2019 Ford Explorer

MSRP $32,365

Ranked #1 in Compact Suv

8.7

Overall Rating

2019 Ford Explorer Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 14, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The 2019 Ford Explorer is a part of the fifth Explorer generation, albeit featuring several changes and updates over a span of eight years. In fact, the 2019 Explorer is the last model year of the fifth-gen Explorer, and with that, it gets quite a few mild changes to make it more relevant to the market.The 2019 Explorer is available in five different trim levels to choose from, depending on your budget and needs. 

See detailed review »

Pros

Quiet and Comfortable Cabin.

Punchy Turbocharged V6. 

Great Braking Performance. 

Brilliant Infotainment Unit. 

Cons

Heavy and Bulky.

Crammed 3rd Row.

Inferior Build Quality. 

Expensive Top-Trims. 

What's New?

Repackaged Driver Assistance Packages. 

New Tech Features on lower trims. 

FordPass Connect now available.

Heated Second Row Seats (Sport Trim).


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$32365

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

143 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

213 cu.in.

horsepower

290 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

255 lb.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

6 speed shiftable automatic

chassis

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension w/anti-roll bar

suspension rear

Independent rear multi-link suspension w/anti-roll bar

dimensions

wheelbase

112.8 in.

length

198.7 in.

width

78.9 in.

height

70 in.

curb weight

4453 lbs.

ground clearance

7.8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

151.7 cu ft.

cargo volume

80.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

5000 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

7.7 sec.

zero to 100 mph

15.2 sec.

rolling start 5-60 mph

6.1

standing 1/4-mile

16 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

17/20/24 mpg

highway range

388.7 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

powertrain warranty

5 yr./ 60,000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$32,365 onwards

Colors and Styles

2019 Ford Explorer in Admiral Blue Metallic color
Admiral Blue Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

9.5

Engine and Performance

8.2

Fuel Economy

8.1

Interior

7.6

Exterior

9.5

Safety

8.7

Competition

9.7

8.7

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.7

Overall Rating


As far as budget is concerned, the 2019 Explorer has a starting price range of $32,365 to $54,165, depending on the trim and spec. Although a pretty competent three-row crossover SUV in its segment, it still faces steep competition from the likes of the Honda Pilot, the Subaru Ascent, the Chevrolet Traverse, and other similar three-row mid-size crossover SUVs in the market. In this review of the 2019 Ford Explorer, we walk you through the pros and cons, and help you decide whether you should buy one or not. 


8.2/10
Engine and Performance

8.1/10
Fuel Economy

7.6/10
Interior

9.5/10
Exterior

8.7/10
Safety

9.7/10
Competition


2019 Ford Explorer Features

As mentioned earlier, the 2019 Ford Explorer is available in five different trims to choose from, viz. the base, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. Undoubtedly, these trim levels have a gradually increasing number of standard tech features and creature comfort. That being said, with the base, XLT, and Limited trims, you have the option to choose between FWD and AWD for the drivetrain. 

The Sport and Platinum trims, on the other hand, come only with AWD. While the base trim starts off decent with features like a power-adjustable driver’s seat and Ford’s Sync voice command system, you have to get the top-of-the-range Platinum trim to get the full experience of all the things on offer. The following table summarizes the key trims and features offered with the 2019 Ford Explorer. 

Trim

Base

XLT

Limited

Sport

Platinum

MSRP (FWD)

$32,365

$34,400

$42,765

NA

NA

MSRP (AWD)

$34,515

$36,500

$44,915

$46,625

$54,165

Key Features

18” wheels

In addition to or replaces base trim features with:

In addition to or replaces XLT trim features with:

In addition to or replaces Limited trim features with:

In addition to or replaces Sport trim features with:

 

4.2” central infotainment display

Power adjustable front passenger seat

8” central touchscreen infotainment display with Sync 3 interface

A more powerful and punchier 3.5L turbocharged V6

Normal suspension tuning with the powerful 3.5L turbo V6

 

Bluetooth

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

Heated and ventilated front seats

Firmer suspension tuning

Panoramic sunroof

 

Ford’s Sync voice command system

Satellite radio

Leather upholstery

 

Power-adjustable pedals

 

Power adjustable driver’s seat with power adjustable lumbar support

 

Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

 

Automated parking system

 

Rearview camera

 

Power-folding third-row seats

 

Premium leather upholstery

 

Cloth upholstery

 

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration

 

A more premium audio system

In terms of optional packages, the XLT trim can be had with the optional Driver Connect package which includes a bigger 8.0-inch central touchscreen display for the infotainment system with the Sync 3 interface, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto smartphone integration, and extra USB ports. The features of the Driver Connect package come standard on the Limited trims and above.

Buying Advice

With features like a power-adjustable driver’s seat, Ford’s Sync voice command system, and dual-zone air conditioning, the Explorer base trimshould be more than enough for most people. But the Explorer Sport trim is the one to go for if you want the most bang for your buck proposition. It is one of the two, and the cheapest trim to get the more powerful and punchier 3.5L turbo V6, and the stiffer suspension setup makes it one of the more fun to drive trims in the lineup.

2019 Ford Explorer Engine and Performance

8.2/10

Depending on the trim level, the 2019 Ford Explorer has a choice of three engines to choose from. With the base trim and XLT trim, you get a 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 engine as standard under the hood producing a maximum of 290 HP and 255 lb-ft of torque, while a 2.3L turbocharged Inline-4 engine is available as an option with 280 HP and 310 lb-ft of torque. For the Limited trim, it is exactly the opposite. While the turbo-4 engine comes as standard, the 3.5L NA V6 is available as an option. 

If you are not happy with these power figures, you have to opt for either the Sport trim or the Platinum trim which comes with a turbocharged 3.5L V6 engine producing 365 HP and 350 lb-ft of torque. While the naturally aspirated V6 and the turbo-4 engine are pretty competent on their own, the turbo V6 is the one to go for if you want to enjoy driving to its full potential, despite its slight disadvantage in terms of fuel economy. It is comparatively punchier, and it makes overtaking maneuvers more effortless than the other two engines.

Models

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Chevrolet Traverse

MSRP

$32,365

$31,450

$31,995

$29,930

Engine

3.5L V6

3.5L V6

2.4L turbocharged Flat-4

3.6L V6

Drivetrain

Front-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive

All-wheel drive

Front-wheel drive

Transmission

6-speed shiftable automatic

9-speed shiftable automatic

CVT automatic

9-speed shiftable automatic

Power (hp @ RPM

290 HP @ 6500 rpm

280 HP @ 6000 rpm

260 HP @ 5600 rpm

305 HP @ 6800 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ RPM)

255 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

277 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm

260 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm

0-60 MPH (seconds)

8.2

6.3

6.5

6.7

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

16.3

14.8

15.1

15.2

Top-Speed (MPH)

NA

133

130

130

The 2019 Ford Explorer goes from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, which makes it the slowest in the competition, and that too by quite a margin as well. This is a pretty good reason why you should opt for the trims with the more powerful turbocharged engines under the hood. With an increased power and torque output, the 0 to 60 mph time improves significantly to 6.3 seconds which makes it relevant in the competition. Among the competition, the Chevrolet Traverse stands as the most powerful vehicle in the lot. The Honda Pilot puts down the best quarter-mile number, while also featuring the greatest top speed. 

How well does the 2019 Ford Explorer handle?

With a MacPherson strut suspension setup at the front and a multi-link setup at the back, the 2019 Ford Explorer feels like a typical big SUV while going around the corners. It does not feel particularly light on its feet, and with the significant body roll around corners, you are sure to feel the mass of the SUV shifting from one side to another. 

This is one of the reasons why you should get the AWD variant, particularly in the Sport trim, which comes with AWD as standard and offers a stiffer suspension setup. This compromises the ride quality on bad roads, but makes the SUV significantly easier to maneuver around sharp corners and hairpin bends. The optional performance tires have a good grip and make it feel less floaty. The electric steering system is well-tuned and provides decent feedback from the road as well.

Braking Performance

Braking is one of the departments where the Ford Explorer genuinely manages to impress, especially being a big and heavy 3-row crossover SUV. The 12.8” brake rotors both at the front and back might not be the largest disks in the competition, but the braking system is one of the more competent ones in this segment. The brake pedal has a linear response to it, which makes it easy to use both the tight city traffic conditions, as well as while cruising on the highway as well. The 2019 Ford Explorer manages to stop from 60 to 0 mph in a staggering 108 feet, showcasing supercar-level braking performance. 

Models

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Chevrolet Traverse

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12.8

12.6

13.1

NA

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.8

13.0

13.0

NA

Curb Weight (lbs)

4453

4036

4430

4362

60-0 (feet)

108

129

117

130

With a 108 feet braking distance from 60 mph to a standstill during panic braking situations, the Ford Explorer dominates over the competition, which is a bit of a surprise considering the fact that it is one of the heavier SUVs in the segment. The closest braking competitor to the Ford Explorer is the 2019 Subaru Ascent, which manages a braking distance of 117 feet. On the other end of the spectrum, the 2019 Chevrolet Traverse offers the worst braking prowess, struggling to stop itself over a distance of 130 feet. 

2019 Ford Explorer Fuel Economy

8.1/10

As mentioned earlier, the Explorer is available in three different engine options to choose from, entirely depending on the trim level. With that, you get different fuel economy figures. The standard 3.5L naturally aspirated V6 engine is capable of delivering 17, 24, and 20 MPG respectively in city, highway, and combined. The 2.3L turbocharged Inline-4 is the most fuel-efficient of the lot with fuel economy figures of 19, 27, and 22 MPG in city, highway, and combined respectively. The most powerful engine in the lineup, the 3.5L turbo V6 is naturally the least economical in the competition. It delivers 16, 22, and 18 MPG in city, highway, and combined respectively.

Models

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Chevrolet Traverse

MPG (City)

17

19

21

18

MPG (Highway)

24

27

27

27

MPG (Combined)

20

22

23

21

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

18.6

19.5

19.3

19.4

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

316.2 / 446. 4 / 372.0

370.5 / 526.5 / 429.0

405.3 / 521.1 / 443.9

349.2 / 523.8 / 407.4

While the fuel economy figures of the standard engine might be the leastimpressive, if not the least impressive in the segment, you do get the option to choose a significantly more economical engine from the lineup of engines, which evens out the problem. With an 18.6-gallon fuel tank with a mediocre range in the competition, the standard non-turbo V6 is not a good choice overall, especially if you are frequent in long-distance traveling. Among the competition, the Subaru Ascent stands as the most fuel-efficient vehicle in the lot, offering significantly better numbers on the highway, and in terms of combined economy.

2019 Ford Explorer Interior

7.6/10

The interior design of the 2019 Ford Explorer is pretty bland, to say the least, and the fairly average build quality of the interior does not help in that regard as well. You do get a decent amount of standard tech features and creature comforts with respect to the trim level, but the poor rear visibility and the cumbersome 3rd-row entry puts it in a bit of an advantage in the competition. 

You can solve that problem by opting for the optional sliding second-row bucket seats. You do lose a seat but gain much better comfort as well as better 3rd-row access and space. In terms of interior dimensions, the Ford Explorer and its competitors are more or less in a similar ballpark. While its normal trunk space is pretty impressive with respect to its competition, its maximum cargo space with all the seats folded down is mediocre, to say the least.

Models

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Chevrolet Traverse

Seating Capacity

7

8

8

8

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

41.4/61.5/42.9

39.5 / 62.0 / 40.9

41.3/61.1/42.2

41.3 / 62.1 / 41.0

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

40.6/61.0/39.5

39.9 / 62.0 / 38.4

40.0/60.3/38.6

40.0 / 62.2 / 38.4

Third Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; in inches)

37.8/50.8/32.0

38.9 / 57.6 / 31.9

36.3/57.2/31.7

38.2 / 57.5 / 33.5

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

21.0 – 81.7

16.5 – 83.8

17.8 – 86.5

23.0 – 98.2

Among the competition, the Ford Explorer offers the most front headroom and legroom, while also offering slightly higher room in the second row. The Chevrolet Traverse offers better shoulder space in the front and second rows, primarily owing to its larger width. Things get a bit tight when it comes to the third row. However, the Honda Pilot manages to offer the most headroom at the back, while also offering impressive amounts of shoulder space. The Chevrolet Traverse offers the greatest legroom. Some of the key interior features offered with the 2019 Ford Explorer include:

  • Power adjustable front seats with power-adjustable lumbar support
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated 2nd-row seats
  • Power folding split-bench 3rd-row seats
  • Massage seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Leather and wood steering wheel
  • Ambient lighting

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The base 2019 Ford Explorer offers a 4.2-inch central display for the infotainment system, along with a generic 6-speaker setup. There’s Bluetooth Audio Streaming, USB and Aux port for connectivity, along with Ford’s SYNC Voice Command system on offer. While this list might sound underwhelming, the Explorer gets more feature-packed as the trim levels progress. 

With the Platinum trim level, for instance, Ford offers you a larger 8-inch infotainment touchscreen display, along with Ford’s SYNC3 interface. Additionally, you get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for smartphone integration, which makes the Explorer feel a lot less dated. Additionally, there’s a compelling 500W Sony 12-speaker sound system, along with a Subwoofer to amp up your music experience. Some highlight infotainment features offered with the 2019 Ford Explorer include:

  • 4.2-inch or 8-inch Infotainment Screens. 
  • Bluetooth Connectivity.
  • USB and Aux Support. 
  • 6-Speaker or 12-Speaker Sound System.
  • Voice-Activated Navigation.
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. 
  • AM / FM Stereo.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio.
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot

2019 Ford Explorer Exterior

9.5/10

Although not the most striking-looking vehicle in the competition, the 2019 Ford Explorer still stands pretty handsome, to say the least. The Explorer sports a modern-looking front fascia, featuring a pretty industrial aesthetic. While LED fog lamps are standard on Explorer Limited, Sport, and Platinum models and available on XLT, and molded-in-color black rear bumper is standard across the range.

The Ford Explorer isn’t too much of a head turner, of course, but still manages to make you admire its clean and commutative design. The Explorer features a strong side profile, sporting a strong shoulder line and neat folds across the body. All in all, the 2019 Ford Explorer feels modern and relevant, and doesn’t get weighed down by dated aesthetics like some vehicles in its competition. 

Models

2019 Ford Explorer

2019 Honda Pilot

2019 Subaru Ascent

2019 Chevrolet Traverse

Curb Weight (lb)

4453

4036

4430

4362

Length (inches)

198.7

196.5

196.8

204.3

Width (inches)

78.9

78.6

76.0

78.6

Height (inches)

70.0

70.6

71.6

70.7

Ground Clearance (inches)

7.8

7.3

8.7

NA

Wheelbase (inches)

112.8

111.0

113.8

120.9

In terms of exterior dimensions, the Ford Explorer and most of its competitors are more or less in a similar ballpark, which is also the case with their wheelbase figures. If you’re looking for the perfect-sized vehicle in this segment, there’s no right answer. However, we must point out that the Ford Explorer stands as the heaviest vehicle in the competition, while the Honda Pilot sports a significant 400-pound deficit. Some key exterior features offered with the 2019 Ford Explorer include:

  • 20-inch Machined Alloy Wheels. 
  • LED Headlamps.
  • LED Fog Lights. 
  • Molded-in-color black rear bumper.
  • Hands-free power tailgate.
  • Chrome Grille Surrounds. 

2019 Ford Explorer Safety

8.7/10

The 2019 model year Ford Explorer has been developed on the Ford D4 platform, which features a fairly stiff and rigid construction. To keep the occupants as safe as possible, the Ford Explorer is offered with an impressive list of active and passive safety features. There are several fundamental features on offer, such as an array of Airbags, Traction Control System with Roll Stability Control (RSC), and Curve Control, 4-wheel ABS, and LATCH. 

The 2019 Ford Explorer also comes with a plethora of advanced active safety features to help the SUV prevent crashes in the first place. These are grouped separately as the Ford Safe and Smart Package, which is available as standard or option depending on the trim you go for. If safety is one of your top priorities, we certainly recommend having these features equipped. Additionally, the 2019 Ford Explorer gets a 5-Star Safety Rating from the NHTSA. Some key safety features offered with the 2019 Ford Explorer include:

  • Forward Collision Warning.
  • Advanced Braking Support.
  • Lane-Keeping System.
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control.
  • Rain-Sensing Automatic Wipers.
  • Auto High-Beam Headlamps.
  • Dual-Stage Airbags. 
  • Side-Curtain Airbags. 

2019 Ford Explorer Competition

9.7/10

2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 Honda Pilot

The 2019 Honda Pilot does not have many engine options like the Ford Explorer. In fact, it comes with a single-engine choice across its trim levels, which might be a deal-breaker for some. Other than that, both the SUVs are pretty evenly matched

There are places, undoubtedly, where the 2019 Honda Pilot might be better. The Pilot has a relatively more luxurious interior featuring better build quality. Additionally, the Pilot’s ride quality feels more contained on harsh road surfaces. If you’re looking for comfort over technology, the Honda Pilot might be a slightly better option. 

2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 Subaru Ascent

Another closely-matched SUV in the mid-size crossover SUV segment, the 2019 Subaru Ascent might just be the better choice if you are looking for occasional off-roading. With an AWD drivetrain as standard across the trim levels, even the base Ascent offers superior driving dynamics than the mid-trim Explorer. 

Additionally, the economical 2.4L turbocharged Flat-4 engine under the hood gives the Subaru a slight edge in the competition. While the Subaru only has one engine option across its trim levels, the Ford has three, and the 2.3L turbo-4 is the one similar to the one on the Subaru, while also being more powerful and having very similar fuel economy figures.

2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 Chevrolet Traverse

The Chevrolet Traverse is a bit larger and relatively roomier than the Ford Explorer, especially in terms of 3rd-row seating and cargo space. The extra amount of room and practicality does come in handy during long road trips. If this is a critical factor for you, the Traverse actually offers a better alternative to the Ford Explorer. 

But other than that, the Chevrolet Traverse does not have much else to offer. Although a pretty competent SUV in its segment, the Traverse seems to fall a bit short when we compare it with its competitors. The Chevrolet Traverse, however, comes with a lower price tag than the Explorer, which certainly is a key plus point for the GM SUV.

2019 Ford Explorer Final Verdict

All-in-all, the 2019 Ford Explorer is a pretty competent SUV in the three-row mid-size crossover segment. Its choices of engines give it a huge edge in the competition, but the bland interior design and subpar quality of materials used prevent it from being a top-ranked competitor. But along with a long list of standard tech features and creature comfort, it also comes with a pretty impressive list of standard safety tech as well. The 2019 model year gets plenty of new features in its arsenal, which certainly have made the Explorer a better-rounded SUV than it has ever been. We certainly recommend considering it for your next purchase. 

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