2013 Ford Explorer

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17 CITY / 24 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What's New for 2013:
  • New knee air bag for front passenger
  • Optional inflatable rear seat belts
  • Next-generation MyFord Touch
  • Heated steering wheel is available
  • Optional auto-dimming HID headlights
  • New Explorer Sport trim with SHO engine

Exterior Features
Ford sells the Explorer in base, XLT, Limited and Sport trim levels. Each has a unique look, with the XLT gaining a chrome grille and fog lights, the Limited adding body-color trim and bigger aluminum wheels, and the Sport featuring a blacked-out grille and wheels.

Interior Features
The 7-passenger Explorer includes standard front and rear air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power side mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, and a 6-speaker stereo with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack.

Optional Features
Depending on the trim level selected, the 2013 Explorer can be equipped with leather seats, Sync hands-free connectivity, MyFord Touch infotainment system, Active Park Assist, Sony premium audio system, navigation system, rear DVD player with dual headrest screens, Intelligent Access with push-button start, power liftgate, power-folding  third-row seat, and more.

Under the Hood

All 2013 Explorer trims, except for the Sport, are equipped with a standard 3.5-liter V-6 engine making 290 horsepower. A turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine is optional, generating 240 horsepower. The new Explorer Sport is equipped with the same engine as the Taurus SHO, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 preliminarily rated to make 350 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque.

A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard on all 2013 Explorer trims, and includes paddle shifters on the new Explorer Sport. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard and 4-wheel drive (4WD) with a Terrain Management System and hill-descent control is optional for all trims except the Sport, which has standard 4WD.

Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Ford Explorer are:
  • Explorer 2.0L FWD: 20/28/23 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Explorer 3.5L FWD: 17/24/20 mpg
  • Explorer 3.5L AWD: 17/23/19 mpg
  • Explorer 3.5L Turbocharged AWD: 18/22/TBD mpg (Ford estimate)

For 2013, the Explorer gains a knee air bag for the front passenger, bringing the total air bag count to seven. Additionally, the Explorer is equipped with standard anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control with roll stability control, trailer sway control, curve control, hill-start assist, SOS Post Crash Alert, and MyKey programmable safety features. Optional safety features include Sync with 911 Assist, reversing camera, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with collision warning and brake support, and inflatable rear seat belts.

Because the Explorer has a new knee air bag, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is not providing a frontal-impact rating until it retests the SUV. The Explorer's 5-star side-impact and 4-star rollover ratings carry over from the 2012 model year. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named the 2013 Explorer a \"Top Safety Pick.\"


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