NEW FOR 2009:

– Standard SOS Post-Crash Alert System
– Available next-generation navigation system, Trailer Sway Control

For 2009, the Ford Explorer is unchanged, save for new features. The SOS Post-Crash Alert System sounds the horn and turns on the emergency flashers if an airbag deploys, while Trailer Sway Control works with the electronic stability program to help control the vehicle if a trailer starts to sway back and forth.

The Explorer is available with a choice of two engines. A 4.0-litre V6 with five-speed automatic or 4.6-litre V8 with six-speed automatic can be ordered in the XLT and Eddie Bauer trim lines, while the Limited model uses the V8 only. The XLT and Eddie Bauer are four-wheel drive, while the Limited is all-wheel drive. The XLT and Eddie Bauer can be optioned with the three-row seating that is standard on the Limited.

Features on the XLT include 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, trailer tow hitch receiver, keyless entry, SecuriCode keypad, tire pressure monitoring system, cloth seats with six-way power driver’s adjustment, 60/40 split-folding and reclining second-row bench seat, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary input and Sirius satellite radio, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cargo management system, cruise control, leather-wrapped wheel with audio controls, power windows with driver’s auto-down, illuminated vanity mirrors, heated mirrors with puddle lamps, fog lamps, privacy glass, speed-sensitive intermittent wipers, intermittent rear wiper, black step bars, black roof side rails and crossbars, and floor mats.

The Eddie Bauer adds 18-inch chrome-clad aluminum wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated leather seats with ten-way driver and six-way power adjustment, driver’s side memory, six-CD/MP3 stereo, Sync, power-adjustable pedals, garage door opener, and reverse sensing system.

The Limited adds 20-inch alloy wheels, power-folding 50/50 split fold-flat third-row bench seat, auxiliary rear climate control, power sunroof, Class III/IV trailer tow package with Trailer Sway Control, and chrome roof side rails.

The Explorer offers a comfortable interior, smooth ride, good towing capability and off-road prowess, along with five- or seven-passenger seating, depending on your preference. As is to be expected with rising fuel prices, the Explorer’s MSRP drops considerably over the 2008 tag. A pickup truck version is also sold as the Explorer Sport Trac.

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