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2010 Ford Explorer

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2010 Ford Explorer Review

Seven-seat big SUV can haul people and cargo

Reviewed by Automotive on

In a Nutshell
The 2010 Ford Explorer is a family-style midsize sport utility vehicle (SUV) that comes in three trim levels: XLT Sport Utility, Eddie Bauer Sport Utility, and Limited Sport Utility. The base engine is a 4.0-liter V6, while the optional 4.6-liter V8 engine is offered only on the Eddie Bauer and Limited trims. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard with the V6 engine, but the V8 engine comes with a six-speed automatic. Both engines come with rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive, which includes a push-button low-range transfer case for negotiating poor conditions on or off road. A full-time all-wheel-drive is also optional but requires 20-inch wheels. The V8 two-wheel drive Explorer can tow nearly 7,300 pounds if properly configured.

Although known for its roomy, quiet interior that accommodates seven passengers, the Ford Explorer exhibits truck-like handling, in addition to a subpar fuel economy in the 13 mpg city / 19 mpg highway range. Crash test safety ratings are also lacking, making the Ford Explorer less than desirable on a number of counts.

New for 2010

A major change for the 2010 Ford Explorer is that the 4.6-liter V8 engine is available only in Eddie Bauer and Limited trims.


Engines: 4.0L V-6, 4.6L V-8
Transmissions: 6-speed automatic, 5-speed automatic
Body Style: SUV
Trims: XLT Sport Utility, Eddie Bauer Sport Utility, Limited Sport Utility

On the Outside

While the Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer trim gets gold front and rear bumpers, the XLT Sport trim gets a black grille, and the Limited trim gets body-color bumpers. Wheels range from 16 inches on the XLT trim to optional 20 inches on the Limited trim.

From the Inside

Due to its third row, the Ford Explorer can accommodate up to seven occupants, but this last row will be a tight fit for bigger passengers. Cargo space hits its maximum at 85.8 cubic feet.

Driving Performance

The 4.0-liter V-6 engine generates a mere 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque, while the V-8 engine churns out 292 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed automatic transmission comes with the V-8 engine, but V-6 trims get only a five-speed. Ford Explorer V-8 trims can tow up to 7,115 pounds and the V-6 trims can do up to 5,375 pounds.

Safety Equipment

Standard safety equipment on the Ford Explorer includes antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, first- and second-row side curtain airbags, and stability control system with rollover sensing and trailer sway control.

Gas Mileage

V-6 RWD: 14 mpg city/20 mpg highway
V-6 4WD: 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway
V-8 4WD: 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway


  • Towing capability
  • Seating for seven passenger


  • Weak V-6 engine
  • Poor gas mileage


Seven-seat big SUV can haul people and cargo

People Who Like the 2010 Ford Explorer Also Like

  • Nissan Pathfinder
  • Toyota 4Runner

See the New 2015 Explorer.

Front & Driver Side View