A Buyer’s Guide to the 2012 Ford Explorer

Over 20 years ago, Ford changed everything for the American car-buying market when they introduced the first generation of the Explorer. Today, the 2012 Ford Explorer continues the evolution of modern large SUVs with a number of updates, including a lighter, stronger chassis and more passenger and cargo space than ever before.

Key Features

The Curve Control safety feature comes standard on all Explorer trims, and it could be a literal lifesaver. It senses when you’re entering a corner too quickly and may be in danger of tipping, and it corrects for this by automatically engaging the throttle and braking for you to help you maintain the driving path you want.

The Limited and XLT trims also come standard with Ford’s SYNC voice-command infotainment system for hands-free navigation, music selection, climate control, and more.

Changes for 2012

As of 2012, you can now get a front-wheel drive Ford Explorer with the EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbo-charged engine. With premium fuel, you’ll get 240 horsepower and gas mileage that reaches above 25 MPG.

What We Like

Ford has shown that they’re not afraid of new lines with the continuously updated 2012 Ford Explorer. It has a lot of room and is rugged enough to take on tough terrain, but it also has a very plush ride when you’re driving around town and taking the kids to soccer practice.

What Concerns Us

If you’re looking for serious towing capacity, look elsewhere. While we love that the Explorer has gotten lighter and stronger over the years, it is not, and really never has been, a true off-road vehicle. You won’t want to try to tow more than 5000 pounds with an Explorer, even the 4WD option.

Available Models

With different trim options, you can choose between interior features and exterior details, but the big decisions lie in whether or not to go with 4WD and which engine to choose:

  • Engine – 3.5-liter V6

    • Power – 290 HP at 6500 RPM
    • Torque – 255 lb-ft at 4000 RPM
    • Fuel economy (MPG city/highway) – 17/23 (4WD), 17/25 (FWD)
  • Engine – 2.0-liter turbo-charged inline 4-cylinder

    • Power – 240 HP at 5500 RPM
    • Torque – 270 lb-ft at 1750-4000 RPM
    • Fuel economy (MPG city/highway) – 20/28 (FWD)

Major Recalls

The 2012 Ford Explorer has had three recalls to remedy various issues, including:

  • Replacement steering gears that could lock steering
  • Potential loss of power steering assist
  • Interior door handle return spring becoming unseated

Common Issues

The most commonly reported problems with the 2012 Ford Explorer actually have nothing to do with the performance of the vehicle but rather with problems with the paint finish on the hood.

ford explorer 2012 interior


Next Step

Schedule Pre-purchase Car Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Pre-purchase Car Inspection. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Pre-purchase Car Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(5,189)

Rating Summary
4,847
184
37
38
83
4,847
184
37
38
83

Attila

19 years of experience
906 reviews
Attila
19 years of experience
Cadillac SRX V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Edison, New Jersey
Attila was great! Very knowledgeable and actually detected a fault during a pre-purchase inspection that would have cost me later.
Lexus ES350 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Fords, New Jersey
He is very good—offered all the significant details we needed from the inspection. Helped us figure out what needed to be fixed.

Shawn

12 years of experience
285 reviews
Shawn
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala V6-3.6L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Shawn was prompt, professional, and delivered the promised service as expected. This was a used vehicle pre-purchase inspection. Shawn also had to drive to multiple locations to perform the inspection, as the address listed that I provided him with was not accurate, but he still made it to the correct location within his time window and completed the inspection.
Toyota Sequoia - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Akron, Pennsylvania
Shawn was very prompt in communicating with me and was good at helping me decide whether to purchase a used car. He help me avoid a car with a repaired rusted frame that could be a danger to my family's safety since we were planning on using the car to tow a travel trailer!

Luis

18 years of experience
320 reviews
Luis
18 years of experience
Honda HR-V L4-1.8L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Warren, New Jersey
Luis was great. He showed up on time, acted professionally, and gave me confidence with a pre-purchase car inspection.
Acura RDX - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - South Hackensack, New Jersey
Luis did a thorough pre-purchase inspection for me, and found several major issues that made me pass on buying the car. Had I purchased the car, I almost certainly would have ended up paying thousands in repairs down the road. Thanks Luis!

Robert

20 years of experience
1089 reviews
Robert
20 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra L4-2.0L - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Englewood, Colorado
He did a pre-purchase inspection for me. He was knowledgeable and fast, and knew what he was looking for. I really appreciate all the pictures and documentation he took of the state of the car before purchase. He noted potential issues with the car that I wouldn't have been able to notice. Would recommend.
GMC Savana 1500 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Golden, Colorado
I trust Robert. He gave me a list and we will take care of it the week of June 29. I will know then that my vehicle is ready for the winter and is safe to drive. I look forward to getting things ready for another winter of careful driving.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy If You Smoke
No No lectures here – you know that smoking is bad for you. In fact, right now, only about 15% of adults in the United States smoke, and that means that over the years, motor vehicle manufacturers have become less...
The Best Used Cars to Buy For a Graduation Gift
Your Your little bundle of joy has grown up and on the cusp of entering adulthood. Graduating is a milestone, and you want to reward their hard work and show how proud you are. Buying a used car is a...
How Much Does Size Matter in a Car Crash?
Car accidents can be less severe in a larger, heavier vehicle that's well designed but safety mainly relies on responsible, attentive driving.

Related questions

What does the Sport mode light mean?
The Sport mode light is located on the instrument panel. This light illuminates when the transmission has been turned to Sport mode.
how much for a crankshaft positioning sensor and also how much to have a mechanic put one in
Hi there: Before you have one of our mobile mechanics replace the crankshaft position sensor, you should have them complete a full check engine light inspection (https://www.yourmechanic.com/services/check-engine-light-is-on-inspection) first. It's possible that the code being displayed on your code reader is...
How much to install a turbo and tune to my 2012 Acura TSX? I'll supply a 500$ eBay turbo kit and hoping for like less than 10psi
Hello. This is a system that needs to be installed by a shop that specializes in this. A failure to do so can cause some serious failures in the engine and in the new parts that you purchased.

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com