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2012 Ford ExplorerView 2018 Model Price, Photos, Reviews & Features

2012 Ford Explorer Exterior

2012 Ford Explorer Overview (See Available Styles)

After a 2011 redesign, the Ford Explorer is back and the reigning North American Truck of the Year raises the bar once again with a brand-new engine that breaks new ground in the Explorer family.

The 2012 Explorer’s changes come under the hood, in the form of a new, turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine. This engine is designed to provide the horsepower and torque of a V-6, while simultaneously offering the fuel efficiency of a low-displacement four-cylinder. Essentially it’s a quest to allow SUV shoppers to finally have their cake and eat it too. And with figures like 240-horsepower, 270 pounds-feet of torque, 20 mpg/city, and 28 mpg/highway, it seems that they’ve succeeded.

Back for 2012 is the 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 from last year. Keep in mind that the EcoBoost four-cylinder is an option and you’ll have to pay a premium for it while the V-6 remains the base engine. Both come mated to a standard six-speed automatic transmission. The four-cylinder is also front-wheel drive only, so if you want all-wheel-drive you'll have to go with the V-6. A Terrain Management System which adapts the car to pavement, snow, sand, or mud driving, is optional. Expect to get 17 mpg in the city and 23-25 mpg on the highway with the V-6.

The 2012 Explorer also continues to offer one of the most technologically advanced interiors found on the road today. Seating for seven passengers is standard, but if you opt for the second-row captain’s chairs in the Limited trim that number falls to six. Standard features include an auxiliary audio input jack, air conditioning, power windows and locks, and remote keyless entry. The Explorer is also available with luxurious options like a dual-panel moonroof, heated and cooled front seats, premium audio system with HD radio, a navigation system, Bluetooth® connectivity, MyFord Touch, and Ford’s SYNC connectivity suite.

MyFord Touch, which debuted last year, combines with SYNC to change how drivers interact with their car. It puts two LCD screens in the instrument panel on either side of the speedometer than can be customized to display different information such as a tachometer, current audio track, or directions from the navigation system. There is also a larger touch-screen in the middle of the dash that houses audio, climate, and navigation controls. SYNC allows you to also control many of these functions with voice commands, which allows you to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

The Explorer’s tech-savvy focus also extends to its approach to safety. In addition to the usual safety features (antilock brakes, six airbags, electronic stability control), the Explorer can also be outfitted with adaptive cruise control, a blind spot warning system with Cross Traffic alert, backup camera, and even an automatic parallel parking system.

As the reigning champion, one would have thought that the 2012 Ford Explorer could have rested on its laurels for a year and be fine, but with a new, more efficient engine and great technology in the cabin the Explorer stays firmly in the spotlight.

EPA Fuel Economy

  • City: 17 - 18 MPG
  • Highway: 23 - 25 MPG

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Vehicle crash and safety data is provided by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA testing was established by Congress to reduce highway deaths and injuries. Read an article on the current NHTSA crash test program.

Safety Rating

  • Overall Safety: ****
  • Frontal Crash: ****
  • Side Crash: *****

Consumer Reviews Summary

Overall Rating:

38 of 53 (71%) consumers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.

Read Ford Explorer Consumer Reviews