100 Cars That Changed History

tn_42-1st-Explorer-21st-Explorer-2” by IFCAR – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.


42. Ford Explorer 1990-1994 United States

The Ford Explorer defined 1990’s sports utility vehicle craze and helped to make SUVs a family standard. Built by the Ford Motor Company, the Explorer replaced the failed Bronco II and, like its predecessor, was a sports utility variant of a Ford Ranger pickup truck. The first generation Explorers came equipped with the then new 155 hp (116 kW) 4.0 L Cologne V-6, which was manufactured in Cologne, Germany. Available in three-door or five-door, and with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. Through various engines and design changes, the Explorer has remained a beast in the American SUV market. It was designed to compete with the Chevy Blazer and shares a lot of the same body features. In addition to being known for its reliability, the Explorer model has always earned high marks on safety. Its rear inflatable seat belts won the Best New Technology Award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada in 2011.


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