Ford Explorer Best and Worst Years

Navigating the world of car buying can be a maze, especially when it comes to understanding which model years are best for your chosen vehicle. Did you know that the Ford Explorer has had some exceptional and not so impressive years in its production history? This article will give you an edge by revealing the highs and lows of Ford Explorer’s journey through time, helping make your purchasing decision easier.

Ready to rev up your car knowledge? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • The best years for the Ford Explorer include 2020-2021, 2015-2019, and 2011-2014. These model years offer advanced technologyincreased reliabilityimproved fuel efficiency, and high safety ratings.
  • The worst years for the Ford Explorer include 2002-2005, 2001, and 2006-2010. These model years have been associated with engine malfunctionstransmission failureslower fuel efficiency, and potential costly repairs.
  • When choosing a Ford Explorer, it’s important to consider factors such as engine and transmission problems associated with specific model years. Mileage also plays a role in selecting a reliable vehicle that meets your needs. Additionally, exploring other vehicle options like the Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot can help you make an informed decision.
  • Overall, by understanding the best and worst years of the Ford Explorer and considering factors like mileage and other available options on the market, car buyers can choose a reliable Ford Explorer SUV that provides comfort while ensuring a positive driving experience.
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Ford Explorer Best and Worst Years

Best Years Of The Ford Explorer

The best years for the Ford Explorer include 2020-2021, 2015-2019, and 2011-2014.


The Ford Explorer models of 2020 and 2021 are standout years for the vehicle. The integration of advanced auto technology, such as keyless entry and midlevel technology features, provide a high level of convenience to drivers.

Consumer satisfaction ratings soared during these years due to increased vehicle reliability and impressive base engine performance. These were also the Ford were notable years for fuel efficiency improvements in the model’s history, allowing owners to enjoy longer drives with less stops at the pump.

Moreover, safety ratings spiked upwards in this period – adding peace of mind for families seeking a reliable SUV. Both models continue to hold their resale value well which directly speaks about their enduring quality and popularity among car enthusiasts.


The Ford Explorer model years from 2015 to 2019 are considered some of the best in terms of reliability and performance. These mid-level technology SUVs offer a combination of modern features, spacious interiors, and impressive driving dynamics.

With keyless entry and advanced safety technologies, they provide convenience and peace of mind on the road.

During this period, the Ford Explorer received positive reviews for its features a powerful engine option, smooth transmission, and comfortable ride quality. The interior quality is commendable as well, with high-quality materials and user-friendly infotainment systems that keep you connected during your journeys.

In terms of reliability, these model years have shown promising results in vehicle ownership surveys. They are known for their sturdy build quality and low maintenance costs compared to earlier generations.

See also  Honda Accord Best and Worst Years (Top Picks!)

Moreover, if you’re looking for a used car option within this time frame, the 2015-2019 Ford Explorers hold up well with good resale value.

Whether it’s going on family adventures or daily commutes, the 2015 model to 2019 Ford Explorer delivers an enjoyable and reliable driving experience. With its blend of style, technology features,.


The years 2011 to 2014 model are considered some of the best for the Ford Explorer. These model years offered a great balance of performance, reliability, and features. The third generation of the Explorer was introduced in 2011, bringing significant improvements to the SUV.

With a sleeker design and updated technology, these models appealed to car enthusiasts looking for a reliable and modern vehicle. Additionally, the Explorer received high safety ratings during this period, making it a top choice for families as well.

If you’re in the market for a used Ford Explorer, be sure to consider the years 2011-2014 as they offer a winning combination of style and dependability.

Worst Years Of The Ford Explorer

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Worst Years Of The Ford Explorer

Similar article: Ford F-150 Best and Worst Years

The worst years of the Ford Explorer include 2002-2005, 2001, and 2006-2010.


The years 2002 to 2005 weren’t the greatest for the Ford Explorer. During this time, there were some notable issues that affected the vehicle’s reliability and performance. Owners reported problems with engine malfunctions and transmission failures, leading to costly repairs.

Additionally, these models had lower fuel efficiency compared to other years, making them less economical for daily use. When considering a used Ford Explorer from this period, it is important to be aware of these potential issues and carefully inspect the vehicle’s condition before making a purchase decision.


The 2001 Ford Explorer years model that car lovers should keep in mind when considering this SUV. It falls within the second generation of the Ford Explorer, which ran from 1995 to 2001.

While it may not receive as much attention as some of the newer models, the 2001 Explorer has its own merits.

One important fact to note is that model years 2010 Ford Explorer and 2011 Ford Explorer are regarded as some of the most reliable used Ford Explorers. This means that even though the 2001 Explorer may be approaching its two-decade mark, it still offers potential buyers a level of reliability and durability worth considering.

Additionally, when looking at consumer satisfaction ratings and vehicle ownership experiences, it’s clear that many drivers have had positive experiences with their 2001 Ford Explorers. From engine performance to interior quality and technology features, this SUV has proven itself over time.


From 2006 to 2010, the Ford Explorer had some notable improvements in its performance and features. These model years are considered a good choice for car lovers looking for a reliable SUV. During this period, the Ford Explorer showcased enhancements in engine power and fuel efficiency, providing drivers with a smooth and efficient ride.

See also  Cadillac Escalade Reliability Best And Worst Years

Additionally, the interior quality was improved with better materials and comfort features. The technology options also saw advancements, including keyless entry and midlevel technology features that added convenience to the driving experience.

Overall, if you’re considering a used Ford Explorer from this time frame, you can expect dependable performance coupled with modern amenities that make your journey enjoyable.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Ford Explorer

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Factors To Consider When Choosing A Ford Explorer

Learn more about other Ford Model: Ford F-350 Super Duty Best and Worst Years

When choosing a Ford Explorer, consider potential engine and transmission problems, mileage, and other available vehicle options. Discover what to look for before making your decision. Read more to make an informed choice for your next Explorer SUVs.

Engine And Transmission Problems

Engine and transmission problems can be a major concern when choosing a Ford Explorer. It’s important to consider the reliability ratings and maintenance costs associated with different model years.

For example, according to consumer satisfaction ratings, the fourth generation of the Ford Explorer (2006-2010) had some issues with engine performance and transmission durability. On the other hand, models from 2015 onward have received positive reviews for their improved engine technology and smoother transmission operation.

When looking for a used Ford Explorer, it’s crucial to research specific model years that have been reported as having fewer engine or transmission problems.


When it comes to mileage, the Ford Explorer offers a range of options depending on the model year. Generally, newer models tend to have better fuel efficiency and lower mileage compared to older ones.

For example, the 2020-2021 Ford Explorers are known for their impressive fuel economy, allowing you to go further with each tank. Similarly, the 2015-2019 models offer good mileage without compromising on power and performance.

If you’re considering a used Ford Explorer, it’s important to factor in mileage as well. The 2010 and 2011 models are considered some of the most reliable used Explorers with decent mileage figures.

As always, make sure to check individual vehicle history reports and maintenance records for a more accurate picture of how well-maintained a particular Ford Explorer has been throughout its ownership.

Other Vehicle Options

When considering the Ford Explorer, it’s important to keep in mind the other vehicle options available on the market. While the Explorer has its merits, you may also want to explore alternatives such as the Toyota HighlanderHonda Pilot, or Chevrolet Traverse.

These models offer similar features and capabilities that can meet your needs. Additionally, be sure to compare prices and consider factors like the Explorer fuel efficiency and interior space when making your decision.

By exploring all your options, you can find a vehicle that suits your preferences and budget while still providing a reliable and enjoyable driving experience.


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Related article: Ford F-450 Super Duty Best and Worst Years

In conclusion, when it comes to the Ford Explorer, there are certainly standout years that car enthusiasts should consider. The 2020-2021 models showcase cutting-edge technology and reliability, while the 2015-2019 and 2011-2014 versions offer a balance of performance and dependability.

See also  BMW Z4 Best and Worst Years (Top Picks!)

On the other hand, caution should be exercised with the 2002-2005, 2001, and 2006-2010 model years as they have been associated with engine and transmission problems. Ultimately, factors like mileage and other vehicle options play a crucial role in choosing the best Ford Explorer for your needs.


1. What are the best years for the Ford Explorer?

According to expert reviews and consumer opinions, some of the best years for the Ford Explorer include 2016, 2017 Explorer, and 2020 Ford Explorer. These years are known for their reliable performance, advanced safety features, and updated technology.

2. Which years should I avoid when buying a Ford Explorer?

While there have been many great models throughout its history, some consumers suggest avoiding certain model years due to reported issues. It is recommended to be cautious when considering purchasing a Ford Explorer from 2002-2005 or during the period from 2011-2015 as these years have had more frequent complaints about various mechanical and electrical problems.

3. Are there any common issues with specific year models of the Ford Explorer?

While every vehicle can experience issues regardless of its make or model year, some owners have reported specific recurring problems in certain generations of the Ford Explorer. For example, earlier models like those produced between 2002-2005 were notorious for engine and transmission issues, while some later models experienced issues with their power steering systems or electrical components.

4. How important is it to research before buying a used Ford Explorer?

Doing thorough research before purchasing any used vehicle is crucial to ensure you make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget. When looking at used Ford Explorers specifically, researching historical data regarding to Ford Explorer reliability ratings, common problems associated with different model years along with regular maintenance records of Ford Explorer could help you select a more dependable option that fits your requirements

 What is the Ford Explorer? The Ford Explorer is a mid-size SUV produced by Ford Motor Company since 1990.
 Is the Ford Explorer a good car? Generally, yes. The Ford Explorer is considered one of the most reliable and popular SUVs on the market.
 What are the best and worst years for the Ford Explorer? The best years for Ford Explorer are the 2011 Ford Explorer, 2012 Ford Explorer, 2015 Ford Explorer, 2016 Ford Explorer, and 2019 Ford Explorer models. The worst years are the 2002 Ford Explorer, 2004 Ford Explorer, and 2013 Ford Explorer models.
 Does the Ford Explorer have engine problems? Yes, some model years of the Ford Explorer have experienced engine issues, especially those built between 2002 and 2010. However, the newer models have improved engine reliability.
 Which engines are available for the Ford Explorer? The Ford Explorer offers a range of engine options, including a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6, and a 3.3-liter V6 engine. The Platinum and ST models come with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine.
 What is the reliability rating for the Ford Explorer? The reliability rating for the Ford Explorer varies by model year, but it is generally considered to be above average in terms of reliability.
 Is the Ford Explorer a good used car? Yes. The Ford Explorer is a great option for those looking for a used SUV, especially newer models built after 2011.
 What should I look for when shopping for a used Ford Explorer? When shopping for a used Ford Explorer, pay attention to the model year and engine type. The years to avoid models that was built between 2002 model and 2010 model and look for those built after 2011 Explorer model. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly for any signs of wear and tear, and take it for a test drive before making a purchase.
 How does the Ford Explorer compare to other pickup trucks? The Ford Explorer is not a pickup truck. It is a mid-size SUV.
 What is the best Ford Explorer model to buy? The best Ford Explorer model years to buy depends on your personal preferences and needs. However, the 2016 model is often considered one of the best due to its reliability and performance.
Lead Writer and Editor at Discover Seldric | + posts

John Valdez - Passionate Car Enthusiast and Accomplished Writer

Meet John Valdez, a dedicated car lover and seasoned writer whose passion for automobiles is as vibrant as his words are eloquent. With a keen eye for detail and a heart that beats to the rhythm of engines, John brings a unique blend of expertise and enthusiasm to the world of automotive journalism.

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