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History Of The Ford Explorer

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The Ford Explorer is the best-selling SUV in American history with over 8.4 million units sold since its debut in 1991. Grand Cherokee, Wrangler, Suburban, and a few others. It was also the first four-door SUV Ford built, and it needed success to prove that Ford had made the right decision. The Explorer was not only a success, but a blockbuster, becoming the SUV to own and helping to spark the SUV revolution.

Nearly 30 years and 6 generations have passed, but it’s not all rosy when it comes to Explorers. From rollovers to lawsuits, the Ford Explorer was a marketing success but an engineering nightmare for the brand. However, continuous improvements have brought it to where it is today. It may have changed a lot since its early days, but Explorer has been serving American homes for years. We look back at the history of the Explorer and see how it started and where it’s headed.

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1993 Ford Explorer

3/4 shot of 1993 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer Edition

The first Ford Explorer was introduced in 1991 and was the successor to the Bronco II. It was a different product as the Bronco was his 4-door SUV while the conventional Bronco was his 2-door. When it went on sale, it was a great success, with many families wanting to purchase it due to its combination of practicality and practicality. It was offered as a 2-door sport and a 4-door SUV, with the 4-door becoming the preferred choice. It was equipped with a 160-horsepower V-type 6-cylinder engine combined with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.

It can also be rear-wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive, making it a daily commuter vehicle with off-road capabilities. Its off-road capabilities were aided by the fact that it was based on a Ranger pickup. The Explorer was so popular that it was rebranded by Mazda as the Navajo, but only with two doors.was also taken up as Tour vehicle from the movie “Jurassic Park” The coloring is still reproduced today. The original Explorer sold over a million units in his four-year production run, and was the reason Ford built another Explorer.

Will the 1995-2001 Explorer roll over?

1996 Ford Explorer

3/4 of a 1996 Ford Explorer parked in front of the house

The second generation Explorer continued to use the Ranger platform, but was redesigned to be more useful than previous models. A number of mechanical changes have been made to improve the ride quality on-road while still being able to run off-road. It was also the first SUV with dual airbags for added safety. The added height and width provided more space for people and luggage. In addition to the V-6 mill, a V-8 engine was also introduced as an option.

The 5-liter V-8 produced 210 horsepower and 280 lb-ft of torque. It inherited his V-6 from the previous generation with the same horsepower, but models from ’97 onwards were fitted with his updated V-6. The new V-6 has overhead cams that boost power output to 205 hp and torque to 250 lb-ft, similar to his V-8. Rear-wheel drive was standard, with four-wheel drive and all-wheel drive available as an option.

The V-8 version was automatic only, while the V-6 version had the option of a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic. It sold over 400,000 copies a year, with other variations such as the Eddie Bauer Edition and Mercury Mountaineer. Saleen is Ford Saleen XP8 Supercharger. This is a supercharged version of his V-8 Explorer, producing 286 horsepower and he developed 333 lb-ft of torque. It got some aero body parts, Recaro seats, improved brakes and a carbon fiber hood option.

Only 300 XP8s were built, and this was the agreement, but Saleen also built a lesser-known version of the V-6 known as the XP6. After that, Ford built his version of the Explorer pickup and from 2001 until 2005 he was sold with only the V-6 engine. But this generation also had a major flaw that threatened the Explorer’s demise.

It rolls over more easily than any other SUV, a problem that existed in the first generation but was exacerbated in the second generation with its larger size. The probable cause was related to his factory-fitted Firestone tires. This resulted in a lawsuit from the owner, Legal battle between Ford and Firestone Ford won. This marked the end of a nearly 100-year relationship.

Evolution of the Explorer 2002-2005

2003 Ford Explorer
net car show

3/4 shot of a 2003 Ford Explorer in front of a golf pond

The third generation Explorer is all new with a platform developed specifically for this vehicle. It has also undergone a major redesign from his two previous generations. Due to declining sales of two-door SUVs, the Explorer is now only available in four doors. Better safety features and improvements have also been added to address the rollover hazard of the previous generation.

The front and rear axles are wider for added stability, and the independent rear suspension improves road-hugging. ABS, traction control, stability control and YAW control to reduce rollover risk are all standard.

Additionally, the Explorer was equipped with dual front and side curtain airbags and seat belt tensioners for accident protection. For the first time the Explorer was equipped with his 3rd row of seats, which means his 7 seater. Engine choices he had were two, an updated 4-liter V-6 from the previous generation and his new 4.6-liter modular V-8 used in the Crown Victoria and various Ford trucks.

The V-6 produced 210 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque, while the V-8 produced 239 hp and 282 lb-ft of torque. For this Explorer he chose a 5-speed automatic. A 5-speed manual was also available, but the last manual was limited to his Explorer, his 2002 model. The Explorer also had another variant, the Lincoln Aviator.

RELATED: What Will Push the 2024 Ford Explorer to New Heights

2006-2010 Will Explorers go extinct?

2006 Ford Explorer
net car show

Slow motion shot of a 2006 Ford Explorer driving on a dirt road

The fourth generation Explorer looked more like an updated vehicle than a new one. It had the same platform as before, but with a stiffer frame and improved suspension. Other updates were also made to refresh the vehicle, but shared many similarities with the previous one. The Explorer Sport Truck Pickup is also back for its second generation.

The previous-generation 4-liter V-6 was retained, but a new optional 4.6-liter V-8 with 292 horsepower and 356 lb-ft of torque was also added. The changes made weren’t enough to help the Explorer, and 2009 sales dropped to 53,000 for him. Sales were also significantly affected by the slowdown in the US economy, which led to a drop in demand for SUVs. This was a sign that Ford needed to act quickly or the Explorer would die out.

2011-2019 Explorer reborn

2012 Ford Explorer

3/4 shot of a blue 2012 Ford Explorer parked under a tree

The fifth generation Explorer has arrived, and it’s the most radical change from the original. Its design Explorer America concept unveiled in 2008 At the North American International Auto Show. The Explorer has moved from his full-size SUV to a family crossover based on the Ford Taurus unibody. The move was in response to a growing crossover trend, and it paid off. In the first year he sold over 135,000 Explorers and sales increased year after year.

A number of new technologies have also been added to the Explorer, including push-button and remote start, power tailgate, adaptive cruise control, active park assist, rain-sensing wipers, high-intensity discharge headlamps (HID) and LED taillamps. etc. It was like an explorer like no other who came to reclaim the throne. It also had the most engine choices (five) in this generation, from a 2.0-liter in-line four-front-wheel drive to a 3.5-liter twin-turbo Ecoboost.

The four-cylinder produced 240 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque, while the 3.5 V-6 produced 290 hp and 355 lb-ft of torque with all-wheel drive. All versions were equipped with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Everyone preferred the more powerful V-6 engine. Because it offers more power and doesn’t sacrifice fuel economy too much. This was a big advantage for the new Explorer, as the previous version was not so economical.

It achieved 17/23 MPG in city/highway driving, compared to 18/25 MPG figures for the tandem 4-car, while the previous generation could only do 13/19 MPH in city/highway driving. You can also now choose between normal, mud and ruts, sand, grass/gravel/snow mode drive modes through the mode selector. The safety rating of this model was also very high, with the NHTSA giving him a 5-star score and maintaining that standard to this day.

The Explorer Sport joined the line-up for 2013 with Taurus SHO’s more powerful 3.5-liter V6 with 365 horsepower, 350 lb-ft of torque and all-wheel drive. To show how proud they are of this unit, Ford has posted a time of under 6 seconds at 60 mph. A facelift version came out in 2016, updating the already good looking look and sporting a new base 2.3 inline four with 280 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.i also saw this model new police interceptor It replaced the Crown Victoria, which had been in service since 1992.

RELATED: 10 things we can expect from the 2024 Ford Explorer

2020: The best explorers ever

2022 Explorer ST

3/4 shot of a red Ford Explorer ST

The latest generation Explorer builds on the already excellent 5th generation model with even better technology and safety features. Towing capacity has also been greatly improved, now capable of towing up to 5,300 lbs. A number of new engines are also available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain options paired with the new His 10-speed automatic. Engine choices are:


model year



ecoboost 2.3 i4


300 hp

310 lb-ft

3.3L V6 hybrid

2020–Present Police Interceptor Utility

318 hp

332 lb-ft

3.3L FFV V6

2020–Present Police Interceptor Utility

285 hp

260 lb-ft

Ecoboost 3.0 TT V6

2020–Present ST/Police Interceptor Utility

400 hp

415 lb-ft

Ecoboost 3.0 TT V6

2022-Present Platinum

400 hp

415 lb-ft

Ecoboost 3.0 TT V6

2020–2021, Platinum

365 hp

380 lb-ft

Ecoboost 3.0 TT V6 Hybrid


444 hp

620 lb-ft

The new Hybrid and ST models are a nice addition as Ford looks to the future with sportier models with better emissions and a little more noise. The Interceptor is also very impressive, currently the fastest police car in America, able to keep up with Mustangs and Chargers to his triple figures. The Explorer has been eclipsed by other SUVs, such as the Toyota RAV 4, which outsells, but he remains one of the best all-around SUVs of all time.

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