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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
Spacious and quiet interior with user-friendly layout
Plenty of room on comfortable seats
Both rear rows of seats now fold almost completely flat
Kelley Blue Book
Thanks to its boxy body style, the 2009 Ford Explorer affords an impressive interior overall, while tight construction places the Explorer among the quietest vehicles in its class. The Explorer’s ride is also more buttoned-down than most truck-based SUVs, which tend to be choppy on anything but smooth roads.
Regarding the 2009 Ford Explorer, Edmunds states that "the XLT seats five" and the "top-line Explorer Limited" adds "a manually folding third-row seat (for seven-passenger capacity)," while ConsumerGuide says that the front of the Ford Explorer 2009 offers "plenty of room on comfortable seats." In the back, Kelley Blue Book finds that "the second row is available in three seating configurations and the third row offers a power folding feature." Passenger space for those in the rear seats is pretty good, and Edmunds contends that "it's feasible to carry two adults in the third-row seats," while extra space is available on the Limited models, thanks to "the 'quad seating' option" that they say "drops passenger capacity to six and places reclining captain's chairs in the second row with a storage console between them." With the standard bench seat in place in the second row of the Ford Explorer, ConsumerGuide notes that "three adults can squeeze across in the roomy 2nd row," and "legroom is tight only with the front seats fully aft."
The large interior dimensions of the Ford Explorer 2009 models help with more than just passenger room, as they also allow for generous cargo space, at least in the rear. ConsumerGuide rates the 2009 Ford Explorer above the class average in terms of cargo room, writing "second- and 3rd-row seats fold nearly flat for ample cargo room, but leave gaps large enough for smaller items to fall through." On the plus side, they add "the optional power folding 3rd row is a real convenience." In terms of hard cargo numbers, Edmunds says "seven-passenger Ford Explorers max out at 83.7 cubic feet of cargo space, while five-passenger versions offer 85.8 cubic feet." Cars.com, however, finds that "an overhead storage console" bumps up available storage space, but otherwise, ConsumerGuide notes "interior storage is meager."
Interior materials quality on the Ford Explorer 2009 receives mixed reviews. While Edmunds contends that "the Explorer's materials quality remains mediocre," other reviewers, such as those at ConsumerGuide, assert that the "interior materials feel solid." One area where the reviewers all agree on is the excellence of the 2009 Ford Explorer's build quality. ConsumerGuide says "assembly quality has been good on all models" that they've tested. ConsumerGuide, though, also points out "the transmission shift lever prevents easy access to climate controls" and the "turn signal stalk is mounted at an awkward angle."
One of the benefits of solid build quality is sound suppression, and reviewers unanimously agree that the 2009 Ford Explorer stands out as a quiet ride. Car and Driver counts the 2009 Ford Explorer as "among the quietest body-on-frame SUVs extant," and Kelley Blue Book says that it makes "for easy conversation between occupants in separate rows." ConsumerGuide adds that the Ford Explorer is "among the quieter SUVs of any type," noting "wind and road noise are well-muffled," as is "noise over bumps."
The 2009 Ford Explorer offers one of the most comfortable, quietest rides in a truck-based SUV.