Is Ford Explorer a Good Car? Unveiling the Untold Truths Behind the Wheel

Is Ford Explorer a Good Car?

The Ford Explorer, a well-received SUV with a production history dating back to 1991, comes in various trim levels and presents a range of engine choices.

Standard features include an infotainment system and front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is an optional upgrade.

Additional amenities like heated seats and a sunroof can be added to enhance the Explorer’s offerings.

Boasting a spacious interior capable of accommodating up to seven passengers, this SUV provides comfort for families.

With a starting price of $32,765, the Ford Explorer is an excellent value proposition, delivering both safety and reliability for those seeking a dependable vehicle.

Is Ford Explorer A Good Car? An image of a 2024 Ford Explorer® SUV
An image of a 2024 Ford Explorer® SUV. PHOTO:


Is The Ford Explorer A Good Car?

Yes, the Ford Explorer is a good car.

This SUV is both adaptable and dependable, catering to the needs of families while also excelling in off-road capabilities.

With ample space for both passengers and cargo, coupled with its four-wheel drive option, it proves ideal for adventurous off-road journeys.

The Explorer prioritizes safety with a range of equipped safety features, ensuring it stands as a secure choice for families.

Moreover, its affordability makes it one of the most cost-effective SUVs available, delivering exceptional value for families.

Pros Of Ford Explorer

Is Ford Explorer a Good Car? An infographic outlining the pros Of the Ford Explorer
An infographic outlining the pros Of the Ford Explorer.


  • Versatile Hybrid Powertrain

The 2019 Ford Explorer is equipped with a standard 3.5-liter V6 engine, generating 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque.

Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, it features front-wheel drive as the default, with the option for all-wheel drive.

The front-wheel-drive configuration boasts an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 17/24 mpg city/highway, while the all-wheel-drive model achieves 16/22 mpg.

For the Explorer Sport trim, a more robust 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 engine delivers 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.

Coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission, this trim comes standard with all-wheel drive and achieves an EPA rating of 16/22 mpg.

At the top of the line, the Platinum trim incorporates the turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive but introduces a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

The Platinum model is rated at 16/24 mpg according to the EPA.

All Explorer models feature stop/start technology as a standard, contributing to fuel efficiency by automatically shutting off the engine during idle periods.

  • Off-Road Capabilities

While many Explorer owners may not venture off-road, the vehicle is designed for adventure.

Its robust exterior is capable of tackling diverse terrains, and the interior offers comfort and ample space for the entire family.

Whether you’re navigating mountainous trails or enjoying a day at the beach, the Explorer is prepared for the journey.

Featuring four-wheel drive and generous ground clearance, it effortlessly ventures beyond conventional routes.

Equipped with tow hooks, it’s adept at overcoming any obstacles encountered along the way.

Wherever your destination lies, the Explorer is poised to transport you there with ease.

  • Pleasant Ergonomics

The 2020 Ford Explorer underwent a comprehensive redesign, featuring a new shared platform with the Lincoln Aviator.

This platform enhances the Explorer’s dimensions, making it wider and taller for a more authoritative road presence.

The increased wheelbase, made possible by the new platform, contributes to a more stable ride.

Utilizing a construction blend of aluminum and high-strength steel, the redesigned Explorer is now lighter than its predecessors.

This not only boosts fuel efficiency but also enhances handling and braking capabilities.

  • All Season Comfort

The Electronic Automatic Temperature Control system in the Ford Explorer provides three warmth levels for optimal comfort for all occupants.

With a user-friendly center stack featuring 10 buttons, adjusting settings throughout the vehicle is effortless.

Additionally, an auxiliary panel with various dials and switches allows you to customize temperatures specifically for the second-row captain seats or the first rows inside this luxurious SUV.

  • User-Friendly Infotainment System

The recently unveiled Ford Explorer showcases an upgraded infotainment system, which surpasses its predecessors in user-friendliness and richness of features.

The focal point of this system is a spacious, high-resolution touchscreen seamlessly incorporated into the dashboard.

With improved voice recognition and control functionalities, navigating the system is now even more convenient while driving.

Furthermore, the system provides access to a variety of applications and services, accessible either through the touchscreen or via voice commands.

These encompass navigation, music streaming, climate control, and various other features.

Adding to its advanced features, the all-new Ford Explorer is equipped with a heads-up display, projecting essential information onto the windshield for effortless viewing.

  • Attractive Appearance

The 2022 Ford Explorer represents a significant departure from its predecessors, showcasing a sleek and stylish design that deviates from the traditional tough and muscular build associated with this SUV.

The exterior boasts a complete redesign, characterized by smooth lines and a sporty aesthetic.

Notably, the front end showcases a revamped grille and headlight design, contributing to a more assertive and aggressive appearance.

Inside, the interior has undergone a comprehensive overhaul, featuring premium materials and cutting-edge technology.

The result is an SUV that exudes external and internal sophistication, presenting a captivating blend of style and functionality.

  • Smart Safety Features

The 2022 Ford Explorer comes equipped with over 10 advanced safety technologies designed to prevent or reduce the impact of accidents.

Driven by Co-Pilot360, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control promptly responds to changes in traffic within a lane, complemented by additional crash mitigation features like Automatic Emergency Braking and Blind Spot Monitoring from the exclusive suite.

In terms of parking aid, the SUV is equipped with Active Park Assist and parking sensors to ensure a seamless experience when reversing, eliminating potential challenges during parking maneuvers.

  • Premium Interior Amenities For Families

The Explorer comes with cutting-edge features tailored for families.

In the second row, you’ll find dual USB charging ports along with an AC-110-volt outlet, perfect for charging larger electronic devices.

Additionally, the vehicle provides a wireless charging spot for the driver, complete with an anti-slip surface to ensure you won’t have to search for a charging cable in crucial moments.

Among its luxurious offerings, the Explorer boasts a seven-color ambient lighting system, illuminated front scuff plates, and second-row sun blinds, enhancing the high-end amenities within this iconic Ford SUV.

Cons Of Ford Explorer

Is Ford Explorer a Good Car? An infographic outlining the cons Of the Ford Explorer
An infographic outlining the cons Of the Ford Explorer.


  • Poor Lateral Handling

The Ford Explorer faces a significant issue with its lateral handling, primarily stemming from its wide body, causing challenges in maneuvering within confined spaces.

Moreover, the Explorer’s suspension is not well-suited for navigating sharp turns, leading to difficulties for drivers in maintaining control during abrupt maneuvers.

This limitation poses a heightened risk of accidents.

Despite some suspension improvements implemented by Ford in the 2022 model, the Explorer still lags in addressing this particular concern.

Prospective buyers should be mindful of this issue when evaluating the vehicle for purchase, considering the potential safety implications.

  • Limited Space In Third Row

When considering third-row SUVs, the Explorer has consistently stood out as one of the most generously spaced options in the market.

However, the 2022 model is expected to deviate from this trend by featuring a noticeably reduced size in its third row.

Ford attributes this change to the integration of the new hybrid powertrain.

Consequently, the upcoming model’s third row is projected to offer approximately 10 inches less legroom compared to its predecessor.

While this adjustment may not pose an inconvenience for shorter passengers, it could present a significant drawback for families with tall teenagers or adults.

Additionally, the downsized third row will inevitably result in diminished cargo space when all seats are occupied.

If you prioritize a roomy third-row SUV, it might be advisable to await the release of the next Explorer model.

  • Bad Fuel Economy

In recent years, the fuel efficiency of the Ford Explorer has faced criticism, primarily due to its relatively low miles per gallon (MPG) rating.

The Explorer, on average, achieves only around 20 MPG, necessitating more frequent refueling compared to alternative vehicles.

Several factors contribute to the Explorer’s subpar fuel economy.

Firstly, its substantial weight hampers aerodynamics, diminishing overall fuel efficiency.

Additionally, the Explorer employs a larger engine compared to many other SUVs in the market, further impacting its MPG performance.

The Explorer’s four-wheel-drive system is an additional factor that negatively affects its fuel efficiency.

Despite these considerations, potential buyers should weigh the drawbacks against other features, as the Explorer’s fuel economy, while a concern, may not be a decisive factor for all interested individuals.

2024 Ford Explorer

  • Interior Features

Is Ford Explorer a Good Car? An infographic outlining interior features of the 2024 Ford Explorer
An infographic outlining interior features of the 2024 Ford Explorer.


Regardless of the challenges the day presents or the direction the journey takes, the 2024 Ford Explorer® lineup is equipped with interiors designed to surpass your expectations at every twist and turn.

With effortlessly adjustable seating in all three rows and cutting-edge technology that ensures constant connectivity on the go, it is prepared for whatever adventures lie ahead.

  1. 10.1-inch LCD Capacitive Portrait Touchscreen.
  2. Comfortably Seats up to Seven.
  3. Multi-Color Ambient Lighting.
  4. Twin-Panel Moonroof.
  5. PowerFold® Third-Row Seat.
  • Exterior Features

Is Ford Explorer a Good Car? An infographic outlining exterior features of the 2024 Ford Explorer
An infographic outlining exterior features of the 2024 Ford Explorer.


  1. Adaptive LED Headlamps.
  2. Twin-Panel Moonroof.
  • Towing

The 2024 Ford Explorer® SUV boasts the capability to tow up to 5,600 lbs.* This impressive towing capacity is achieved by equipping the vehicle with the Class IV Trailer Tow Package.

Additionally, the standard Terrain Management System™ includes Tow/Haul mode, enhancing the towing experience with advanced technology.

  • Power

Two Engines

The 2024 Ford Explorer® SUV series is equipped with two distinct and exceptionally powerful engines.

Regardless of your choice, you’ll experience remarkable capability and towing prowess, enabling you to face all challenges and embrace life to its fullest.

2.3L EcoBoost® I-4 Engine

The energetic engine in this vehicle generates 300 horsepower* and 310 lb.-ft. of torque*, delivering lively performance whether you’re navigating city streets or exploring more distant destinations.

Found as standard equipment on the Base, XLT, ST-Line, Timberline®, and Limited models, the 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine ensures an exhilarating driving experience.

3.0L EcoBoost® V6 Engine

The powertrains of the ST, King Ranch®, and Platinum models rely on the 3.0L EcoBoost® V6 engine featuring Auto Start-Stop Technology as their core.

This engine employs a combination of turbocharging and direct injection, resulting in an impressive output of 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque.*

  • Technology

Is Ford Explorer a Good Car? An infographic outlining the intelligent features of the 2024 Ford Explorer® SUV
An infographic outlining the intelligent features of the 2024 Ford Explorer® SUV.


The 2024 Ford Explorer® SUV has numerous intelligent features designed for road trips.

Navigating busy and distracting roads is made easier with Ford Co-Pilot360™ Technology.

Additionally, staying connected is a breeze thanks to the inclusion of standard SYNC® 3 Technology and FordPass® Connect™.

  1. Auto High-Beam Headlamps.
  2. Rear View Camera.
  3. BLIS® with Cross-Traffic Alert.
  4. Pre-Collision Assist® With Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB).
  5. Lane-Keeping System.
  6. Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control.

2024 Ford Explorer Price

Model Price
Base $38,455
XLT $40,265
ST-Line $48,595
Limited $49,115
Timberline $51,025
ST $51,700
King Ranch $56,765
Platinum $57,310


2024 Ford Explorer Release Date

As per our experts, the updated 2024 Explorer is anticipated to be available in late 2023 or early 2024.

This implies that order banks are expected to open before the conclusion of the current year!

Ford Explorer Against Its Competitors

  • Ford Explorer vs. Kia Telluride

Both provide a comfortable driving experience, a roomy interior, and an extensive array of standard features.

Nonetheless, notable distinctions exist between the two vehicles.

The Ford Explorer boasts a turbocharged V6 engine capable of generating up to 365 horsepower, while the Kia Telluride is equipped with a standard V6 engine producing up to 291 horsepower.

The Explorer also has a slightly larger cargo space and more advanced safety features as part of its standard package.

Conversely, the Telluride comes with a lower starting price and superior fuel efficiency.

In conclusion, both SUVs stand out as excellent choices for families, but the Kia Telluride may offer better value for your money.

  • Ford Explorer vs. Chevrolet Traverse

Both vehicles provide ample space for passengers and cargo, along with a diverse array of features and choices.

So, the question arises: Which one suits you better?

Let’s delve deeper into the comparison between the Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Traverse.

In terms of dimensions, both SUVs share a similar size, each boasting three rows of seating capable of accommodating up to seven passengers.

The Ford Explorer edges ahead in cargo space behind the third row, although the Chevrolet Traverse compensates with its expansive cabin and generous windows, ensuring excellent visibility for all occupants.

Regarding power and performance, both SUVs are equipped with robust V6 engines that deliver ample horsepower.

Yet, the Ford Explorer holds a slight advantage in horsepower over the Chevrolet Traverse.

In terms of fuel efficiency, both vehicles achieve around 20 mpg in city driving and 27 mpg on the highway.

When considering features and options, both SUVs present an extensive array of standard and optional offerings.

However, the Ford Explorer includes a few more advanced features as standard, such as adaptive cruise control and a lane-keeping system.

Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Traverse provides an extended list of optional features, including an upgraded infotainment system and a sunroof.

Final Thoughts

The Ford Explorer, a strong contender in the SUV market, boasts a versatile hybrid powertrain, off-road capabilities, and a user-friendly infotainment system.

The 2022 model features an appealing design, advanced safety features, and family-oriented interior amenities.

However, drawbacks include poor lateral handling, limited third-row space, and subpar fuel economy.

The upcoming 2024 model addresses these concerns with improved interiors, towing capabilities, and powerful engine options.

Compared to rivals like the Kia Telluride and Chevrolet Traverse, the Ford Explorer stands out for its turbocharged V6 engine, spacious cargo area, and advanced safety features, though the final choice depends on individual preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Are Ford Explorers reliable vehicles?

Ford Explorer Reliability

Although the 2023 model of the Ford Explorer is rated at 83/100 by U.S. News & World Report, categorized as “Great,” it’s worth noting that the reliability of the vehicle may experience minor variations over the years.

The 2022 model, for instance, maintained a commendable overall reliability score of 81/100, underscoring its consistently high marks for reliability.

  • What are the disadvantages of the Ford Explorer?

However, numerous Ford Explorers from various model years suffer from issues, encompassing problems related to the engine, transmission, steering, wheels, body paint, and interior accessories.

  • Do Ford Explorers last long?

As per information from, a Ford Explorer typically has a lifespan ranging from 80,000 miles to 200,000 miles.

To extend the longevity of their SUVs beyond 200,000 miles, owners must ensure they provide adequate maintenance.

This variability suggests that your vehicle could potentially endure for a period of 10 to 20 years.

  • What year is the most reliable Ford Explorer?

These are the Ford Explorer’s most dependable choices:

  1. 1993 Ford Explorer.
  2. 2010 Ford Explorer.
  3. 2011 Ford Explorer.
  4. 2012 Ford Explorer.
  5. 2019 Ford Explorer.

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