The Explorer is offered in base, XLT and Limited models, and no matter the model, it comes with three well-designed rows of seating and room for up to seven (the second row comes with two bucket seats for adults). While the third row is kid-sized, it's easier to fold than those on just about any other model--thanks to the simple, single-button power-folding system. Parents will also note that LATCH fasteners for child seats are included in the second-row outboard positions. And if you flip both the second and third rows forward, there's a cavernous (and well-shaped) 81 cubic feet of cargo space.
With the EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine, fuel economy is one of the best in this class of vehicle: 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. There is one caveat for the EcoBoost engine--it's only available with front-wheel drive, so any shoppers needing the all-weather security of 4-wheel drive will need to step up to the V6. The larger engine isn't all that bad though, with EPA ratings of 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
The 4-wheel drive system in the Explorer is designed with the urban driving done by most Explorer owners in mind, but it does include a Terrain Management system that cleverly recalibrates the system for snow, sand or mud when needed. With 4-wheel drive, there's also Hill Descent Control, to help maintain composure on steep, slippery slopes.
Standard equipment on the Explorer is more extensive than what's found in most mainstream-brand vehicles. Cruise control, a media hub system, four 12-volt powerpoints, capless fuel-filling and the MyKey control/monitoring feature are all standard on the base model, while optional or standard models on the upper XLT or Limited trims include dual-zone climate control; remote start; power-folding, heated side-view mirrors; reverse sensing; ambient lighting, adjustable pedals, a rearview camera system, push-button start and a 110-volt AC outlet.
Also of note is MyFord Touch, a touch-screen-based interface that combines a host of vehicle, information and entertainment functions in an interface that appears a bit like that of iPads or other tablet computers. The system works together with Ford's Sync interface to interact seamlessly--and with voice commands--with media players, smartphones and music on USB sticks.
All Explorers include both Roll Stability Control and Curve Control sophisticated stability control systems. Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags also cover all three rows, and an SOS Post-Crash System helps alert authorities if the airbags deploy. Even more advanced, safety-related tech features on the Explorer include adaptive cruise control with a collision warning system and brake support and a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert; both are features that could lessen the impact of an accident or help avoid it entirely.
Excellent Ride Quality
World-class Safety Features
Surprisingly Good Gas Mileage With EcoBoost Engine
The Ford Explorer is essentially unchanged for 2014. There are a few new colors and Limited models now come standard with heated second row seats. Otherwise the vehicle remains identical to last year's model.
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.
Radio: Sony Audio System w/12-Speakers -inc: HD Radio, (2) USB ports, SD card reader and SIRIUS satellite radio, Note: SIRIUS satellite radio includes 6 month prepaid subscription (48 contiguous states), Service not available in Alaska or Hawaii
Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
Integrated Roof Antenna
Digital Signal Processor
SYNC -inc: SYNC w/MyFord voice-activated communications and entertainment system w/911 Assist, VHR, SYNC Services AppLink, Bluetooth, steering wheel controls, USB port, auxiliary input jack, traffic reports, GPS based turn-by-turn directions and information services, Note: SYNC services receive a complimentary 3 year prepaid subscription (1 phone/primary account)
HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts, Auxiliary Rear Heater and Headliner/Pillar Ducts
Voice Activated Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
Illuminated Locking Glove Box
Driver Foot Rest
Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look Door Panel Insert, Metal-Look Console Insert and Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents
Full Cloth Headliner
Leather/Chrome Gear Shift Knob
Leatherette Door Trim Insert
Perforated Leather-Trimmed Heated Bucket Seats -inc: Available w/unique insert, 10-way power driver seat w/power recline and lumbar, 6-way power front passenger seat w/manual recline and lumbar and 4-way driver and front-passenger head restraints (2-way when DVD headrest are ordered 50R or 50S)
Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Full Overhead Console w/Storage and 4 12V DC Power Outlets
Front And Rear Map Lights
Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
Carpet Floor Trim
Cargo Space Lights
Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
Delayed Accessory Power
Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver And Passenger 1-Touch Up/Down
* Pricing - All vehicle pricing shown is assumed to be correct and accurate. Incentives, credit restrictions, qualifying programs, residency, and fees may raise, lower, or otherwise augment monthly payments. Additionally, incentives offered by the manufacturer are subject to change and may fluctuate or differ based on region and other considerations. Unless otherwise noted or specified, pricing shown does not include title, registration, or tax fees and costs.
* MPG - Vehicle information, as well as features and other inclusions, may vary by model and are based exclusively on standard equipment. No claims, warranties, or guarantees have been made related to the accuracy of customer payments, model equipment, or vehicle pricing. Please call with any questions you might have and to reassert the accuracy of any information presented here.