Ford Explorer - history of the model
Introduced by Ford Motor Company, the Ford Explorer was built to replace the two-door Bronco. The Explorer is the first four-door SUV built by Ford. When this bad boy entered the market, it was a direct rival to the Jeep Cherokee. The vehicle became the foundation layer for the upcoming SUV craze later in the 1990s. This SUV had some off-road capability, but it was more family oriented vehicle.
1991-1994 Ford Explorer First Generation
With the Explorer being built on the Ranger’s chassis, the cars shared a huge amount of parts with it. This Explorer, despite looking like Ford Bronco II compact SUV, was larger by a full segment. Ford offered the Explorer in two options. First was the two-door Explorer Sport and second the original four-door Explorer. The car had some minor upgrades to be more aerodynamic and sleeker looking than its utilitarian brother, the Ford Ranger. The engine for the Explorer was the 4.0L V6 that made 155hp. Ford could pair this engine with theirs 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual that Mazda provided.
1995-2001 Ford Explorer Second Generation
The Explore got a redesign that was more road oriented, because the owners of the previous generation rarely went off-road. It got new suspension that was focused on stability and comfort. The second generation Explorer looked like a more sophisticated family car with a more rounded look. Engines of the car got carried over from the previous generation with slight tweaks and upgrades. Ford also added a powerful 5.0L V8 engine with 210hp. After 1996, they could mate the V6 variants with a more modern 5-speed automatic gearbox.
2002-2005 Ford Explorer Third Generation
For the third generation, Ford continued making the Explorer more family oriented than off-road capable. This generation no longer shared the Ranger’s chassis, but it still used a body on frame chassis. The new independent rear suspension not only upgraded the ride quality but also freed up some space at the back for a third row seat. Ford also added new engine to the Explorer’s configuration. A 4.6L V8 with a power output of 240hp it had towing capacity of 7300 lbs. They also stopped offering the 5-speed manual gearbox after the first year of production and after that all new Explorers came with 5-speed automatic transmissions.
2006-2010 Ford Explorer Fourth Generation
The Explorer got several major upgrades on its basic features. The new frame had more stiffness and was tougher than its predecessor. Ford improved yet again its suspension for more quiet and comfortable ride. The interior got a redesign to look more modern and Ford added a lot of new technology to it. Explorer’s old standard 4.0L V6 mated with the 5-speed was carried over to this generation as well. Ford also installed a new powerful V8 mated with a new 6-speed automatic.
2011-2019 Ford Explorer Fifth Generation
The new Explorer was now a crossover based on the Ford Taurus. The new strategy of Ford was extremely effective. Sales were going through the roof with this crossover. It got better fuel efficiency with Ford’s new 3.5L V6 engine plus that now it was based on a car.
2020- Ford Explorer Sixth Generation
The newest Explorer offers to the customers more interior space, updated driving assist systems, and more fuel efficient engines. Its design is very modern looking and integrated with the newest technology. This generation has two special trim levels: the Platinum and the ST. The Platinum is the most luxurious containing the most additional features. The ST is the sportiest trim level with suspension upgrades, unique interior and using the tweaked 3.0L EcoBoost V6 making 400hp paired to Ford’s 10 speed automatic.