2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD Rental Review, Avis/Hertz/National

2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD_front grille

Notable standard features on Avis/Hertz/National’s 2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD

  • 3.5L Ti-VCT 6-cyl engine (290-hp, 255 ft-lb), 6-speed automatic transmission; 0-60 mph ~ 8.0 seconds (MotorTrend)
  • 17/23 (city/hwy) mpg fuel economy
  • Regular gas
  • 80.7 cubic feet cargo space (behind 1st row seats); 43.8 cubic feet cargo space (behind 2nd row seats), 21 cubic feet cargo space (behind 3rd row seats)
  • Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System dial
  • Power windows, folding heated mirrors
  • Leather wrapped manual tilt & telescoping steering wheel with audio & cruise controls
  • 10-way power driver’s seat with lumbar, 6-way power passenger’s seat, heated, leather; 2-way memory
  • Automatic headlamps
  • Manual liftgate
  • Dual zone automatic HVAC
  • 12 speaker (including 1 subwoofer), 390-Watt Sony audio with AM/FM/CD/MP3/HD Radio (6 month Sirius subscription)
  • 8” touchscreen with MyFordTouch 2.0, Sirius TravelLink
  • Inputs: 2 x USB, RCA audio/video, SD Card, Bluetooth/Sync
  • 60/40 split 2nd row seats
  • 3rd row seats
  • Ultrasonic rear parking sensors and rearview backup camera
  • 110 V inverter with AC outlet in 2nd row
  • Push button engine start


- Cavernous interior space
- Very comfortable 2nd row seats
- 110V outlet for using electronic devices


- 3rd row seats aren’t suited for adults
- Comparatively smaller cargo space in its class
- Fuel economy

CONCLUSION: Can’t go wrong with the Explorer Limited for long trips.

This particular 2013 Ford Explorer Limited was rented from National Car Rental, which deploys a number of Explorers in either XLT or Limited trim.  The chances of finding a loaded Explorer Limited on the Executive Selection Aisle at DCA (and probably at other major airports too) are quite high .  A few weeks ago, I rented a brand new 2013 Ford Explorer Limited, but this one was equipped with the dual pane moonroof.  Avis also rents the Ford Explorer, but I have observed that most of its Explorers are of the XLT variety.  I spotted a strangely trimmed base Explorer with 20″ forged aluminum wheels at the Avis lot one day, so all sorts of variations exist.  The Limited trim Explorers are most easily identified by their 20-inch painted aluminum wheels.

The 2013 Ford Explorer is largely unchanged for the 2013 model year, although front passengers gain a knee airbag for all trim levels.

2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD_front

This Explorer was wearing Tuxedo Black on Black leather and as rented with no other options, stickered for $38,995 as rented.  Despite its suburbanified underpinnings, 4WD Explorers, as this rental was, are equipped with a Terrain Management System selectable dial, similar in concept to Land Rover’s Terrain Response dial.  But it’s largely a moot option on rentals, unless you’re driving in snowy weather, because off-roading will likely void your rental contract agreement.

2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD_side

The 290-hp V6 provided adequate acceleration although an Explorer fully loaded with passengers and cargo will beg for more horsepower.  No Ford Explorer Sports coming to rental fleets I’m afraid.  Steering was suitably light and brakes were linear.  The Explorer was a very comfortable highway cruiser.

The interior layout revealed a typical Ford arrangement with digital MyFordTouch gauge clusters and touchscreen.  The overall fit and finish seemed of higher quality than the Edge or Flex, as it should be, given the Explorer’s pricier MSRP.  The very good Sony audio system is standard on the Explorer Limited and it provided much aural entertainment on the road.

2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD_interior dashboard

Front seats were very comfortable for long hours and their integrated/slightly extended thigh cushions were well suited to taller persons.  Second row passenger seats were just as comfortable, thanks to high mounted seat cushions.  Second row passengers are also treated to a 110V three-prong power outlet which should be very helpful for running laptops and other consumer electronics without need for an adapter.  The third row passenger seats can be used to transport adults, but I would not recommend doing so often.  I was only able to fit two ~ 5′ 6″ adults in the third row and they mentioned the limited leg- and head-room.2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD_2nd row passenger legroom

The Explorer Limited isn’t the most spacious cargo hauler (look to the GMC Acadia triplets) or the most fuel efficient (I averaged ~18-20 mpg), but it is one of the more comfortable and better equipped standard size SUV rentals.

For more information on the 2013 Ford Explorer Limited, please refer to the manufacturer’s website here:


5 Responses

  1. Pingback: 2013 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD Review/Ride Report - FlyerTalk Forums

  2. Dave says:

    I just rented one of these in Canada and noticed it has the Radar cruise control, lane departure warning system, bi-xenon headlights, self park, rain sensing wipers, dual sunroofs, etc. I find it to be very well equipped. Did yours have all these goodies?

  3. Ryan says:

    I’m am pretty sure that’s hertz only rents the XLT models I have yet to se a limited one as I rent from there quite often same goes for the ford Taurus at hertz

  4. Pingback: 2014 Toyota 4Runner SR5 Rental Review, National | CarRentingReviews

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