ABS standard. Side air bags available 1999-2001, standard from 2006. Head protection air bags available from 2002, standard from 2008. ESC available from 2003, standard from 2005.
Although they're showing their age, the Explorer and its more luxurious cousin, the Mercury Mountaineer, are still competitive. They're roomy, and cargo space is especially generous with the rear seat folded down. Handling is sound, and the brakes are competent. But the ride is stiff and choppy on bumpy roads and busy on smooth roads. The 210-hp overhead camshaft V6 is the engine of choice, and its five-speed automatic shifts smoothly.