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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 Ford Explorer Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 Ford Explorer Overview

2002 Ford Explorer Is Completely New From the Ground Up

After 10 years of being the best selling SUV in America, the 2002 Ford Explorer finally gets a complete overhaul. The new Explorer is better in almost every respect, with a host of innovative new safety and comfort features. One of the most impressive improvements comes in the area of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The Explorer's fully-boxed frame construction has increased torsional stiffness by 350%. A stiffer chassis results in less body flex, hence less squeaks and rattles over time.

Underneath the Explorer, Ford engineers have replaced the old, solid rear axle with a new independent rear suspension, placing the differential high up in the frame. The rear axles connect to the wheels by passing through a set of portholes cut into the frame. This design gives the Explorer greater ground clearance while vastly improving its ride and handling dynamics. There is a noticeable improvement in the way the new Explorer deals with emergency lane change maneuvers and sudden turns to the steering wheel.

Under the hood, Ford continues to offer the venerable 4.0-liter V6 as the standard engine and a new 4.6-liter V8 as the only option. The new V8 is rated at 240-horsepower and is a great improvement over the old 5.0-liter V8, besting it in fuel economy, towing capacity and quietness. Later in the model year, Ford will offer a roll-over protection system that can detect if the vehicle is about to flip, deploying the side airbag curtain and helping to keep occupants from being ejected. The Explorer will also offer a new skid control system called AdvancedTrac. This system monitors all four wheels and when it detects the vehicle sliding or skiding out of control, sends power to which ever wheel will correct the slide and returns control to the driver.

Improvements to the Explorer are not limited to the outside. The new independent rear suspension now allows room for an optional hide-away third-row seat, expanding the Explorer's seating capacity to seven. The dash has been redesigned with softer contours, user-friendly switchgear and a modular audio system. The seats have also been redesigned for better comfort and there are optional electrically adjustable pedals to accommodate just about any size driver. Safety is a major selling point this year so the Explorer will offer airbags that deploy at different rates-depending on the severity of the crash and position of the occupant's seat-and a side-curtain airbag that deploys from the ceiling, protecting both front and rear passengers during a side impact.

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