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Expert's Rating

4.6Excellent | Details

MPG

17 City / 23 Highway
Automotive Editor -

The 2015 Ford Explorer continues to move away from its off-roading ancestry with a focus on on-road refinement. It’s roomy and comfortable with 3 rows of seating and enough space for up to seven passengers -- but still capable of handling moderate off-road duties thanks to its Terrain Response System. It just manages to do it with better fuel efficiency than its truck-based predecessors.

What's New for 2015

The only significant change on the 2015 Explorer is a sport-appearance package that’s available for the XLT model. This package adds 20-inch wheels, black body-side molding, roof rails and dark Magnetic paint on the grille, mirror caps and liftgate.

2015 Ford Explorer Glam

Choosing Your Ford Explorer

A 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque is the standard engine on the base model Explorer as well as the XLT and Limited models. This engine is available in both front-wheel drive (17 mpg city/24 mpg highway) and four-wheel drive (17 mpg city/23 mpg highway).

An optional turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine is also available. This 2-liter motor delivers 240 horsepower, 270 pound-feet of torque, and an estimated 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. However, you make a significant sacrifice in acceleration for the gain in fuel economy.

Sport models come only with four-wheel drive and a turbocharged 3.5-liter 365 horsepower V6. It delivers an EPA-estimated 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.

A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard on all 2015 Explorer models. When combined with the available Trailer Tow Package, the V6 models have a 5,000 pound hauling capacity, while the four-cylinder can tow up to 2,000 pounds.

Ford offers four different Explorer models:

Base

The base model Explorer is light on standard features. Look for basics like air conditioning, cruise control and a six-speaker audio system.

XLT

The XLT builds on from the base Explorer with features like a reverse sensing system, a six-way power adjustable driver's seat, keyless entry and satellite radio.

Limited

At the Limited level, the Explorer enters near-luxury territory with push-button start, a rearview camera, 20-inch aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 12-speaker audio system from Sony, Sync with MyFord Touch, and leather upholstery.

Sport

The Sport models include nearly all of the Limited's amenities plus the 3.5-liter Ecoboost twin-turbo V6, steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension, a terrain management system, and a power-folding third-row seat.

A number of optional features include: voice-activated navigation, a power liftgate, heated and cooled front seats, remote start system, dual-panel moonroof, a collision warning system and adaptive crusie control.

CarsDirect Tip

Additional features add up quickly on the Explorer. So unless you have the engine in the powerful Sport (which starts at $42,500) we recommend looking into the XLT ($32,900) and adding some options.

Choose your Ford Explorer »

2015 Ford Explorer Glam2

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