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


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Caz

17 years of experience
57 reviews
Caz
17 years of experience
Honda Insight - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Acworth, Georgia
Patient, thorough, professional and takes his time to explain things. This is the second time I have used Caz's services, and he consistently delivers. Look forward to working with him again.
Volvo XC90 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Alpharetta, Georgia
My husband and I are looking for a reliable used car for our teenage drivers. We had two that we were considering and wanted to have them inspected prior to purchasing. Caz did a thorough inspection of both vehicles and recommended we walk away from both. We really appreciated his transparency and knowledge. We will definitely use Caz again.

Chris

22 years of experience
2001 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Porsche Macan - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Chris you as so knowledgeable and really out my mid at ease with the private seller purchase. Highly recommend to anyone shopping for a car :)
Lexus ES300h - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Temecula, California
Amazing guy.... called and gave me what felt to be his honest and straightforward opinion on my vehicle.... def will book him again in the future for work

Casey

19 years of experience
27 reviews
Casey
19 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Katy, Texas
Casey is awesome. Helped me fully understand the health of the used vehicle I was buying for my mother in law. Great service and very knowledgeable for sure. Casey found only one issue we needed to deal with and was able to book the repair just a few days later.

Colby

14 years of experience
21 reviews
Colby
14 years of experience
Ford Ranger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Longmont, Colorado
Colby called to notify me he was in route to the inspection--to ease my mind and to ask if there was anything in particular/extra I wanted him to check out. He was going to do a pre-purchase inspection of a 2002 Ford Ranger. He assured me that I hired the right guy since he'd worked for Ford for 13 years. An hour or so later, he called me while he was driving home to discuss his inspection. I could ask him everything I wanted as we dialogued. That was so helpful! And way more personable and real than just reading the report he emailed. The report was thorough and included a test drive. He had recommendations for some work to be immediately done; rotors & brake pads. Then, included the cost for him to do that work should I choose. The price was fair and not crazy expensive. I'm still deliberating on whether to have that done or to wait for my mechanic to do it once I have the truck. Thank you again Colby.

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