$13,614 - $21,919

2013 Ford Explorer Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 Ford Explorer was new.


Interior: 7.2

Overall, reviewers say the 2013 Ford Explorer’s cabin is well-made and looks upscale. Its front seats are fairly comfortable, though the second row can be cramped and the third row isn’t as spacious as some competitors. Plus, test drivers have lots of complaints about the MyFord Touch touch-screen controls, which come standard on every trim except the base model. In general, the Explorer’s cabin is attractive, but if you’re looking for the most spacious SUV you can buy, or one with a lot of standard features, you should look elsewhere.

  • "Inside the cabin, the Explorer offers a stylish, well-finished space for up to seven passengers.” -- Edmunds
  • "The interior is trimmed with nicely textured, soft-touch materials. Metal or woodgrain trim is available, and we'd choose the latter. It provides a warmer interior ambiance.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "Additionally, the Explorer has a beautifully-designed interior. …” -- Kelley Blue Book


The 2013 Explorer comes standard with seating for seven, but Limited trims can be outfitted with a second-row center console that decreases the seating capacity to six. The standard driver’s seat is six-way power-adjustable, though 10-way power-adjustable heated and cooled seats are available on higher trims. The second row on base models is a three-seat split-folding bench, but higher trims can be equipped with two bucket seats and a center console instead.

Reviewers say the first row is roomy and comfortable, but most note that the second and third rows are more cramped than some competitors’. Base trims’ third-row seats are manually folding, but a power-folding third row is available on Limited and Sport trims. One reviewer thinks that the manually-folding third row is complicated to stow.

  • "The third-row seat, for instance, isn't as roomy as that of some competitors.” -- Edmunds
  • "The cabin, while comfortable, does feel a bit cozy. The width also results in an annoyingly prominent doorsill that forces drivers and passengers to step over the sill to get out. For this 5' 11" adult male, it was a minor inconvenience.” -- Motor Trend
  • "Overall [front-seat] room is very good. Headroom gets trimmed a bit by the available sunroof's housing, which is only an issue if you have the seats set very high. … The 2nd-row split bench cannot be adjusted fore or aft like on some rival 7-seat crossovers. As such, legroom and knee space range from adequate to cramped, depending on where the front seats are positioned.” -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

The 2013 Ford Explorer comes standard with fewer features than some top competitors. Base models include a six-speaker stereo system, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls and Ford’s MyKey, a system that allows parents to limit things like the vehicle’s speed for young drivers. Though base models are sparsely equipped, top-of-the-line models can be outfitted with leather seats, a power-folding third row, inflatable second-row seatbelts, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and MyFord Touch.

Reviewers say the Explorer’s interior is well-made, and they note that more-expensive trims feel upscale for the class, but test drivers say the most about the MyFord Touch touch-screen infotainment controls. They say that the touch-screen controls are a cool concept, but that they’re confusing to learn, and some have experienced some bugs and glitches with the system.

See the full 2013 Ford Explorer specs »

  • “The Explorer's instrument cluster is clean and simple on the base models and, on the XLT and Limited, it can be upgraded to include the MyFord Touch package that features configurable LCD screens in place of the traditional analog gauges.” -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “[The optional Sony audio system] has a more high-tech look than the standard panel, but some functions, such as adjusting temperature and fan speed, are more finicky to operate. In some test vehicles, the MyFord Touch interface was plagued by glitches that included an unresponsive touchscreen, slow operation, and voice control that refused to recognize some commands even though they were spoken slowly, loudly, and clearly.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "And while the available MyFord Touch interface is a neat idea in theory, we've found it slow to respond and difficult to use.” -- Edmunds


The Ford Explorer can hold a maximum of 80.7 cubic feet of cargo, which is about average for its class. With the third row stowed, the Explorer can hold 43.8 cubic feet of cargo, and with all three rows in use, it can hold 21 cubic feet of cargo. That’s more than many of its competitors. Reviewers say its small-item storage is about average, with an in-floor storage well in the back and a two-tier glovebox.

  • "Nearly minivan levels of interior volume.” -- Car and Driver
  • "There is a cargo well behind the 3rd row but only when the seat backs are raised. The well is not covered either." -- Consumer Guide

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