This version of Ford Explorer's refinement and handling didn't match that of its newer car-based competitors. A mild freshening brought some improvements -- and created new annoyances. Ride comfort, noise suppression, and interior fit and finish were behind the times. On the plus side, the interior is roomy and flexible, and towing capability is strong. Curtain airbags are standard. 
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"This is a sport utility, not a crossover. It can take rough roads with aplomb and at the same time is very smooth and quiet going down an interstate. Clearly, it doesn't handle like a sedan or sports car. But, unlike some SUVs it doesn't feel top heavy and Ford dialed in the suspension so it's comfortable without being bouncy when the road gets rough. The Explorer handles much better than most crossovers and all the while it has more utility."

SCOTT D., TX (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Large V8 engine allows surprisingly large towing capacity and I regularly crush fancy-schmancy German cars with overconfident drivers that are caught unawares that not all SUVs are dogs. SURPRISE!!! Gottdammerung Fritz! Votzegotindat?"

ROBERT R., CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"no problems, no lag or stutter on acceleration"

THOMAS G., CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"The engine is excellent and still runs better than new at 230,000 miles."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"It has a very tight turning radius, making it highly maneuverable in tight spaces"

GEORGE T., MI (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Great acceleration - fun to drive. Also get great gas mileage for an eight cylinder on the highway - the engine doesn't have to work as hard as my 6 cylinder."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Ford Explorer)

"I like the acceleration, no dragging and it handles well for curves, turns, straight line driving."

Anonymous, OH (2006 Ford Explorer)

"It just seems to glide down the road so we are very happy with how it rides and handles. However, the transmission keeps hunting for and shifting gears which I would not expect in a car with only 85,000 miles. We bought it used in PA and initially had (besides rust from salt) considerable problems with the brake system (soft pedal) which were hard for out mechanic to figure out. Have replaced master cylinder twice and all four calipers, pads and rotors."

Glenn O., NC (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Very comfortable ride compared to Chevy Tahoe"

Anonymous, VA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"My Explorer has the 6 cylinder and has good acceleration and is also good for towing. Handling is fine."

David R., TN (2006 Ford Explorer)

"For a large vehicle iti is very easy to park and make u=turns."

Joel R., FL (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Good performance with V6 but mileage could have been better"

Greg B., OR (2006 Ford Explorer)

"it doesn't t have that great of acceleration and handles fair at best"

John Dick C., CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"handles very well on the highway,very comfortable.good acceleration."

Michael S., TX (2006 Ford Explorer)

"1.4 Eco boost is amazing. Great miles per gallon and great acceleartion"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Responsive to acceleration, braking, steering and rides/handles very nicely."

Anonymous, NH (2006 Ford Explorer)

"It’s very bad that my radiator cracked and had to be replaced. Also fan for ac."

Anonymous, NV (2006 Ford Explorer)

"The handling is great. Good acceleration and no serious mechanical problems."

Kathleen M., CO (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Although it is a 4 wheel drive vehicle, normally drive 2 wheel, and an SUV it is the smoothest riding & handling car I've owned."

Anonymous, TX (2006 Ford Explorer)

"very good acceleration"

Anonymous, FL (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Great power and low engine noise shifts great"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Excellent vehicle wish I good another one as good except for exhaust and transmission problem"

Anonymous, MS (2006 Ford Explorer)

"It's an old car, but it has handled so very well the whole time I have had it. Acceleration is completely satisfactory."

Anonymous, OH (2006 Ford Explorer)

"This SUV is capable of towing 7500 lbs and I use it to tow a trailer but it still is smaller with a less truck like ride than the large truck chassis SUV. That is the reason I bought this SUV and now I cannot replace it because most vendors force me to buy a very large truck like SUV."

James D., CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"same handle very on the road. comfortable to drive"

Michael S., TX (2006 Ford Explorer)

Comfort

Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"I like the tight handling and acceleration. It's a truck chassy, so it's a bit noisy and bumpy, but overall I like the vehicle better than my new one. More reliable as well."

Anonymous, NY (2006 Ford Explorer)

"The AC has separate controls for front and back, but do to a leak in a hard to reach spot it is estimated to cost over $300 to fix because the other parts of the engine will need to moved to gain access to the part that needs replacing. The lack of cooling affects the temperature of the air coming out of the back vents more than the front."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Getting in and out of back seats are a problem because of the seat anchors."

CHARLES S., NJ (2006 Ford Explorer)

"With the center console taking up so much room, there is next to no space for things I use a lot, such as a box of tissues, a place for my purse, etc. It is difficult to reach behind the seat, so my husband rigged up a Velcro system whereby we can attach a square box of tissues over the front beverage hole in the console. Also, there is an annoying chrome piece around the gauge area that reflects sunlight into the driver's face. Flat black would have been much better. Also we attach the portable"

NANCY G., IA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"The climate control is fine but the noise and ride are a not. My next vehicle will be for more comfort and less noise."

KATHLEEN K., PA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"The only negative about the seats is that the passenger lumbar (manual control) broke a few thousand miles ago. The ride is excellent even in heavy / blustery wind."

Anonymous, CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"This is my 3rd Ford SUV since 2000. Bought brand new & superior in every way: comfort, agility, safety (was rear-ended severely Dec 2015) $7k damage. Still drives beautifully. A+"

Anonymous, FL (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Over the past ten years I actually purchased a new car, piece by piece."

Anonymous, FL (2006 Ford Explorer)

"The leather seat's cause you to sweat and stick to them because they are not ventilated or perforated."

RICHARD B., FL (2006 Ford Explorer)

"There is a loud sound if rear windows are open during driving"

Greg B., OR (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Seats are super comfortable, especially on long trips. The Explorer is on a truck frame so the ride is rougher than a car and can be a bit noisy on rough roads."

David R., TN (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Fairly comfortable"

Marc D., NC (2006 Ford Explorer)

"the seats are not to comfortable"

John Dick C., CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"very comfortable and good visibility"

Joel R., FL (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Solid ride, a bit stiff but was comfortable on a 3000 mile trip two years ago."

Ralph L., ME (2006 Ford Explorer)

"I transport dogs A LOT and it is important to me that the back seats fold down flat. My 2000 Explorer was best at this. The 2006 Explorer is still decent. It's hard to get that and comfortable second row seats so there's a trade-off. I do wish there was a little more legroom for the front passenger. The dash seems to dip really low. The heat vents in the front are in an odd place. The passenger gets super hot and the driver's feet stay cold because the vent is blocked by the driver's leg. The '06 rear window is smaller than the '00 and the newer Explorer windows are all smaller. I don't like the newer models because they are no longer SUV's but are station wagons with small windows. Also, the new cars only have black interior which I don't like."

Anne C., MN (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Extremely comfortable seating"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Low noise level and comfortable seating"

Anonymous, WI (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Very comfortable easy handling radio changed volume with speed excellent ride"

Anonymous, MS (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Seats do not promote good posture, headrest pushes head too far forward."

Ralph L., ME (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Seats very uncomfortable, poor lumbar support,not very adjustable, strange shape of seatback, door handle very low makes door difficult to open from inside, lots of road noise"

Lorrie H., TX (2006 Ford Explorer)

"same very well made truck ."

Michael S., TX (2006 Ford Explorer)

"It is a gret vehical and is very safe if in a wreck."

Donald P., UT (2006 Ford Explorer)

Value

Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"It has been a good vehicle - lots of flexibility - cargo space or 7 passengers"

ROBERT W., BC (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Satisfied. Still looks good rides good drives well"

Anonymous, PA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"all that i expected in a reliable auto"

Anonymous, IL (2006 Ford Explorer)

"I love my vehicle. The only complaint I have , the rear deck floor plate is weak."

THOMAS G., CA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Unreliable, problem prone, continuous varying failures"

Anonymous, GA (2006 Ford Explorer)

"When we bought it in 2007 we were looking for an Explorer mainly because the car we had was an Explorer and we loved it. But, prices had gone up a lot! The salesman took us out to a lot filled with 2006 Explorers. We looked for a while and my wife pointed to the one we got and we asked the salesman. He smiled and gave us a perfect price. Lower than we ever expected! We got it the next day and still have it!"

JAMES G., TX (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Purchased this vehicle used (8 yrs old with only 58,000 miles) and got a great price. We love the car, it has good pep and rides like a dream. The brakes were very mushy and it was very difficult to resolve this problem (seems to be largely a design issue). The interior design - door latches & door handle location are very poor, console shift vs column shift wastes space, dash hard to read in daytime, auto seat movement that we can't turn off are negatives and clearly designed by an engineer"

GLENN O., NC (2006 Ford Explorer)

"Incredible value. Bought it used. It's an Eddie Bauer Edition and for the price, there was nothing even close."

SCOTT D., TX (2006 Ford Explorer)

"It is 11 years old now and has only had one minor repair needed and that was under the warranty period. Still looks and runs great!!!"

Dennis K., OR (2006 Ford Explorer)

"It is my 8th explorer"

Donald P., UT (2006 Ford Explorer)

Styling

How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Attractive outside and inside, but hate the location of the interior door handle (way too close to the hinge to work well), the interior door latch is clever, but not where you expect it to be when you try to get out, dash gages are hard to read in certain light during the day. However, the digital readout is easy to read where it is way too dim on our 2003 Explorer. Wish the gear shift was on the column where it is easier to use and doesn't take up valuable space on the center console."

GLENN O., NC (2006 Ford Explorer)

Would you buy this car again?

2006 vehicles
Ford Explorer
Honda Pilot
Toyota 4Runner
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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