$27,250 - $44,811

2019 Ford Explorer Performance Review


Performance: 8.0

The 2019 Ford Explorer has good overall performance for its class, thanks to a trio of capable engines and stable, balanced handling.

  • "When it comes to horsepower, the 7-passenger … Ford Explorer SUV delivers at every level." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "Unlike other models dubbed 'Sport,' the … Explorer Sport is indeed sporty, thanks to its turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, stiffer suspension tuning, quicker steering and our test vehicle's optional summer performance tires. The result is lots of speed and impressive handling and braking." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "The four-cylinder Explorer is a very competent road-going SUV that handles well, has room for six or seven, and, while not winning many drag races, has enough power to move off the line as well as pass." -- Autoweek (2016)

Acceleration and Power

The 2019 Ford Explorer comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that puts out 290 horsepower. Optional engines include a 280-horsepower, turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that produces 365 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Both lower-tier engines deliver good power and acceleration for daily driving, while the most powerful V6 is much more authoritative. Fuel economy estimates are not yet available for the 2019 Explorer.

  • "There's lots of 'boost,' not much 'eco,' with the EcoBoost V6. It has instant, effortless power anytime you touch the gas pedal. The six-speed automatic is smooth and smart about using the 350 lb-ft of torque; 0-60 mph takes just 6.3 seconds, which is excellent for a big three-row crossover. … The gas pedal can be a bit abrupt on initial tip-in. The optional adaptive cruise control is ultra-consistent and never varies by more than 1 mph; the transmission downshifts to maintain speed. The always available power makes merging into fast traffic simple." -- Edmunds
  • "The standard V6 engine has no problem pulling its weight, with good mid-range power and a transmission that responds promptly to the throttle pedal. The 2.3 reconciles the twin demands of usable power and bearable fuel economy, while the Sport's 365-hp twin-turbo V6 is fun, but it's also the thirstiest." -- Autotrader (2018)
  • "The standard 290-horsepower V6 is strong enough for most buyers, and the 280-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder is powerful but also impressively fuel-efficient. Need more 'oomph'? Try out the Sport and Platinum trims' 365-horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6. All three engines give the Explorer excellent passing and pulling power." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)

Handling and Braking

The Explorer has balanced handling, with well-weighted steering and good feedback from the road. Ride quality is comfortable over most surfaces. Models with a sport suspension and larger wheels have a harsher ride but more athletic handling. Front-wheel drive is standard and four-wheel drive is optional.

  • "Well-tuned electric steering system and natural assist level; it turns in with immediacy. Good heft at speed but light enough for parking-lot duty. Feedback could be improved, but overall it's excellent for this class. … The Sport's stiffer suspension tuning means you'll feel more bumps and ruts on the road than you will in a regular Explorer, but it's still pretty comfy. The 20-inch wheels make deep potholes harsh, but the suspension is surprisingly compliant given the improved handling." -- Edmunds
  • "[H]eavily weighted steering and taut suspension give this big SUV impressive cornering ability, especially the Sport and Platinum models with their 20-inch wheels. Although its high beltline and massive front bumper make maneuvers in tight quarters a bit harrowing, Ford has done an excellent job keeping road, engine and wind noise out of the cabin, and seating is both comfortable and supportive." -- Kelley Blue Book (2018)
  • "By 3-row crossover standards, the Explorer feels solid and connected to the road. Steering is firm and accurate, while curves are handled reasonably well." -- Autotrader (2018)

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