2015 Ford Explorer

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$17,627–$33,075 Inventory Prices
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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2015 Ford Explorer. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Exhilarating performance in Explorer Sport
  • Headroom in all rows
  • Cargo room behind third row
  • Four-cylinder gas mileage
  • Crash-test ratings

The Bad

  • Onerous MyFord Touch controls
  • Second-row legroom
  • Third-row access
  • Thick A-pillars restrict sight lines

Notable Features of the 2015 Ford Explorer

  • New Appearance Package for XLT models
  • 18-inch aluminum wheels now standard
  • Seats six or seven
  • Inflatable rear seat belts available
  • Terrain Management system available
  • 365-hp Explorer Sport

What Is the 2015 Ford Explorer?

The 2015 Ford Explorer is a three-row SUV that seats up to seven and competes with the Toyota Highlander, Chevrolet Traverse and Honda Pilot. It's offered in Base, XLT, Limited and Sport trim levels. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

What's New on the 2015 Ford Explorer?

The 2015 Ford Explorer now comes standard with 18-inch aluminum wheels in the Base trim, and the Explorer Sport has a Class III trailer hitch. An Appearance Package is now offered with the XLT trim that adds a dark gray grille and mirror caps, body-colored door handles, an Explorer hood badge, black cladding and 20-inch machined-aluminum wheels. Inside the vehicle are heated front seats, leather-trimmed upholstery with suede inserts, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, unique floor mats and the MyFord Touch multimedia system.

How Does the 2015 Ford Explorer Compare to Other Three-row SUVs?

The 2015 Explorer has more room in the third row than the Dodge Journey or Land Rover, as well as more overall passenger room than the Chevrolet Traverse and Nissan Pathfinder. While maximum cargo space is higher in the Chevrolet Traverse, the Explorer's power-folding third row folds flat into the floor, and the Traverse also offers similar performance and technology features. The Dodge Durango can be equipped with a powerful Hemi V-8 engine, and its V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission provide better fuel economy than the Explorer. The Nissan Pathfinder also offers stronger fuel economy as well as better handling.

What Features in the 2015 Ford Explorer Are Most Important?

The 2015 Ford Explorer comes standard with a 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine and front-wheel drive. A 240-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is available; the Sport model comes with a 365-hp, 3.5-liter V-6. All trim levels come with a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive can be added with the V-6 engine and includes Ford's Terrain Management System that adjusts the drivetrain to handle snow, mud, sand or pavement. The standard V-6 can tow up to 5,000 pounds, while the four-cylinder offers 2,000 pounds of towing capacity.

Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust tips, cloth upholstery, seating for seven, a 50/50-split folding third row, air conditioning and a CD stereo system with MP3 jack. Available features include 20-inch wheels, power liftgate, power moonroof, heated mirrors, MyFord Touch touchscreen, navigation system, LCD gauge screens, a Sony premium stereo, heated and cooled front seats, leather seats, power-folding third-row seats and second-row captain's chairs that reduce the seating to six.

As required in all new cars, the Explorer includes front airbags, an electronic stability system and antilock brakes. Standard safety features include side curtain airbags, side-impact airbags for the front seats, roll stability control and Curve Control. A backup camera, a blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning are all available.

Should I Buy the 2015 Ford Explorer?

Drivers who value plenty of cargo room behind the third row, extra headroom and strong National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety scores will appreciate the Ford Explorer. In addition, the four-cylinder engine offers competitive fuel economy, while the Explorer Sport is a good option for performance-focused SUV buyers. However, the available MyFord Touch system could be easier to use, and the thick A-pillars reduce forward visibility. A cramped second row may be a challenge for taller passengers, and the third row is difficult to access.

Cars.com's Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com's long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don't accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com's advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.


2015 Ford Explorer Overview

by Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

Sharing its car-based platform with the Taurus sedan, the Ford Explorer sits squarely in the crossover realm, pitting it ag... Read More

Latest 2015 Explorer Stories

Consumer Reviews

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

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

Very reliable and classy vehicle

by Herbie3 from Sioux Falls, SD on August 20, 2018

Love the feel of the car and how it handles. Nice leg room for tall family members. Love having the heated seats where we live. Read full review

(5.0)

plenty of space

by JR from Ephrata on August 17, 2018

I just purchased the vehicle, and I enjoy the space in the vehicle overall as well as the individual seats. While the V6 engine doesn't respond instantly, there is plenty of power available if needed. ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2015 Ford Explorer currently has 3 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2015 Ford Explorer Base

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

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
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

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
acceptable
Overall Evaluation
marginal
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
marginal
Structure and Safety Cage
poor
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    60 months / 60,000 miles

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Ford

Program Benefits

24-hour roadside assistance, rental car reimbursement up to $30 per day, full tank of gas, vehicle history report, new wiper blades and fresh oil and filter

  • Limited Warranty

    7 years / 100,000 miles

    7 years from original new vehicle warranty start date or 100,000 miles. Powertrain Limited Warranty from original in-service date. 12- month/12,000-mile comprehensive limited warranty. See dealer for details. $100 deductible per visit.
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 80,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 172 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection 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