The first Ford Explorer helped introduce America to the SUV as a family car. In 1991, that still meant an off-road-focused vehicle, just one with more creature comforts than its competitors. But the Explorer faded out of relevance with the advent of more economical, better-driving car-based crossovers like the Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander. Ford finally responded in 2013 by turning the Explorer into a crossover, too — and it became a best-seller again.
Today, the Explorer is in its second generation as a mid-size three-row crossover. With its rear-wheel-drive-based platform and extra-powerful engines, it stakes out a middle ground between a traditional SUV and an extra-light-duty crossover. Prices start at $33,100. Read on to learn more about the Explorer’s pros and cons and how it stacks up to a host of strong competitors.