/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Ford Explorer begins with immediate success

The Ford Explorer first went on sale in 1990 and became an instant hit that would help transport a new generation of families.

manuel-carrillo
Manuel Carrillo III
1991-ford-explorer-1
1 of 20 Ford

The first Explorer was built off the Ford Ranger's pickup truck chassis and shared a plethora of parts with its more utilitarian sibling, namely body panels ahead of the A-pillar and a dashboard.

1991-ford-explorer-2
2 of 20 Ford

Although the Explorer resembled the (also Ranger-based) two-door Ford Bronco II compact SUV of the 1989 and 1990 model years, the Explorer was actually a full segment size larger.

1991-ford-explorer-4
3 of 20 Ford

Under the hood was a 4.0-liter, overhead-valve V6 that made a respectable (for the time) 155 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque.

1991-ford-explorer-eddie-bauer-1
4 of 20 Ford

Later model years saw a 5-horsepower bump, but torque stayed the same.

1991-ford-explorer-sport-1
5 of 20 Ford

The V6 could be paired with a Mazda-sourced five-speed manual transmission or a Ford-designed four-speed automatic.

1991-ford-explorer-xlt-1
6 of 20 Ford

The first-gen Explorer came with rear-wheel drive standard, but shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive was optional.

1992-ford-explorer-eddie-bauer-1
7 of 20 Ford

In its first year, it sold 140,509 units. In its second year, it more than doubled that with 282,837 sales.

1992-ford-explorer-sport-1
8 of 20 Ford

Speaking of Mazda, the Japanese automaker sold its own version of the first-gen Explorer. Called the Navajo, it was based off the Explorer Sport, meaning that it was only offered with two doors.

1992-ford-explorer-xlt-1
9 of 20 Ford

The first-generation Ford Explorer was one of the most important SUVs of its time.

1993-ford-explorer-1
10 of 20 Ford

Keep scrolling for more photos of the first-generation Ford Explorer.

1993-ford-explorer-eddie-bauer-1
11 of 20 Ford
1993-ford-explorer-eddie-bauer-2
12 of 20 Ford
1993-ford-explorer-eddie-bauer-3
13 of 20 Ford
1993-ford-explorer-limited-1
14 of 20 Ford
1993-ford-explorer-special-service-police-vehicle-1
15 of 20 Ford
1993-ford-explorer-special-service-police-vehicle-2
16 of 20 Ford
1994-ford-explorer-1
17 of 20 Ford
1994-ford-explorer-2
18 of 20 Ford
1994-ford-explorer-eddie-bauer-1
19 of 20 Ford
1994-ford-explorer-sport-1
20 of 20 Ford

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

More Galleries

The best Nintendo Switch games to play in 2021

40 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

68 Photos
Redesigned Kia Sportage: Movin' on up

More Galleries

Redesigned Kia Sportage: Movin' on up

8 Photos
2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 reveal: Big Nasty's sequel revs to 8,600 rpm

More Galleries

2023 Chevy Corvette Z06 reveal: Big Nasty's sequel revs to 8,600 rpm

73 Photos
2023 Land Rover Range Rover SV: Something special

More Galleries

2023 Land Rover Range Rover SV: Something special

29 Photos
Refreshed Tesla Model S has a Knight Rider steering wheel

More Galleries

Refreshed Tesla Model S has a Knight Rider steering wheel

16 Photos
Top 10 most popular laptops of 2009 (photos)

More Galleries

Top 10 most popular laptops of 2009 (photos)

10 Photos