What are the Ford Explorer’s finest years? (Revealed!)

Since it is reliable and fun to drive, the Ford Explorer is a classic SUV that has earned a place on America’s highways. There have been several modifications and releases since the 1991 launch of the first Explorer model. Let’s quickly review the options that you have for a used Ford Explorer.

What are the Ford Explorer’s ideal years?

The Ford Explorer’s two finest model years are 2010, and 2011, respectively. While being a bit older, the 2010 Ford Explorer boasts a highly reliable engine. 2011 is comparable but has contemporary elements. All Explorer models do, however, have a number of similar issues. But first, let’s go a bit more into what makes the 2010 and 2011 models stand out, and why you should generally steer clear of anything made between 2001 and 2008.

Ford Explorer’s worst years

From 2001 and 2008, the worst Ford Explorers were produced, with 2003 and 2005 being the worst among them. The Ford Explorer required maintenance early and often throughout these years. We must discuss what makes the models from 2001–2008 unaffordable before we can discuss what makes the 2010 and 2011 models so great.

The worst model years for transmission issues were the 2003 and 2005 New Ford Explorers, which first began to appear in 2001. These versions were costly to maintain, even for brief periods of time, since they often required repairs and component replacements early in their lifespans. While transmission problems were the most frequent concern, there were others as well.

Ford seems to have begun attempting to correct whatever they had done in the past to make their vehicles break readily in 2007. 2009 was the first year in which the issue seemed to be mostly resolved, and complaints decreased. Yet, there are still a number of older Ford Explorer vehicles available. If you don’t want to wind up squandering your paychecks on pricey repairs, I would advise you to stay away from purchasing anything before 2009.

There are a few more contemporary models that have gained some recognition, excluding the unlucky years between 2001 and 2008. You can wind up paying for the 2017 Explorer’s issues with the engine, suspension, gearbox, and even the paint. Drivers reported experiencing erratic horsepower losses. However, it performed extremely poorly in terms of fuel efficiency and handling when compared to Explorer SUVs from earlier model years or rivals like the Honda Pilot or Toyota Highlander. While they weren’t nearly as severe as in 2017, issues with the body and paint also surfaced in 2013.

The best years for Ford Explorer

The 2009 Ford Explorer SUV is the first model since 2000 that may be a good option to buy in 2021 since it is the first Ford Explorer to be free of fatal flaws since the turn of the century. The 2009 model is really competent enough to compete with the last model of its generation, the 2010, however, it loses out to the latter due to a few minor quality-of-life upgrades.

If you go everywhere today, you’ll hear that 2011 is a superior investment. Really, it all depends on what you’re after. The 2010 Ford Explorer is really the last example of that generation’s external styling, so it exudes a specific vibe among drivers who want a more engaging driving experience.

It really is the peak of this kind of driving experience since it doesn’t have the issues that plagued its predecessors in the early to mid-2000s.

In particular, 2010 was the last year for the traditional AWD/FWD switch before a terrain selection dial was introduced in 2011. This is a significant issue for many drivers, particularly those who like off-roading. The V8 engine is the last in the Explorer series to be available as an option for 2010. It considerably assists in towing and is often considered superior to the V6 in terms of performance.

Last but not least, it is the last Explorer model to come standard with rear wheel drive, which mostly concerns boaters. This will be a deal-breaker for some folks, if nothing else.

The 2011 model, however, is somewhat more technologically advanced and durable than its predecessor. Also, it has a significant advantage in inclement weather and a cozier interior. The 2011 Ford Explorer is a good car, no doubt about it, but in many ways, I believe the 2010 model is superior.

The 2012 model is equally good, but I won’t have room to highlight it further. Although having a somewhat shorter life span than the 2011, it could even be slightly superior in certain areas. When it comes down to it, 2012 would probably be a great option.

Recenter Years

The Explorer has been moving more in the direction of an SUV since 2011. Like every automobile that has endured to the present day, it has therefore offered a variety of frames and designs. This makes it far more difficult to purchase a Ford Explorer from the last eight or so years.

Ford began adding numerous frames to their new model in 2013. In order to avoid unintentionally overspending, keep this in mind if you’re thinking about purchasing a 2013 Ford Explorer (or miss out on something you needed.)

In the most recent incident, a large number of 2020 Explorers were recalled due to leak issues. I shouldn’t have to tell you why you should stay away from this.

If you want a more modern model, the 2019 has received favorable reviews and doesn’t have any major flaws. Another option is the Explorer, which had a solid year in 2018 as well.

Purchasing A Used Explorer

There is always a chance that if you get a particularly old automobile, it may break down and you won’t have the resources to fix it. The Ford Explorer is no different from any other car in this regard. Pre-2001 automobiles, on the other hand, are renowned for being very durable and lacking the infamous gearbox failure.

The Ford Explorer pre-millennium versions from 1999 and 2000 often had the longest lifespans. They’re also a little bit more similar to the current Ford Explorers, so if anything does go wrong, you’ll probably be able to have the car repaired.

If the fact that many 2000 Ford Explorers are still in operation today, twenty years after they were made, isn’t a testimonial to their build quality, then what is?

Even farther in the past, Repair Buddy considers 1993, 1995, and 1996 to be the most trustworthy of all the years before 2000. Reliability is crucial when considering automobiles this old since if they ever fail, you can find yourself in the market for a new vehicle. These three years, however, seem to be the best if that’s what you’re after.