CARS.COM — For the Ford Explorer, model-year 2016 brings a face-lift and a new top-line Platinum trim. This three-row SUV can seat six or seven passengers. For our Car Seat Check, we tested the Explorer in Platinum trim with six seats and a leather interior. The second-row captain’s chairs slide forward and back, and the seatbacks recline.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
How many car seats fit in the third row? Two
What We Like
- The third row has one set of lower Latch anchors for easier car-seat installation.
- Our high-back booster seat fit well in both the second and third rows. The seat belt buckles are easy to grasp because they’re on stable bases.
- We didn’t need to move the front passenger seat forward to fit our rear-facing convertible seat, though we did struggle to connect the seat’s rigid Latch connectors to the Latch anchors.
- The second-row captain’s chairs fold and flip forward after pulling a lever to create a wide path to the third row. However, our Explorer didn’t have any running boards, making it a sizable climb into the second and third rows. You also can access the third row via the walkway between the captain’s chairs.
- It took some effort to get the forward-facing convertible’s rigid Latch connectors past the second row’s stiff leather seat cushions, but once connected to the Latch anchors, this car seat fit well. In the third row, the forward convertible also fit well, but we struggled to connect the seat’s tether hook to the anchor.
What We Don’t
- There are two sets of lower Latch anchors in the second-row captain’s chairs, but they’re difficult to access because of stiff leather seat cushions.
- The three tether anchors — one at the base of each captain’s chair and a third anchor at a third-row seatback’s base — are difficult to find because of their low locations and because they’re not clearly marked. To add to the possible confusion, in the third row there are cargo tie-downs in the cargo area’s rear lip; some parents may confuse them with tether anchors.
- We had to move the front passenger seat forward a significant amount to fit the rear-facing infant seat behind it. Our 5-foot-8 tester’s knees were pushed into the glove box.