CARS.COM — With its capable powertrain, ample room and rugged exterior, the Ford Explorer is a hit with many families looking for a third row and the ability to tow boats or campers when properly equipped. In our Car Seat Check, we tested a 2017 Explorer XLTwith seating for seven.
How many car seats fit in the second row? Two
How many car seats fit in the third row? Two
What We Like
- The second-row bench has two sets of lower Latch anchors that are easy to access. They sit about 1.5 inches into the seat bight, but the cushions move easily out of the way. The Explorer has an additional set of lower Latch anchors, which are exposed, in the third row.
- Both the rear-facing infant and convertible seats fit well and installed easily in the second row.
- The forward-facing convertible was easy to install in both the second and third rows.
- Our high-back booster fit well in both the second and third rows. In the third row, the seat belt buckles are on stable bases; in the second row, two of the three seat belt buckles also are on stable bases, which are easier for kids to use independently.
- Both sides of the second-row bench tumble forward to create a large pathway to the third row.
What We Don’t Like
- The second row’s tether anchors are at the seatbacks’ base. They’re difficult to find and not clearly marked, so parents might not realize they need to use this important anchor. The third-row tether, which sits at the seatback’s base, also isn’t clearly marked.
- With the 60/40-split folding second-row bench, only the smaller part of the seat slides forward and back. The larger portion is fixed in place.
- Of the five seating positions in the second and third rows, only one has a floppy seat belt buckle, but we’d rather see that be a stable buckle.