1994 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

2dr 102' WB Sport 4WD

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  • $20,655 original MSRP

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Printable Version

1994 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

Printable Version

1994 Ford Explorer Sport Utility


1994 Ford Explorer

Source: New Car Test Drive


Ford Explorer is the undisputed sales leader in the sport utility market. And our recent experience with a Ford Explorer Limited told us emphatically that this leadership has been won through hard work and smart thinking. The result is a product that has everything,-well, almost everything.

The Ford Explorer has many features and benefits that surprise and please. It looks good, feels good, performs well and has great affordability. The MSRP sticker price on the base Explorer is $28,535. The top of the line Limited package adds many goodies and almost $1,500 to that number. It totals more than the Chevy S-Blazer or the GMC Jimmy but it's less expensive than the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited and significantly less than the Range Rover.


Our four-door Limited was finished in Deep Forest Green Clearcoat Metallic. Despite some prejudices against green, this color really works on the vehicle. While somewhat less stylish than the Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, the Explorer Limited makes its own subtle statement well. Monochromatic moldings and bumpers and smartly styled running boards-yes, we said running boards-give Explorer Limited a pleasing yet substantial look and off-road protection as well. An integral air dam under the front bumper houses and protects fog lights. A standard 100-pound-capacity luggage rack may be fitted with an optional ski rack. Our Explorer Limited also had the optional tilt-up or completely removable sunroof-an important factory option for a vehicle meant to be used in the great outdoors.

At the rear of the vehicle, the bumper has a hitch platform for light trailer towing (serious towing should be attempted only with an approved aftermarket hitch). This platform also provides a handy step for entering the cargo area. The rear hatch may be lifted for full access to the rear, or the rear window may be lifted separately for quick, limited access-one of the many nice Explorer touches.

Interior Features

Explorer has the longest wheelbase in its class-112 inches. It pays off in a smoother ride and, especially, in interior room. Fold down the 60/40 split rear seatback and there is six full feet of cargo area length. That's 81.6 cubic feet of volume the roormiest available. This is thanks in part to mounting the spare tire underneath.

Ford listed our four-door Explorer Limited as a five-passenger vehicle. For some competitors who claim five in the same basic configuration, the fifth passenger riding in the rear must be very small and very still. And in the Explorer, entering and exiting is easy-whether you're seated in the front or rear-thanks in large part to those aforementioned running boards.

The Limited package includes standard air conditioning, six-way power front bucket seats, premium leather seating, an electronics group, an overhead console and heated outside mirrors. Everything is there and well thought out. Placement of instrumentation is very good, as are the positions of controls, switches and amenities such as cup holders. Visibility inside and out is excellent.

The Explorer Limited's many safety features include intrusion beams in the doors, a standard four-wheel anti-lock braking system and child-proof rear door locks. One significant item is missing, as it is on most sport utilities in 1994-a driver-side (and passenger side for that matter) air bag. We're told it's coming in 1995. We think it should be here now.

Driving Impressions

Our Explorer Limited proved to be a most pleasant sport utility to drive. The wheelbase helped eliminate a great deal of the choppiness found in other sport utilities. The Twin Traction Beam front suspension with axle/coil springs and rear two stage leaf springs provided a smooth ride with little body roll in turns.

The 4.0-liter 160-hp V6 is coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission, standard in our Explorer Limited. Pedal-to-the-metal provided swift, sure acceleration and great passing and merging power, but the power fell short of Grand Cherokee's V8. The engine did emit some noise as the power increased.

Our Explorer Limited had auto-locking front hubs with a Touch Drive transfer case for on-the-fly shifting from 2WD to 4WD and back at normal road speeds. Manual locking hubs and a manual shift transfer case are optional.

We took our Explorer on our favorite off-road course, and it performed flawlessly, climbing a rather steep grade with no trouble and negotiating a rock-strewn stream and a suspension-testing two-track. We're convinced Explorer can do anything any competing sport utility can -and probably better.

Trailer towing can be accomplished by mounting a ball on the step bumper, but capacity is limited to 3,500 pounds. Add an aftermarket load equalizing hitch and the cooling package, specifically a 3.73 rear axle and towing capacity is increased to 5,400 pounds for the 4x4; 5,600 for the 4x2.


Ford used the knowledge it gained from the Bronco II to create and build the Explorer. And the result is that the Explorer is everything the Bronco II wasn't. The Explorer is bigger and more refined. Room, comfort, power and features have been built in without major penalties in bulk and weight. The Explorer has been given utilitarian capabilities yet is stylish in the extreme. It works, and works well. The fact that Explorer predated the Jeep Grand Cherokee and still manages to compare very favorably-and perhaps most important, is the sales leader-is a good indication of the wisdom at Ford.

The test drive of our Explorer Limited included a weekend fishing expedition, and the vehicle was enjoyable on- and off-road. It accommodated four of us and our required trappings on a four-hour freeway ride, then over miles of back roads and two-tracks. There was easy access to the seats and cargo area, and ample power to get through mud and soft sand and up some short, steep grades.

The Explorer compares well in price to the Jeep, Grand Cherokee, although the Grand Cherokee we tested had the optional 220-hp V8 (Explorer is only available with the 160-hp V6) and some other extras. Our only real disappointment is the lack of a driver-side air bag. Funny, because it's on the Bronco now.

Model Line Overview
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Safety equipment (Optional):
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Specifications As Tested
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Price as tested (MSRP)
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Printable Version

1994 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Printable Version

1994 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

Ford Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Manufacturer's 7 years / 100,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty from original in-service date. 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty. See dealer for details.. See dealer for details. Rental Reimbursement $30/day.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 model years or newer / less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 172
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1994 Ford Explorer Sport Utility

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