Crossovers are heavily in fashion these days, but the 2001 Ford Explorer XLT represents the Big Blue Oval’s attempt at a truly rough ’n ready sport utility vehicle built on a truck-based platform. In this respect, the machine succeeds in offering consumers a splendid counterpart to more contemporary options.
While similar to the prior year’s field entrant, there are important distinctions, particularly with the powertrain. The 2001 base model eschews the 160 horses featured in the lower trims of the 2000 automobile, instead opting for a much peppier 4.0L V-6 engine. This motor delivers a more upscale output with 210 HP at 5,250 RPM. Torque rings in at 240 lb.-ft. at 3,250 RPM, too, meaning you’ll never be without the performance you need as you tear up Seattle’s trails.
That’s not where this Explorer’s attributes end, however. The cabin is spacious for all passengers, with front and rear head room evenly distributed—39.9 inches for the former and 39.3 for the latter. Also, leg room is fairly ample—42.4 inches versus 36.8 in the back—and impressively, the XLT is good for towing up to 5,940 pounds.