The Explorer is relatively agile and has a spacious cabin, but the driving experience is marred by a clunky transmission, noisy engine, and stiff-edged ride.
Most versions use the base 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is energetic but sounds raspy.
Plus, the transmission has rough shifts, particularly at low speeds.
In our tests this combination returned an unimpressive 21 mpg overall.
A hybrid is also offered but is focused more on power and towing capabilities than fuel economy.
The infotainment system is very easy to use.
The driving position is much improved, but the third-row seat is not as roomy as the one in the previous generation.
A power liftgate is standard.
The standard Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of active safety and driver assistance features includes FCW, AEB with pedestrian detection, BSW, RCTW, LDW, and LKA.