2015 Ford Explorer

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$18,409–$33,301 Inventory Prices
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
2015 Ford Explorer exterior side view

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

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 against competitors like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Traverse. Front-wheel drive is standard, and the Explorer can seat up to seven people in three rows. All-wheel drive with Ford's Terrain Management system is optional. The MyFord Touch system, with touch-sensitive and voice-activated controls, is also optional.

Base, XLT, Limited and Sport trim levels are offered. All three come with V-6 power; the turbo four-cylinder is optional on front-wheel-drive models.

(Skip to details on the: Explorer Sport)
New for 2015

Base Explorers now have standard 18-inch aluminum wheels, and the Explorer Sport gets a Class III trailer hitch standard.

XLT models can have a new Appearance Package that includes 20-inch machined aluminum wheels, black cladding, a dark gray grille and mirror caps, an Explorer hood badge, and body-color door handles. Inside, there are leather-trimmed seats with suede inserts, front seat heaters, unique floormats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Ford's MyFord Touch multimedia system is also included. 

The below is a list of highlighted features and not an exhaustive list. Features are standard unless otherwise noted.
Exterior Highlights

  • Grille finish based on trim level
  • 18-inch alloy wheels; 20-inch wheels available
  • Dual exhaust tips
  • Available power moonroof
  • Available power liftg...
Vehicle Overview

Sharing its car-based platform with the Taurus sedan, the Ford Explorer sits squarely in the crossover realm, pitting it against competitors like the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Traverse. Front-wheel drive is standard, and the Explorer can seat up to seven people in three rows. All-wheel drive with Ford's Terrain Management system is optional. The MyFord Touch system, with touch-sensitive and voice-activated controls, is also optional.

Base, XLT, Limited and Sport trim levels are offered. All three come with V-6 power; the turbo four-cylinder is optional on front-wheel-drive models.

(Skip to details on the: Explorer Sport)
New for 2015

Base Explorers now have standard 18-inch aluminum wheels, and the Explorer Sport gets a Class III trailer hitch standard.

XLT models can have a new Appearance Package that includes 20-inch machined aluminum wheels, black cladding, a dark gray grille and mirror caps, an Explorer hood badge, and body-color door handles. Inside, there are leather-trimmed seats with suede inserts, front seat heaters, unique floormats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Ford's MyFord Touch multimedia system is also included. 

The below is a list of highlighted features and not an exhaustive list. Features are standard unless otherwise noted.
Exterior Highlights

  • Grille finish based on trim level
  • 18-inch alloy wheels; 20-inch wheels available
  • Dual exhaust tips
  • Available power moonroof
  • Available power liftgate
  • Power side mirrors; available heated mirrors

Interior Highlights

  • Seats seven with a second-row bench seat, or six with available second-row captain's chairs
  • 50/50-split folding third row with available power folding 
  • Standard cloth upholstery; available leather seats
  • CD stereo with MP3 jack
  • Air conditioning
  • Available MyFord Touch with touch-sensitive controls and LCD gauge screens
  • Available heated and cooled front seats
  • Available Sony premium stereo
  • Available navigation system

Under the Hood

  • 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine
  • Available 240-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Both engines drive a six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Available Terrain Management system adapts drivetrain settings to suit one of four environments: pavement, snow, sand or mud 
  • V-6 towing capacity is 5,000 pounds; four-cylinder's is 2,000 pounds

Safety Features

  • Required in every new car: front airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system
  • Roll Stability Control and Curve Control
  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Available adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning
  • Available blind spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Available backup camera
  • Available inflatable rear seat belts, which aim to spread crash forces across the body by deploying an airbag-like inflation device during a forward collision

Explorer Sport

The Sport model is a high-performance variant of the Explorer. It's powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6 engine that makes 365 hp and 350 pounds-feet of torque.

What's Special

  • Six-speed automatic transmission includes steering-wheel paddle shifters
  • All-wheel drive
  • Sport suspension
  • Exterior is distinguished by a gray and black grille and 20-inch wheels
  • Two-tone leather upholstery

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Latest 2015 Explorer Stories

What Drivers Are Saying

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

Latest Reviews

(4.0)

2015 Ford Explorer XLT

by sabinol from Hudson, MA on June 13, 2018

There is a lot of room in this SUV. All leather, power most things. Ride is great. Tech is great. Would've liked to have a power tail gate. V6 feels a little under powered for this SUV, but we're not ... Read full review

(5.0)

Love my explorer with all my heart!

by Cbg333 from Roseville on June 3, 2018

Beautifully designed car made on america! I love supporting American made products. Help our economy and support our country. Ford has came a long ways from the 90s. 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

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/thigh
good
Lower leg/foot
acceptable
Restraints and dummy kinematics
marginal
Small overlap front
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