2012 Ford Explorer

Rating7.6

Ranked #8 in Midsize Suv

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Starting MSRP 

$28,280 - $39,855

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Key Spec of 2012 Ford Explorer
fuel economy

18/21/25

fuel type

Regular Unleaded

horsepower

290 hp @ 6500 rpm

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

ProsConsWhat's New

Imposing road presence

Absurd pricing

New four-cylinder turbocharged Ecoboost engine

Spacious and comfortable cabin

Not so capable off-road

A long list of features 

Laggy and difficult to understand infotainment system

Impressive feel and feedback from the steering wheel

Fuel efficient and powerful engine options

2012 Ford Explorer Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: December 28, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The Ford Explorer has always been a striking, comfortable, capable, and well-built vehicle in the segment. The 2012 model year of the Explorer is no different and continues to rival the most capable vehicles in its segment. The Ford Explorer is also one of the best-selling SUVs in the market and is offered as an affordable and easy-to-access vehicle. 

2012 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 »

Over All Rating

7.6

Out of 10

6.00
6.00
8.00
7.50
7.00
7.80
8.00
8.70
8.00
Notable Rankings

#8 in Midsize Suv

#9 in Suv


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$28,280 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$32,095 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$37,855 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 2012 Ford Explorer For Sale

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2012 Ford Explorer
7

2012 Ford Explorer XLT

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

$7,900
Est. $107/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,890 Below market
RMV: $11,790
Fort Pierce, FL
Check Availability
2012 Ford Explorer
14

2012 Ford Explorer SUV

XLT

$9,999
Est. $135/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,901 Below market
RMV: $14,900
Circleville, OH
Check Availability
2011 Ford Explorer
24

2011 Ford Explorer XLT

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

$8,000
Est. $108/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,582 Below market
RMV: $11,582
Joppa, MD
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2012 Ford Explorer
21

2012 Ford Explorer XLT

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

$6,500
Est. $88/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,893 Below market
RMV: $9,393
Traverse City, MI
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2013 Ford Explorer
22
Price Drop, $1595
Previous Price: $999506 Jul 2022

2013 Ford Explorer Police Interceptor

Police Interceptor 4dr SUV AWD (3.7L 304 hp 6cyl 6A)

$8,400
Est. $114/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,602 Below market
RMV: $12,002
Martinsville, VA
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2013 Ford Explorer
21
Price Drop, $200
Previous Price: $880024 Jul 2022

2013 Ford Explorer

4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 6A)

$8,600
Est. $116/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,665 Below market
RMV: $12,265
Elmhurst, NY
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2012 Ford Explorer
6
Price Drop, $200
Previous Price: $650007 Jun 2022

2012 Ford Explorer

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

$6,300
Est. $85/mo
Excellent Deal
$2,691 Below market
RMV: $8,991
Barnesville, OH
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2013 Ford Explorer
9

2013 Ford Explorer Limited

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

$10,995
Est. $149/mo
Excellent Deal
$4,647 Below market
RMV: $15,642
Winston Salem, NC
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2012 Ford ExplorerHome Delivery
7

2012 Ford Explorer XLT

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

$7,995
Est. $108/mo
Excellent Deal
$3,385 Below market
RMV: $11,380
Bountiful, UT
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Colors and Styles

2012 Ford Explorer in Cinnamon Glaze Metallic color
Cinnamon Glaze Metallic

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

The Ford Explorer is a formidable name in the segment and it faces competition from the likes of Chevrolet Traverse, Toyota Highlander, and Nissan Pathfinder


Features
8.0/10

The 2012 Ford Explorer is available in three trim options that include the Standard, XLT, and the Limited trims. The price of the Ford Explorer for the 2012 model year starts from $28,280 while the range-topping Limited trim is priced at $37,855. More details about the features distribution, pricing, etc are mentioned below in the table:

Trim

Standard

XLT

Limited

MSRP

$28,280

$32,095

$37,855

Key Features

17-inch Steel Wheels

18-inch Cast-Aluminum Wheels

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

 

Privacy Glass

Alarm and backup camera

A trip computer

 

Integrated Blind Spot Mirrors

Auto-off headlights and fog lamps

Driver Illuminated Vanity Mirror

 

Roof Rails

Keyless entry and start

Pass-Through Rear Seat

 

Power Door Locks

Remote trunk release

Bucket Seats

 

Cruise Control

Heated mirrors

Electronic Stability Control

 

6-Speaker Sound System

Climate control

Auxiliary audio input

 

Adjustable Steering Wheel

Dual-zone A/C

HD radio

 

2nd Row Bench Seat

Leather seats

MP3 player

We Recommend

The XLT trim is one of the most value-for-money variants and offers almost all the necessary and advanced features. Apart from this, the limited trim too will be a great choice for those looking for a feature-rich SUV but this variant is significantly less affordable, all thanks to a high price tag. 

Engine and Performance
7.5/10

Powering the Ford Explorer is a 3.5-L V6 engine that churns out 290 hp. The peak torque output from this engine stands at 255 lb-ft. A second engine option is also on offer with the 2012 Ford Explorer. The second engine happens to be the recently introduced four-cylinder turbocharged Ecoboost engine. A smooth six-speed auto gearbox comes mated to this engine and complements the power delivery of this motor. 

The NVH levels of both these motors are impressive and both the motors feel extremely smooth. The V6 engine on the other hand also boasts an extremely strong mid-range and top-end that makes the Explorer a great SUV for those looking forward to having a great driving experience. The response to the throttle inputs too is impressive and overall, the Explorer is extremely engaging and fun to drive.

Models

2012 Ford Explorer 

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Nissan Pathfinder

MSRP

$28,280

$29,660

$29,395

$29,290

Engine 

3.5-L V6

3.6-L V6

3.5-L V6

4.0-L V6

Drivetrain

6-speed Auto

6-speed Auto

6-speed Auto

6-speed Auto

Transmission

FWD

FWD

FWD

RWD

Power (hp @ RPM)

290 @ 6500

281 @ 6300

270 @ 6200

266 @ 5600

Torque (lb-ft @ RPM)

255 @ 4100

266 @ 3400

248 @ 4700

288 @ 4000

0-60 MPH (sec)

7.6

7.7

7.1

7.8

Quarter mile (sec)

14

16

15.8

16.9

Top Speed (MPH)

150

130

N/A

16.9

The Explorer is not only one of the most powerful cars in the segment, but also offers impressive performance figures. However, the Toyota Highlander is still the fastest to 60 mph with slightly less power under the hood than the Explorer. The Traverse and Pathfinder offer almost the same acceleration times. though the Pathfinder is powered by a larger engine. 

Fuel Economy
7.0/10

The Explorer's V6 is not very efficient and gets a claimed city fuel economy of 14 miles per gallon which is not very impressive. The highway and the combined fuel economy on the other hand stand at 19 mpg and 16 mpg respectively. With a fuel tank capacity of 19 gallons, it can barely get over 300 miles on a full tank of gas in combined conditions. 

Models

2012 Ford Explorer 

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Nissan Pathfinder

MPG (City)

14

17

18

15

MPG (Highway)

19

24

24

22

MPG (Combined)

16

19

20

17

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

19

22

19.2

21.1

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

266/361/304

374/528/418

345.6/460/384

316.5/464/358

The rivals of Explorer offer significantly better fuel economy. However, the range on a single full tank of fuel is better than most of the rivals, except for the Highlander. The Highlander comes with a 19.2-gallon fuel tank and offers a good range of 384 miles in combined conditions. The Traverse is equipped with the largest fuel tank and offers about 418 miles on a full tank of gas in combined conditions. The Nissan Pathfinder is less fuel-efficient and can travel about 358 miles on a full tank of 21.1 gallons. Overall, the Traverse is the range champion in the competition. 

Interior
7.8/10

The cabin of the Ford Explorer has always been one of the best in the class and the 2012 iteration is no different either. The SUV boasts a comfortable cabin while the fit and finish levels are one of the best in the segment. In addition to this, a long list of features is available with the SUV and the in-cabin experience of the 2012 Ford Explorer is impressive.

The seats are comfortable and can be adjusted in multiple ways. The visibility from the driver’s seat is great and driving this big SUV in urban traffic is not very challenging. The second row and the third-row seats too offer an extremely comfortable and premium experience. Having said this, the quality of the parts is equally great as well. The door pads have provisions to keep large bottles and the storage spaces are abundant inside the cabin of the Explorer.

Models

2012 Ford Explorer 

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Nissan Pathfinder

Seating Capacity

7

8

7

7

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

41.4/61.3/40.6

40.4/62/41.3

40.6/59.7/43.2

40/58.3/42.4

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

40.5/61/39.8

39.4/61.3/36.8

40.1/59.5/38.3

39/58.4/34.2

Third Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

37.8/50.8/33.2

37.8/57.6/33.2

36.3/55/29.9

36.7/57.1/28.1

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

21

24.4

10.3

16.5

The cabin of the Explorer is spacious and offers an extremely comfortable experience to the occupants. The features on offer with the Explorer help it to stand out among its rivals. The cargo capacity is decent but not as good as the Traverse. The Explorer gets about 21 cu-ft of cargo space. The Highlander offers the least cargo capacity of just 10.3 cu-ft and the Pathfinder is short on the cargo space too, with 16.5 cu-ft of space. Some of the standout interior features are:

  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Steering Wheel Controls
  • Optional Heated steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Adjustable steering wheel column
  • Heated Front Seats 
  • Dual-zone auto climate control
  • Heated mirrors
  • Privacy glass

How intuitive is the 2012 Ford Explorer’s infotainment unit?

The infotainment system of the Explorer is easy to understand and the large screen offers good visibility to the driver. The music output is great and the interface is fast while features like Bluetooth connectivity and satellite radio are also available. Apart from this, the buttons and switchgear to operate the infotainment system too are well within the reach of the driver and are laid out ergonomically. Some of the standout infotainment features are: 

  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • CD Player
  • MP3 Player
  • Satellite Radio (Optional)
  • Onboard Hands-Free Communications System (Optional)
  • Wireless Cell Phone Hookup
  • Steering mounted controls
Exterior
8.0/10

The 2012 Ford Explorer gets a strong design language and an imposing road presence as mentioned earlier. The large grille and headlamps in addition to upright bumpers give the Explorer an aggressive front fascia. The side profile however looks subtle and has an understated elegance. The rear of the Explorer though is a little too busy and is somewhat polarizing.

The build quality is top-notch and the SUV definitely looks great from a distance. The large 18-inch alloy wheels look great and complement the overall character of the vehicle. In addition to this, the headlamps get an auto-on/off feature as well.

Models

2012 Ford Explorer 

2012 Chevrolet Traverse

2012 Toyota Highlander

2012 Nissan Pathfinder

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4557

4658

4045

4427

Length (in.)

197.1

205

188.4

192.3

Width (in.)

78.9

78.4

75.2

72.8

Height (in.)

70.4

70.4

68.1

72

Ground Clearance (in.)

7.6

7.2

8.1

8.7

Wheelbase (in.)

112.6

118.9

109.8

112.2

The Explorer is one of the biggest SUVs in the segment and boasts significant dimensions. However, rivals like the Chevrolet Transverse are quite a bit longer and heavier than the Explorer. The Highlander enjoys a higher ground clearance than the Explorer and Traverse but can’t beat the Pathfinder which is more off-road compatible with its 8.7-inch of ground clearance. Some of the standout exterior features are:

  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Fog Lamps (optional)
  • Auto-Off Headlights
  • Reverse camera
  • Sunroof/moonroof
  • 18-inch cast-aluminum alloy wheels 
Safety
8.7/10

The 2012 model year of the Ford Explorer passed the various safety crash tests with flying colors. The SUV scored 4 out of 5 stars in safety crash tests conducted by NHTSA while it scored 'Good' ratings in all the parameters in tests conducted by IIHS. Having said this, the Explorer is offered a number of safety features and equipment. For starters, these features include modern tech like electronic stability control, traction control, child safety locks, brake assist, and an anti-lock braking system. Some of the standout safety features are:

  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Child Safety Locks
  • Traction Control
  • Curve Control
  • Curtain Airbags
Final Verdict

The recent updates have made Ford Explorer a strong competitor in its segment. The vehicle boasts aggressive looks, while the cabin is feature-rich and comfortable. Having said this, the build quality of the SUV is equally as impressive and so are the safety crash test results secured by the 2012 Ford Explorer. The Explorer is definitely a great choice for the buyers of this segment as it comes with a plethora of niceties and efficient powertrains.

Features

vehicle bio
base price

$32095

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/Overdrive

dimensions
length

197.1 in

wheelbase

112.6 in

width

78.9 in

curb weight

4557 lbs

Height

70.4 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

18/21/25 mpg

highway range

465.00 mi

warranty
basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.


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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