2008 Ford Explorer

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$3,842–$12,678 Inventory Prices
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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
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Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2008 Ford Explorer. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

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

Notable Features of the 2008 Ford Explorer

  • Side curtain airbags
  • New exterior colors
  • Cap-less refueling system
  • 292-hp V-8
  • Five- or six-speed automatic
  • Sync entertainment system
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control
  • Available power-folding third-row

2008 Ford Explorer Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
Ford adds standard side curtain airbags and its new voice-activated multimedia system, Sync, to its midsize Explorer SUV for 2008. There are three trim levels: XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited. The Explorer competes with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder.

An audio input jack is standard with all radios. The available DVD entertainment system features an 8-inch screen, and three new colors are available: Stone Green Clearcoat Metallic, Vapor Silver Clearcoat Metallic and White Suede Clearcoat Metallic.

Limited models come standard with auxiliary air conditioning, 18-inch chrome-clad wheels and a reverse sensing system.

Later in the model year, in place of a standard fuel cap Ford will introduce a cap-less fuel filler. Ford says the system saves refueling time and can provide a better seal to trap fuel vapors.


Exterior
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 new-for-2008 20-inch wheels are optional.

A chrome four-bar grille, unique bumpers, fog lamps, puddle lamps and 16-inch al...
Vehicle Overview
Ford adds standard side curtain airbags and its new voice-activated multimedia system, Sync, to its midsize Explorer SUV for 2008. There are three trim levels: XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited. The Explorer competes with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder.

An audio input jack is standard with all radios. The available DVD entertainment system features an 8-inch screen, and three new colors are available: Stone Green Clearcoat Metallic, Vapor Silver Clearcoat Metallic and White Suede Clearcoat Metallic.

Limited models come standard with auxiliary air conditioning, 18-inch chrome-clad wheels and a reverse sensing system.

Later in the model year, in place of a standard fuel cap Ford will introduce a cap-less fuel filler. Ford says the system saves refueling time and can provide a better seal to trap fuel vapors.


Exterior
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 new-for-2008 20-inch 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.


Interior
Available in the 2008 Explorer — along with 11 other Ford models — is the Sync voice-activated multimedia system. Sync is a joint venture with Microsoft that allows drivers to control Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and MP3 players with steering-wheel buttons and voice commands.

Navigation-equipped Explorers now use voice-activation. The interior features a contemporary instrument panel and 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.

To commemorate Ford's sponsorship of the Ironman World Championship, XLT models offer an Ironman Package. It includes Ironman logos, 18-inch machined aluminum wheels, an exclusive Orange Frost color, and 10-way leather-trimmed and heated front seats.

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 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 5,395 pounds, versus 7,310 pounds in models with V-8 power.


Safety
All 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 helps manage side-impact forces on occupants' hips.



Latest 2008 Explorer Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.3)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

I have had an explorer before only a 2 door wanted

by Urbs explorer from orland park on July 15, 2018

the explorer is a very comfortable ride ,has room, drives nice and 4 wheel drive for the nasty winters in Chicago.I also found the color I wanted. Read full review

(5.0)

Very happy I bought this vehicle

by Jules in Western Ma. on July 14, 2018

the Explorer I purchased was Just what I was looking for. I have owned them in the past. And I'm very happy I bought another one. Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2008 Ford Explorer currently has 3 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2008 Ford Explorer XLT V6

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
marginal
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
acceptable
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
marginal
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

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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