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.

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

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

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)