The Ford line-up of SUVs is starting to take over. With
the compact Escape, the mid-sized Freestyle - a crossover
new this year, the Explorer, the Explorer Sport Trac, an
SUV with a truck-bed, similar to the Chevy Avalanche, the
full-size Expedition and the even larger Excursion, biggest
of the bunch, the question becomes one of where do you start?
Some would say you should start with the 2005 Ford Explorer.
This mid-size SUV is the heart of the whole series, the
best-selling SUV in North America, which probably means
the world, for 14 years!
2005 hasn't changed it much, other than to improve it by
adding Standard AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control,
improved audio standards, some exciting options packages
and 20 unique arrays to provide the broadest offering in
V8 engines are available for the Ford Explorer XLT, XLT
Sport, Eddie Bauer and Limited models. XLS come with V6
2005 adds the new XLT appearance package for content, color
and excitement in the middle of the lineup, and both MP3
and Sirius Satellite radio capability are now standard on
all audio systems (late availability).
These are the upper level trims for the Explorer series
and they have all the features of the base models; front
bucket seats and a split-folding rear seat, power mirrors,
windows and door locks, keyless entry, AM/FM/CD stereo and
so on, plus a whole bunch more. By the time you get to the
top-level Limited trims, you can expect to find heated,
leather upholstered, multi-way powered seats, dual-zone
automatic climate controls, an audiophile 290-watt sound
system with an in-dash 6CD changer and a range of options
that includes rear DVD entertainment, quad captain chairs
and so on. These are luxury vehicles with a great sense
of occupant comfort, style and safety.
The various trims offer a range of different exterior accents
and details for style and performance enhancements. For
example, the XLT comes with 16-inch cast aluminum wheels
while the XLT Sport comes with 17-inch bright machined aluminum
wheels. The Eddie Bauer takes it a step further with 17-inch
cast aluminum wheels while the Limited tops it off with
17-inch chromed wheels. A range of other exterior differences
and details set the models apart also.
Rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations are
offered with an automatic transmission mated to a 4.6-liter
V8 that generates 239 horsepower and 282 pound-feet of torque.
With its aluminum block and heads and overhead-cam design,
it is designed to go 100,000 miles before its first scheduled
The V8 Explorers are designed for towing and the optional
towing package takes it even further. The basic models come
with standard Class II towing hitch. A towing package provides
Class III/IV towing capability of up to 7,140 pounds when
Safety and Security
Dual front airbags and antilock 4-wheel disc brakes are
standard on all models. A comprehensive safety package can
be added for significant additional safety including front
and curtain side airbags. New for 2005, the Ford Explorer
comes with Ford's AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control
system to reduce rollover potential by triggering the system
when it detects that one or more wheels are about to leave
the ground. This reduces engine power and/or applies braking
to the necessary wheels to help settle the vehicle.