Ford Explorer Review
The 2013 Ford Explorer ranks 16 out of 21 Affordable Midsize SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of 28 published reviews and test drives of the Ford Explorer, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The 2013 Ford Explorer is ranked:
The 2013 Ford Explorer offers a comfortable, high-tech cabin and a fuel-efficient optional four-cylinder engine, but competitors offer better interiors and performance.
The 2013 Ford Explorer isn’t exactly a rocket, but most test drivers say that probably won’t matter to most shoppers. Instead, they say buyers will likely be impressed by the outstanding fuel economy from the Explorer’s optional, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It sacrifices power in favor of gas mileage, but most test drivers say that it’s a worthy trade-off. Fuel economy from the base V6 engine isn’t bad either, and test drivers say that the Explorer’s handling is good for a three-row crossover and that it offers a smooth ride that’s comfortable over bumpy roads.
Reviewers say the 2013 Ford Explorer’s cabin may be good-looking, but they say its technology may be confusing and its second and third rows aren’t the best. There are lots of complaints about the MyFord Touch infotainment controls, with many test drivers saying the system is confusing and doesn’t always work. Although the SUV’s front row is roomy, reviewers say its second row may not offer enough legroom for adults, and a few testers think the third row is more cramped than some rivals.
- "With solid on-road dynamics, decent fuel efficiency and an accommodating, high-class cabin, the 2013 Ford Explorer is a top pick for a large crossover SUV.” -- Edmunds
- "If you're seeking the room and versatility of a big SUV, but don't like the idea of a poor-handling, fuel-thirsty land barge that's nearly impossible to park, Ford's 2013 Explorer deserves a good look.” -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Explorer is a very nice 7-passenger crossover that, unfortunately, is in competition with a lot of other very nice 7-passenger crossovers. It's both competent on-road and more capable off-road than most in this class.” -- Consumer Guide
- "If you're looking for a quiet, relatively comfortable three-row midsize SUV with gadgets galore, and aren't fixated on having a status vehicle in your driveway, the Explorer Limited packs a lot of goodies at a relatively reasonable price. Just don't expect an out-of-the-ordinary driving experience.” -- Motor Trend
Other SUVs to Consider
If you need more space than the Ford Explorer can offer, consider the GMC Acadia. Reviewers say its third row has enough room to comfortably seat adults, and it offers more cargo space than almost every other competitor. The Acadia doesn’t offer a fuel-efficient engine like the Explorer’s Ecoboost engine, but testers tend to rate the Acadia’s performance and its interior better than the Explorer’s.
Shoppers who don’t like the Explorer’s MyFord Touch controls should consider another SUV like the Toyota Highlander. Reviewers say the Highlander’s audio and climate controls are simple and easy to use, and it still offers a cabin that’s particularly well-built. Plus, the Highlander offers a similarly fuel-efficient four-cylinder powerplant as well.
Details: Ford Explorer
The 2013 Ford Explorer is available in base, XLT, Limited and Sport models, with either a four- or a six-cylinder engine and a choice between front- and all-wheel drive, depending on the trim and engine. Standard features include a six-speaker audio system, and top-of-the-line trims can be outfitted with features like a power-folding third row, rear-seat DVD entertainment system and MyFord Touch touch-screen infotainment and climate controls.
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