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2013 Ford Explorer

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2013 Ford Explorer Review

Reviewed by Automotive on

It may sound like excessive praise, but the Ford Explorer really has it all when it comes to large crossover SUVs. It handles tough terrain like a pro, it looks great, it’s got good power, and it’s even tops in fuel economy. And it’s not even all that expensive, that is, until you start piling on the options, which of course you’re going to want to do. The unibody design of the Explorer is a big improvement over earlier models, providing more space, better fuel efficiency, and improved handling. If you want an American-made, solid handling, fuel efficient, large crossover with a luxurious interior, you’ve got one in the 2013 Ford Explorer.

New For 2013

The new edition to the Ford Explorer line for 2013 is the Sport Trim. The sport trim is designed for those drivers who are looking for a little more action out of their Ford Explorer, and features sport upgrades like:

  • Turbocharged V-6 Engine
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Sporty exterior trim


The base model of the 2013 Ford Explorer features 17-inch steel wheels, roof rails and privacy glass, along with side view mirrors that alert you to cars in your blind spot. You can upgrade to 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, and automatic headlights. Other option packages with certain trims include a power liftgate and xenon headlamps with automatic high beams. Available colors include Deep Impact Blue, Oxford White, Ruby Red, and Tuxedo Black.

Interior & Cargo

This large crossover has seating for up to seven passengers, with a third row seat that folds flat for extra cargo room with just the press of a button, expanding available cargo space from 21 to 43.8 cubic feet. If you really need extra space, you can fold down the second row seats too, for a full 80.7 cubic feet of space. There are plenty of luxurious interior features in the 2013 Ford Explorer, including available heated tilt/telescoping steering wheel and 10-way power leather trimmed bucket seats with power lumbar support, which allow heating or cooling as the season demands.

One of the most popular options on the 2013 Ford Explorer is SYNC with MyFord Touch. While some find the touch screen to be a bit unwieldy, you’ll probably just find it takes a little getting used to, and since it is voice activated, your skill with the touch screen isn’t even that much of a concern. The system allows you to control your hands free phone calls, Bluetooth audio entertainment, turn by turn directions, and a variety of other SYNC services. You can use it to find your favorite restaurants in a given area, your favorite songs playing on the SiriusXM radio, or even for emergency assistance if necessary.

Entertainment options include dual headrest DVD players so each of your second row passengers can enjoy their own favorite entertainment program, which is great for long trips with the kids.


The combination of Advance Trac with RSC, a Roll Stability Control system that corrects to protect you from rollover, combined with Curve Control, which slows you down as necessary when taking tough curves, are part of the safety-enhanced design of the Ford Explorer. Along with stability control, traction control, and intelligent four-wheel drive, the Ford Explorer features blind spot sensitive side mirrors, a four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), front and rear ventilated disc brakes, and electronic brake force distribution. You’ll find child safety locks and child seat anchors for the kids, and an alarm system and engine immobilizer for theft protection.

Driving Experience

You’ll find some very impressive features in the 2013 Ford Explorer to maximize performance. For one, there’s the Intelligent four-wheel drive with Terrain Management System. This system comes in the form of a simple knob that you can use to dial up the settings you need to provide maximum control over different terrains, from Normal mode, which favors torque to the front wheels, to Grass/Gravel/Snow mode, which sets the throttle to minimize wheel slippage, to Sand, which maximizes torque for aggressive wheel spin, and Mud/Ruts, which desensitizes stability control so you can spin yourself out of those tough spots. The high tech unibody construction keeps the body stiff while making it lightweight, and the intelligent Curve Control automatically slows you down when the car senses you might be hitting a curve a little too quickly. A 3.5-liter, V-6 engine linked to a smooth shifting six-speed automatic transmission provides 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. A turbocharged, four-cylinder engine is also available, the 2.0-liter Eco Boost, which generates 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, and brings us to one of the most impressive features of the 2013 Ford Explorer, it’s best in class fuel economy, an estimated 20/28 mpg city/highway.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Ford Explorer

  • Dodge Durango
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Mazda CX-9

See the New 2015 Explorer.

Front & Driver Side View