2009 Ford Explorer

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2009 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 2009 Ford Explorer

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

2009 Ford Explorer Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview
The Explorer is Ford's midsize SUV that seats five or seven people. There are three trim levels: XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited. The Explorer competes with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder.

New for 2009
The Explorer gets a standard trailer-sway control system and a new standard SOS-Post Crash Alert System that unlocks the doors and activates the horn and emergency flashers if the airbags deploy.

Exterior
Inspired by Ford's F-150 pickup truck, the Explorer has a prominent grille and liftgate, as well as squared-off taillamps and dual-beam headlamps. The Explorer measures 193.4 inches long and 73.7 inches wide, making it the longest of the group.
  • Available 16-, 17-, 18- or 20-inch wheels
  • Standard fog lamps
  • Standard capless fueling system
  • Optional automatic headlamps (standard on Eddie Bauer and Limited models)
  • Optional reverse sensing system (standard on Limited)
  • Optional moonroof


Interior
Seating for five occupants is standard, but an optional flat-folding third-row seat (standard on Limited) ups seating capacity to seven. The 60/40-split folding second row can be reclined. Passenger volume comes in at 106.4 cubic feet for the five-seater. That's smaller than the Grand Cherokee and Pathfinder. The seven-seater has 145.4 cubic feet of passenger volume. There's 45.1 cubic feet of cargo space when the Explorer has two rows, which is more than either the TrailBlazer or Grand Cherokee offers. The Pathfinder comes ...
Vehicle Overview
The Explorer is Ford's midsize SUV that seats five or seven people. There are three trim levels: XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited. The Explorer competes with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder.

New for 2009
The Explorer gets a standard trailer-sway control system and a new standard SOS-Post Crash Alert System that unlocks the doors and activates the horn and emergency flashers if the airbags deploy.

Exterior
Inspired by Ford's F-150 pickup truck, the Explorer has a prominent grille and liftgate, as well as squared-off taillamps and dual-beam headlamps. The Explorer measures 193.4 inches long and 73.7 inches wide, making it the longest of the group.
  • Available 16-, 17-, 18- or 20-inch wheels
  • Standard fog lamps
  • Standard capless fueling system
  • Optional automatic headlamps (standard on Eddie Bauer and Limited models)
  • Optional reverse sensing system (standard on Limited)
  • Optional moonroof


Interior
Seating for five occupants is standard, but an optional flat-folding third-row seat (standard on Limited) ups seating capacity to seven. The 60/40-split folding second row can be reclined. Passenger volume comes in at 106.4 cubic feet for the five-seater. That's smaller than the Grand Cherokee and Pathfinder. The seven-seater has 145.4 cubic feet of passenger volume. There's 45.1 cubic feet of cargo space when the Explorer has two rows, which is more than either the TrailBlazer or Grand Cherokee offers. The Pathfinder comes with three rows standard.
  • Available cloth or leather seating
  • Standard air conditioning
  • Standard power locks and windows
  • Standard leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control (optional on Eddie Bauer, standard on Limited)
  • Optional Sync system (standard on Eddie Bauer and Limited)
  • Optional navigation system (on Eddie Bauer and Limited)


Under the Hood
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.
  • 210-horsepower, 4.0-liter V-6 with 254 pounds-feet of torque
  • 292-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 with 300 pounds-feet of torque
  • Five- (V-6) or six-speed automatic transmission (V-8)
  • Two- or four-wheel-drive


Safety
The trailer-sway control system works with the standard stability system to either apply the brakes or adjust engine response to help keep a trailer in line. Other safety features include:
  • Standard front-seat side-impact airbags
  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Standard electronic stability control
  • Standard four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
  • Standard SOS-Post Crash Alert System
  • Optional reverse sensing system (standard on Limited)



Latest 2009 Explorer Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.7)
Performance
(4.2)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(4.6)
Value For The Money
(4.5)

What Drivers Are Saying

(4.0)

Good Vehichle to engage upon

by Marlin from Bristol TN. on January 9, 2018

2009 Ford Explorer AWD Drove very well depending were you live maybe 4x4 Space between the front and second seating Tight depending on third row seating and just Two pay close attention on Front end ... Read full review

(5.0)

Reliable clean low miles car

by Bobsdeerhuntr from Schwenksville on October 6, 2017

Plenty of. Room, runs,rides great. Good gas mileage comfortable on long rides to mountains and back plenty room four people Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2009 Ford Explorer currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2009 Ford Explorer XLT V6

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

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
acceptable
Overall Rear
acceptable
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

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.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Ford
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Less than 6 years old/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000 miles

  • Powertrain warranty

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    172-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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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