2013 Ford Explorer

Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6 auto trans

2013 ford explorer Reviews and News

2013 Dodge Durango Citadel AWD Vs 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Front View
Welcome to Automobile Magazine's Family Crossover Comparo, our comparison test of the kind of vehicle that you see during America's summer vacation, the three-row family crossover.
As we noted in our Day One introduction, we've gathered eight of the best all-wheel-drive, seven-passenger family crossovers, and we're going to sort them out. We've driven all of them at the same time on the same roads, and we've made our notes and organized our facts and then argued about the results.
The way we see it, these are the best family crossovers available in America right now. We've done our best to ensure that our test vehicles represent a useful level of features -- nicely equipped, as they say -- yet don't cost too much. Given the practical realities of acquiring so many test vehicles at the same time, they aren't all priced exactly the same, but we've done our best.
These family crossovers are: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse, 2013 Dodge Durango, 2013 Ford Explorer, 2013 Honda Pilot, 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe, 2013 Mazda CX-9, 2013 Nissan Pathfinder and 2013 Toyota Highlander.
To make our comparisons as direct as we can, we've organized a different kind of scheme, matching the vehicles in brackets just as is done in an athletic tournament. The losers will be knocked out one by one until the winner presents itself.
Today, we present an accounting of four vehicles, with two head-to-head match-ups. Tomorrow, we do the same, matching the remaining vehicles and reducing the field to four. The winning vehicles from today and tomorrow will then go head-to-head in a Final Four comparison on Thursday, and we will declare the winner on Friday.
We start the tournament with these randomly selected match-ups:
  • 2013 Dodge Durango vs. 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
  • 2013 Ford Explorer vs. 2013 Honda Pilot

2013 Hyundai Santa Fe vs. 2013 Dodge Durango

2013 Dodge Durango Citadel AWD
2013 Dodge Durango Citadel AWD Vs 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Front View
The 2013 Dodge Durango has a lot going for it. It's got masculine good looks, plenty of cargo space, a sleek, luxurious cabin, and a pedigree that puts comparisons to that other three-row family hauler -- the minivan -- completely out of mind. As soon as we saw it, the Durango had us interested. Associate web editor Donny Nordlicht calls it the best-looking vehicle of the group. West Coast editor Michael Jordan observes that the Durango's upright stance and toothy, truck-style grille make it look like "the crossover for guys."
Praise for the Durango's looks kept on coming. Road test editor Christopher Nelson notes, "Everything is pumped up a bit. It's the most luxurious crossover here." It had better be, since our seven-passenger Durango's price of $46,925 is the heftiest of the day. Leather-trimmed heated and cooled front seats come standard, ensuring year-round comfort. An optional rear entertainment system will keep kids occupied during long drives, and standard navigation will make sure the drive doesn't last longer than it should.
The Power of a Truck
The Durango's 3.6-liter V-6 engine delivers 290 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, which is right in line with the competition. It manages 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway, about middle of the pack for our test group. The 2013 Durango also distinguishes itself with its 6200-pound tow rating, putting the Santa Fe's 5000-pound rating to shame.
"Can we take into account that the Durango gets a new transmission for 2014?" asks Nordlicht. The gallery responds with a resounding, "No." This pretty much settles it. With its dated five-speed automatic, the Durango is painfully slow to accelerate, giving you plenty of time to ponder each of the car's 5097 pounds as you inch away from the stoplights.
Think Big
The Durango feels every bit as big as it is, and you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a pickup truck under the skin if you were to drive it blindfolded (not recommended). Jordan assigns the Durango to heavy-lifting duty as far as this group of crossovers is concerned: "This is the right vehicle to drive to Home Depot, but around town? It's too heavy." It's hard to imagine the Durango making the school pick-up and soccer drop-off rounds, even if there is a Mercedes-derived unit body under the truck styling.
Christopher Nelson distills our complaints about the 2013 Dodge Durango into a single thought: "The Durango is a really good SUV, but I'm not sure if it's a great seven-passenger crossover." As impressed as we are by the Durango's looks and brute strength, it tries too hard to be something it isn't. - Annie White
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe
2013 Dodge Durango Citadel AWD Vs 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Rear View
The 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited AWD is the wild card in this comparison. It's the least expensive of our eight entrants and sells in the smallest numbers. Fresh off a redesign and rebadging, the seven-passenger 2013 Santa Fe (formerly the Veracruz) shares its looks and its new name with the shorter, five-passenger 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport. With a spindly five-bar grille and a sporty exterior, the full-length Santa Fe shuns the clumsy, boxy look that marks so many of its competitors. It aims to be more than the sum of its parts, and it often is.
Stepping into the Santa Fe makes you immediately rethink what a three-row crossover can be. "Interiors don't have to be grim and utilitarian and depressing just because you're in a crossover," gushes deputy editor Joe DeMatio. Associate web editor Donny Nordlicht says the cabin of the Santa Fe is "one of the best interiors on the market under fifty thousand dollars." Comparisons are even drawn to the Audi TT. And, OMG, the panoramic sunroof. Santa Fe, you had us at hello.
Crossing the Country
Taking the 2013 Santa Fe on the road did little to sour our affair. The 3.3-liter V-6 engine makes 290 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque, putting the Santa Fe right in the peloton for three-row crossovers. Nothing special, but not lagging behind, either. The Santa Fe won't peel your eyelids back on acceleration, but we are favorably impressed with the action of this crossover's six-speed automatic transmission. Nordlicht is among the impressed, saying, "It will hold the gears and postpone the shifts if you want it to, like it understands what you're doing."
Need more good news? The Santa Fe's EPA rating of 18 mpg in the city is bested by only one crossover in our test, the Nissan Pathfinder. Meanwhile, the Hyundai's rating of 24 mpg highway is also among the best of this group.
Riding the Tilt-a-Whirl
So what's the fly in the ointment? Step into the third row for a spin around the block and you'll feel like you're on a bad amusement park ride. Knees in nose, seat bouncing, road noise for days. Sure, the third row is meant only for kids, but even they will be holding epic roshambo tournaments for a chance to get a seat upgrade into one of the comfortable captain's chairs in the Santa Fe's second row (standard in the Limited trim level; a second-row bench is available in the GLS trim).
In addition, the calibration of the rear suspension seems too soft, and the setup will bottom with a clunk even with light loads. In addition, while the slow steering is meant to keep you from getting into trouble when the whole family is on board, it is still too unresponsive to us. Such things keep the seven-passenger Santa Fe from being truly transcendent.
Even so, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe has us unexpectedly infatuated. "This is the surprise of the day," proclaims road test editor Christopher Nelson to general nodding among our group of test drivers. We can imagine the all-wheel-drive Santa Fe ferrying two adult couples to dinner on the town as easily as carting a family on a cross-country road trip. With the Santa Fe, Hyundai has figured out how to make an attractive, desirable three-row crossover for less than $40,000 -- quite an accomplishment. - Annie White
Winner: 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe

2013 Ford Explorer Limited AWD vs. 2013 Honda Pilot Touring 4WD

2013 Ford Explorer Limited AWD
2013 Ford Explorer Limited AWD Vs 2013 Honda Pilot Touring 4WD Front View
The 2013 Ford Explorer Limited AWD has a nameplate that has dominated the utility vehicle market for more than two decades. It is also the best selling of all the eight crossovers here, and more than 160,000 buyers per year can't be wrong, can they? Well, yes and no.
Buyers will appreciate the 2013 Explorer's 290-hp 3.5-liter V-6, which ties with the 2013 Dodge Durango and the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe as the most powerful engines in the group. That horsepower doesn't go to waste, either. Ford's six-speed automatic is smooth and unobtrusive and the steering is direct and well weighted, both of which give the driver confidence despite this seven-passenger, all-wheel-drive vehicle's curb weight of roughly 4600 pounds.
Power and Technology
Power isn't found just under the hood, as the seven-passenger, all-wheel-drive Ford Explorer is the only crossover in our test to offer a power-folding third row. In fact, the 2013 Explorer Limited that we tested is so replete with technology and convenience features that its price of $45,415 is the second highest in this group.
All of those extras are features that everyone likes, such as power-folding mirrors, heated and cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, a power tilt-and-telescope steering column, power-adjustable pedals, automatic wipers, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-path detection, automatic high beams, and active parking assist.
There's one piece of technology on display here, though, that doesn't meet our expectations. The MyFord Touch infotainment system might be designed to appeal to tech enthusiasts, but it proves counterintuitive to operate, yields inconsistent results, and requires the driver to look away from the road too often. JeanKnowsCars.com senior editor Molly Jean says it's "a kid's toy," not an adult-rated communication interface. One of the editors was even overheard cursing the system over our two-way communication radios when he tried to use MyFord Touch to change the music track it was playing on his iPod.
Does This Make Me Look Big?
The Explorer's high beltline makes this vehicle feel big, more like a truck than a crossover. Almost everyone says the view from the driver's seat compromises driver confidence. "It's like sitting at the bottom of a black bathtub," one editor says. Nevertheless, JeanKnowsCars.com senior editor Molly Jean insists the visibility is good, and she's hardly the tallest of our drivers.
Despite the new-generation Explorer's crossover platform, it seems less than spacious to us. "It's amazing how big the Ford looks on the outside versus how small it feels inside," says associate editor David Zenlea. Underpinning the 2013 Ford Explorer is an evolution of Volvo's P2 platform, which was developed for the 1998 Volvo S80 sedan. Versions of it can be found under the Ford Flex and the Lincoln MKT, among other Ford vehicles. But the process of engineering this platform for the Explorer resulted in thick roof pillars, an obstructively wide center tunnel, and high, wide door sills that make entry and egress cumbersome for both front- and rear-seat passengers.
The seven-passenger, all-wheel-drive 2013 Ford Explorer has a number of redeeming qualities, yet it feels outdated and trucklike in this group of crossovers, even though its redesign dates only to 2011. That's because, no matter how much new-fangled technology and horsepower Ford has added to this platform, the deficient packaging and limited outward visibility keep this crossover from being one in which we'd tote our brood. - Donny Nordlicht
2013 Honda Pilot Touring 4WD
2013 Ford Explorer Limited AWD Vs 2013 Honda Pilot Touring 4WD Rear View
Let's get this out of the way: the 2013 Honda Pilot is old. The second-generation Pilot that we're driving today debuted back in 2009, and although it received an update last year, this remains much the same Honda Odyssey-based utility package that first came our way in 2003. In fact, a significantly revised Honda Pilot is expected to be revealed within the next eighteen months. With this in mind, we slipped behind the wheel of the seven-passenger, all-wheel-drive 2013 Honda Pilot Touring AWD.
The 2013 Pilot's boxy shape has more personality than the anonymous family-style look it replaced, but this rough-and-tumble link to truck-based SUVs has not aged well. Deputy editor Joe DeMatio remarks, "It looks like the box it came in." Motor gopher Tom Foley also says that the angular interior looks meant for quick cleanup after a spell of barfing by your toddler, since there's barely a hint of the soft-touch materials found in the other crossovers in this group.
Fuel Economy, not Power
The powertrain also feels behind the times compared to most of our octet. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine provides reasonable grunt with 250 hp and 253 lb-ft of torque, but the antiquated five-speed automatic transmission shifts slowly and clumsily as it continually shuffles the gears to keep the V-6 on the boil as it lugs around 4608 pounds. The steering is slow yet surprisingly direct, and the ride is soft.
It's not all bad news with the 2013 Honda Pilot, however. Let's remember that it wears the "H" badge on its grille, and Honda has built a reputation for reliable, efficient, and inexpensive-to-own vehicles, which is the kind of thing that can make or break a purchase for lots of shoppers. The Honda Pilot also trumps the Ford Explorer by achieving 1 mpg more on the highway and combined cycles (17/24/20 mpg city/highway/combined versus 17/23/19).
Number crunching also reveals that the Honda's boxy shape pays dividends with respect to cargo capacity. While there are three cubic feet less than the Ford Explorer when all three rows are in use, the Pilot gives you 3.9 cubic feet more than the Explorer with the third row folded and a sizeable 6.3 cubic feet more when both the second and third rows are folded.
Another important number to those with families is "four," as in the number of LATCH anchors for child safety seats. Besting all other competitors, the Honda Pilot has an impressive three LATCH points in the second row and a fourth one in the third row. (Those of you with several small children, the 2013 Pilot is your car.) Speaking of safety, the 2013 Honda Pilot is also a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). We can also tell you that the Pilot's upright greenhouse delivers great outward visibility, and the bright, well-lit cabin feels airy and spacious even when packed with people and stuff.
The 2013 Honda Pilot is the crossover you buy with the left side of your brain; it is a pragmatic choice, a reliable, known quantity. This is a vehicle that will please those who view cars as an impersonal transportation cube to get from point A to point B. Unfortunately, this is also the Pilot's key failing. JeanKnowsCars.com associate editor Annie White expresses just what we are all thinking when she says, "Should we be okay with it being an appliance?" - Donny Nordlicht
Winner: 2013 Honda Pilot Touring 4WD
8 Crossovers Comparison Front View 2
When summer arrives, America hits the road. There's something about this country that calls out to all of us, so we yearn to go and see for ourselves. Sometimes it's Yellowstone National Park in the Rocky Mountains and sometimes it's the World's Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas, and as Americans we embrace both with cheerful enthusiasm. When the weather turns warm, we're all about the road map, the road trip, and road food.
Best of all, it's no longer necessary to drive Clark Griswold's infamous Wagon Queen Family Truckster to get there, as in National Lampoon's Vacation (1983). Instead we have the three-row family crossover, a miracle of packaging efficiency, thoughtful convenience, and comfortable transportation.
It's not fashionable among car people to pay tribute to the crossover, but we're smart enough to understand that Americans have figured out what you need to cross the wide-open spaces of this country on all kinds of roads and in all kinds of weather. It turns out that an all-wheel-drive utility vehicle with the easy-going personality of a family sedan is exactly what you want.
That's what has led us to compare the eight best three-row family crossovers that you can buy right now: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse; 2013 Dodge Durango; 2013 Ford Explorer; 2013 Honda Pilot; 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe; 2013 Mazda CX-9; 2013 Nissan Pathfinder; and 2013 Toyota Highlander.
Crossovers, Automobile-style
We began with the full range of family-style crossovers, which we define as mid-size vehicles intended primarily for passenger use but also capable of weekend adventure. That includes the ability to pack a useful amount of stuff and perhaps do some light-duty towing as well.
We have chosen eight finalists that represent the best aspects of the category, whether it's packaging efficiency or simple drivability. By choosing one of them as the best, we hope not only to define the current state of the American family crossover but also the character that the people who read Automobile want in a practical, everyday kind of family vehicle.
We have specified the ability to carry three rows of passengers, and while we acknowledge that for most people this feature is useful only a limited number of times each year, it's always a consideration in the buying process. We have specified all-wheel drive because it snows in the mountains, rains in the woods, and can be muddy almost anywhere. Our selection of vehicles also includes only what is on sale today, since people are buying what's on sale today, not next fall.
Crossovers, Bracket-style
We can't pretend to be the average buyer because, well, that would be impossible. Just like you, we are who we are. If you want complete objectivity unconfused by education, enthusiasm, experience, and just plain good taste, well, good luck to you.
8 Crossovers Comparison Front View 2
Also, we've again based our test on bracket-style, head-to-head comparisons between vehicles, just as we did with our comparison of mid-size sedans. We're not going to dumb down the comparison process into some kind of SAT test, where like geeks we carefully add up the points scored in a thousand little categories of performance. When you do that, you reward broad-based mediocrity, not excellence. And at Automobile, we're all about excellence.
The question of choice is personal and powerful, and we think that a one-to-one confrontation between vehicles reveals character in a way that giant test groups do not.
The Clark Griswold Factor
Every family must have a place to go, and our destination was the Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan. Every May, 500,000 people make the drive to this eight-day celebration, which began in 1929 with a suggestion by a local schoolteacher to beautify this town on the shore of Lake Michigan by planting tulips in honor of the original Dutch settlers. Some 6 million tulips bloom in town each spring.
There are three parades, professional entertainment, fireworks, and dancers in wooden shoes (wear six to eight pair of socks before you try it). We stayed in the Euro-style CityFlats Hotel, looked at tulips, ate the heavy Dutch food, saw Big Red (the lighthouse at the harbor's entrance), and drove by the eighteenth-century Dutch windmill. Sadly, we missed the wooden shoe factory and the place where they do Delft dinnerware. The locals are so nice that they even shut down part of Kollen Park to let us take souvenir pictures. It was great.
Best of all, we made it a road trip. We set our own schedule, played our own music, found our own roads, and leaned out the windows and barked at the cows if we wanted to. We stopped for lunch at Bell's Brewery Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo (perfect for us, eh?). In addition, there were no airports involved at any point during our adventure, which is always a blessing.
The Road Map
Just like any road trip, it will take a while before you reach your destination.
We begin the trip today by selecting the vehicles for our comparison: 2013 Chevrolet Traverse; 2013 Dodge Durango; 2013 Ford Explorer; 2013 Honda Pilot; 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe; 2013 Mazda CX-9; 2013 Nissan Pathfinder; and 2013 Toyota Highlander.
Tomorrow and the next day, there will be head-to-head comparisons between the vehicles, with four vehicles involved each day. The day after that we'll sum up some of what we've learned during our tests, which include a rodeo-style timed test of third-seat stowage and a very messy lunch at our local Sonic drive-in. The last day, we'll stage the final head-to-head comparison and determine the winner.
You might want to start preparing the plans for your own summer vacation right now.
2013 Ford Explorer Sport Front End In Motion 2
Frankly, we were a little surprised when we first saw the Ford Explorer Sport. The idea that Ford would try and make a high-performance version of its soccer shuttle -- well, we didn't see that coming. What was entirely predictable, though, is that Ford's EcoBoost V-6 eventually would find its way into the Explorer. The popular turbocharged, direct-injection V-6 is already in every other iteration of this platform -- the Taurus and the Flex, as well as the Lincoln MKS and MKT -- and there wasn't much reason to keep it out of the Explorer, which is far and away the bestselling of the five. [The 2011 sales totals: MKT 7435; MKS 12,217; Flex 27,428; Taurus 63,526; Explorer 135,704]
The Sport is the only way to get the EcoBoost V-6 in the Explorer, which otherwise comes with a normally aspirated 3.5-liter (290 hp) or, for the economy-minded and acceleration-averse, a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four (237 hp) -- the latter with front-wheel drive only. Unsurprisingly, better than 90 percent of Explorer buyers have been going for the V-6; Ford expects ten to fifteen percent of customers to step up to the EcoBoost V-6, which proffers an additional 70 hp and 95 pound-feet of torque, for totals of 365 hp and 350 pound-feet.
As it does in its other applications, the EcoBoost engine's extra oomph necessitates four-wheel drive, and it's standard here. The system has been modified to send up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear (versus a max of 35 percent in other all-wheel-drive Explorers), and Ford has added a cooler for the power transfer unit. The Sport's six-speed automatic gets shift paddles in place of the awkward plus-minus toggle switch on the gear lever. Ford estimates that 0-to-60-mph times drop by about 2 seconds, which would put them near the 6-second mark -- plenty speedy for a family barge. As it is elsewhere, the EcoBoost V-6 is muscular in the midrange, its boost well integrated and its throttle response nicely linear. The turbocharged engine's fuel economy penalty is only 1 mpg city and highway compared to the standard V-6 with AWD; EPA ratings are 16/22 mpg. (Interestingly, the Ford Flex EcoBoost does 1 mpg better on the highway.) The tow rating, however, remains 5000 pounds.
Outside of the driveline, Ford engineers tweaked the mechanicals in other ways. They upsized the brake rotors and the master cylinder in all 2013 Explorers. They increased the steering effort and mounted the rack directly to the subframe (the latter change is shared with all but the base model). For the Sport alone, they made the body stiffer with a stronger brace across the strut towers and added a tunnel brace under the floorpan.
The Sport rolls on unique, twenty-by-nine-inch wheels wrapped in your choice of all-season or high-performance three-season rubber. Spring rates were increased ten percent and the dampers are firmer. On a half-day cruise out of New York City into the northern suburbs, we found the suspension to be noticeably stiffer, but not offensively harsh over choppy pavement. We were more enamored of the tighter steering on the winding, narrow parkways; and the firm brake pedal was certainly welcome -- the new brakes are also supposed to be more fade resistant.
Inside, the tweaks are minor. The standard leather can be had in black or black with brown inserts, and there's a smattering of faux-metal trim. MyFord Touch is standard, along with the Sony audio system that features a single knob for volume and tuning, and a featureless flat touch panel for all the climate controls. There's not much sport in here but that's okay. When you're sitting in this wide-body tub of an interior, with its faraway windshield and thicket of meaty roof pillars, carving corners is the furthest thing from your mind.
That's true no matter how much blackout trim Ford puts on the outside -- and there is plenty: the grille, the headlamps, the tail lamps, the roof rack, the mirror caps, and the twenty-inch wheels. Whatever you think of the visuals, the mechanical changes here are worthwhile but hardly transformative. This is not some aggressive, high-performance SUV (a la Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8); it's really just the most powerful Explorer.
It's also the most expensive Explorer. The base price of $41,545 tops the all-wheel-drive Limited by $595. Even so, the Sport is denied some high-end features that can be had on the Limited, including lane departure warning, automatic park assist, a power folding third-row seat, a heated steering wheel, and HID headlamps. Given the type of vehicle the Explorer is, Ford might have made the EcoBoost V-6 available without the Sport pretense. But then again, plenty of team jerseys are sold to armchair athletes.
2013 Ford Explorer Sport
Base price (with destination) $41,545
Price as tested $47,915
Engine: 3.5L turbo V-6
Power: 365 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 350 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
Drive: Four-wheel
Fuel economy (city/highway): 16/22 mpg
2013 Ford Explorer
2013 Ford Explorer

New For 2013

A new trim level, the Sport, has been added. Powered by Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6 EcoBoost engine, the new model features a sport-tuned suspension; larger brakes; standard four-wheel drive; a unique grille, exhaust tips, and twenty-inch wheels; and leather sport seats. Front knee air bags are now standard in all Explorers, and Sync with MyFord Touch has been enhanced to make it easier to operate.


Now that the current-generation Explorer has been on sale for two years, the vehicle’s metamorphosis from old-school SUV to modern crossover is complete. The transformation has been a success, with sales having seen a steady increase ever since the unibody Explorer was introduced. The reinvented Explorer features good fuel economy for a large vehicle, high-quality materials, and state-of-the-art technology, but it has some shortcomings. Visibility from the driver’s seat is not good due to the high beltline and the thick A-pillars. The ride and handling are improvements over the old Explorer’s, but driving this crossover is in general a ho-hum affair. Ford has addressed that complaint for 2013 with a new model, the Explorer Sport, which features a 350-hp EcoBoost V-6 and a sport-tuned suspension. Buyers can also opt for a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder or a normally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6. Four-wheel drive is standard on the Sport and optional with the V-6 but is not available with the four-cylinder. Options include MyFord Touch—an eight-inch touchscreen that integrates navigation, audio, climate, and phone functions. It has been enhanced this year to make it easier to operate. Options include a two-panel sunroof, power-folding third-row seats, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, and parallel-parking assist.


Front, front knee, side, and side curtain air bags are standard; rear inflatable belts for outboard positions are available on XLT, Limited, and Sport. ABS; traction and stability control; trailer-sway control; tire-pressure monitoring; and the SOS Post-Crash Alert System are standard. Adaptive cruise control with collision warning, BLIS, and hill-descent control are optional.

You'll like:

  • Fuel efficient for a crossover
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Lots of safety and high tech

You won't like:

  • No all-wheel drive with I-4
  • Poor outward visibility

Key Competitors For The 2013 Ford Explorer

  • Chevrolet Traverse
  • Honda Pilot
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Toyota Highlander
2013 Ford Explorer Russian Assembly Light Tunnel
Ford is looking to make the Explorer a truly global model. After announcing last year that it would sell the crossover in China, it began production of the model in Russia this week.
1991 Ford Explorer Front Left View
Twenty three years ago today, the Ford Explorer hit the market as a 1991 model and it instantly became a success story. Although it wasn’t the first SUV inexpensive SUV, the Explorer blended truck capability and comfortable family car qualities into one vehicle. As the Ford Explorer celebrates its 23rd anniversary, we’re recapping the highlights from then until now.

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2013 Ford Explorer
2013 Ford Explorer
Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
17 MPG City | 24 MPG Hwy
Top Ranking Vehicles - MPG
2013 Ford Explorer
2013 Ford Explorer
Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
Top Ranking Vehicles - Price
2013 Ford Explorer
2013 Ford Explorer
Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6
Top Ranking Vehicles - Horsepower
2013 Ford Explorer
2013 Ford Explorer
Base 2WD 4-Dr Sport Utility V6

2013 Ford Explorer Specifications

Quick Glance:
3.5L V6Engine
Fuel economy City:
17 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
24 MPG
290 hp @ 6500rpm
255 ft lb of torque @ 4000rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
36,000 miles / 36 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Recall Date
Ford is recalling certain model year 2012 Taurus, Lincoln MKS, and model year 2013 Explorer vehicles manufactured July 19, 2011, through March 15, 2012. In the affected vehicles, the fuel tanks may have a marginally sealed seam in the side of the tank. As a result, the fuel tanks may not provide the expected strength in the event of an impact. The tanks may also leak.
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the fuel tanks and replace them as necessary, free of charge. The recall began on May 9, 2013. Ford's recall campaign number is 13S03. Owners may contact Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332.
Potential Units Affected
Ford Motor Company

Recall Date
Ford is recalling certain model year 2013 Explorer, Taurus, Flex, Fusion, Police Interceptor Sedan and Police Interceptor Utility vehicles; and certain model year 2013 Lincoln MKS, MKT, and MKZ vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the fuel delivery module may develop a crack, allowing fuel to leak.
A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may result in a fire.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel delivery module, free of charge. The recall began on July 20, 2013. Owners may contact Ford Motor Company Customer Relationship Center at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's recall campaign number is 13S04.
Potential Units Affected
Ford Motor Company

Recall Date
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2013 Ford Explorer, Taurus, and Lincoln MKS vehicles manufactured November 29, 2012, through December 12, 2012. In the affected vehicles, with sufficient door openings and closings, the child safety locks may change from an activated position to a deactivated position without notice.
If the child lock is deactivated, the door could be unlocked and opened from the inside which could lead to personal injury to an unrestrained child.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will test the safety locks. If necessary, the locks will be replaced free of charge. The recall began on August 2, 2013. Ford's recall number is 13S07. Owners may contact the Ford customer relationship center at 1-866-436-7332.
Potential Units Affected
Ford Motor Company

Recall Date
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Ford Explorer vehicles manufactured May 17, 2010, through February 28, 2012. The affected vehicles may experience an intermittent connection in the electric power steering gear, which can cause a loss of the motor position sensor signal resulting in a shut down of the power steering assist.
If the vehicle experiences a loss of power steering assist it will require extra steering effort at lower speeds, increasing the risk of a vehicle crash.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will update the Power Steering Control Module (PSCM) software, free of charge. If a vehicle shows a history of a loss of motor position sensor signal when the vehicle is brought in for the recall remedy, its steering rack assembly will be replaced, free of charge. The recall began on July 23, 2014. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-800-392-3673. Ford's number for this recall is 14S06.
Potential Units Affected
Ford Motor Company

Recall Date
Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain model year 2011-2013 Explorer vehicles. In the affected vehicles, the interior door handle return spring may unseat, resulting in interior door handle that does not return to the fully stowed position after actuation.
If the interior door handle return spring is unseated, the door may unlatch in the event of a side impact crash, increasing the risk of personal injury.
Ford will notify owners, and dealers will inspect all four of the interior door handles and either repair or replace them, free of charge. The recall began on July 23, 2015. Owners may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332. Ford's number for this recall is 15S11.
Potential Units Affected
Ford Motor Company

NHTSA Rating Front Driver
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
NHTSA Rating Front Side
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
NHTSA Rating Overall
NHTSA Rating Rollover
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength
IIHS Front Small Overlap

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2013 Ford Explorer

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $35,699 What's This?
Value Rating: Below Average