Test-drive the all-new 2019 Ford Explorer SUV

For buyers who don’t want to go as far as a full-size SUV, the Ford Explorer delivers seven-seat capability and a whole lot more in a more manageable midsize crossover package. The 2019 Ford Explorer has been around in its current form for the best part of a decade now. You wouldn’t necessarily know it to look like it though, as it fits nicely into the family of Ford SUVs above the Edge while still looking every bit as one of the family.

2019 changes

Some new upgrade packages have been made available this year for the Ford Explorer, ahead of a full-scale redesign for 2020. The Ford SUV also gets its active safety technology more widely distributed throughout the range, and a power tailgate is now standard on the entry-level XLT trim.


Some observers like to criticize a vehicle design just because it's been around for a while, but that doesn’t take into account the fact some designs genuinely do pass the test of time. The Explorer looks like a bigger version of the midsize, five-seat Edge, and there are also obvious similarities with the compact Escape. This is an SUV that looks just the way we expect an SUV to look, even though it's almost as practical and versatile as a minivan.

Trim levels

There are four trim levels in the 2019 Ford Explorer lineup, but as this is the last year of this model, Ford has resisted the temptation to replace the Sport model with an ST in the way it has done with the Edge. It means the range still starts with the popular XLT and then goes to the Limited, the Sport and then the top-of-the-range Platinum. All models come standard front-wheel drive, but the additional capability of all-wheel drive is available for all four trim levels.

2019 Ford Explorer SUV
2019 Ford Explorer SUV


XLT and Limited versions of the 2019 Ford Explorer now come standard with the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo engine that's the optional powerplant in other markets. This modern, efficient engine is rated at 280 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, and like every version of the 2019 Explorer, the standard transmission is a six-speed SelectShift automatic. These two trims do have a V-6 option too, but the 3.5-litre V-6 only offers 10 horsepower more than the turbo-four and it produces 55 lb.-ft. of torque less than the standard engine, so the 2.3 is probably the way to go. There's just one engine for the Sport and Platinum versions of the 2019 Ford Explorer, but why would an optional unit be required when this one is a 3.5-litre twin-turbo putting out 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque?

Features and equipment

XLT versions of the Explorer very nicely equipped for an entry-level model. Standard kit includes seven-speaker audio, Sync 3 infotainment, FordPass Connect with Wi-Fi hotspot, 8-way heated power front-passenger seat, dual-zone electronic automatic temperature control, cruise control, power features, a reverse sensing system, remote start, a rearview camera and plenty more.

Of course, the best way to find out all about the 2019 Ford Explorer is to get behind the wheel on a test drive with us here at Van Isle Ford Sales, the number one choice Ford dealer in Port Alberni, BC. Contact us to schedule a test drive today through our website, by phone, or by dropping in to see us in person.