Ford has simplified the Explorer lineup for 2007, now offering just three trim levels: XLT, Eddie Bauer and top-of-the-line Limited. To commemorate Ford's sponsorship of the Ironman World Championship, XLT models now offer an Ironman Package. It includes Ironman logos, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, an exclusive Orange Frost color, and 10-way, leather-trimmed heated front seats.
An audio input jack is standard with all radios. The available DVD entertainment system now features a larger 8-inch screen, and a new Carbon Clearcoat Metallic exterior color is available on all models. A new White Sand Tri-Coat Clearcoat Metallic exterior color is available on Limited models.
Limited models now come standard with auxiliary air conditioning, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels and a reverse sensing system
For 2007, Eddie Bauer and Limited models offer power running boards. In the Explorer's 2002 redesign, engineers devised an innovative porthole-in-frame independent rear suspension, with shafts that poke through holes drilled into the frame. Ford says trailing arms added to the rear suspension in 2006 make it more robust.
Built on a 113.7-inch wheelbase, the Explorer measures 193.4 inches long overall. Large door openings coupled with a low step-in height should help ease entry and exit. A power moonroof and 18-inch chrome-clad wheels are optional.
A chrome four-bar grille, unique bumpers, fog lamps, puddle lamps and 16-inch aluminum wheels are installed on XLT models. Eddie Bauer editions get a two-tone bumper and trim treatment, a chrome three-bar grille, Pueblo Gold running boards and 17-inch painted aluminum wheels. Chrome roof rails and 18-inch machined aluminum wheels are installed on the Limited.
Ford says the interior features a contemporary instrument panel, with a console-mounted floor shift lever. Seating for five occupants is standard, but a flat-folding third-row seat that permits seven-passenger capacity can be installed. An optional Powerfold feature allows the third row to fold flat at the touch of a button. The 60/40-split, folding second-row seat can be reclined.
The XLT adds an overhead storage console and a six-way power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment. Woodgrain interior accents and leather-trimmed seats highlight the Eddie Bauer edition, which has a four-line message center and remote keyless entry with a keypad. Heated front seats, a power passenger seat, dual-zone automatic temperature control and a six-CD player with MP3 capability are standard in the Limited.
Insulation materials used along the headliner, door panels and floor of the passenger compartment offer a quieter ride. A heated windshield, Sirius Satellite Radio and DVD navigation system are optional.
Under the Hood
Either a 210-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 or a 292-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 with three valves per cylinder that generates 300 pounds-feet of torque can be installed in the Explorer. The V-6 teams with a five-speed automatic transmission, while the V-8 works with a new six-speed automatic. Explorers can be equipped with rear- or four-wheel drive.
When properly equipped, a V-6-equipped Explorer can tow up to 5,390 pounds, versus 7,290 pounds in models with V-8 power.
For 2007, Eddie Bauer and Limited models feature Ford's Safety Canopy side curtain airbag system standard. Antilock brakes and Ford's AdvanceTrac electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control are also standard. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system and a five-level front-passenger sensing system are standard. A 4-inch-thick foam block installed between the exterior and interior front-door panels help manage side-impact forces on occupants' hips.