About Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is Ford's first four-door SUV. It was launched as the successor to the two-door Bronco II. In the current van model lineup, the Ford Explorer sits between the Edge and Ford Expedition. Like the Ranger, the Ford Explorer takes its name from the equipment package previously offered on Ford's F-series vans. In addition to the five-door Explorer, a three-door Ford Explorer wagon was offered from 1991 to 2003 as a direct replacement for the Bronco II. From 2001 to 2010, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac was the convertible pickup in that lineup. The fifth- and sixth-generation Ford Explorer models were renamed Ford Police Interceptor Utility for police use, replacing the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor.
The main design change was the addition of a five-door body to compete with the Jeep Cherokee and Chevrolet S-10 Blazer. Like the Bronco II, the first-generation Explorer shared its chassis with the 1983 to 1992 Ford Ranger. At launch, the Explorer was offered with RWD as standard and in several versions with AWD and Borg Warner 13-54 transmissions. The standard was Touch Drive transmission with electronic shifting. This allowed switching from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive with high and low ranges. The Explorer was also available with a manual transmission. The Explorer received custom door panels, the exterior roof was removed, and side mirror handles were fitted. Black B- and D-pillars became a hallmark of the series.
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Like all Ford vans, the five-door Explorer has two main trim levels. The XL is the base trim, and the XLT is the top trim. The Eddie Bauer is the highest trim level and is designed to be driven off-road with the XLT trim. The XL model has a black grille and steel wheels. The XLT has a chrome air intake grille and alloy wheels. The Eddie Bauer model was available with alloy wheels and two-tone paint. In 1994, the company launched a luxury version of Explorer Limited. The Limited was intended primarily as a competitor to the Oldsmobile Bravada and was a five-door car with nearly all the features of that model. For the 1995 model year, the company introduced the second-generation Explorer. Following the success of the first generation, the body design was thoroughly redesigned, and the model was given a different front end than the Ranger.
In 1997, Lincoln-Mercury launched its first SUV, the Mercury Mountaineer. Unlike the Mazda Navajo, the Mountaineer was only sold as a five-door model. In 2001, Ford launched the Ford Explorer Sport Trac, a mid-size two-seat pickup based on the five-door Explorer. Following the launch of the third-generation Explorer in 2002, the three-door model used the second-generation body style until the 2003 model year. Four-wheel ABS, which was standard on the previous generation, was retained. The rear drum brakes were replaced by disc brakes. As in the first generation, RWD is standard, while partial AWD is optional. For the first time, AWD is available as an option.