For 2017, Ford added some spiffy new options to their Explorer, like the new XLT Sport Appearance package, but kept the main features that make the Explorer such a fan favorite. With an updated body, safety features and entertainment options, the 2017 Ford Explorer maintains it status as one of the most popular SUVs on the market.

If you’re looking for a comfortable day-to-day vehicle that can handle almost anything that you throw at it, you should take the 2017 Ford Explorer for a test drive immediately. It combines the space and rugged capabilities of an SUV with a modern, cozy design. The 2017 Ford Explorer carries up to seven people with its handy three-row seating. It has up to 82 cubic feet of storage space, so you have plenty of room to carry whatever you need.

The Ford Explorer is available in five different trims: the basic Explorer, the XLT, the Limited, the Sport and the Platinum. Each trim level comes with a unique set of standard features that add to the luxury of the Explorer. For instance, the upgraded trims have the option of coming with an automatic lift gate for the rear door. This allows you to open your lift gate by swiping your foot underneath the rear bumper if you’re holding the Access key. It’s great for people who tend to carry a lot of items at once to their car.


The 2017 Ford Explorer has a base starting price of $31,660. This price does place the Explorer at a slight disadvantage when you first compare it with several of its competitors in the same class.

Depending on what trim level you choose, you’ll find that the base MSRP will differ. Keep in mind that the more options you add, the more expensive the vehicle will become.

A standard 2017 Ford Explorer might come standard with items you’re looking for, while a cheaper competitor might cost you more to add that same item. Pay attention to this when shopping around.


Ford’s engineering team designed the Explorer to withstand the rigors of back country recreational activities. The basic trim model gets an impressive 290 horsepower, while relying on the powerful 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 engine. The Explorer has a six-speed automatic transmission. All trim packages include standard LED low beam headlights.

Not only did Ford build the 2017 Explorer with commuters and off-roaders in mind, it also took into consideration those of you who need to be able to tow. For an SUV, it has truck-like towing capabilities. The tow package allows you to pull up to 5,000 pounds. It comes with a rear-view camera to help you navigate and hitch to your trailer easier. You also have the ability to select a 2.3L EcoBoost engine with the Class II towing package, so you can save gas while hauling long distances.

Safety and Entertainment Features

Automakers have realized the importance of allowing you to customize your vehicle, and Ford does not disappoint in that area. With tons of safety and entertainment features available, you can pick and choose exactly what you need in your vehicle.

Ford makes a number of safety features standard in its vehicles to better protect you and your passengers. The Explorer provides both a sturdy steel framework to protect the cabin against crushing impacts, and standard front and side air bags.

A special air bag option safeguards the knees of people riding in the front of the vehicle during an impact. The built-in LATCH system provides lower and tether anchors to properly secure child safety seats. Additionally, you can select available advanced warning systems to alert you to potential roadway hazards, such as lane drifting.

You also have the ability to add navigational and entertainment features to the 2017 Explorer, too. For instance, Ford offers an introductory short-term initial subscription to Sirius satellite radio. You can also select available Sirius XM traffic information and road map assistance. The 2017 Ford Explorer includes a USB port which allows you to charge any devices you need to while driving.

If you want even more modern conveniences, you can choose to add a touchscreen to your Ford Explorer, which gives you access to the innovative Sync 3 system. It’ll enhance any other high tech options you choose, too.

The Competition

Any SUV crossover poses as a potential competitor to the 2017 Ford Explorer. As the demand for a sophisticated compact sport utility vehicle has risen, so has the supply from different car manufacturers.

Some of the leading competitors of the Ford Explorer include three other 2017 models, the Chevrolet Traverse, the GMC Acadia and the Dodge Durango.

The new Chevrolet Traverse is a trimmed down four-door SUV. It has a beginning MSRP of $28,700. It offers room for up to eight people. If you need a little more space in your vehicle, the Traverse might be a better option.

However, the Explorer also faces tough competition from the GMC Acadia and the Dodge Durango, beginning at $29,070 and $29,995 respectively. The 2017 Acadia falls in the crossover category and, like the Explorer, seats seven passengers. The 2017 Durango transports between five and seven passengers, depending on whether you decide to use the third row or not.

Fuel Efficiency

The 2017 Ford Explorer enjoys 17 miles per gallon in city traffic and an estimated 24 miles per gallon in highway driving conditions. Fuel efficiency varies slightly based upon the trim package selected, since the 3.5L EcoBoost engine will get you better fuel efficiency than the regular engine.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The new 2017 Ford Explorer preserves the features that have made previous models such a success with critics and owners alike. There are, however, positive and negative sides to the Explorer that you should keep in mind.

Its stylish exterior and plush, comfortable interior remain distinct Explorer advantages. Ford has designed the Explorer to transport both passengers and cargo conveniently in diverse settings. With a carefully sculpted body and a logo-bearing front grille, the Explorer’s distinctive appearance appeals to many people. The special XLT Sport Appearance trim package offered in 2017 capitalizes upon this strength.

Additionally, the Explorer offers impressive horsepower capabilities for anyone interested in rugged outdoor adventuring. Just like some popular brands of Ford pickups, it can haul and tow heavy loads with comparative ease. People who enjoy recreational activities such as horseback riding, boating and camping will appreciate the ability to attach a trailer to their crossover. Unlike many vehicles used for daily school or office commutes, the Ford Explorer also performs well in challenging terrains.

The biggest disadvantage for the Explorer in the current marketplace is probably its price. With so many potential competitors vying for SUV crossover customers, this well-established and popular brand must contend against similar types of vehicles with lower prices and slightly better fuel economy.

Although prices today usually vary based upon a customer’s selection of available features and upgrades, this situation could place the 2017 Ford Explorer at an initial disadvantage. Some customers shopping for a new vehicle may begin with the lowest priced models, and fail to research features of crossovers in the upper levels of the initial price spectrum.

This article was worked on by a variety of people from the Autoversed team, including freelancers, editors, and/or other full-time employees.