2017 Ford Explorer

Starting MSRP: $31,660 - $53,235

Estimated MPG: 17 city / 24 hwy

2017 Ford Explorer Review

Early Ford Explorers played a key part in bringing SUVs into the mainstream, and the 2017 model continues to be a choice that defines the segment in some of the best ways possible. This SUV is purpose-built for family duty, and it offers roomy accommodations, a forgiving ride and powerful performance.

By Warren Clarke
Last Updated 07/05/2017

The 2017 Ford Explorer gets some upgrades for the model year. Sync 3 is now available, and this most current generation of Ford's infotainment system is a step up from its predecessor, providing quicker performance and an interface that's easier to use. The Explorer also adds a new XLT Sport Appearance package for 2017, which equips the SUV with 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, a unique grille and special exterior badging.

Explorers come with three rows of seating and accommodate six or seven passengers, depending on whether you opt for a fixed bench or sliding captain's chairs in the second row. Buyers can choose between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, and five trims are available: base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum.

Exterior

Exterior

The 2017 Ford Explorer strikes a confident and assertive stance. In front, a massive grille crouches between automatic LED headlamps. A side view offers a glimpse of the Explorer's standard rear privacy glass and roof-rack side rails, while from the back, the Explorer reveals standard LED tail lamps and a standard body-colored spoiler.

Base models come with 18-inch wheels, a dark-gray grille with chrome bars, black exterior door handles and dual chrome exhaust tips. The list of available features includes 20-inch wheels, fog lamps, a hands-free power liftgate, power folding mirrors and varying grille choices.

Interior

Interior

The Explorer's cabin is assembled with care and is home to premium materials. Cargo volume behind the third row stands at 21 cubic feet. With the second row folded, this figure expands to 43.9 cubic feet. Lower both rear rows and the Explorer offers 81.7 cubic feet of cargo space.

Base models come with a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, power windows with one-touch up and down for the driver and front passenger, 60/40 split-folding seats in the second row, 50/50 split-folding third-row seats and rear auxiliary climate control. Available amenities include dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a twin-panel sunroof, a heated steering wheel, a power-adjustable steering column, heated seats in the first two rows, leather upholstery and power-folding second- and third-row seats.

Performance

Performance

The best vehicles in this segment provide a serene cabin and ride quality that buffers passengers from harshness, and the 2017 Explorer delivers in both these areas.

A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and three engines are available. The base Explorer comes with a 3.5-liter V6 is good for 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, and it's rated at 17/24 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 16/23 mpg with all-wheel drive. An available turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine provides 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque and is EPA rated at 19/27 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive and 18/25 mpg with all-wheel drive. A The final engine choice is a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 providing 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It's available only with all-wheel drive and is rated at 16/22 mpg.

When equipped with either V6, the Explorer tows up to 5,000 pounds.

Technology

Technology

Standard equipment on the base 2017 Explorer includes a rearview camera, Ford’s voice-controlled Sync system, Bluetooth, a media hub with a smart-charging USB port, a CD player, an MP3-compatible six-speaker sound system and Ford's MyKey, which helps parents encourage safe driving habits for teen drivers. You can upgrade your Explorer with premium nine- or 12-speaker sound systems, satellite radio, voice-activated navigation, push-button start, Sync 3 and driver-assistance technology such as adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support.