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2015 Ford Explorer Preview

Pros: The 2015 Ford Explorer has evolved nicely since getting a refresh in 2011. It's rugged yet sophisticated at the same time, with a good selection of engines and generous comfort. The roomy interior can sit up to seven people. What's more, the Explorer maintained a reasonable price over the years.

Cons: Off-road capability isn't what it used to be; the Explorer is now more of an urban CUV. In fact, all 4-cylinder models come with front-wheel drive exclusively, and they are a bit underpowered for the task at hand (the Explorer weighs nearly two full tons). Despite some recent improvements, the much-maligned MyFordTouch interface continues to frustrate drivers.

2015 Ford Explorer Price: Buyers have plenty of selection when it comes to choosing the right Explorer for their needs. The many trim levels include:

  • Explorer FWD V6: $31,499;
  • Explorer FWD 2.0L EcoBoost: $32,499;
  • Explorer AWD V6: $34,499;
  • Explorer XLT FWD V6: $35,699;
  • Explorer XLT FWD 2.0L EcoBoost: $36,699;
  • Explorer XLT AWD V6: $38,699;
  • Explorer Limited AWD V6: $43,399;
  • Explorer Sport AWD 3.5L EcoBoost V6: $48,799.  

2015 Ford Explorer Fuel Economy: In its most fuel-efficient configuration (FWD 2.0L EcoBoost), the Explorer achieves 8.5L/100km on the highway and 11.9L/100km in the city. On the other hand (AWD V6 3.5L EcoBoost), consumption can go as high as 10.7L and 14.9L/100km, respectively.

Improvements and Changes: There are three new body colours, new 20'' wheels, roof rails, and a bit of nip and tuck was done to the exterior. 

2015 Ford Explorer Powertrain: Under the hood is a standard 3.5L DOHC V6 that produces 290 horsepower through a 6-speed automatic transmission with manual mode. Alternatives include a 2.0L 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine rated at 240 horsepower, and a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 generating 365 horsepower. The latter offers paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Cargo Capacity: The cargo area in the 2015 Ford Explorer is 595 litres in size. If you fold the third-row seats, capacity increases to 1,240 litres. Do the same with the second row, and you get a total of 2,285 litres.

Safety: Standard features include stability and traction control, disc brakes with ABS, brake assist, and electronic brake force distribution, as well as hill-start assist and hill descent control. Adaptive cruise control and trailer sway control are available, too. 

Comparing the 2015 Ford Explorer: The midsize-to-large crossover segment also includes the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Santa Fe XL, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, and Toyota Highlander/4Runner.