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2006 Ford Explorer Review

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By Al Vinikour 

 

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Since its debut in 1991, Ford has sold more than 5.5 million Explorers. So when Ford selected Lake Placid for its ride-and-drive Explorer debut for journalists because of the company’s sponsorship of the Ironman Triathlon Competition, recently held there, it didn’t come as a surprise. The Explorer’s been the ironman for the company, selling strongly for nearly 15 years and turning in hefty profits for the Dearborn-based automaker.

 

For 2006, Ford is revamping the Explorer, after totally reworking the mid-size ute in 2002 with a stiffer body and an independent rear suspension. The changes for 2006 are more geared toward refinement of the existing package — new front and rear styling, updated drivetrains, and a new interior — but do enough to keep the truck fresh even as Ford sets its SUV sights on the crossover market.

 

This year, the Explorer offers up four trim levels — XLS, XLT, Eddie Bauer, and Limited — and two engine choices. The first is an improved 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 that meets ULEV standards and puts out 210 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, it can tow up to 5390 pounds, depending on whether it’s outfitted with rear- or four-wheel drive.

 

The other engine choice is the three-valve 4.6-liter SOHC V-8 shared with the F-Series trucks. It delivers 292 horsepower (53 more than the two-valve V-8) and 300 lb-ft of torque. It comes with a six-speed automatic, and endows the Explorer with a towing capacity of 7300 pounds (too, it adds about 100 pounds more to the truck’s curb weight).

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Tuesday, July 12, 2016
2016 Ford Explorer 4WD 4-Door XLT

Great vehicle with poor seats.

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Everything I have experienced in my first 5800 miles is positive with the exception of the seats. Shorter people appear to have "no issues" with the front buckets but someone my height, 6'1'' does; the power... + More »
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Sunday, February 21, 2016
2016 Ford Explorer 4WD 4-Door Limited

Love this vehicle

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Very pleased with this vehicle. Very quiet at all speeds, great quality and features. A friend has a Sorrento, we travelled together for a day, could hardly wait to get back in my Explorer. The Kia was noisy... + More »
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016
2016 Ford Explorer 4WD 4-Door Sport

Fun to drive

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Overall fun to drive, like the looks and many features
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