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2010 Ford Explorer

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2010 Ford Explorer Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2010

Trailer Sway Control is added to the standard equipment roster of the Ford Explorer for 2010.

Driving the Explorer

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.

2010 Ford Explorer Details
2010 Ford Explorer photo Interior

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
2010 Ford Explorer photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.

4.0-liter V6
210 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 14/20 (2WD), 13/19 (4WD)

4.6-liter V8
292 horsepower @ 5750 rpm
315 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21(2WD), 14/19 (4WD)

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2010 Ford Explorer Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 410 Ratings for the 2006 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.4/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Extremely Reliable

By on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

Pros: "Mechanically super-reliable Drives easily"

Cons: "Interior needed design makeover not bad though."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"AWESOME Mechanically -- Extremely reliable. Drives, corners parks and handles like a small car. Vision is fantastic all around. Sliders above are not working. I would give it a 10+ on everything mechanical - Quality, Driving Dynamics, Value. Interior design and comfort is a 5/6. This was vastly improved with later models (since 2013) but the computerization aspect and driving aspect suffered in the process -- possibly corrected by now. If so, would be a pretty perfect vehicle."

owned since new in January 2007

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 191,250

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has been a great SUV. Done only two repairs to the Explorer. radiator at 110,000 miles Transmission at 191,110. The engine still runs like it is new. I average 18 mpg in the city driving and 20 on the freeway."

This is an amazing vehicle

By on Wednesday, August 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 201,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Smooth ride"

Cons: "Has a small blind spot/sunvisor screw falls out."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is a great suv, so reliable, I've had to have the transmission rebuilt, but I put a lot of miles on this vehicle and only change the oil, put lucas in the gas tank for better milage and change tires, 200000 miles is nothing to sneeze at and she has great power. Most importantly I feel safe in this vehicle and its a sweet ride with a great music system. When the time comes to trade I will just get a new one."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Ran into alot of problems (USED)

By on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 109,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Roomy, family car, nice style inside and out"

Cons: "Electric transmission and stalling problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"The car had issue with the transmission when I first bought it and come to find out this is a very BIG issue with other 2006 explorers. Its nothing crazy just jumps occasionally when I put it into reverse. i was able to get over that. However now the car is older and well she just goes out on me. Ford cant seem to find out what is wrong because no codes show up. However it keeps stalling out on me. In a course of a month it has stalled on the road 9 times and 2 times parked. The overall look inside and out is great. Great family car except that fact that it flakes on me. Good secure fixtures for the car seats and the handle bars to get in are great. A lot of people had confusion on how to get out of my car. The handles are in a weird location."

14 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Best Vehicle I have ever owned

By on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Beautiful, Comfortable, Dream to drive, Economical"

Cons: "absolutely no cons what so ever!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"The Ford Explorer is the nicest vehicle I have ever owned. It fits me in all categories. It is beautiful enough to give you a little class without drawing attention to you. The interior is so comfortable and spacious without being a big boat. Good gas mileage and absolutely no problems in the 7 years I have owned it. I am buying a Ford Explorer Sport and my best friend has been waiting for me to sell him my car! Best Car Ever!"

12 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Purchase new and never had to good back to dealer.

By on Thursday, May 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,100

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Have owned this vehicle from 2009 till present(2015) and never had a problem with it, only had to do brakes once and two sets of tires."

1 person out of 7 found this review helpful

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