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.

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
1
of 20

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
2
of 20

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
3
of 20

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

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
4
of 20

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

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
5
of 20

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

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
6
of 20

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

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
7
of 20

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.

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
8
of 20

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

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
9
of 20

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

Published:Caption:Photo:FordRead the article
10
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
11
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
12
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
13
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
14
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
15
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
16
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
17
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
18
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
19
of 20

Published:Photo:FordRead the article
20
of 20
Up Next

Bronco6G forum renders four-door Ford Bronco beautifully