Ford Improves 2006 Explorer to Take on Rivals, Boost Sales

Ford released the first official pics of its new 2006 Explorer today, revealing an SUV that's nearly unchanged on the outside — a disturbing thought, considering the last Explorer looked as backdated as an episode of "F-Troop." But wait. The changes, say Ford officials, are all on the inside. Ford hopes the revamped model will reverse a sales slide and will bring SUV buyers back from exile in Japan and Germany. They've slashed the price and pumped up horsepower. They've made the ride quieter, the engines more fuel-efficient and driving response more car-like than previous years'. Larry Storch never had it so good. [Update: New pricing info.]

Buyers can now order their 2006 Explorer with the same 4.6-liter SOHC V8 (292hp/300ft/lbs) as in the Mustang GT as well as the F-150's 5.4-liter, as well as the first six-speed automatic in its segment — adding to an improvement in fuel economy. A new frame, new front and rear independent suspensions, and better brakes round out Ford's hail-mary pass into the endzone of midsized SUVs. It need only last three model years, before Ford's plan to revolutionize the segment is set to kick in.

2006 Prices
Model / Base Price / Change Since 2005
Explorer XLS / $27,175 / $(635)
Explorer XLT / $28,870 / $(1,775)
Explorer XLT Sport / na / na
Explorer Eddie Bauer / $30,845 / $(3,900)
Explorer Limited / $33,160 / $(2,470)

Includes $645 destination and delivery charge

Ford Improves 2006 Explorer to Take on Rivals, Boost Sales

Ford Improves 2006 Explorer to Take on Rivals, Boost Sales

Ford Improves 2006 Explorer to Take on Rivals, Boost Sales


Related:
Ford Increases Rebates on Explorer SUV Ahead of Redesign [internal]