First launched in 1991, the Ford Explorer is the best-selling third-row SUV in the United States. Geared as a family-friendly vehicle, the Explorer offers plenty of passenger and cargo space, a quality infotainment system, and numerous safety features. Find out which of the 2019 Explorer's five trims work best for your needs.

Trim Levels

The 2019 Ford Explorer comes in five different trims, including the base, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. The base trim features 18-inch alloy wheels, heated power outside mirrors, and LED low-beam headlights. The XLT trim comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. The Limited trim comes with 20-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, and a foot-activated liftgate.

The Explorer Sport has an all-wheel drive option alongside an EcoBoost engine and sport-tuned suspension. The top-of-the-line Platinum is the most expensive option, but it has numerous safety features, including lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and rain-sensing wipers.

Engine

The 2019 Ford Explorer has three engine options. The base and XLT trims come standard with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. You can upgrade the engine and receive a 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged, four-cylinder with 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The Sport and Platinum trims use a 3.5-liter, twin-turbo V-6 engine with 265 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.

Performance

Front-wheel drive is standard on all Explorer trims, while most trims also offer all-wheel drive. They also all have a six-speed automatic transmission. With the turbo engine, you can expect to tow 3,000 pounds, while the twin-turbo V-6 found on both the Sport and Platinum trims can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Expect to get an EPA-estimated 16 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway with the base engine and the all-wheel drive option. The front-wheel drive option gives you 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine on the XLT and Limited trims get 19 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway with front-wheel drive and 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway with all-wheel drive.

Interior

Seating up to seven passengers across three rows, the 2019 Explorer comes standard with a 4.2-inch display screen, cloth upholstery, and an eight-way power driver's seat. The Limited trim includes heated and cooled front seats, as well as heated seats for the second row's outboard seats. It also features dual-zone climate control and an 8-inch touch-screen display connected to navigation and a 12-speaker audio system.

When it comes to space, you get 39.2 cubic feet when you have the second row upright. Behind the third row, you have 21 cubic feet of space. However, if you fold down the seats, expect to have 81.7 cubic feet of cargo space.

Safety Features

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the 2019 Explorer with a five-star overall safety rating. The vehicle comes standard with seven air bags, but integrated air bags in the second row's seatbelts are optional. The top-of-the-line trim comes standard with adaptive cruise control and collision warning, while you can upgrade the XLT, Limited, and Sport trims to receive this package.



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