The Explorer is offered in base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum models, but 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. Both the second and third rows flip forward, giving a cavernous 81 cubic-feet of cargo space.
The base engine is a 3.5L V6 that produces 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque, with EPA ratings of 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway. The optional 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder makes a healthy 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, and fuel economy is best in class at 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway.
The 4-wheel-drive system in the Explorer is available with both engines, and it is designed with the urban driving done by most Explorer owners in mind. The system includes a Terrain Management system that cleverly recalibrates itself 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 goodies 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. The top-of-the-line Platinum trim includes quilted leather seating, brush aluminum accents and ash wood inlays.
MyFord Touch 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. Safety-related tech features on the Explorer include adaptive cruise control with a collision warning system that includes brake support as well as a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert.
Excellent Ride Quality
World-class Safety Features
EcoBoost Engine Provides Good Mileage
The Ford Explorer returns for 2019 with a reshuffled feature lineup and a couple of new trim packages. An XLT appearance package called "Desert Copper" comes with 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, black door trim panels and unique inserts. A new Limited Luxury Package includes multicontour leather lined front seats with micro-perforation; as well as a leather steering wheel. In addition, paddle shifters are now standard on Sport and Platinum trimmed Explorers, while heated second row seats are an option on the Sport trim. The XLT trim on the other hand, gets a power liftgate as standard for 2019.
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 manage the teen drivers in the family.
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.
Engine: 3.5L V6 EcoBoost
Transmission: 6-Speed SelectShift Automatic (44C)
3.16 Non-Limited Slip Axle Ratio
GVWR: 6,160 lbs
Electronic Transfer Case
Automatic Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
Engine Oil Cooler
72-Amp/Hr 650CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
200 Amp Alternator
Class III Towing Equipment -inc: Harness, Hitch and Trailer Sway Control
Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
Roof Rack Rails Only
Front Fog Lamps
Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Led Low/High Beam Auto High-Beam Daytime Running Lights Preference Setting Headlamps w/Delay-Off
Radio: Premium Sound from Sony -inc: Clear Phase, Live Acoustics, AM/FM, 500 watts, 12 speakers, HD Radio, SiriusXM radio and voice-activated navigation system w/in-dash screen, SD card for map and point of interest storage and integrated SiriusXM Traffic and TravelLink, Note:, a 6-month prepaid subscription, Service is not available in Alaska and Hawaii, Note: SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link includes a 5-year prepaid subscription, SYNC services are not available in Alaska and Hawaii, Note: Subscriptions to all SiriusXM services are sold by SiriusXM after trial period, If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates, Fees and taxes apply, To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349, See SiriusXM Customer Agreement for complete terms at www.siriusxm.com, All fees and programming subject to change, Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc
Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Aux Audio Input Jack, Steering Wheel Controls and Radio Data System
Integrated Roof Antenna
SYNC 3 Communications & Entertainment System -inc: enhanced voice recognition, 8" LCD capacitive touchscreen in center stack w/swipe capability, pinch-to-zoom capability included when equipped w/available voice-activated touchscreen navigation system, AppLink, 911 Assist, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, 2 smart-charging multimedia USB ports (1 replaces the front center floor console powerpoint port)
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
Full Cloth Headliner
Leather/Chrome Gear Shift Knob
Nirvana Multi Contour Leather Cooled Bucket Seats -inc: micro-perforation, quilted bolsters, front row platinum branded embroidery, 10-way power driver's 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 entertainment system (50S) is ordered)
Interior Trim -inc: Aluminum/Genuine Wood Instrument Panel Insert, Aluminum/Genuine Wood Door Panel Insert, Aluminum Console Insert, Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents and Leather Upholstered Dashboard
Leather Door Trim Insert
Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
Day-Night Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror
Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage, 3 12V DC Power Outlets and 1 AC Power Outlet
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 Area Concealed Storage
Cargo Space Lights
Memory Settings -inc: Door Mirrors, Steering Wheel and Pedals