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2017 Ford Explorer Overview

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2017 Ford Explorer exterior

The 2017 Ford Explorer is a popular family SUV capable of transporting seven passengers in total style and comfort. While today it is more akin to a three-row crossover than a traditional SUV, the Ford Explorer still offers everything that makes the segment so popular, combining sheer capability and sportiness with the latest technologies and a plushy interior, all at great value.

The 2017 Ford Explorer is available in five trim levels: base, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum.


How Does It Compare? Check out the 2016 Ford Explorer


2017 Ford Explorer exterior

What’s New for the 2017 Ford Explorer?

The 2017 Ford Explorer is virtually unchanged compared to the 2016 model, save for a new XLT Sport Appearance package and some reshuffling of a few features. Of note is that the SYNC 3 infotainment system has replaced the previous MyFord Touch system.

New for 2017 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety


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2017 Ford Explorer exterior

2017 Ford Explorer Exterior

The current-gen Ford Explorer has always been a looker and so Ford made the right decision when it chose not to mess with a winning formula for 2017. The Explorer still boasts the right blend of ruggedness and sophistication, highlighted by the prominent front grille and bumper as well as the standard LED low-beam headlights. We think it looks best in Sport trim thanks to the low-profile 20-inch wheels.

The 2017 Ford Explorer is available in the following exterior colors: Canyon Ridge, Magnetic Metallic, Ruby Red, Ingot Silver, Blue Jean, Smoke Quartz, White Platinum, Oxford White, and Absolute Black.

2017 Ford Explorer Exterior Photos:

Exterior available on base model:

  • Body-color liftgate spoiler, Dual chrome exhaust tips, Dark Foundry Gray grille with chrome bars, Halogen reflector high beams, LED taillamps, Automatic LED low-beam headlamps, Manual folding mirrors with integrated blind spot mirrors, Black roof rack side rails with black end caps, Acoustic-laminate and solar-tinted windshield glass, 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, Second and third row privacy glass, Rear View Camera with Assist Grid Lines and Washer

Exterior available on XLT (adds to or replaces features on base model):

  • Body-color door handles, Chrome bodyside cladding accent, Fog lamps, Foundry Gray grille with chrome bars, LED signature lighting, Heated mirrors with LED signal indicators and approach lamps, Silver roof rack side rails

Exterior available on Limited (adds to or replaces features on XLT):

  • Chrome exterior door handles, Bright silver grille painted with chrome bars, Hands free power liftgate, Powerfold mirrors with auto-fold and drivers memory, Chrome roof rack side rails, 20-inch premium painted aluminum wheels

Exterior available on Sport (adds to or replaces features on Limited):

  • Fascia-integrated dual tips exhaust, High gloss black grille with high gloss black bars, LED taillamps with unique blackout treatment, High glass black liftgate appliqué, Painted black exterior door handles, High gloss black roof rack side rails, Unique EXPLORER badge on hood, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets

Exterior available on Platinum (adds to or replaces features on Sport):

  • Auto high beams, Unique grille with satin chrome finish, Satin chrome liftgate appliqué, Satin chrome mirror cap, Rain-sensing wipers, Satin chrome roof rack side rails, Satin chrome exterior door handles, Satin chrome bodyside cladding, 20-inch bright machined face with tarnished dark painted pockets

New for 2017 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety


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2017 Ford Explorer exterior

2017 Ford Explorer Performance

The 2017 Ford Explorer base model and XLT are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough for most customers. Optional on those trims and standard on the Limited is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that makes slightly less power (280 hp) but considerably more torque (310 lb-ft), giving it extra grunt for towing purposes. The 3.5-liter V6 is still available on the Limited.

At the top of the range, the Sport and Platinum trim levels get a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, giving it by far the best performance of the lot. The Sport also gets stiffer suspension tuning and quicker steering, giving it impressive handling and braking. When properly equipped, the 2017 Ford Explorer can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

The base, XLT, and Limited trims come with standard front-wheel drive (FWD) and available four-wheel drive (4WD), while the Sport and Platinum come with 4WD only. All powertrain configurations use a six-speed automatic transmission.

New for 2017 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety


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2017 Ford Explorer exterior

2017 Ford Explorer Efficiency

The 2017 Ford Explorer equipped with FWD and the base 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined. With 4WD, those numbers dip slightly to 16/23/19 mpg city/highway/combined.

The advantage of the 2.3-liter EcoBoost is that it offers better fuel economy than the base V6 while also delivering slightly better performance. It is rated at 19/27/22 mpg with FWD and 21/25/18 mpg with 4WD.

Finally, the 3.5-liter turbo, which comes with 4WD only, is rated at 16/22/18 mpg city/highway/combined.

New for 2017 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety


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2017 Ford Explorer interior

2017 Ford Explorer Interior

Inside the 2017 Ford Explorer are three rows of seating designed to accommodate up to seven people, including adults at the very back. The second row can be had with two bucket seats or as a three-person bench. The center stack has left behind the touch-sensitive controls in favor of easier-to-use physical buttons, which is only enhanced by the much-improved SYNC 3 infotainment system. Visibility is good behind the wheel and ride comfort is surprisingly good given the Ford Explorer’s handling prowess. While wheel-equipped even at the lowest trim level, the Explorer can be downright luxurious if you have pockets deep enough to tick all the boxes on the options list.

2017 Ford Explorer Interior Photos:

Interior available on base model:

  • Features: Air filtration system, Manual single-zone climate control, Rear auxiliary climate control, Four 12V powerpoints, Cargo hooks, Cargo net, Front and rear carpeted floor mats, Cruise control, Daytime running lights, Dome/map lights in all three rows, EasyFuel capless fuel filler, First-row center floor console with wrapped armrest and storage bin, Front and rear scuff plates embossed with EXPLORER, Integrated key fob, Leather-wrapped shift knob, Manual day/night rearview mirror, Manual tilt/telescoping steering column, MyKey, Power door locks, Power windows, Rear view camera with washer, Cloth seating surfaces
  • Radio and Technology: SYNC®, Media hub with 1 smart charging USB port, AM/FM with a single-disc CD/MP3 player, Six speakers

Interior available on XLT (adds to or replaces features on base model):

  • Features: Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start, Reverse Sensing System, Leather-wrapped steering wheel, 10-way power driver seat with lumbar and recline
  • Radio and Technology: SiriusXM satellite radio

Interior available on Limited (adds to or replaces features on XLT):

  • Features: Dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control, 110V power outlet, Ambient lighting, Auto-dimming rearview mirror, Heated steering wheel, Power tilt/telescoping steering column, Power-adjustable pedals with memory, Remote start, Front and rear scuff plates with bright inserts, Universal Garage Door Opener, Perforated leather-trimmed first and second-row seats, Second-row armrest and dual cupholders and heated outboard seats
  • Radio and Technology: SYNC® 3, Forward media bin with one smart-charging USB and one 12V powerpoint and SD card reader, Sony Premium Audio System with 12 speakers, Voice-activated navigation system

Interior available on Sport (adds to or replaces features on Limited):

  • Features: First and second-row floor mats with unique badging, Lighted front scuff plates, Second-row armrest and dual cupholders, Unique perforated leather-trimmed with red accent stitching heated seats
  • Radio and Technology: Same as Limited

Interior available on Platinum (adds to or replaces features on Sport):

  • Features: Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support, Twin-panel moonroof, Enhanced active park assist with pull out assist and perpendicular park and flank guard, Platinum-branded floor mats, Leather with quilted inserts and first-row “Platinum” embroidery
  • Radio and Technology: Blind Spot Information System, Lane Departure Warnings with Lane Keep Assist, Premium 500-watt Sound from Sony with Clear Phase and Live Acoustics

New for 2017 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety


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2017 Ford Explorer exterior

2017 Ford Explorer Safety

The 2017 Ford Explorer received the highest possible five-star rating for overall safety in government crash tests, though it received four stars in the rollover category—notable because their high center of gravity makes SUVs more prone to rolling over during accidents. The IIHS gave the Ford Explorer its the highest rating of “good” in all of its crashworthiness evaluations, save for the small overlap front crash test, where its performance was rated as only “marginal.”

The 2017 Ford Explorer comes standard with a rearview camera and available with blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, park assist, and forward sensing system.

Standard Safety Features

  • AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™
  • Belt-Minder®
  • Front Passenger Knee Airbag
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether Anchors for Children)
  • Safety Canopy® System
  • SOS Post-Crash Alert System™
  • Traction control
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System

New for 2017 | Exterior | Performance | Efficiency | Interior | Safety


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Future Safety: Ford reveals next-generation driver assist technlogy