By KBB.com Editors
The Explorer continues to be a strong seller for Ford, despite the recent downturn in SUV sales. Powerful owner loyalty, a reasonable size and the option of a potent V8 engine all contribute to the Explorer's success, despite the vehicle's aging platform and less-than-stellar fuel economy. The Explorer makes a great choice for families looking to get away from a full-sized SUV, as well as for those who need the ride height and four-wheel-drive capability that only a body-on-frame SUV can provide. Although the Explorer has plenty of newer competition, both domestic and foreign, few offer the combination of low price, three-row seating and a powerful V8 engine, not to mention the Explorer's 7,300-pound tow rating.
Whether you're drawn to the Explorer for its truck-like towing and cargo-hauling capabilities or its minivan-like versatility, you'll find more of what you're looking for in the latest incarnation of this quintessential SUV.
Although the new Explorer succeeds in being both smoother and more responsive than any previous model, it still drives like a big, truck-based SUV when compared to a select few of its competitors, many of which deliver almost sedan-like ride and handling.
Eddie Bauer and Limited models receive standard front-side impact and side-curtain airbags and optional power running boards, while an audio input jack becomes standard. DVD navigation, a heated windshield and a rear-seat entertainment system with eight-inch screen become available options on all three trim levels.
Driving Impressions Out on the road, the new Explorer behaves the same way it always has, only better. Thanks to a new frame and revised suspension, the big mid-size SUV is noticeably...smoother and more stable out on the highway. It's also markedly quieter, making for easy conversation between occupants in separate rows. Moreover, the newest Explorer is more responsive around town and, when equipped with the new V8 and six-speed automatic transmission, is the most powerful model yet, although we found the V6 had more than enough output to meet our daily-driver demands. While both ride and handling are improved all around, the balance remains very much in favor of comfort, with handling characteristics that fall short of more car-like competitors like the Nissan Pathfinder.
Power-Folding Third Row
Not only do the two rear rows fold almost perfectly flat, but the third row is available with a power folding option that makes it easy to transform the Explorer from people mover to cargo hauler and back at the push of a button.
Interior Peace and Quiet
Considering its vast interior volume and all the opportunities that exist for outside noise to creep inside, the new Explorer is impressively, refreshingly quiet.
Completely redesigned in 2006, the 2007 Explorer's interior now sports more angular styling along with several new features. One of the more tangible changes is the move of the shifter from the steering column to the floor. Front-row seats slide on inch-longer seat tracks to accommodate a wider range of heights, the second row is available in three seating configurations and the third row offers a power folding feature. In addition, both rear rows of seats now fold almost completely flat (just two degrees from horizontal), so cargo is less likely to vacate the vehicle the instant the liftgate is opened. The only functional sore spot we noted was the awkward placement of the front-row door handles.Exterior
The 2007 Explorer remains a very obvious descendant of the first Explorer that materialized some 16 years ago and revolutionized the industry. The biggest and most obvious change is up front, with three grilleseach assigned to a particular trim levelinspired by Ford's F-150 pickup. Distinguishing new from old is probably most difficult from the side, but look for thicker roof rails and six new wheel styles. Out back, new taillights and a big nine-inch blue Ford oval further differentiate the new model from its predecessors.
Standard equipment on a base-level Explorer XLS includes a 4.0-liter V6, five-speed automatic transmission, two-wheel drive, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, AM/FM stereo with MP3 compatible CD player, air conditioning, cruise control, AdvanceTrac RSC electronic stability control, front and front-side airbags, tire pressure monitoring system, digital compass and outside temperature indicator.
Trim-level, package and stand-alone options include a 4.6-liter V8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive, two-row side-curtain airbags, third-row seat, leather seats, woodgrain interior accents, navigation system, DVD rear-seat entertainment system, premium sound system with six-disc in-dash CD/MP3 player, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, auxiliary rear climate control, reverse sensing system, glass sunroof, six- or 10-way power driver's seat, six-way power passenger's seat, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, adjustable pedals, driver-position memory, power-folding third-row seat, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, electrochromic rearview mirror, overhead storage, entry keypad, steering wheel-mounted audio and climate controls, trip computer and 17- and 18-inch wheels.
The revised V6 delivers better mileage and, according to Ford, produces fewer emissions than the previous generation V6 Explorers. The now-more-efficient 24-valve V8 delivers a marked increase in horsepower, along with increases in maximum towing and payload capacities to 7,300 and 1,520 pounds, respectively.
210 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (2WD), 15/20 (4WD)
292 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3950 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 (2WD), 14/20 (4WD)
By Polar Bear on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Excellent to drive"
Cons: "Transmission issue"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"As usual ford missed the chance to address their famous transmission issue. This was the first thing I had to fix on this car, and problem is still on going. This has led me to finance another vehicle, which will not be a Ford."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Blondie on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive"
Cons: "the hand grab on passenger side should be higher."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned a 2002, 2005 and this 2010. I would be interested in purchasing another one in the near future. I do wish they came in a light to medium blue color."
4 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Top Tiger 67 on Sunday, December 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,479overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, nice looking and handling car"
Cons: "No room for big people, MPG could be better."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Bought this car new for the wife, she likes it for her. I am tall, heavy set with major back problems and there is not enough room for me to driver or ride comfortable. Road noise is louder then my pickup and also a rougher ride. Car has been reliable, handles and drives great in ice and snow conditions. MPG overall is 18. Have had no problems with power train, motor, or interior items."
10 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By lou on Thursday, December 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "spacious, reliable, easy to drive"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have never had any problems with my 08 Explorer Eddie Bauer. It has run great since I bought it certified 3 years ago. It is spacious and pretty luxurious for an older SUV. An all around great truck, if the new Explorers weren't priced like Cadillac SUV's I just might give one of them a go."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Chris on Wednesday, December 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, Reliable, Quiet, Convinient"
Cons: "Not the best transmission"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have to say, this truck is the best vehicle I've owned. My only complaint about this truck is the shifting. It's 2010 and I'd expect to be a lot smoother than what I had on my 00 Accord. It's not that it's hard shifting or clunking. It might also be due to my last car being a manual so I took care of all the shifting. It is extremely comfortable I must say. I have the base model and still get to enjoy comfort which goes a long way. The 4x4 setting is phenomenal. No clunking or hearing any noises when changing the drivetrain. It drives in the snow as if driving on a dry road."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By OGeorge on Saturday, December 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Reliable. Roomy. Comfortable."
Cons: "Design is not up to my older 68 Explorer"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Use it for everything...travel, golf outings, local driving. Do maintenance every 5 K (oil, ect.) I had to replace tires at 42000 and that has been the only major expense. Interior is not as good as my previous Explorer-headliner coming loose over the front windows, no cargo net and those crazy door openers. Overall tho it has been and is a great car."
4 people out of 11 found this review helpful