2006-2009 Ford Explorer - Used Car Review
Vanessa: Hi, I’m Vanessa Leigh
Dan: And I’m Dan Wilson
Vanessa: You’ve selected AutoTrader’s pre-owned vehicle review on the 2006 to 2009 Ford Explorer Mid-Sized SUV.
Vanessa: It’s hard to shop for a mid-size SUV without considering the tried and true Ford Explorer.
Dan: That’s for sure! the Explorer’s been around for more than 20 years and it was totally redesigned in 2006 to launch this fourth generation.
Dan: As part of the 2006 redesign, the Explorer was upsized, restyled and given a new rear suspension and interior.
Dan: The 06 to 09 Explorers can be found with either a V6 or V8 engine. This V6 is a 4-liter, with 210-horsepower connected to a 5-speed automatic transmission. That’s enough to get you up to speed on the highway, but may tend to bog down if you’re towing anything. .
The available 4.6 liter V8 makes 292-horsepower and has the benefit of a 6-speed automatic transmission. That means up to 7300 pounds of towing capacity. That’s the engine you’d probably want to look for if you’re planning on hauling your boat or trailer. Of course rear-wheel-drive and 4-wheel-drive models are both available.
Vanessa: I think a lot of consumers would agree that the styling of the Explorer pretty much defines SUV.
Dan: True, but the Explorer’s exterior styling takes a back seat to the interior. Although it’s considered a mid-size SUV, it’s very spacious inside with great headroom.
Dan: Interiors include cloth or leather seating and virtually all of the features we’ve come to expect in an SUV, along with a few that are more commonly found in a luxury sedan…
Vanessa: It is very comfortable and open in here. Can we take it for a spin?
Dan: I’d be pretty disappointed if we didn’t.
Vanessa: This really is very comfortable and I like the visibility.. OK, I’m sold on the look, the feel and the ride, but how does the Explorer holdup over time?
Dan: Generally, used Ford Explorers have had a few mechanical issues. Many customers report minor issues like coolant leaks and soft brake pedal feel. AutoTrader research also found the ‘06 Explorer had problems with the automatic transmission shifting roughly and what consumers called “transmission lugging” but many of those problems were resolved by the 2007 model year.
Dan: Also, the power running boards that became available in 2007 had numerous issues with them failing to retract. They were discontinued in 2009.
Vanessa: We’ve all heard about rollovers and safety issues with SUV’s. How safe is the Explorer?
Dan: Not to worry, Roll Stability Control is standard equipment on all 06 to 09 Explorers. You also get Antilock brakes and Ford’s AdvanceTrac electronic stability system with seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and a five-level front-passenger sensing system.
Dan: The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 06 to 09 Explorers their top rating of “Good” for frontal offset impact protection, and a rating of “Acceptable” for side impact protection.
Vanessa: OK I’m feel’n pretty safe, but how safe is my pocketbook when it comes to buying gas for the Explorer?
Dan: Well, depending on the power-train, EPA mileage estimates range from 13 to 14 miles per gallon/city to 20 to 21 miles per gallon/highway.
Vanessa: This Explorer gives a smooth ride, decent acceleration and I like the way it turns… There’s just one more thing to test.
Dan: So, if you’re a day-to-day commuter who sometimes wants to go into the wild, the Explorer can take you there… It’s better off-road than many family friendly SUVs and has plenty of room for packs, tents and whatever else you might want to bring along.
Vanessa: And the Explorer’s versatile rear hatch makes for easy access.
Vanessa: I’m Vanessa Leigh.
Dan: And I’m Dan Wilson. Thanks for shopping for your next vehicle right here at AutoTrader.com, the ultimate automotive marketplace.