Following the 2006 redesign, the 2007 Explorer is well positioned to compete against other truck- or car-based mid-sized SUVs. The body-on-frame construction will please those in need of towing capacity, while the independent rear suspension and stiffer frame enhance handling on paved surfaces. Optional third-row seating on all trim levels expands utility for larger families. For those with the occasional boat or basketball-team-sized contingent of kids (or both) who choose not to pop for a large SUV, the mid-sized Explorer must be considered.
The standard V6 engine produces 210 horsepower while the optional V8 cranks out 292 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. The V8 is paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox, which is a nice segment-leading plus.
At less than $26,000, the base 2WD V6 XLT offers impressive standard equipment for the price, including air conditioning, fog lamps, stability control, aluminum wheels, anti-lock brakes, privacy glass, remote keyless entry, side seat air bags, and more. Options available on all styles include a power moonroof, navigation system, and heated windshield, so even the XLT can be generously loaded.
The Explorer underwent a full redesign for 2006. With the 2007 version, Ford has eliminated the XLS trim level and now only offers XLT, Eddie Bauer, and Limited configurations. Side curtain airbags have been made standard on the Eddie Bauer and Limited trim levels, and all trim levels now feature an audio input jack.
On the XLT, some equipment that was standard in 2006 has been made optional for 2007, including the power driver seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, security approach lamps, illuminated visors, overhead console, and rear map light. For 2007, the Limited adds such standard equipment as auxiliary rear air conditioning, a third row seat, reverse sensing capability, and 18" aluminum wheels.
As in years past, the Explorer's body is a traditional SUV, while the Explorer Sport Trac trades the enclosed rear cargo area for an open bed. The Sport Trac is available in all the same trims as the Explorer, with the exception of the Eddie Bauer line.
A new Ironman option package is available for the XLTs, offering several cosmetic changes--including a unique Orange Frost paint--for an appropriately athletic look.