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These are the best fifth generation Ford Explorer versions to buy used

2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Package in White

Ford introduced the Explorer in 1991 as a full-size SUV. Six decades later, the current Ford Explorer is one of the most capable vehicles in its class. But the Explorer’s reputation doesn’t end there; the 2022 model comes with a plethora of technical and safety features, colossal interior space and excellent braking performance.

With an estimated life expectancy of up to 200,000 miles, the Explorer is an excellent option for buyers looking for an SUV that will last. But like any other vehicle, the Explorer had its ups and downs over the years.

If you’re looking for a reliable full-size SUV on a tight budget, used fifth-generation Explorer models (2011-2019) should definitely be under your radar. However, with all the finishes and options available, the vehicle purchase process can be quite overwhelming. Without further ado, let’s run through some noteworthy embellishments to ensure you spend your money on a model that fits your needs.

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Best Performance: The 2019 Sport and Platinum finishes are armed with 365 horsepower

If you’re looking for the best performance you can get from a fifth-generation Ford Explorer, the 2019 Sport and Platinum Trims are your go-to option. Both editions come with a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 that boasts 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. For these trim levels, Ford offers a six-speed automatic transmission system that can be combined with a 4WD configuration.

Plus, high-end 2019 Explorers can tow up to 5,000 lbs, which is plenty for a small boat or a pair of jet skis. If you go for the Platinum edition, you have a number of luxury and technical features, including perforated leather seats with three diamonds and Active Park Assist.

Fortunately, the 365 horsepower drivetrain in the 2019 Explorer doesn’t guzzle fuel. Based on EPA estimates, you can use up to 16 miles to the gallon in the city and 22 on the highway (10 MPG combined).

According to the Zero60Times website, both the Sport and Platinum versions of the 2019 Explorer can sprint from idle to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds and finish the quarter mile in 14.3 seconds.

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Most cost-effective: The 2011 Explorer base model provides the essentials for a great family and shopping cart

Although the Explorer 2011 had a few alarming complaints from owners registered on the car complaint website, outperformed most other SUV model years. Most owner’s reports relate to rust and bubbles appearing prematurely on the hood.

The base model is equipped with a 3.5L V6 that delivers 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission runs smoothly and can effortlessly cover high miles without significant headaches. With the front-wheel drive configuration, you can expect 27 miles per gallon in the city and 25 on the highway. The 2011 Explorer’s excellent fuel economy makes it the most fuel-efficient vehicle in its class.

The 2011 Explorer Base model lacks the nice interior details, such as leather seats and steering wheel, available on the higher end finish. Your standard features on the base model include cloth seats, a 6-speaker sound system and keyless entry.

The 2011 Ford Explorer Base trim usually costs about $9,000 to $11,000 on the market, excellent for its class. On the other hand, the Repair Pal website estimates that it costs $725 annually to service a 2011 Explorer, making it a much more expensive SUV compared to its rivals.

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Best Value: The 2017 Ford Explorer Limited comes with a lot of great features without breaking a bank

If you’re looking for a hassle-free SUV that offers great value for money, the 2017 Explorer should definitely be on your list. Compared to previous years, the 2017 model had significantly fewer problems. Most of the issues reported with this model year relate to minor issues such as alignment and tire wear issues.

Ford offers two engine options for the 2017 Limited model. As with the previous model we discussed, the standard 3.5L engine produces 290 horsepower. On the other hand, the 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder powertrain has 280 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, while fuel economy climbs to 19 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway.

With the Limited trim, you have standard leather seats, electrically adjustable pedals, two-zone climate control and heated and ventilated front seats.

According to the Kelley Blue Book website, you can find a used 2017 Explorer Limited for just $22,000, noticeably cheaper than its rivals, such as the Chevy Tahoe and Toyota Sequoia. According to several automotive sources, a 2017 Ford Explorer can get 250,000 miles on the clock with proper maintenance without the need for major overhauls.