Performance » 7
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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
noticeably smoother and more stable out on the highway than past versions
Kelley Blue Book
transmission changes gears smoothly
neither powertrain is particularly fuel-efficient
strong power and a high towing capacity on V8 models
When the editors at TheCarConnection.com took a look at the reviews of the 2007 Ford Explorer, one thing was clear: Bring on the V-8 engine! Nearly all reviewers agreed that performance suffered with the V-6, and there were no apparent advantages to the smaller engine, other than a lower sticker price.
Cars.com lays out the specifics, saying, "either a 210-hp, 4.0-liter V-6 or a 292-hp, 4.6-liter V-8 with three valves per cylinder that generates 300 pounds-feet of torque can be installed in the Explorer." ForbesAutos calls the base engine of the 2007 Ford Explorer "barely adequate" with the V-6. Echoing the comments of many reviewers, Edmunds observes the "strong power and a high towing capacity on V-8 models."
The V-6 engine comes with a five-speed automatic transmission, while the V-8 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. According to ForbesAutos, the six-speed transmission is "smoother and more sophisticated." ConsumerGuide Auto drives the V-8 and reports that the "transmission changes gears smoothly" and "delivers quick part-throttle downshifts for fine around-town response. Some testers say full-throttle downshifts take too long, however."
The Explorer is available with either rear- or four-wheel drive; ForbesAutos points out that the four-wheel-drive system “includes low-range gearing for off-roading." But no matter who you ask or what the model, fuel economy in the 2007 Ford Explorer is not good. ConsumerGuide drives a two-wheel-drive V-8 version and averages 15.1 mpg. ForbesAutos simply remarks that "neither powertrain is particularly fuel-efficient," while Kelley Blue Book mentions the "less-than-stellar fuel economy."
The 2007 Ford Explorer handles quite well, despite being such a tall and heavy vehicle. ForbesAutos declares that a four-wheel independent suspension gives the Explorer "a smooth ride with respectable handling, especially when compared to some other rougher-riding truck-based models." Edmunds explains why the Explorer might have a leg up on the competition, saying it is "built on an advanced ladder-frame chassis with an independent rear suspension." But ConsumerGuide isn’t as keen on the Explorer’s handling, declaring it "typical of truck-type SUVs," with some body lean in turns.
The 2007 Ford Explorer offers decent performance overall, and handles acceptably for such a tall vehicle, but you’ll want to get the V-8.