At the time of its inception in 1991, the Ford Explorer was a relative new-comer to a niche that had yet to find its place among worldwide car consumers in the compact four-door SUV marketplace. Instrumental in transforming SUVs from specialty vehicles into one of the most sought after brands on the road, the Ford Explorer enjoyed the sort of overwhelming success that few automobiles ever attain, selling many millions over the last two decades plus.
While worldwide sales dropped steadily over the years with a lot of increased in market competition, the Ford Explorer remains one of the most preferred compact SUVs for families looking to steer clear of a full-sized vehicle and those in search of four-wheel-drive capability mixed with substantial ride-height that only a body-on-frame SUV can provide. Saddled with a long list of standard equipment, a host of safety features, and plenty of spacious interior, the 2007 Ford Explorer is a solid buy, despite a few shortcomings. It's equipped with a less-powerful engine than most of its class competitors, a few scatterings of lower-quality interior materials, and a weak re-sell value that may give shoppers pause.
Body Styles: compact four-door SUV
Engines: 4.0-liter V-6, 4.6-liter V-8
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: 2007 Ford Explorer XLT, Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer, Ford Explorer Limited
2006 was the year of major upgrades for the Ford Explorer lines. Still, there are plenty of smaller alterations for the 2007 models. For starters, the base XLS trim was discontinued and the Eddie Bauer and Limited’s receive front-side impact and side-curtain airbags and optional power retractable running boards. The sole standards across all three trims are an input jack for MP3s and some slightly revised interior door handles. Optional additives across all trim levels for 2007 include heated windshields, DVD navigation system, and a rear-cabin entertainment package complete with an eight-inch LCD screen.
Ford designers left the Explorer’s exterior look relatively unaltered since its birth. While there are no big changes, a few minor ones were made that Explorer junkies may appreciate: slightly altered front-end grilles across trims, a half-dozen new wheel styles to cull through, thicker roof-top rails, new rear lights, and a larger Ford insignia oval on its backend.
In spite of 2006s remodeling efforts, the interior quality for this year’s Ford Explorer remains somewhat uneventful and bland with Ford opting for some low-grade materials. Saved by a fairly upscale design, improved steering column with the shifter moved to the floor, and a pleasant two-tone color scheme, all is not lost for the 2007 Ford Explorer. Packing plenty of room for passengers and cargo, the Explorer features a second row of seats that can be reconfigured and a third row that folds down completely. Even with a fully-loaded passenger list of seven, it has nearly 84 cubic feet of cargo space to play with. There’s also a quad-seating option available on the Eddie Bauer and Limited trim that drops the seven-max seating to six instead as it places a reclining chair in the second row.
Performance & Handling
The 2007 Ford Explorer’s base engine is a four-liter V-6, capable of generating 210 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque, while the slightly more powerful 4.6-liter, V-8 engine boosts output to 292 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. With drivers given the option of speeding along in two-wheel of four-wheel drive, thanks to the push of a button, the 2007 Explorer reaches 60 mph in about nine seconds and when properly equipped, can tow 7300 pounds. A quiet ride, good smooth handling within the city, responsive steering, and powerful brakes all make for a confident compact SUV driving experience.
For 2007, all the expected major safety equipment can be found aboard the Ford Explorer: traction/stability control that includes a Roll Stability Control function employing gyros to calculate vehicle speed and angle, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, front/side curtain airbags, child seats anchors, and tire pressure monitoring. A few safety options worthy of mention are reverse parking assistance, which is standard on Limited, adjustable pedals, and a heated windshield.
EPA Fuel Economy
2007 Ford Explorer: 14/20 mpg city/highway
- Excellent vehicle ride quality
- Ample interior room
- Quiet ride
- Standard rollover sensor a plus
- Strong towing capacity
You Won't Like
- Weak V-6 and V-8
- Lower than expected resale value
- Low quality interior materials
Great for interior roominess and ride quality; just keep it on paved roads.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
- Chevy Trailblazer
- Dodge Durango
- Toyota Highlander
- Nissan Pathfinder