Used Car Review

2015 Ford Explorer: Used Car Review

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Explorer 4WD Sport
Used 2015 Ford Explorer
$24,990
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Explorer 4WD XLT
Used 2015 Ford Explorer
$22,172
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Explorer 4WD Limited
Used 2015 Ford Explorer
$22,640
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Explorer 4WD XLT
Used 2015 Ford Explorer
$25,940
RELATED READING
See all Ford Explorer articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions January 2017

The 2015 Ford Explorer continues with the new, lighter car-based unit-body platform introduced on the 2011 model. Benefits include an improved ride and better fuel economy. The Explorer can carry up to seven passengers in three rows, tote up to 80.7 cu ft. of cargo with the rear seats folded down and tow up to 5,000 pounds with the standard 3.5-liter V6.

For 2015, Ford upgrades the Explorer with standard 18-inch alloy wheels, and the Explorer Sport includes a Class III trailer hitch. The 2015 Ford Explorer is available with an updated, faster-responding MyFord Touch electronic infotainment system that replaces traditional knobs and buttons with steering-wheel controls and a large touchscreen. Also available is the Land Rover-inspired Terrain Management System for 4-wheel-drive versions, plus technology such as inflatable rear seat belts, adaptive cruise control with forward collision alert, parallel-parking assist, a blind spot monitoring system and rear cross-traffic alert.

The Ford Explorer remains a top-selling 7-passenger crossover SUV, offering a popular mix of practicality and style.

What We Like

SYNC voice-activated infotainment controls; EcoBoost 4-cylinder fuel economy; optional inflatable rear seat belts; good crash scores; Terrain Management System on 4-wheel-drive models; standard trailer-sway control; blazing performance on Sport models

What We Don't

High step-in height; body roll in turns; cramped second-row seat; thick windshield pillars block visibility; EcoBoost engines prefer premium fuel; challenging third-row access

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

A 3.5-liter V6 is the base engine in the Base, XLT and Limited trims. The 3.5-liter V6 generates 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque on regular unleaded fuel. It's teamed solely with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Equipped with front-wheel drive, the 3.5-liter V6 has an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rating of 17 miles per gallon in the city and 24 mpg on the highway, while 4-wheel-drive versions are rated at 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy. Flex-fuel versions can run clean-burning E85 ethanol, but fuel economy drops off considerably.

An EcoBoost 4-cylinder turbo is optional for the Base, XLT and Limited trims with front-wheel drive. It's not available with 4-wheel drive. The turbocharged 16-valve 2.0-liter 4-cylinder delivers 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque and is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy. Regular fuel is acceptable, but premium is recommended for best performance.

The Explorer Sport comes with a 365-hp twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 that develops 350 lb-ft of torque. Available only with 4-wheel drive and a 6-speed automatic transmission, the Sport's EcoBoost V6 is EPA-rated at 16 mpg city/22 mpg hwy. Regular unleaded fuel can be tolerated, but premium is recommended for best performance and efficiency.

Standard Features & Options

The 2015 Ford Explorer is available in Base, XLT, Limited and Sport trims.

Base standard equipment includes automatic headlamps, hill-start assist, front and rear air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with remote audio controls, remote keyless entry, a 6-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder, 18-in alloy wheels, stability and traction control, 3-row seating for seven passengers, cloth upholstery, a power driver's seat, split fold-down second- and third-row bench seats, anti-lock brakes with brake assist, dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags and power locks, windows and mirrors.

XLT models have a leather-wrapped shifter and steering wheel, backup parking sensors, a sequential sport shifter, SiriusXM radio, a security system, an outside-temperature display, fog lamps, heated door mirrors and turn-signal mirrors. XLT options include a power lift gate, automatic air conditioning, a rear camera, MyFord Touch with an 8-in center touchscreen, navigation, 8-speaker premium audio, middle-row captain's chairs, a dual-panel power moonroof, leather seats, heated front seats, a power passenger seat, inflatable rear seat belts, a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and 20-in alloy wheels.

Choosing the Limited trim adds leather upholstery, a power passenger seat, heated front- and second-row seats, driver's-seat memory, automatic air conditioning, a garage-door opener, a rear cargo net, adjustable pedals, 20-in alloy wheels, MyFord Touch touchscreen controls for audio and climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, SYNC voice-activated infotainment with WiFi and text-to-voice capability, HD Radio, electronic gauges, remote starting, a 12-speaker Sony premium audio system and a rear camera. Available options include a power lift gate, adaptive cruise control, rain-sensing wipers, middle-row captain's chairs, active park assist, a power-folding third-row seat and a security system.

The aptly named Sport trim features the 365-hp twin-turbo EcoBoost V6, 4-wheel drive, heated leather seats, a rear camera, a 12-speaker premium audio system, a power folding third-row seat, a sport suspension, Terrain management, a class-III trailer hitch, a black grille and 20-in wheels. Options include a rear center console and 2-tone leather seats.

Pricing

Ford's car-based 2015 Explorer continues to be a hit with families looking for a large, roomy 3-row crossover with carlike ride and handling. Expect to pay more for all-wheel-drive models, especially in cold-weather states.

To get a good idea of the 2015 Explorer's price range, check out KBB.com. You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see which models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued the following recalls for the 2015 Explorer:

An improperly welded rear suspension toe link may fracture, causing a loss of steering control and increasing the risk of a crash.

The parking brake may not engage fully when applied, and if the transmission shift lever is not placed in Park, the vehicle may roll away, increasing the risk of a crash.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The NHTSA gave the 2015 Explorer a 5-star overall rating, with five stars in both frontal and side impacts and four stars for rollover performance.

The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2015 Explorer Good ratings for side and rear impacts, roof strength and moderate-overlap front impacts, but only a Marginal rating for small-overlap front impacts.

Ford sold the 2015 Explorer with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/unlimited-distance corrosion-perforation warranty and 5 years/60,000 miles of roadside assistance.

Ford certified pre-owned vehicles can't be more than 5 years old or have more than 80,000 miles. Every certified pre-owned Explorer undergoes a 172-point inspection. Each receives a 12-month/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and has powertrain coverage for 7 years or 100,000 miles -- whichever occurs first. Also included are a vehicle-history report and roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2015 Chevrolet Traverse -- Like the Explorer, Chevy's Traverse can seat seven. Its second-row seat slides fore and aft, and the third-row seats can accommodate adults. Cargo space tops the Explorer's. Safety gear includes optional lane-departure alert and forward collision warning. For 2015, it gains Siri Eyes Free technology for iPhone 4S and later models. The 288-hp 3.6-liter V6 is rated to tow up to 5,200 pounds.

2015 Toyota Highlander -- Toyota's largest crossover got larger and roomier for 2014, with fresh styling, a sportier ride and room for up to eight passengers. For 2015, it continues with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive with a fuel-saving 187-hp 2.7-liter 4-cylinder or peppy 3.5-liter V6 that packs 270 hp. An all-wheel-drive-only gas-electric hybrid version offers 231 hp and 27 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.

Autotrader's Advice

If you're into performance, check out the 365-hp twin-turbo Explorer Sport, which is quite entertaining to drive. Otherwise, we'd advise choosing a reasonably well-equipped XLT or Limited equipped with the naturally aspirated V6, as the EcoBoost 4-cylinder only generates good mileage if running premium fuel and driven gently. The 4,500-lb Explorer is a lot of vehicle to be pulled around by a 4-cylinder engine. If you opt for an Explorer with the MyFord Touch infotainment system, make sure it's had any applicable software updates. Look for lower-mileage vehicles when possible. Also, going with a Ford certified pre-owned vehicle is always a wise choice. Check with the dealer to make sure all relevant safety recalls have been performed.

Find a Ford Explorer for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Explorer 4WD Sport
Used 2015 Ford Explorer
$24,990
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Explorer 4WD XLT
Used 2015 Ford Explorer
$22,172
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Explorer 4WD Limited
Used 2015 Ford Explorer
$22,640
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2015 Ford Explorer 4WD XLT
Used 2015 Ford Explorer
$25,940
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2015 Ford Explorer: Used Car Review - Autotrader