1996 Ford Explorer

  • 1996 Ford Explorer XLT Utility

    XLT Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.0L V8
    • MSRP
  • 1996 Ford Explorer XL Utility

    XL Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      4.0L V6
    • MSRP
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1996 Ford Explorer Review

The leading SUV in its class.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1996 Ford Explorer is an SUV that offers enough power; however, it tends to focus on luxuries and cargo space. Popular since its inception into the sport utility market, it actually offers less power than the competition. But this year, the automaker focuses on selling options instead of major updates. Decent safety ratings, great styling, and plenty of comfort make it great for long trips and daily use.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 5.0-liter V-8
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Ford Explorer XL, Ford Explorer Sport, Ford Explorer XLT, Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer, Ford Explorer Limited

What's New

The 1996 Ford Explorer is available with an all-wheel drive option, which is the most impressive update. Also new is the option for an integrated child seat. The Expedition has been discontinued, but the Sport model now offers a Premium trim package to make up for it.


The 1996 Ford Explorer is well designed and comes in six color options. The Eddie Bauer and Limited trims get a roof rack as standard, which is an available option for other trims. The two models also offer keyless entry, two-tone paint, and skid plates as standard fare. Options for the XL include power exterior mirrors and rear window wiper.


The 1996 Ford Explorer has a comfortable interior with vinyl seating in the XL and Sport models with an option for leather in the Sport. The XLT and Eddie Bauer trims come standard with cloth seating, but leather is an available option as well; meanwhile, the Limited comes with leather seating. All models come with an AM/FM stereo system, air-conditioning, and a lighted entry system. Options are extremely limited for the XL, but JBL audio, compact disc changer, and power driver's seat are available in other models. The Sport, XLT, Eddie Bauer, and Limited trims come with power windows and locks.

Performance & Handling

The 1996 Ford Explorer comes with two engine options: the standard four-liter V-6 or the more powerful five-liter V-8. Both engines produce plenty of power for standard use, but the five-liter V-8 matched with optional all-wheel drive makes it ideal for off-road use. Acceleration is a bit lacking in the smaller engine, especially while passing at highway speeds. Automatic transmission is optional, but it takes away from the power of the engine dramatically.


The 1996 Ford Explorer comes standard with passenger and driver front airbags. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes are also standard in every model, and the Eddie Bauer and Limited trims comes with an anti-theft alarm system for street safety. The Limited also comes standard with fog lights. During crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it receives an overall rating of ?acceptable,? which is good for an SUV.

EPA Fuel Economy

Ford Explorer 2WD six-cylinder, automatic: 14/20 mpg city/highway
Ford Explorer 2WD six-cylinder, manual: 16/21 mpg city/highway
Ford Explorer 4WD, six-cylinder, automatic: 13/19 mpg city/highway
Ford Explorer 4WD, six-cylinder, manual: 15/19 mpg city/highway
Ford Explorer 4WD/2WD, eight-cylinder: 12/17 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • All-wheel-drive models
  • Style
  • Comfort
  • Cargo room

You Won't Like

  • Gas mileage
  • Only two seatbelts in backseat

Sum Up

The leading SUV in its class.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Tahoe
  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • GMC Yukon
  • Jeep Cherokee
  • Oldsmobile Bravada

See the New 2018 Explorer.

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