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QUALITY | 8 out of 10
Both rear rows of seats now fold almost completely flat
Kelley Blue Book
Spacious and quiet interior with user-friendly layout
Plenty of room on comfortable seats
Thanks to its boxy body style, the 2010 Ford Explorer affords an impressively large interior overall, while good build quality places the Explorer among the quietest vehicles in its class. The Explorer’s ride is also more buttoned-down than that of most truck-based SUVs, which often tend to be choppy on anything but smooth roads.
Regarding the 2010 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 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 admirable, 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 "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."
While the Ford Explorer is big on passenger room, this is not at the expense of cargo space, which is generous in the rear. ConsumerGuide rates the 2010 Ford Explorer above the class average in terms of cargo room, reporting "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 the technical cargo space, 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 material-quality on the Ford Explorer 2010 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." If materials-quality divides reviewers, Ford's build quality offers them a point of consensus, with most reviews impressed by this aspect of the Explorer. ConsumerGuide says "assembly quality has been good on all models" that they've tested. ConsumerGuide, though, also points out that "the transmission shift lever prevents easy access to climate controls" and the "turn signal stalk is mounted at an awkward angle"—both issues that plague the Explorer's Sport Trac sibling as well.
Thanks to the above-average build quality of the 2010 Ford Explorer, interior cabin noise is impressively good. 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." Car and Driver counts the Ford Explorer "among the quietest body-on-frame SUVs extant," and Kelley Blue Book says that it makes "for easy conversation between occupants in separate rows."
Although materials quality garners mixed reviews, most journalists find the 2010 Explorer to be comfortable and roomy. Impressive build quality also helps keep the cabin quiet and pleasant.