2011 Ford Explorer

Rating8.1

Ranked #4 in Suv

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Starting MSRP 

$28,360 - $39,535

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Key Spec of 2011 Ford Explorer
fuel economy

17/21/25

fuel type

regular unleaded

horsepower

290 hp @ 6500 rpm

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36,000 mi.

2011 Ford Explorer Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

After the discontinuation of the Bronco, Ford had introduced the Explorer as their first family-oriented SUV in the market. Inspired by the Ranger pickup truck, the Explorer was as sophisticated as a sedan with its four doors and a massive cabin. It is known for its versatility and off-roading ability.

2011 Ford Explorer Latest Updates

  • Mar' 15, 2022 : The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport And The 2022 Ford Explorer Win The Top Safety Pick+ Award From IIHS Read More »
  • Jan' 13, 2022 : Ford F-Series Truck And The Explorer Are The Most Sold Vehicles In Ford's Lineup For 2021 Read More »

ProsConsWhat's New

Great cabin quality

Lost off-road charm

Enters 5th generation 

Superb ride quality 

Cramped third row

Now part of the mid-size crossover SUV segment

Plethora of advanced features

Cargo room isn't the best

Excellent steering

Over All Rating

8.1

Out of 10

Pricing and Features9.00
Pricing and Feature6.00
Features7.50
Engine and Performance8.10
Fuel Economy7.00
Interior7.70
Exterior7.50
Safety9.60
Competition9.00
Notable Rankings

#4 in Suv

#4 in Midsize Suv


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$28,360 onwards

  • 17-inch steel Wheels
  • 2 - 1st row LCD monitor
  • 50-50 split-bench Third row seats
  • ABS and driveline Traction control
  • AM/FM/Satellite-Prep
  • Cloth Seat trim
  • Driver Lumbar support
  • Front manual air conditioning
  • Rear air conditioning with controls
  • Remote keyless entry

XLT$31,520 onwards

  • 18-inch painted aluminum Wheels
  • Front Fog/driving lights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Parking assist
  • Premium cloth Seat trim
  • Seek-Scan Radio
  • Sirius AM/FM/Satellite

Limited$37,535 onwards

  • 20-inch painted aluminum Wheels
  • 3 - 1st row LCD monitor
  • Dual zone automatic front air conditioning
  • Front passenger Lumbar support
  • Front passengers heated-cushion
  • Leather Seat trim
  • Sirius AM/FM/HD/Satellite

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Used 2011 Ford Explorer For Sale

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2010 Ford Explorer12

2010 Ford Explorer XLT SUV

XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

$5,495
Est. $74/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,256 Below market
RMV: $7,751
Cambridge, OH
N/A
Check Availability
2012 Ford Explorer23

2012 Ford Explorer

4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

$6,500
Est. $88/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,638 Below market
RMV: $9,138
Barnesville, OH
N/A
Check Availability
2010 Ford Explorer23
Price Drop, $4
Previous Price: $599829 Apr 2022

2010 Ford Explorer XLT SUV

XLT 4dr SUV 4WD (4.0L 6cyl 5A)

$5,994
Est. $81/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,348 Below market
RMV: $8,342
Bordentown, NJ
N/A
Check Availability
2011 Ford Explorer16
Price Drop, $2000
Previous Price: $996303 May 2022
New

2011 Ford Explorer XLT

XLT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

$7,963
Est. $108/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,066 Below market
RMV: $11,029
Hollywood, FL
N/A
Check Availability
2011 Ford Explorer6

2011 Ford Explorer Limited

Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

$6,900
Est. $93/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,644 Below market
RMV: $9,544
Woodbridge, VA
N/A
Check Availability
2012 Ford Explorer18
Price Drop, $505
Previous Price: $850028 Apr 2022

2012 Ford Explorer

4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

$7,995
Est. $108/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,951 Below market
RMV: $10,946
Philadelphia, PA
N/A
Check Availability
2012 Ford Explorer21

2012 Ford Explorer XLT

XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

$7,432
Est. $100/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,658 Below market
RMV: $10,090
Washington, MI
N/A
Check Availability
2012 Ford Explorer30

2012 Ford Explorer SUV

XLT

$11,436
Est. $155/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,059 Below market
RMV: $15,495
Spartanburg, SC
N/A
Check Availability
2012 Ford Explorer16

2012 Ford Explorer Limited

Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

$11,999
Est. $162/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,991 Below market
RMV: $15,990
Fredericksburg, VA
N/A
Check Availability

Colors and Styles

2011 Ford Explorer in Kona Blue Metallic color
Kona Blue Metallic

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

After ruling for four generations, Ford has brought the Explorer back for 2011 with its fifth generation, that too as a midsize crossover SUV. The 2011 Explorer starts at $28,360 and is available in three trim levels. With its capabilities and performance, it will compete with rivals such as the Chevrolet Traverse, Nissan Pathfinder, and the Dodge Durango.


Features
7.5/10

The all-new Ford Explorer is available in three trim levels. The rugged base trim has a price of $28,360 and is capable of touring with its roof racks and a Class III trailer tow package. You have cruise control as well as other convenience features like a six-way power driver seat with manual reclining. The XLT trim gets 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, Sirius Satellite radio, and leather-wrapped steering and gear shift knob. The top-end Limited trim gets leather upholstery, 20-inch aluminum painted wheels and certain high-end convenience features.

Trims

Base

XLT

Limited

MSRP (FWD)

$28,360

$31,520

$37,535

MSRP (AWD)

$30,360

$33,520

$39,535

Key Features

17-inch steel wheels

18-inch painted aluminum wheels

20-inch painted aluminum wheels

 

Foundry grey painted grille

Fog lamps

Heated 10-way power driver seat

 

Cruise control

Satin silver finish grille

Leather upholstery

 

6-way power driver seat and lumbar support

Unique cloth upholstery

Dual-zone automatic climate control

 

Roof racks with side grille

Leather-wrapped steering and gear shift knob

8-inch MyFord touch LCD touchscreen with navigation

 

Class III trailer tow package

Sirius Satellite Radio with a 6-month subscription

Premium audio sound system

We Recommend

Our recommendation goes for the XLT trim that will cost you $31,520 and offer a premium exterior design with good quality materials inside its cabin. It adds better features as compared to the base trim. With that, you also get fog lamps and a Sirius Satellite radio. The Rapid spec package adds the high-end technology features from the Limited trim. You can avail of the AWD system at an extra cost of $2,000.

Engine and Performance
8.1/10

The 2011 Ford Explorer is now more capable and powerful with its 3.5L V6 that outputs 290hp which is 80 horses more than the previous generation. Instead of the rear wheels, the V6 now powers either the front wheels only or all the 4 wheels. Still, the torque output of 255lb-ft isn't that promising. The V6 on the Explorer is mated to a 6-Speed Selectshift automatic transmission. It manages to reach from 0-60MPH of speed in just 7.6 seconds. A quarter-mile timing of 15.8 seconds is good enough for such a massive SUV. Moreover, it can do a top speed of 130 MPH.

Models

2011 Ford Explorer

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

2011 Nissan Pathfinder

2011 Dodge Durango

MSRP

$28,360

$29,370

$28,570

$29,195

Engine

3.5L V6 

3.6L V6 

4.0L V6 

3.6L V6 

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

6-Speed automatic 

6-Speed automatic 

5-Speed automatic 

5-Speed automatic 

Power

290 hp @ 6,500 RPM

281 hp @ 6,300 RPM

266 hp @ 5,600 RPM

290 hp @ 6,400 RPM

Torque

255 lb-ft @ 4,100 RPM

266 lb-ft @ 3,400 RPM

288 lb-ft @ 4,000 RPM

260 lb-ft @ 4,800 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

7.6

8.5

7.8

9.0

Quarter mile (seconds)

15.8

16.0

15.9

16.2

Top Speed (MPH)

130

125

128

122

With its revised powertrain, the Ford Explorer is quite competent in its mid-size crossover segment. Both the Explorer and Durango output a similar 290 hp from their V6, but the former is comparatively faster, while the latter takes 9 seconds to reach the 60mph mark. However, the torque output pulls back the Explorer from towing heavy trailers. The Nissan Pathfinder is the closest rival with its similar performance figures and produces 266hp and 288lb.-ft of torque, but has a better towing capacity. The 2011 Chevrolet Traverse lies midway between in the segment.

Fuel Economy
7.0/10

With its new V6 engine, the 2011 Ford Explorer has a decent fuel economy. It delivers 17 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway. With a combined 20 MPG and an 18.6-gallon fuel capacity, it has a maximum range of 465 miles. With the AWD system, you get slightly lower 23 MPG on the highway that leaves you with a combined 19 MPG. The Explorer isn’t exactly what one would call “light” but for the weight, and the capability, the fuel economy is pretty good. 

Models

2011 Ford Explorer

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

2011 Nissan Pathfinder

2011 Dodge Durango

MPG (City)

17

17

15

16

MPG (Highway)

25

24

22

23

MPG (Combined)

20

19

17

19

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

18.6

22.0

21.1

24.6

Range (City/ Highway/ Combined, in Miles)

316/465/372

374/528/418

316/464/358

393/565/467

The all-new Explorer fares well against the rivals with its best-in-class fuel economy. On the second spot, we have the Chevrolet Traverse with its close enough mileage. The Dodge Durango has a slightly lower fuel economy in the city and on the highway but manages a similar combined efficiency as the Chevrolet averaging 19 MPG and the Nissan Pathfinder is the last one in the segment. Still, the Traverse and the Durango offer a better range than the Explorer with their massive fuel tanks that can hold 22 and 24.6-gallons, respectively.

Interior
7.7/10

The fifth-generation Ford Explorer comes with amazing upgrades to the cabin. It is more spacious and attractive and now offers a more convenient 7-person seating capacity. The new dashboard layout looks cooler with the illuminated LED controls and the metal-look accents. The instrument cluster is kind of sporty with its single gauge layout and a 4.2-inch configurable color driver's display. It gets a 3-spoke leather steering wheel as well.

As standard, we have a 6-way driver and 2-way passenger adjustments where the top trim offers a 10-way power driver seat with power lumbar and 6-way power passenger adjustments. The second row has a 60:40 split-bench seat with a foldable seatback. At the back, we have a 50:50 split-bench third row that can be folded to the floor for more cargo room. From simple cloth upholstery, the Explorer even offers leather upholstery with Limited trim. 

Models

2011 Ford Explorer

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

2011 Nissan Pathfinder

2011 Dodge Durango

Seating capacity

7

8

7

7

Front row (Headroom/ Shoulder room/ Legroom) inches

41.4/61.3/40.6

40.4/62.0/41.3

40.0/58.3/42.4

39.9/58.5/40.3

Second row (Headroom/ Shoulder room/ Legroom) inches

40.5/61.0/39.8

39.4/61.3/36.8

39.0/58.4/34.2

39.8/58.3/38.6

Third row (Headroom/ Shoulder room/ Legroom) inches

37.8/50.8/33.2

37.8/57.6/33.2

36.7/57.1/28.1

37.4/50.4/31.5

Cargo capacity to 3rd row (Cu.-ft)

21.0

24.4

16.5

17.2

Cargo Capacity to 2nd Rowe (Cu.-ft)

43.8

68.8

48.9

47.7

Cargo Capacity to 1st Rowe (Cu.-ft)

80.7

116.4

79.2

84.5

The fresh-looking cabin of the Ford Explorer has some new tricks down its sleeve. In terms of seating space, it is the most practical SUV as you get a proper seating area in all the rows. However the third-row bench seat may not be the best for taller passengers, that's why it is suitable for kids. The seat trim is soft and is comparatively better than the rivals. However, its cargo capacity of 80.7 cu.-ft is lower than most of its competitors, especially the 2011 Traverse that has a trunk volume of 116.4 cu.-ft. That said, some of the highlighting features are:

  • Tilt and telescopic steering 
  • Air filtration system
  • 12V DC outlets
  • Electrochromic rearview mirror 
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power-adjustable pedals

How intuitive is the 2011 Ford Explorer's infotainment unit?

With the base trim, you get limited infotainment features like an AM/FM stereo with a CD player and an MP3 player that powers a six-speaker audio system. The XLT trim adds a SiriusXM satellite radio with 6 months subscription. The Limited trim gets a SYNC entertainment system with Bluetooth compatibility, USB connectivity, and an input jack.

It also offers a GPS-based turn-by-turn navigation system with a real-time traffic display. You can get video input for both infotainment and navigation with a huge 8.0-inch touchscreen display powered by MyFord touch. To give you a proper surround sound experience, you can also avail yourself of a Sony audio system with 12 speakers and an HD radio. Some of the highlights of the infotainment system are:

  • Bluetooth Compatibility
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • SYNC entertainment system
  • Turn by the turn navigation system
  • MyFord Touch with 8.0-inch touchscreen
  • Sony 12 speaker audio system (optional)
Exterior
7.5/10

The fifth-generation Ford Explorer has taken inspiration from the Land Rover SUVs in terms of exterior design. It has a sculpted design that looks way better than its previous midsize SUV profile. The Explorer is massive yet sporty with its blacked-out A, B, and D pillars and a sloping roofline. The front fascia gets a redesign with stepped HID headlamps and a black front bumper with a front diffuser below the mesh grille and optional fog lamps on either side. 

Ford has given it a unique styling with blackened side skirts and black surround wheel arches that gives it a premium SUV styling. The dual-tone side mirrors offer integrated LED turn signals. With design lines on the doors, there are also chrome surround door handles and a chrome bar that, along with the blacked-out pillars, make the crossover look big.

The roof slopes down to a rear window spoiler where we have a huge liftgate and LED tail lamps. There's a chrome bar that splits the rear door into two and says “Explorer”. The lifted rear bumper comes with a trailer hitch in the middle and dual-tip tailpipes. The Limited trim gets a chrome tip for the exhausts.

Models

2011 Ford Explorer

2011 Chevrolet Traverse

2011 Nissan Pathfinder

2011 Dodge Durango

Curb weight (lbs)

4,557

4,790

4,427

4,913

Length (inches)

197.1

205.0

192.3

199.8

Width (inches)

78.9

78.4

72.8

75.8

Height (inches)

70.4

70.4

72.0

70.9

Ground clearance (inches)

7.6

7.2

8.7

8.1

Wheelbase (inches)

112.6

118.9

112.2

119.8

With its total redesign, the Ford Explorer is still lighter than most of its rivals and limits itself under 200 inches where the Traverse is the longest SUV. Moreover, Ford has made the Explorer wider than any other SUV in the segment. It isn't the tallest SUV as it shares its height with the Chevrolet Traverse but with its 7.6-inch clearance, the Explorer can hit the off-road in style, with some of the highlights of its exterior being:

  • HID headlamps
  • LED tail lamps
  • Satin silver grille
  • Blacked-out pillars
  • Chrome exterior surround
  • 20-inch aluminum wheels
  • Roof rails
  • Rear window spoiler
Safety
9.6/10

The 2011 Ford Explorer is now based on the new D4 platform with rigid unibody construction. With that, it offers better dynamics and balance on the road. The new high tensile steel adds strength to the structure where the crumple zones help the Explorer to withstand impacts and that's why the IIHS has chosen it as the Top safety pick for 2011. 

  • Rigid unibody structure
  • 6 standard airbags
  • Inflatable rear safety belts
  • Advancetrac roll stability control with curve control
  • Blindspot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Rearview camera
Final Verdict

Leaning more towards a family SUV, the 2011 Ford Explorer is now more versatile with its practical space, comfort, convenience, and performance. It offers a better economy than its rivals, however, it needs a bigger fuel tank. It welcomes both long journeys and tough terrains where it can go beyond it with its capability and exciting features. With a starting price of $28,360, the Explorer is more mainstream and accessible than ever before.

Features

vehicle bio
base price

$33520

body style

4dr SUV

engine type
displacement

213 cu in

horse power

290 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

255 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6 speed automatic w/OD and auto manual

dimensions
length

197.1 in

wheelbase

112.6 in

width

78.9 in

curb weight

4732 lbs

Height

71 in

Ground Clearance

8 lbs

capacity
passenger volume

151.7 cu ft

cargo volume

80.7 cu ft

passenger capacity

5 Seats

fuel economy
city/combined/highway

17/20/23 mpg

highway range

427.8 mi

warranty
basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.


Top Cars

Ford Explorer 5 year Cost To Own


Cash Price(MSRP)
$36,641
5 Year Cost To Own
$52,438
Total 5 year Cost To Own -  $52,438
Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5total
Depreciation$9,467$2,244$2,103$2,463$2,329$18,606
Insurance$1,239$1,346$1,330$1,464$1,487$6,866
Fuel$1,963$2,034$2,136$2,119$2,271$10,523
Maintenance$293$946$487$1,963$992$4,681
Repairs$-1$-7$196$362$531$1,081
Financing Interest$2,252$1,890$1,414$893$310$6,759
Taxes and Fees$3,107$192$241$173$209$3,922
Total Cost-To-Own$18,320$8,645$7,907$9,437$8,129$52,438
Read more about Cost-To-Own »

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