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As one of the most loved SUVs of the past three decades, the Ford Explorer is known for its family-friendly spaciousness, as well as its straightforward reliability. Although the latest model of the Explorer has no shortage of advanced technological and safety features, the Explorer has been at the forefront of its class since its introduction in 1991.
With seating for up to seven and both two- and four-door configurations, the Explorer has become a shining new choice for families looking for an easy-to-use, safe vehicle to follow in the footsteps of the Ford Bronco. Today, we'll take a close look at the history of the beloved SUV and discuss why an Explorer, new or pre-owned, will always make for a great investment.
Throughout its lifespan, there have been six distinct generations of the Ford Explorer. Following in the footsteps of the Ford Bronco II, the Explorer was originally introduced in 1991 as a reliable, rugged family SUV, this time offering four-door models instead of just two-door configurations. In its first iteration, Four Wheeler Magazine awarded the Explorer with its Four Wheeler of the Year award. The SUV quickly became successful, selling 300,000 units in its first few years.
In 1995, the second generation Explorer was introduced, bringing a new, rounded design and upgraded technology and safety features. The second generation became the best-selling generation of the Ford Explorer. In 2002, a third-generation model was released, appearing beefier than the last and offering plenty more safety upgrades. The fourth generation Explorer debuted a few years later in 2006 with a slightly more modern appearance and a few tech upgrades.
However, the Explorer underwent a serious redesign for its fifth generation. Released in 2011, the fifth-gen Explorer appeared wildly different from its previous iteration, with Ford taking a much more modern, streamlined, and compact route. The current generation of the Explorer, its sixth, is just as stylish, with all the advanced features you're looking for in 2023.
For more than three decades, the Ford Explorer has been a family favorite for daily commuters and rugged adventurers alike. With seating for up to seven passengers, it's spacious enough to make sure everyone and everything can fit comfortably while remaining compact enough for everyday use and easy handling. When it comes to performance, the latest Explorer is impressively powerful, with the ability to tow up to 5,600 pounds at 400 horsepower, as well as a Terrain Management System included standard.
As the best-selling midsize SUV of 2021, its popularity helps to show us why it's at the top of our love list. This is especially true when compared with similar SUVs in its class, such as the Honda Pilot or the Toyota Highlander, both of which have less cargo space and leg room than the Explorer. So, for a midsize SUV, the Explorer is by far the strongest contender in its class.
Thanks to its many changes and periods of growth, today's Explorer remains the best we've seen so far. For example, there are eight different trim levels to choose from with the 2023 Explorer. The standard model includes the latest in technological and safety features, such as rear parking sensors, a power liftgate, remote keyless entry, tri-zone temperature control, Wi-Fi hotspot capability, and a lane-keeping system.
In higher trim levels, you have the option to add on premium features, including a 360-degree camera, second-row sunblinds, a 12-speaker sound system, authentic wood and leather materials, first- and second-row heated seats, and a twin-panel moonroof.
Aside from its wealth of technological features, the newest Explorers are also available with a hybrid engine, driving you confidently into the electric vehicle era that's quickly arriving. This is an especially great choice for environmentally mindful drivers or those looking to save on the costs of fuel.
Your Explorer options aren't just limited to the newest models; Ford is known for making reliable, long-lasting vehicles, and the older models of the Explorer are no exception. Buying a pre-owned Explorer can be a great investment in an SUV that will hold its value and serve you well for years to come, all while costing you a fraction of the cost of a brand-new Explorer.
Some of the most reliable model years to buy used include the 2010, 2011, and 2012 models, as well as the 2019 model if you're looking for a newer design style, or the 1993 model if you're looking for something with a little more of a vintage flair.
The Explorer is a great choice when it comes to fuel efficiency. The 2023 model, for example, can get up to an estimated 27 city/28 highway MPG rating, and its hybrid engine model in particular performs especially well. The hybrid model features regenerative braking, which recovers more than 90% of the energy typically lost during braking and provides extra battery power for later. Overall, the Explorer is an effective choice if you've been looking to reduce your fuel expenses or even your environmental impact.
Overall, the Ford Explorer has long been an ideal choice for a midsize SUV, whether the year is 1993 or 2023. With its spacious interior and reliable build, the Explorer is a popular option among families for a reason. If you're in the Dallas, Texas, area and are looking for an Explorer of your own, come visit us at Planet Ford Dallas. We'll show you our complete inventory of both brand-new and pre-owned Explorers, as well as a huge variety of other Ford vehicles.
For more information about our inventory or services, give us a call today at 972-546-2642, or visit us during our open hours Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. We can't wait to get you behind the wheel of your next favorite vehicle.
Photo Credit: Image by Haryad Ali is licensed with Unsplash License