2015 Ford Explorer Limited

picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer
picture of 2015 Ford Explorer

The Review: 2015 Ford Explorer SUV

The 2015 Ford Explorer isn't as versatile or roomy as some other large, three-row crossover SUVs, but is still a respectable pick in this class, thanks to its high-end cabin and long list of advanced features.

Vehicle overview

One of the original SUVs, the Ford Explorer has been providing family transportation for nearly 25 years. Today's 2015 model, the largest and most luxurious yet, provides three rows of seating, three different engine choices, decent cargo space for the kids and their stuff and a sleek and handsome profile. As such, this Ford is certainly a good fit for almost any family's garage.

Driving the Explorer on a daily basis is pleasant, thanks to its quiet interior and comfortable ride. You'll also likely be pleased with the interior's high-quality materials and big collection of standard and optional features. For power, the standard V6 should be good for most owners, but Ford also offers a couple of engine options, which is unusual for this class. For enhanced fuel economy, there's a turbocharged four-cylinder that will get you an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined. Or, for quicker acceleration and stronger performance when towing, there's a turbocharged V6 on the Explorer Sport model.

Unfortunately, there are some things that this tenured professor of SUV University doesn't do extremely well. While some crossovers have mastered the ability to drive smaller than they are, the Explorer is a bit the opposite and feels bulky and difficult to see out of and park. The interior isn't very roomy for this class of vehicle, either. Headroom in the second row is limited, and legroom in the optional third row isn't enough for anyone other than small children. Cargo capacity is adequate, but you'll be able to fit more stuff inside most other comparable rivals.

Luckily, there is no dearth of options in this segment. The Toyota Highlander is efficient, powerful and very comfortable. As such, it's one of our top picks. The Dodge Durango features a high-quality interior, along with some great user-friendly tech features. Also worth checking out is the roomier 2015 Chevrolet Traverse (or its twin, the GMC Acadia), the sporty Mazda CX-9 or Ford's own wagonlike Flex. Overall, we think the Edmunds.com "B" rated 2015 Ford Explorer is a respectable choice that can provide you with the right kind of utility and some extra style, but it's worth looking around in this ever-expanding segment before you make up your mind.

2015 Ford Explorer models

The 2015 Ford Explorer is a large three-row crossover SUV available in four trim levels: base, XLT, Limited and Sport.

Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass, roof rails, cruise control, full power accessories, air-conditioning, a 60/40-split second-row seat, 50/50-split third-row seat, a six-way power driver seat (manual recline), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 4.2-inch display screen and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The XLT adds upgraded brakes, foglights, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a keyless entry code pad, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Sync (Ford's voice-activated phone/entertainment interface), a six-way power front passenger seat, satellite radio and a USB port.

For the XLT, the Equipment Group 201A package adds a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker sound system and the Driver Connect package, which includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8-inch touchscreen display (MyFord Touch), two USB ports, an SD card reader and upgraded Sync functionality. The 202A package includes all of the 201A equipment, plus leather upholstery, heated front seats and an eight-way power driver seat with power-adjustable lumbar. With the 202A package equipped, the Appearance package becomes available, and it adds 20-inch alloy wheels, body-colored door handles, leather seats with suede inserts and unique floor mats.

The Limited gets the XLT 202A's equipment, plus 20-inch wheels, keyless ignition and entry, remote engine start, driver memory settings, power-adjustable pedals, a 110-volt power outlet and a 12-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio. Optional for the Limited is the 301A package, which includes a power liftgate, a power-folding operation for the third-row seat, an eight-way power passenger seat, a heated and power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, ventilated front seats and a navigation system.

To this, the 302A package adds xenon headlights, automatic high-beam control, automatic windshield wipers, an automatic parallel-parking system, lane-departure and lane-keeping assist, a blind-spot warning system, rear cross-traffic alert and inflatable seatbelts for second-row outboard passengers. Adaptive cruise control with frontal-collision warning and brake priming is a stand-alone option. When the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine is equipped, the 302A package becomes the 303A package, but the equipment is the same.

The Explorer Sport is equipped similarly to the Limited, but some of the Limited's standard features are optional here. You get different 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, front sport seats (with extra lateral bolstering) and unique interior and exterior trim details. The Sport's 401A package adds keyless ignition and entry, a power liftgate, 110-volt outlet, a front power passenger seat, driver memory settings, power-adjustable pedals, navigation system, ventilated front seats, a power-adjustable and heated steering wheel and the Limited's optional safety features. The adaptive cruise control is again optional.

Other options for the XLT, Limited and Sport include a dual-panel sunroof, second-row captain's chairs and a rear-seat entertainment system with dual headrest-mounted displays.



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2015 Highlights

The 2015 Ford Explorer gets a new Appearance package for the XLT trim, as well as some minor changes to standard and optional equipment.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Ford Explorer lineup offers a wide range of powertrains, allowing one to prioritize performance or fuel economy. As such, EPA fuel economy estimates range from fair to fairly impressive.

All 2015 Ford Explorers, except for the Sport, come standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It produces 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque and is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. With this engine, you have your choice of front-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive (there is no low-range gearing). Four-wheel-drive models get hill descent control, hill start assist and Ford's Terrain Management System, a selectable four-mode system that optimizes traction electronically for different conditions.

In Edmunds testing, a four-wheel-drive Explorer Limited with the base V6 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, while a lighter 4WD XLT model was slightly quicker at 8.1 seconds -- these are average times for a large crossover SUV. A front-drive V6 Explorer returns an EPA-estimated 20 mpg combined (17 city/24 highway), and four-wheel drive lowers mileage to a still-respectable 19 mpg combined (17/23). We managed to earn 20 mpg on Edmunds.com's 120-mile evaluation route.

Optional on all front-wheel-drive Ford Explorers is the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 240 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque. It also uses the six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds testing, a four-cylinder-equipped Explorer went from zero to 60 mph in 9.1 seconds, which is on the slow side for the class. Fuel economy, however, is much more impressive at 23 mpg combined (20 city/28 highway).

The Explorer Sport is 4WD only, and it comes with a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine and the six-speed automatic. The turbo V6 puts out 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, and the EPA estimates it will return 18 mpg combined (16 city/22 highway).

Properly equipped, an Explorer with either of the V6 engines can tow 5,000 pounds. With the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, max towing capacity is only 2,000 pounds.

Safety

Every 2015 Ford Explorer comes standard with stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a front passenger knee airbag and MyKey, which allows parents to specify limits for vehicle speed and stereo volume. The Explorer's stability control system also includes Ford's Curve Control, which can monitor speed carried into a corner and decelerate if necessary.

Rear parking sensors are standard on all but the base Explorer. A rearview camera is standard on the Limited and Sport and optional on the XLT. The Limited and Sport can also be had with impending frontal-collision warning and brake priming (bundled with the adaptive cruise control), lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, a blind-spot warning system (with rear-cross traffic alert) and inflatable seatbelts for second-row outboard passengers.

In Edmunds brake testing, both the 4WD Explorer XLT and the Limited V6 stopped from 60 mph in 118 feet -- a good performance for a large crossover SUV. Meanwhile, the four-cylinder Explorer XLT did it in 130 feet, which is longer than average for this class.

In government crash tests, the Explorer earned a five-star rating (out of a possible five) for overall crash protection, with five stars for total front-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave its top score of "Good" for the Explorer's performance in moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. It received the second-lowest rating of "Marginal" in the small-overlap frontal-offset test. Its seatbelts and head restraints earned a "Good" rating for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Driving

The 2015 Ford Explorer has a very smooth ride quality on the highway, with good composure that gets only a little busier with the Limited model's 20-inch wheels over broken pavement. It's also particularly quiet on the inside, an added benefit for any highway journey. It handles securely in typical driving situations, but overall, it feels larger and less maneuverable than similarly sized rivals.

The same is true of the Explorer Sport, but thanks to its sport-tuned suspension and steering, it reacts more quickly to inputs and generally imparts greater driver confidence. And while the Sport gives up a bit of that cushy ride quality, the ride is still well within the realm of acceptability for this class of vehicle.

The Sport also comes with the turbocharged V6, which offers V8-like acceleration. But the reality is that the base V6 is powerful enough in most situations. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a viable option, too. It may seem a bit small for an SUV this large, but it provides adequate acceleration for daily use and, of course, better fuel mileage than you'd get with the V6.

Interior

Considering the price, the Explorer's interior is pretty well-trimmed. Materials are attractive and luxurious, with a soft-touch dashboard and precise-feeling controls. The front seats are very supportive, and the cabin is particularly quiet as well.

The optional MyFord Touch interface contributes to the premium vibe, as it adds a high-resolution display screen (plus two additional screens for the gauge cluster) and touch-sensitive audio and climate "buttons." We haven't been fond of this system in the past, as it was often slow to respond to inputs. However, ongoing year-to-year system improvements have made a difference, and in our most recent tests, MyFord Touch worked reasonably well. We also continue to like the usefulness of the Sync voice commands. That said, some rival infotainment systems are still easier to use.

The Explorer has 80 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, making it less spacious than the Dodge Durango and well below the Chevrolet Traverse and GMC Acadia. The third row is short on legroom and will fit only small children. The Explorer's second-row seats may be a bit disappointing for families as well, as there's not as much room to install rear-facing child safety seats -- something you'd expect to do with ease in a vehicle of this size. And while the Explorer has the commanding ride height expected in an SUV, its thick roof pillars and tall dash limit outward visibility. Even with all of the available parking aids, it's a handful in tight spaces.






Air Filtration
Front Air Conditioning - Automatic Climate Control
Front Air Conditioning Zones - Dual
Rear Heat - Independently Controlled
Airbag Deactivation - Occupant Sensing Passenger
Front Airbags - Dual
Knee Airbags - Front Passenger
Side Airbags - Front
Side Curtain Airbags - Front , Rear , Third Row
Side-curtain Airbag Rollover Sensor
Antenna Type - Diversity , Mast
Auxiliary Audio Input - Bluetooth , USB , IPod / IPhone , Jack , Memory Card Slot
In-Dash CD - MP3 Playback , Single Disc
Premium Brand - Sony
Radio - AM / FM , HD Radio , Touch Screen Display , Voice Operated
Radio Data System
Satellite Radio - SiriusXM
Subwoofer - 1
Surround Sound - 5.1
Total Speakers - 12
Watts - 390
ABS - 4-wheel
Braking Assist
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
Front Brake Diameter - 12.8
Front Brake Type - Ventilated Disc
Front Brake Width - 1.18
Power Brakes
Rear Brake Diameter - 12.8
Rear Brake Type - Ventilated Disc
Rear Brake Width - 1.18
Armrests - Rear Center Folding With Storage
Center Console Trim - Leather , Simulated Alloy
Dash Trim - Simulated Alloy , Wood
Door Sill Trim - Scuff Plate
Door Trim - Leather , Simulated Alloy , Wood
Floor Mat Material - Carpet
Floor Material - Carpet
Floor Mats - Front , Rear
Interior Accents - Metallic-tone
Shift Knob Trim - Alloy , Leather
Steering Wheel Trim - Alloy , Leather
Adjustable Pedals - Power
Ambient Lighting
Assist Handle - Front , Rear
Capless Fuel Filler System
Cargo Area Light
Center Console - Front Console With Armrest And Storage
Cruise Control
Cupholders - Front , Rear , Third Row
Keypad Entry
Memorized Settings - 2 Driver , Adjustable Pedals , Driver Seat , Side Mirrors
Multi-function Remote - Keyless Entry , Panic Alarm , Trunk Release
One-touch Windows - 2
Overhead Console - Front
Power Outlet(s) - 115V , 12V Cargo Area , 12V Front , 12V Rear
Power Steering
Power Windows - Lockout Button
Push-button Start
Reading Lights - Front , Rear , Third Row
Rearview Mirror - Auto-dimming
Remote Engine Start
Retained Accessory Power
Steering Wheel - Tilt And Telescopic
Steering Wheel Mounted Controls - Audio , Cruise Control , Multi-function , Phone , Voice Control
Storage - Accessory Hook , Cargo Net , Cargo Tie-down Anchors And Hooks , Door Pockets , Front Seatback , Sunglasses Holder
Universal Remote Transmitter - Garage Door Opener
Vanity Mirrors - Dual Illuminating
Liftgate Window - Fixed
Rear Door Type - Liftgate
Axle Ratio - 3.39
Alternator - 200 Amps
Battery Saver
Door Handle Color - Chrome
Exhaust - Dual Tip
Exhaust Tip Color - Chrome
Fender Lip Moldings - Black
Front Bumper Color - Body-color
Grille Color - Body-color
Mirror Color - Body-color
Rear Bumper Color - Body-color
Rear Spoiler - Roofline
Rear Spoiler Color - Body-color
Window Trim - Black
Infotainment - SYNC
Video System - Auxiliary Audio / Video Input
Clock
Compass
Digital Odometer
External Temperature Display
Fuel Economy Display - MPG , Range
Gauge - Tachometer
Instrument Cluster Screen Size - 4.2 In.
Multi-function Display
Trip Odometer
Warnings And Reminders - Low Fuel Level , Low Oil Level , Maintenance Due , Tire Fill Alert
Exterior Entry Lights - Puddle Lamps
Front Fog Lights
Headlights - Auto Delay Off , Auto On / Off , Halogen
Taillights - LED
Side Mirror Adjustments - Power , Power Folding
Side Mirror Type - Spotter Mirror
Side Mirrors - Heated , Integrated Turn Signals
Roof Rack Crossbars - Aluminum
Body Side Reinforcements - Side Impact Door Beams
Camera System - Rearview
Child Safety Door Locks
Child Seat Anchors - LATCH System
Impact Sensor - Post-collision Safety System
Parking Sensors - Rear
Programmable Safety Key
Rearview Monitor - In Dash
Emergency Locking Retractors - Front , Rear
Front Seatbelts - 3-point
Rear Seatbelts - 3-point
Seatbelt Force Limiters - Front
Seatbelt Pretensioners - Front
Seatbelt Warning Sensor - Front
Third Row Seatbelts - 3-point
Driver Seat - Heated
Driver Seat Power Adjustments - Height , Lumbar , Reclining , 10
Front Headrests - Adjustable , 2
Front Seat Type - Bucket
Passenger Seat - Heated
Passenger Seat Manual Adjustments - Lumbar , Reclining
Passenger Seat Power Adjustments - 6
Rear Headrests - Adjustable , 3
Rear Seat - Heated
Rear Seat Folding - Flat , Split
Rear Seat Type - 60-40 Split Bench
Third Row Headrests - 2
Third Row Seat Folding - Split
Third Row Seat Type - 50-50 Split Bench
Upholstery - Leather-trimmed
2-stage Unlocking Doors
Anti-theft System - Alarm , Engine Immobilizer , Perimeter Alarm
Power Door Locks - Auto-locking
Hill Holder Control
Roll Stability Control
Stability Control
Traction Control
Trailer Stability Control
Steering Ratio - 15.8
Turns Lock-to-lock - 2.7
Front Shock Type - Gas
Front Spring Type - Coil
Front Stabilizer Bar - Diameter 32 Mm
Front Struts - MacPherson
Front Suspension Classification - Independent
Front Suspension Type - Lower Control Arms
Rear Shock Type - Gas
Rear Spring Type - Coil
Rear Suspension Classification - Independent
Rear Suspension Type - Multi-link
Electronic Messaging Assistance - With Read Function
Navigation Data - Real Time Traffic
Satellite Communications - Voice Guided Directions
Wifi - Hotspot Compatible
Wireless Data Link - Bluetooth
Spare Tire Mount Location - Underbody
Spare Tire Size - Temporary
Spare Wheel Type - Steel
Tire Pressure Monitoring System
Tire Type - All Season
Wheels - Painted Aluminum
Front Wipers - Speed Sensitive , Variable Intermittent
Power Windows
Rear Privacy Glass
Rear Wiper - Dual Speed
Window Defogger - Rear

Disclaimer

Price does not include government fees and state/local taxes, or any applicable fees. Depending on the age of the vehicle, normal wear and tear should be anticipated. Prices are subject to change without notice. While we do our best to describe our vehicles accurately, some descriptions and/or images provided by third parties may differ from the actual information or appearance of the vehicle. Alsbou Motors Riverside assumes no liability for omissions or errors in this vehicle's description and encourages prospective buyers to verify the information carefully through contacting the dealership directly. Alsbou Motors Riverside has the right to cancel a sale or a promise of a sale if an incorrect price has been given by mistake. All finance offers are O.A.C (On Approved Credit) / O.A.D (On Approved Deposit).

Our payment calculator tool is based on Tier 1 Credit and provides estimated monthly payments only. Actual payments may differ from that shown.


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