2014 Ford Explorer

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


What's New for 2014:
  • Revised electric steering with improved feel
  • Improved braking system
  • Standard automatic headlights
  • Optional rear heated seats
  • Optional adaptive cruise control
  • Optional second-row floor console for Explorer Sport
  • New Sunset and Dark Side paint colors

The 2014 Ford Explorer is a midsize crossover SUV able to seat up to 7 passengers in 3 rows of seats. It competes against models such as the Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder, and Toyota Highlander.

Models and Features
Four versions of the 2014 Explorer are available: base, XLT, Limited, and Sport. Standard equipment includes air conditioning with rear auxiliary climate control and air filtration, power windows, power door locks with remote keyless entry, floor mats, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and cruise control. MyKey programmable safety features are standard, and the Explorer is equipped with Sync Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, and a media hub with an auxiliary audio input jack. Dark-tinted rear privacy glass, integrated blind spotter mirrors, automatic headlights, LED taillights, trailer sway control, and hill-start assist are included for every Explorer, while base models ride on 17-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers.

Choose the Explorer XLT for a set of 18-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, upgraded exterior trim, heated exterior mirrors with turn signal indicator lights, rear park-assist sensors, and a SecuriCode external keyless entry pad. Inside, the Explorer XLT gains nicer cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, USB port, and satellite radio. Heavy-duty braking components and an upgraded alternator are also included on the XLT.

The Explorer Limited adds ambient cabin lighting, leather seats, heated front and rear seats, 10-way power driver's seat, 6-way power front passenger's seat, power-adjustable pedals, and memory for the driver's preferences. A premium audio system with HD Radio and 12 speakers is also standard, along with dual-zone automatic climate control and MyFord Touch technology including dual configurable display screens, an additional USB port, SD card reader, video input jacks, and a 110-volt power outlet. The Limited trim level is also equipped with Intelligent Access with push-button starting, remote engine starting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, universal garage door opener, cargo net, and a reversing camera. A body-color grille, body-color exterior trim, and 20-inch aluminum wheels round out the list of features for the Explorer Limited.

A more powerful engine, Intelligent 4-wheel drive (4WD) with hill-descent control, and transmission paddle shifters are standard for the Explorer Sport. This SUV also gets blacked-out exterior trim and finishes, a sport grille design, sport seats wrapped in perforated leather, sport suspension, and 20-inch machined-finish wheels with painted pockets.

Options and Packages
Most options for the 2014 Explorer are offered only for the XLT, Limited, and Sport trims, including second-row bucket seats separated by a second-row floor console, dual-panel sunroof, navigation system, power liftgate, blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, and inflatable rear seat belts. All Explorers can be optioned with a Class III trailer towing package and all-weather floor mats.

Beyond this, the Explorer XLT is available with several of the upgrades that are standard on the Limited, while the Limited can be optioned with perforated leather, heated and ventilated front seats, heated second-row seats, heated steering wheel, PowerFold third-row seat, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. Additional upgrades for the Limited trim level include Active Park Assist, adaptive cruise control, a collision-warning system with Brake Support, lane-keeping system, rain-sensing wipers, and high-intensity discharge headlights.

Options for the Explorer Sport are a mix-and-match of those available for the XLT and the Limited. This version of the SUV is exclusively available with summer performance tires.

Under the Hood
A 3.5-liter V-6 engine is standard for the 2014 Explorer, delivering 290 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. It delivers power to the SUV's front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 4WD system is optional, and it includes a hill-descent control system.

If you don't require all-wheel drive and would like to get better fuel economy, consider opting for the available 2.0-liter, turbocharged, EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine. With 240 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, it is the most fuel-efficient version of this Ford.

The Explorer Sport is exclusively equipped with a twin-turbocharged, 3.5-liter, EcoBoost V-6 engine generating 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. An Intelligent 4WD system is standard for this trim level, as are paddle shifters for the 6-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel Economy
Mileage ratings for the 2014 Explorer range between 16 mpg in the city for the Explorer Sport with 4WD and 28 mpg for the 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder and front-wheel drive, according to the EPA.

Safety Ratings and Technology
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have not published crash-test ratings for the 2014 Explorer as this overview is written.

Every 2014 Explorer is equipped with integrated blind spotter mirrors, trailer sway control, Sync with 911 Assist emergency contact service, and MyKey programmable safety features including speed restriction and stereo volume limits. Rear park-assist sensors and a reversing camera are standard for the XLT and Limited, respectively, and options include a blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert, a lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control, collision-warning system with Brake Support, and inflatable rear seat belts that help cushion rear-seat occupants in a collision.

Additionally, the Explorer Limited is offered with Active Park Assist, which employs front and rear park-assist sensors to automatically steer the Explorer into a parallel parking space while the driver operates the foot pedals and transmission.


J.D. Power Ratings

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Automotive Performance Execution and Layout
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*Please note that JDPower.com Power Circle Ratings may not include all information used to determine J.D. Power awards. Learn more about how J.D. Power Ratings are calculated.

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