. The problems can be more wide-ranging than that, too, as systems that rely on information from the control module, such as the stability control can be affected.
With 850,000 vehicles affected, it's no surprise that some of Ford's volume leaders are covered. That includes the Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans, as well as the incredibly recall-prone Escape and the C-Max MPV.

2015 Ford F-150 configurator is ready to go to work

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 15:44:00 EST

Ford is inching towards the on-sale date for the eagerly anticipated, aluminum F-150 pickup. While we're preparing to drive the new truck (expect our take on it sooner rather than later), the best-seller has reached another, albeit more minor, milestone as its online configurator has officially been switched on.
We took to Ford's consumer website to mess about with it and see just how ridiculous of a truck we can build. Among the fun things we discovered were these two nuggets - the most expensive truck we could configure was not the top-end Platinum model, but instead the King Ranch, which rang up at $65,955. The other exciting discovery? The new truck would be available in a questionable shade called Blue Jeans (shown above with the optional contrasting Caribou paint). Yep, Blue Jeans.
You can head over to Ford's consumer page and build your very own aluminum F-150 now. Take a look.

Ford Transit gets outfitted for prison duty

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 18:31:00 EST

Between the Taurus-based Police Interceptor, the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility and the F-150 and Expedition special service vehicles, Ford has no lack of offerings for law enforcement. And now it has one more in the form of the new Transit PTV.
Based on the fullsize Transit van, the Prisoner Transport Vehicle can move as many as 12 prisoners in three separate compartments between detention facilities. Created in collaboration with Pennsylvania-based Havis Prisoner Transport Solutions and with input from Ford's Police Advisory Board, the Transit PTV takes advantage of the Transit's considerable configuration options that include three roof heights, two wheelbases, three lengths and four body-styles - not to mention engine options that include the flex-fuel 3.7-liter V6, 3.5-liter EcoBoost and 3.2-liter Power Stroke diesel.
"Transit PTV is the latest example of Ford's deep commitment to helping provide law enforcement agencies with capable vehicles. This concept proves Transit is upfit-ready and designed to Built Ford Tough standards," said Jonathan Honeycutt, Ford police marketing manager. "Many Police Advisory Board members have had the chance to drive this vehicle and they are excited about it. This new vehicle is tough, smart and efficient - ideal for the needs of law enforcement agencies."

Ford Mustang EcoBoost has fake engine soundtrack

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 15:58:00 EST

The 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost represents a huge change for the Blue Oval as the first pony car in decades to be available with a four-cylinder engine. But a recent tweet (below) from Road & Track raised our curiosity about the new vehicle. Editor Jason Cammisa pulled a fuse while driving the latest 'Stang with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, and he found that both the stereo and engine went quiet in the cabin. That indicated the coupe might have some form of artificial engine sound being piped in - a feature not previously heavily reported for the model. Autoblog spoke with Ford engineer Shawn Carney who confirmed that only the turbocharged four-cylinder Mustang comes with this system, called Active Noise Control.
@jasoncammisa pulls fuse 27 on 4cyl #2015mustang EcoBoost. Both stereo & engine go quiet. #FakeEngineNoise #busted! pic.twitter.com/WNzQefCbtQ

- Road & Track (@RoadandTrack) September 17, 2014

2015 Ford Mustang GT road test ride-along

Wed, 24 Sep 2014 12:44:00 EST

You've no doubt already pored over our first drive of the 2015 Ford Mustang, where author Jonathon Ramsey proclaimed that "this new car shames the old, redefines the model and gallops far ahead of anything else in the segment." And following Ramsey's first stint behind the wheel of Ford's new coupe, we sent him back out with another 'Stang to capture some of these same impressions over a backdrop of the car moving quickly along gorgeous California canyon roads.
But this also gave our author and editors time to read through the hundreds of comments left on that original Mustang review. You readers are indeed a vocal bunch, and one particular comment about how the automotive media is so willing to bash an outgoing car as soon as the new one arrives really caught our attention. In this video, Ramsey stands by his written text, saying the new Mustang is "massively better than the one it replaces," and in doing so, addresses your comments while providing more insight into just how good the Ford truly is.
We won't spoil the rest for you. Check out the feature video above, and as always, leave us your thoughts in the Comments section below.