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A stylish and ultra-comfortable SUV.

Ford Explorer Review | CarMax

The 2019 Ford Explorer is a spacious, beefy SUV with real presence, striking looks, and the comfort and interior features to match. Full of personality and tech, you'll love its modern three-row design, utility, and adaptability. Whether you are carpooling kids or loading up for a last-minute road trip, this SUV has your back.

The 2019 Explorer boasts an array of options, offering the choice of five trim levels that range from practical to all-out luxurious. Along with its stellar looks, the Ford Explorer has consistently topped our list of best-selling SUVs with 3 rows at CarMax for the past few years.

With all the comforts you need, this full-size SUV is a great choice for a family car, or if you just want something that looks good in the driveway that fits plenty of gear for your daily commutes. Here's what you'll learn in this 2019 Ford Explorer review:

Rankings

Key Specs & Features

Ford Explorer Review: Trunk Cargo | CarMax
  • The 2019 Ford Explorer seats up to seven passengers and you'll enjoy 18.2 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seat, 87.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat, and 47.9 cubic feet behind the second row.
  • Regardless of the engine choice, every trim level of the 2019 Ford Explorer comes equipped with the same six-speed automatic transmission as standard.
  • As a full-size SUV, the 2019 Ford Explorer comes in two drivetrain variants: a two-wheel-drive option which puts power only through the front wheels is offered on the base trim levels while an all-wheel-drive platform is offered across all the trim levels.
  • Tech features are where the 2019 Ford Explorer really shines. Even on the base model, the 2019 Ford Explorer has a 4.2-inch touchscreen and the Ford Sync® voice command system, and from the XLT trim upwards several packages are available with a plethora of tech features, including the Driver Connect package and the Ford Safe and Smart package.
  • The 2019 Ford Explorer lineup features three engine choices.

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Striking Style & Presence

Seriously, just look at it. The 2019 Ford Explorer is a full-size SUV with style and presence to match its significant size, carrying on an increased emphasis on style first started with the face-lifted 2016 model. A dynamic front grille design combined with signature LED lighting front and rear and bold lines mean the 2019 Ford Explorer stands out in the full-size SUV segment, making it a car that will turn heads on the street.

2. Peace and Quiet Inside

Ford Explorer Review: Front Seats | CarMax

Despite its bold and eye-catching exterior, the 2019 Ford Explorer interior is quiet and roomy. With comfortable first- and second-row seats and features such as a power-adjustable front seat as standard, the 2019 Ford Explorer is made not only to seat plenty of passengers, but transport them in smooth, quiet comfort no matter how long the journey.

Ford Explorer Review: Backseats | CarMax

3. Jam-Packed with Features

Ford Explorer Review: Tech Dash | CarMax

Adding to the peace of mind you'll feel inside the 2019 Ford Explorer, there's also a huge amount of tech features available across the various trim levels to make your driving experience even more of a breeze. Features like a rearview camera and a Ford Sync® voice command system come standard on the base model. Meanwhile, the Ford Safe And Smart package is available as an option on the XLT trim. This trim comes standard with features like blind-spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control—that means you won't be lacking for tech and convenience features regardless of the trim level you go for.

4. Easy-to-Use Interface

The 2019 Ford Explorer makes its technology and entertainment systems as easy to use as possible. The Ford Sync® voice command system is simple to operate, and the Driver Connect package (optional on the XLT/ standard on trims above) adds a touchscreen interface with the Sync 3 system which puts control of all those tech features right at your fingertips.

5. Strong Engine Selection

Ford Explorer Review: Engine | CarMax

The choice of engines coupled with the choice of front- or all-wheel drive means that there is a powertrain on the 2019 Ford Explorer to suit your requirements. The regular 3.5L V6 engine can run on gasoline or E85 fuel, the 2.3L four-cylinder gets strong fuel economy figures—an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and an EPA-estimated 21 mpg combined in all-wheel drive.1 Also, the turbocharged 3.5L V6 on the top-line Sport models offer an enticing show of power with 350 hp and is also rated at an EPA-estimated 18 mpg combined.1


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What You Need to Know

2019 Ford Explorer Trim Levels

There are five distinct trim levels of the 2019 Ford Explorer, with all the key features on each listed below:

Base

  • 3.5L non-turbocharged V6 as standard, 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder optional
  • 18-inch wheels
  • Ford Sync voice command system
  • Rearview camera
  • Power-adjustable driver seat

XLT

  • Power-adjustable passenger seat
  • Satellite radio
  • Driver Connect package (eight-inch touchscreen, Sync 3 interface, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ integration) available as an option
  • Ford Safe And Smart package (automatic wipers, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitoring) available as an option

Limited

  • Driver Connect package features included as standard
  • Leather seats
  • Power-folding third-row seats
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • 2.3L turbocharged four-cylinder engine is standard while a 3.5L V6 is optional

Sport

  • 3.5L turbocharged V6 engine as standard
  • Sports suspension
  • Towing package

Platinum

  • Same 3.5L turbocharged V6 engine as the Sport trim, but without sports suspension
  • Ford Safe And Smart package features as standard
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Premium leather upholstery and sound system
  • Automated parking system

2019 Ford Explorer Available Colors

The 2019 Ford Explorer is available in the following colors:

  • Agate Black
  • Blue
  • Burgundy Velvet
  • Ingot Silver
  • Magnetic
  • Oxford White
  • Ruby Red
  • White Platinum

Similar Vehicles

The full-size SUV segment is a very popular one, with plenty of models to choose from.

Jeep Grand Cherokee

The ever-popular Jeep Grand Cherokee remains a strong choice in the full-size SUV segment—taking one look at the 2019 model, it's easy to see why. It offers a strong selection of features, engines, and drivetrains across seven trim levels, from the off-road-focused Trailhawk to the performance-orientated SRT and Trackhawk. Engine choices include a standard 3.6L V6, a 3.0L turbodiesel V6, a 5.7L V8 and 6.4L V8 from the sister Dodge Charger and Challenger models, and a 6.2L supercharged V8 as seen in the Dodge Charger and Challenger Hellcat models. The Jeep Grand Cherokee offers a very appealing mix of performance, off-road ability, and comfortable ride, and continues its well-earned reputation.

Cadillac Escalade

The Cadillac Escalade has always been a bold and brash choice in the full-size SUV market, and the 2019 model continues the trend with plenty of panache. This vehicle offers four trim levels and just one engine and transmission combination across the entire range: a 6.2L V8 allied to a ten-speed automatic transmission. The SUV that originally started out based on a pickup truck still is still true to its origins and offers a wide array of tech and comfort features inside its vast interior. The classic Escalade formula hasn't changed much—and the Escalade remains a great option in 2019.

Ford Edge

The Ford Explorer's little cousin of sorts, the Ford Edge is positioned as more of a crossover SUV—but don't let that fool you. Four trims cover the range of features from base to luxury level, and two powertrains are available as well. The standard option is a 2.0L four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, good for an EPA-estimated 25 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and an EPA-estimated 23 mpg combined with four-wheel drive.1 For a bit more of a performance focus, there's the 2.7L V6 engine available on the sporty ST trim. If you want similar levels of tech, comfort, and performance to the Ford Explorer's but in a slightly smaller package, the Ford Edge is also a great choice.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 Ford Explorer has plenty to offer and stands out in the full-size SUV segment. For adventurers and road trippers, it offers comfort and easy driving for mile after mile. For families, it offers more than enough features to keep passengers occupied and comfortable for short and long-distance journeys. And it combines all this in a stylish and striking package. This third-row SUV is definitely one to add to your shopping list.

Looking to learn more about the 2019 Ford Explorer? Check out these related resources:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.