2012 Ford Explorer Photo
/ 10
On Quality
$14,992 - $32,920
On Quality
The 2012 Ford Explorer seats as many as seven people with room to spare, though it's a taller package that's less easy to climb into than the lower Flex.
9.0 out of 10
Browse Ford Explorer inventory in your area.


QUALITY | 9 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

The seats are now suited to old guys' spines—as are the fold-flat second and third rows...
Car and Driver

A standard third row seat comfortably accommodates passengers of all sizes, not just kids, and there is massive headroom in all three rows.

The cabin is relatively quiet and certainly comfortable — nothing trucky about it.
New York Times

The third row, with 33.2 inches of legroom, matches the voluminous Chevy Traverse. But somehow in the Explorer, that seat seems a bit tight for adults.
Popular Mechanics

Speaking of cabins, the Explorer's is a fine one – so fine, in fact, that it not only feels several generations ahead of the interior in the outgoing model, it might just be best-in-class.

The 2012 Ford Explorer can't match its own sibling, the Flex, for ground-hugging, long-wheelbase space that makes it a snap to carry people and cargo. However, the Explorer's seating and cargo space are laid out pretty well, with huge headroom available and flexible seating for all the missions a family might have in mind.

The front seats fall into the latest Ford mold, and thank goodness for that. They have softer cushions and active headrests that don't protrude too much, correcting a problem with Ford's first pass at those safety devices in the 2009-2010 Flex and Lincoln MKT. The console doesn't intrude on knee room, and neither do the door panels--and head room soars overhead, even when the optional sunroof is specified.

In the back seat, it's equally spacious for adults looking up. The sunroof still leaves about four inches of space for six-footers, and once they've climbed inside, there's little doubt the Explorer is wider than before, by up to about five inches. Two adults will fit with ease, and with room for a small kid between them to spare on versions with a middle bench seat. However, the bottom cushion of the second-row seat needs some work. It dips at its front edge, and it's a bit short--and doesn't have the slide feature you'll find in a Chevy Equinox. A pair of buckets can be ordered for the second row, and have the same cozy feel as those up front--without the optional ventilation, though.

The third-row seat is pretty cramped for adults, but it's more than adequate for children, who can climb into the narrow space created when you flip the middle row forward via an easy lever.

For cargo duty, the Explorer comes with a fold-away third-row seat, power-operated if you want. With 21 cubic feet of space with the third row occupied by people, the storage space is fairly large, and lined with durable if inexpensive-looking plastic. Power or fold the back seat and the middle seats, and the Explorer lays bare 81 cubic feet of cargo volume--almost all of it available for big, flat packages, since the seats fold nearly flat and wear an invulnerable grade of carpeting on their backs.



The 2012 Ford Explorer seats as many as seven people with room to spare, though it's a taller package that's less easy to climb into than the lower Flex.

« Prev: Performance Next: Safety »
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
Used Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

© 2016 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by Internet Brands Automotive Group. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Read Our Cookie Policy.