For families who want an affordable take on comfort and utility, the used Ford Explorer has long been the go-to SUV. With three spacious rows and an assortment of tech features, toting your family around town is comfortable and carefree. And, with all-wheel-drive capability and significant towing power, the Explorer is the perfect choice for adventurous drivers.
Used Ford Explorer Buying Guide
Fifth Generation, 2011-Current
Comfort: Three rows of passenger space offer generous head and leg room throughout. You can even find used Explorers with luxurious leather upholstery and cozy seat heaters.
Technology & Convenience: Models from this era offer either the newer Sync 3 or MyFord Touch infotainment systems, both of which provide smartphone integration and navigation apps.
Safety: The standard Sync technology includes a post-collision feature that uses your smartphone to call 911. Some models even include high-tech driver aids, such as forward collision warning, to help you avoid dangerous situations.
Performance: After a redesign, the fifth-generation Explorer was even sharper and smoother than previous models. It's not quite as powerful as the fourth generation, but you can still tow up to 5,000 pounds. That should be more than enough for a boat or a couple of Jet Skis.
Fourth Generation, 2006-2010
Comfort: These Explorers introduced a longer wheelbase, which means increased elbow room for you and your kids. Even the third row offers plenty of head and leg room.
Technology & Convenience: Smartphone addicts will be able to work with SUVs from this generation, where they'll find Bluetooth and USB ports. It's easy to make hands-free calls or stream tunes from devices.
Safety: All of these Explorers supply the basics, from four-wheel anti-lock brakes to traction and stability control. This equipment helps you maintain control, even when bad weather hits.
Performance: With their new independent rear suspension, fourth-gen models became smoother and sharper than ever. You can expect a sporty ride on curving roads. Depending on configuration, these Explorers can tow up to 6,000 pounds, making an excellent choice for boat owners.
What Drivers Love about the Used Ford Explorer
Families love the Explorer's roomy cabin, which treats everyone to road-trip-friendly elbow room. And, with a backseat DVD player, you can keep kids happily occupied through any commute. Explorer drivers tend to have a natural sense of adventure, and this SUV's all-wheel-drive and towing capabilities cater to their wanderlust. In your Explorer, you can hit the trail just as easily as you can tow your Jet Ski to the beach.
What to Look for in Your Used Ford Explorer
If you're looking for cutting-edge infotainment technology, keep in mind that the Sync 3 system arrived in the 2017 model year and its predecessor, MyFord Touch, debuted for 2011. The Explorer introduced Sync voice controls in 2008, so it should be easy to find these in a used model.