Ever since its introduction for the 1991 model year, Americans have loved the Ford Explorer SUV for its rugged looks and capabilities along with its family-friendly versatility. In fact, the first-generation model sold more than 300,000 units per year, which was more than most of the competition.


The first-generation Explorer came in both two- and four-door variants. It was powered by a 4.0-liter Cologne OHC V6 engine rated at 155-160 horsepower. Buyers could choose between rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Alongside the regular Explorer was a two-door model called the Explorer Sport that had a wheelbase 10 inches shorter.


In 1995, the second-generation of the Explorer made its debut. It came with significant updates, including a more aerodynamic design and mechanical changes that gave the Explorer a smoother ride. This generation also brought a lineup of more powerful engines, including a 5.0-liter V8 and a 4.0-liter SOHC V6.


For the third generation, the Explorer got even more family-friendly with the addition of an optional third row. It also gained a more comfortable ride thanks to a new independent rear suspension. The updated Explorer also featured a more ergonomic cabin and more powerful engines. 2002 was the last year a manual transmission was offered.



The fourth-generation Explorer had similar exterior styling to the third-generation model, but it came with significant updates under the hood and elsewhere. Inside, the cabin design was dramatically improved and new safety features were added, including canopy airbags and Roll Stability Control.


A sleek, modern look made its debut on the fifth-generation Explorer. This model also came with more power under the hood while making gains in efficiency. Inside, the Explorer added significant technological updates, including features like Bluetooth® and SYNC®.


The sixth-generation Explorer is the most advanced Explorer ever. Buyers are able to choose from a host of advanced safety and connectivity options along with premium interior materials and advanced powertrain combinations.

To learn more about the sixth generation of this popular SUV, including the 2018 Ford Explorer, stop by Bill Walsh Ford. We'll be happy to answer your questions or set you up with a test drive.

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Bill Walsh Ford-Lincoln

2900 Columbus Street
Directions Ottawa, IL 61350

  • Sales: 815-317-4386
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