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2006 Ford Explorer

2006 Ford Explorer

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$2,355 — $8,751 USED
10
Photos
Sport Utility
5-7 Seats
17-18 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 7 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Easy to drive and maneuver
  • Crash-test ratings of past models
  • Step-in height
  • Interior space

The Bad

  • V-6 performance
  • Fuel economy

What to Know

about the 2006 Ford Explorer
  • Fully independent suspension
  • V-6 or new 292-hp V-8
  • Five- or six-speed automatic
  • Optional Safety Canopy system
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control
  • Available navigation system
  • Available power-folding third-row seat

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2006 Ford Explorer Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Watch MotorWeek on PBS. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Vehicle Overview
Ford has reworked its midsize sport utility vehicle for the 2006 model year, dubbing it “the best Explorer ever” and “the most powerful.” Mercury has given its related Mountaineer similar treatment for 2006.

In its new form, the 4.6-liter V-8, with three valves per cylinder, generates 292 horsepower — a gain of 53 hp — and drives a new six-speed-automatic transmission. Ford claims significantly improved fuel economy and emissions for the 2006 model, and towing capacity can reach 7,300 pounds. A V-6 version with a five-speed-automatic transmission remains available.

Four trim levels are still offered: XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer and top-of-the-line Limited. New options include 18-inch chrome-clad wheels, a navigation system and a power-folding 50/50-split third-row seat. Later in the 2006 model year, factory-installed Sirius Satellite Radio will be available.

When properly equipped, a V-6-equipped Explorer can tow up to 5,390 pounds, versus 7,300 pounds in models with V-8 power. Ford’s AdvanceTrac electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control is standard on all models.

Exterior
Ford claims a “much larger presence” from the 2006 design, with a body that’s 4 inches longer than before. Inspired by Ford’s F-150 pickup truck, the latest Explorer gets a new grille, fascia and liftgate, as well as new taillamps and dual-beam headlamps.

For the Explorer’s 2002 redesign, engineers devised an innovative por...

Vehicle Overview
Ford has reworked its midsize sport utility vehicle for the 2006 model year, dubbing it “the best Explorer ever” and “the most powerful.” Mercury has given its related Mountaineer similar treatment for 2006.

In its new form, the 4.6-liter V-8, with three valves per cylinder, generates 292 horsepower — a gain of 53 hp — and drives a new six-speed-automatic transmission. Ford claims significantly improved fuel economy and emissions for the 2006 model, and towing capacity can reach 7,300 pounds. A V-6 version with a five-speed-automatic transmission remains available.

Four trim levels are still offered: XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer and top-of-the-line Limited. New options include 18-inch chrome-clad wheels, a navigation system and a power-folding 50/50-split third-row seat. Later in the 2006 model year, factory-installed Sirius Satellite Radio will be available.

When properly equipped, a V-6-equipped Explorer can tow up to 5,390 pounds, versus 7,300 pounds in models with V-8 power. Ford’s AdvanceTrac electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control is standard on all models.

Exterior
Ford claims a “much larger presence” from the 2006 design, with a body that’s 4 inches longer than before. Inspired by Ford’s F-150 pickup truck, the latest Explorer gets a new grille, fascia and liftgate, as well as new taillamps and dual-beam headlamps.

For 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. Modified for 2006, the rear suspension has added trailing arms and Ford says it is more robust.

Built on a 113.7-inch wheelbase, the Explorer now 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 is 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 aluminum wheels. Chrome roof rails and 17-inch wheels are installed on the Limited.

Interior
Ford says the all-new interior features a contemporary instrument panel, with a first-ever 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. The 60/40-split, folding second-row seat can be reclined.

Standard XLS equipment includes air conditioning, remote keyless entry, cruise control and a CD/MP3 player. 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.

Under the Hood
Either a 210-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 or a 292-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 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.

Safety
Antilock brakes and Ford’s AdvanceTrac electronic stability system with Roll Stability Control are standard. Seat-mounted side-impact airbags and a five-level front-passenger sensing system are newly standard for 2006. Ford’s Safety Canopy side curtain-type airbag system and a Reverse Sensing System that detects obstacles while backing up are optional. A tire-pressure-monitoring system is now standard.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
80 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.4)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.2)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Read reviews that mention:

(5.0)

Great clean reliable and low miles

by AndyMc2020 from Billings on April 25, 2020

The Vehicle is everrhing we looked for. Not to excitwd about beimg a white car but overall there are no words to express my satisfaction with our car and especially Cars dot com! Read full review

(3.0)

As Expected for a used Explorer

by Heidi from Dowagiac, MI on February 5, 2020

Transmission issues as expected which are always expensive to repair I think. I paid almost as much to replace the reverse band as I did for the car. Even with no visible rust, open the doors and that... Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2006 Ford Explorer currently has 4 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2006 Ford Explorer has not been tested.

Latest 2006 Explorer Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Explorer received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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