By KBB.com Editors
Despite the recent downturn in SUV sales, a somewhat aging platform and less-than-stellar fuel economy, the 2010 Ford Explorer continues to populate Ford showrooms. Powerful owner loyalty, a reasonable size and the option of a potent V8 engine all contribute to the Explorer's appeal, and it makes a great choice for families looking to get away from a full-sized SUV, as well as for those who need the ground clearance and towing ability 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 an attractive price, three-row seating, a powerful V8 engine and the Explorer's 7,300-pound tow rating.
Whether you're drawn to the 2010 Ford 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 2010 Ford 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.
Trailer Sway Control is added to the standard equipment roster of the Ford Explorer for 2010.
Driving Impressions Thanks to a sturdy frame and recently revised suspension, the 2010 Ford Explorer is noticeably smoother and more stable out on the highway than previous generations. It's also quieter, making...for easy conversation between occupants in separate rows. Moreover, the Explorer is more responsive around town and, when equipped with the 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, such as 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 2010 Ford Explorer is impressively, refreshingly quiet.
The 2010 Explorer's interior sports traditional Ford angular styling along with a few new interior options. Front-row seats feature extended seat tracks to better accommodate a wider range of occupant heights, while 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 more likely to stay in place. The only functional sore spot we noted was the awkward placement of the front inside door handles.Exterior
The 2010 Ford Explorer remains a very obvious descendant of the first Explorer that materialized some 18 years ago and revolutionized the industry. The biggest and most obvious change is up front, with two grilles – each assigned to a particular trim level – inspired by Ford's F-150 pickup. Distinguishing this generation from the last is probably most difficult from the side, but look closely and you'll find thicker roof rails, larger and more distinct wheels and bigger side mirrors. Around back, large taillights and a big nine-inch blue Ford oval further differentiate the new model from previous Explorers.
Standard equipment on a base-level Explorer XLT 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 electronic stability control with RSC (Roll Stability Control) and Trailer Sway Control, 16-inch painted aluminum wheels, cloth bucket seats with driver-side manual lumbar support, tire pressure monitoring system, digital compass, outside temperature indicator and front, side-impact and two-row side-curtain airbags.
Trim-level, package and stand-alone options include a 4.6-liter V8 mated to a six-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel or all-wheel drive, third-row seat, leather seats, woodgrain interior accents, voice-activated 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, entry keypad, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, trip computer and 17-, 18- and 20-inch wheels.
The 4.0-liter V6 engine delivers decent mileage and, according to Ford, produces fewer emissions than the previous-generation V6 Explorers. The 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. Ironically, the larger and more powerful V8 achieves better fuel economy ratings that the V6.
210 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 13/19 (4WD)
292 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
315 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21(2WD), 14/19 (4WD)
By Condottiero on Sunday, November 16, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,800overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Strength, engine, comfort inside, reliability"
Cons: "no Bluetooth and usb, low mileage per miles,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"i bought this Explorer brand new in 2006. I've had no problem with it except some computer issues. However, I think these have been mistakes of the guys who did the service at the agency. I've had him for 57,800 miles and it is still running without any issues! I hope it will last for a little longer without the need of spending any big cash on it!"
By Woof Woof on Monday, October 20, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Owned the Ford Explorer for over 100,000 miles and have had only normal wear and tear replacements, i.e. battery, wheels, etc. It has started every time and we get 20 MPG. I'd buy me another Explorer in a minute."
7 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By GG on Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,555overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "I have already recommended it"
Cons: "No cons"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I bought this vehicle two years ago used in excellent condition. I love everything about it. I am a single sixty year old grandmother of one and it is perfect to carry stroller and have car seat, lay the back down or pull up and use all three rows of seating. Great for everyday and on trips!! I think the pricing listed is too low for this vehicle and its popularity."
5 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Sheree on Friday, September 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Ford began making this vehicle different and it is a very expensive car to maintain. They put a belt on the front of the motor and the belt on the back of the motor so to do any head work you have to remove the entire engine! I have put 4 new tires on this car this year, new brakes, had to rebuild the transmission at 120,000 miles, and now I need a new radiator and head work which is going to cost $3500! I would recommend "exploring" other options before purchasing this vehicle. Do not buy any 5.4L fords!"
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Bre on Thursday, August 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good price, but not a good transmission"
Cons: "Transmission is no good. Ford need to improve it."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"The transmission on this truck is 100% no good. Food needs to fix this problem. I spend well over $2000 plus $700 labour to install a use transmission. Only because i wasnt ready to get a new vehicle. Because of this, i will not recommend this vehicle. My advice, before you buy a vehicle read the reviews. After i replace the trany, then i saw the reviews about the trany....not good at all"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Scarecoupe on Wednesday, August 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Ford even thinks about the size of the cup holders"
Cons: "You need to replace all 4 tires at the same time"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my second explorer, previous was a 1997 XLT with 5.0 V8. It also was exceptional - it is why I purchased another one. I recently had to replace a catalytic converter and one wheel bearing. I am still on my second set of Michelin tires with maybe 50% wear. Car still looks and drives like new."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful