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STYLING | 8 out of 10
the vehicular equivalent of a pair of khaki Dockers
Car and Driver
user friendly layout …make this workaday SUV feel a little more upscale
Interior sports more angular styling along with several new features
Kelley Blue Book
The 2009 Ford Explorer’s five-door SUV styling is clean and uncluttered, while the interior is among the best Ford has ever produced.
Noting that over 5.5 million Explorers have been sold, Car and Driver reports that Ford Explorers "are so ubiquitous—and so conservatively styled—that few of us even see them anymore" and likens the Ford Explorer 2009 to "the vehicular equivalent of a pair of khaki Dockers." All of the 2009 Ford Explorer's three trims, which Edmunds lists as "XLT, Eddie Bauer and Limited trim levels," feature largely similar external styling, with the only real variations being different-size wheels and "a chrome four-bar grille" on the XLT versus the "chrome three-bar grille" on the Eddie Bauer and Limited models, according to Cars.com. Kelley Blue Book says both grilles are "inspired by Ford's F-150 pickup," but overall "the 2009 Ford Explorer remains a very obvious descendant of the first Explorer that materialized some 17 years ago."
The interiors of recent Ford Trucks have been the best the company has produced. Details like the trim rings around the gauges and the surprisingly well-designed interior door handle releases show that somebody at Ford is paying attention. Inside the Ford Explorer, 2009 brings an interior that scores well overall with reviewers. Kelley Blue Book notes that the all-around styling of the interior is "more angular" on this Ford Explorer 2009 than on previous models, which most reviewers appreciate. Other than those few gripes, the 2009 Ford Explorer wins praise from Edmunds for its "user-friendly layout" and "sharp two-tone color schemes" that "make this workaday SUV feel a little more upscale."
The 2009 Ford Explorer’s styling is friendly and inoffensive.