The Explorer debuted in 1990 as a midsize SUV and remained so until 2011 when its size was increased, changing its classification to a full-size SUV. With a newer, sportier design the Explorer has not lost its brawn, and technological upgrades help the newer models pack a bit more intelligence compared to earlier models. It has the ability to tow up to 5,000 pounds. The 3.5-liter Eco-Boost engine is strong enough to provide a smooth ride in almost any weather condition.
Four versions are currently on the market. All include features like air conditioning with rear auxiliary climate control and air filtration, power doors and windows, a telescoping steering wheel, and keyless entry. Upgrades include conveniences like Sync Bluetooth® connectivity, a CD player, a “media hub” with an auxiliary audio jack as well as updated design elements like rear privacy glass, blind spot mirrors, LED tail lights, and hill-start assist.
The Terrain Management System paired with the Explorer’s Intelligent 4WD allows you to drive in snow, mud, gravel, grass, sand, and just about anywhere else, providing extra traction when needed. Driving on a rolling mountain pass? The Hill Descent Control aids you in regulating your speed with just the touch of a button.
The Explorer has an MSRP starting at $30,015, a 3.5-liter V6 engine with a 6-speed automatic transmission, and an EPA-estimated mpg of 17 city/24 highway. Test drivers have remarked on the independent suspension giving a smooth ride and quiet interior. Other features of the Explorer include speed control, illuminated entry, driver, passenger, and rear door bins, and rear seat air conditioning. The 2011 model was named the North American Truck of the Year during the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
Ford Explorer Safety Ratings
The Ford Explorer has earned a 5 out of 5 star Overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It won the 2011 Traffic Safety Achievement Award from the New York International Auto Show’s World Traffic Safety System and was named the 2011 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Onboard safety features include traction control, electronic stability control, driver and passenger airbags as well as rear and side head airbags. The Explorer also has Trailer Sway Control, Curve Control, AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™, automatic high beams, and rain-sensing wipers as well as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with brake support, and inflatable second-row safety belts. You can rest easy knowing that whether you are on the road solo or with a cabin filled to capacity, your most precious cargo is safe and sound.