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#8

in 2009 Affordable Midsize SUVs

Avg. Price Paid: $12,142 - $17,455
Original MSRP: $28,470 - $39,180
MPG: 14 City / 20 Hwy
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2009 Ford Explorer Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Ford Explorer's cabin stands out because it's impressively quiet for an SUV. It's also relatively upscale despite its affordable price.

  • "Ford has done an exemplary job of insulating occupants from noise and vibration. The air conditioner is relatively quiet, but it does its job. Conversations are easily heard, the music sounds good, and the mirrors, with their square corners defying intuitive logic, are mercifully quiet, as are the tires." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Considering its vast interior volume and all the opportunities that exist for outside noise to creep inside, the ... Ford Explorer is impressively, refreshingly quiet." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Despite incremental improvements over the years, the Explorer's materials quality remains mediocre and its design rudimentary, though sharp two-tone color schemes make this workaday SUV feel a little more upscale." -- Edmunds

Seating

Reviewers point out that passengers have plenty of space in the Explorer, even in the optional third row -- a rarity for midsize SUVs.

  • "Headroom abounds in the first two rows, and second-row legroom is surprisingly generous, even in the three-row configurations." -- Edmunds
  • "The new interior has quality accommodations throughout, including (unlike some competitors) a 3rd row that is actually habitable by full-grown adults." -- AutoMedia.com
  • "The seats are at once more supportive and more comfortable than in older Explorers, where we found them a bit hard." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Three adults can squeeze across in the roomy 2nd row. Legroom is tight only with the front seats fully aft. The 3rd-row seat cushion is low to the floor, pancake flat, and the floor shape obstructs foot space. But 3rd-row headroom is expansive and leg space is surprisingly good." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

The Explorer comes standard with features like cruise control, power windows and a message center with temperature display. Though most like the interior, one recurring complaint is the placement of the door handles.

  • "Ford designed the interior door panels so the armrests and door pulls would supplement the impact protection hardware built into the door's innards. Thus, the armrests and door pulls were separated, with the pulls positioned below the armrests. This poor ergonomic positioning makes it a bear to grab hold of the pulls, and they offer too little leverage to make closing the doors easy." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Explorer and Mountaineer cabin designs differ mainly in trim appearance. Both have large, clear main gauges. The transmission shift lever prevents easy access to climate controls. The dashboard design puts the radio just out of easy reach. The turn signal stalk is mounted at an awkward angle. Rear climate controls are set into the ceiling and are difficult to read." -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

The Explorer provides 85.8 cubic feet of cargo volume with only the first row in use, but only 13.6 cubic feet behind the optional third row. Still, this is ample cargo space for a midsize SUV.

  • "Explorer cargo room, always a high point, remains generous." -- Motor Week
  • "Opening hatch glass is handy, but the hatch itself is heavy to open and close. Second- and 3rd-row seats fold nearly flat for ample cargo room, but leave gaps large enough for smaller items to fall through. The optional power folding 3rd row is a real convenience. Aside from a large console box, interior storage is meager." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The cargo floor is completely flat when all the seats are folded, with almost no forward rise (two degrees as opposed to ten in older models)." -- New Car Test Drive

Next Steps: 2009 Ford Explorer

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