Among the other safety items: the startling-at-first collision warning system that flashes red lights on the driver windshield if the system senses the Explorer may rear-end a vehicle ahead. Thankfully, Ford engineers include a control to allow drivers to tailor the spacing between cars to avoid frequent red-light warnings.
The 3.5-liter, double overhead cam V-6 in the tester worked smoothly with the six-speed automatic transmission to deliver power readily and steadily, despite the heft of the 4,700-pound Explorer.
The sensation isn’t instantaneous, and 0 to 60 miles an hour takes a reasonable-for-an-SUV 8 seconds.
With a majority of the miles driven on city streets or dirt paths, the test Explorer Limited averaged 18 mpg, which is under the 19-mpg combined city/highway rating from the government. With a fuel tank holding 18.6 gallons, this amounted to a range of just 334 miles. The Durango’s fuel tank holds 24.6 gallons, in comparison.
Consumer Reports magazine ranks the Explorer much worse than average for reliability.