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Josh Rosenberg
Josh Rosenberg

We don't just talk cars ... we teach how to buy them.

2013 Ford Explorer Pros, Cons, Prices
And How To Get The Best
Out-The-Door Deal

(See Also: "How To Buy A New Ford Explorer At The Lowest Price")

Way back when, the Ford Explorer was one of the key players in earning the SUV a special place in the hearts of American drivers (and families). And its immense popularity continues today thanks to its very capable road manners, upscale cabin and excellent safety ratings. It's also one of the most technologically advanced large crossover SUVs on the market and resides comfortably among the top choices in its segment.

New for the 2013 model year is a Sport model that comes outfitted with a turbocharged engine and sport-tuned suspension. Also new are standard front passenger knee airbags for all models, while new available features for the Limited model include a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a heated steering wheel and a lane-departure warning system. In addition, the optional xenon headlights now come with automatic high-beam control.

Cars: 2013 Ford Explorer Limited
2013 Ford Explorer

While the new Explorer may have a lot going for it, before making a final buying decision prospective owners should not only consider its appealing qualities, but measure the possible impact of its potential drawbacks as well. And if one then decides to proceed with a possible purchase, it's essential to also have a rock-solid plan for getting the best possible price (see the "How To Get The Lowest Price" link below).


   Excellent balance of handling and ride quality: The Explorer's handling is secure and confident, while its electric powering steering (which also improves fuel economy and enables the automatic parking system) is impressively precise and responsive. It's capable road manners do not come at the sacrifice of ride quality, however, as the suspension does a fine job absorbing most road bumps and rough spots.

In addition, the optional Terrain Management system for four-wheel drive models offers the choice of four driving modes depending on the environment and conditions.

   Four-cylinder turbocharged version: While the standard engine is a 290-horsepower V6, the optional turbocharged 2.0-liter "EcoBoost" four-cylinder for front-wheel-drive models offers best-in-class gas mileage. Also mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission, it still produces a healthy 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. Although not as fast as the V6, it adequately accelerates the Explorer during daily use while getting 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

   Excellent crash test scores: In government crash testing, the 2013 Explorer was awarded the top score of five out of five stars for overall occupant crash protection, consisting of five stars for overall frontal-impact protection as well as five stars for overall side-impact protection.

It should also be noted that all models come standard with traction control, stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, a front passenger knee airbag, Curve Control (automatically reduces cornering speed when necessary), trailer sway control and MyKey (parental maximum speed and stereo volume settings for young drivers).

   Lots of high-tech features: Advanced features include Ford's Sync system (a voice-activated telephone/entertainment interface), the touchscreen-based MyFord Touch system (featuring three configurable displays, two USB ports, an SD card reader, audio/video input jacks and upgraded Sync functions), a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control and second-row seatbelt airbags.

Cars: 2013 Ford Explorer interior
2013 Ford Explorer interior

   Upscale cabin: The interior is attractively designed and solidly contructed with high quality materials. The overall look and feel creates an overall upscale ambience. The cabin's quietness is on a par with many luxury-level models, while a fully loaded Explorer is quite comparable as well.


   Third-row and cargo room on the tight side: While overall interior roominess is not really an issue, its maximum cargo capacity of 80 cubic feet is a bit less than rivals such as the Chevy Traverse, Dodge Durango, Ford Flex and GM Acadia. The third row is also somewhat more cramped than its rivals.

   No V8 engine option: Those looking for extra power will find there isn't an available V8 model. While that may be missed in some circumstances, it should be noted that most drivers will likely find that the V6 does a satisfying job of bearing the load.

   Has a "big" feel to it when driving: Although the Explorer offers well-balanced road manners, it nevertheless feels bigger when fitting into tight spots due to its high dash and wide roof pillars.

   MyFord Touch isn't as user-friendly as it could be: It certainly offers some great features, especially when combined with the Sync voice-activation system, but it also is a bit unwieldy with initially hard to identify buttons that are also too easy to press accidentally. There's definitely a learning curve with this system.


The 2013 Ford Explorer is a solid choice in the large crossover SUV segment. It offers capable driving dynamics as well as an upscale interior and plenty of available high-tech goodies. For those who find its downsides a deal stopper, alternatives might include the roomier Chevy Traverse, the sportier Mazda CX-9 or the more powerful Dodge Durango.

How To Get The Lowest Price:

Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.

Here's the details on exactly how to get the best price on a new Ford Explorer ... or any other car.

Good luck and all the best,


Invoice And Sticker Prices:

    Model Invoice Price Sticker Price
    Base, FWD $27,459 $29,135
    Base, AWD $29,344 $31,135
    XLT, FWD $30,413 $32,615
    XLT, AWD $32,278 $34,615
    Limited, FWD $35,552 $38,125
    Limited, AWD $37,417 $40,125
    Sport, AWD $37,972 $40,720

Still More Savings:

The secret to low-rate car loans, big insurance savings ... and more

Other Models Of Possible Interest:

Used Ford Explorer Buying Guide
2013 Ford F-150 Pros & Cons
2013 Ford Edge Pros & Cons
2013 Ford Escape Pros, Cons, Invoice
2012 Ford Escape Review And Invoice Price

Additional Models Of Possible Interest:

Used Ford Escape Guide
2013 Ford Focus Review & Invoice Price
2013 Ford Mustang Overview and Prices
Used Ford Edge Buyer's Guide
Used Ford Trucks Guide

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