Discover the History of Ford Explorer Running Boards: Which Year Were They First Introduced?


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The Ford Explorer is one of the most iconic SUVs in the automotive industry, with a long history of providing drivers with comfort, style, and versatility. One of the most popular accessories for this vehicle is the running boards, which not only add to the aesthetic appeal but also improve the functionality and convenience of the SUV. However, many people are unaware of the history of running boards on the Ford Explorer, and when they were first introduced. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating history of Ford Explorer running boards, exploring their origins, evolution, and impact on the SUV’s design and performance. We will also examine the various types of running boards that have been introduced over the years, from the simple and functional to the stylish and luxurious, and how they have influenced the Ford Explorer’s popularity among drivers. So, buckle up and join us on this exciting journey through the history of Ford Explorer running boards!
Running boards are essential components of SUVs that provide a range of benefits both functionally and aesthetically. These boards act as a sturdy step to facilitate entry and exit from the vehicle, especially for older people or those with mobility challenges. Additionally, SUVs with running boards can help keep the interior cleaner by reducing the amount of dirt and debris tracked inside. Apart from their practical uses, running boards also add a stylish touch to the overall appearance of the vehicle. They can come in various designs, finishes, and materials to match the SUV’s general aesthetics, adding an extra layer of customization to the vehicle. Overall, running boards are an integral part of an SUV’s design, offering both practical and visual benefits.
The Ford Explorer, a mid-size SUV with a storied history, was first introduced in 1990 as a replacement for the Bronco II. It quickly became a popular choice for families, adventurers, and law enforcement agencies alike. Throughout the years, the Explorer has undergone several redesigns and updates, including the addition of new features like the running boards, which were introduced in 2002. These running boards provide easier access to the vehicle and have become a popular accessory for Explorer owners. Despite some controversy and setbacks, the Ford Explorer remains a popular choice for those in need of a versatile and reliable SUV.

The Early Days of Ford Explorer


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The Ford Explorer has been a popular SUV since its introduction in 1990. The early days of the Ford Explorer were marked by its rugged design and off-road capabilities. It was designed to compete with other SUVs in the market, such as the Chevrolet Blazer and the Jeep Cherokee. The first generation of the Explorer was available in both two-door and four-door models. It was powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine that produced 155 horsepower. The early versions of the Explorer were known for their reliability and durability, making them a popular choice for families and outdoor enthusiasts. The second generation of the Ford Explorer was introduced in 1995 and featured a more refined design and improved handling. It was also available in both two-door and four-door models and was powered by a 4.0-liter V6 engine. The Explorer was now available with driver and passenger airbags, making it one of the safest SUVs on the market. In 1999, the Explorer was updated with a new front-end design and a more powerful 5.0-liter V8 engine. The Explorer continued to be one of the best-selling SUVs in the market, with its combination of rugged design and refined features. Overall, the early days of the Ford Explorer were marked by its versatility, reliability, and popularity among families and outdoor enthusiasts.
The first generation Ford Explorer was introduced in 1990 as a mid-size SUV, replacing the Ford Bronco II. This vehicle was designed with a body-on-frame construction, featuring a unibody chassis and a rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive option. The Explorer was available in two-door and four-door models, with a range of engine choices, including a 4.0-liter V6 and a 4.0-liter V8. The Explorer quickly became popular among families and outdoor enthusiasts due to its spacious interior and rugged capabilities. In addition, it was one of the first SUVs to offer advanced safety features, such as anti-lock brakes and a driver’s side airbag. Overall, the first generation Explorer set the standard for SUVs to come and paved the way for the evolution of the vehicle over the years.
During the early years of the Ford Explorer, running boards were not a standard feature of the vehicle. However, several aftermarket options were available for those who wanted to add this accessory to their SUV. These running boards came in a variety of styles and materials, including aluminum and stainless steel. Some were designed with non-slip surfaces, while others featured built-in lights for added safety and convenience. As the popularity of the Ford Explorer grew, manufacturers started to offer running boards as a factory-installed option, making them more accessible to owners who wanted a streamlined look without having to purchase and install the accessory separately.
The popularity of running boards among Explorer owners can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, running boards provide added convenience and safety, especially for those with children or elderly passengers who may have difficulty getting in and out of the vehicle. Secondly, they enhance the overall look of the vehicle, giving it a more rugged and adventurous appearance. Lastly, running boards can be seen as a practical accessory for off-road adventures, making it easier to access the roof or load and unload gear. All of these factors have contributed to the enduring popularity of running boards among Explorer owners, making them a staple feature of the iconic SUV.

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Running Boards in the Second Generation Ford Explorer


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Running boards have been a significant feature in many SUVs and trucks, including the Ford Explorer. In particular, the second-generation Ford Explorer, which was produced from 1995 to 2001, was known for its sleek and practical running boards. These running boards were designed to provide an extra step for passengers to climb in and out of the vehicle easily. The running boards were made of sturdy materials, which made them durable and long-lasting. They also added a distinctive look to the SUV, making it stand out on the road. The running boards in the second-generation Ford Explorer were also designed to enhance the vehicle’s functionality. They provided a stable platform for passengers to step on, which was particularly useful for shorter passengers and children. Moreover, the running boards were also convenient for carrying cargo on the roof of the SUV. They provided a stable and secure platform for strapping down luggage, sporting equipment, and other items. Overall, the running boards in the second-generation Ford Explorer were a practical and stylish addition to an already impressive SUV. They added to the vehicle’s overall functionality, making it a popular choice among SUV enthusiasts.
The second generation Ford Explorer, introduced in 1995, was a significant improvement over the first-generation model. It was larger, more refined, and more capable, with a wide range of engine options and improved safety features. The new design featured a wider stance and a more aerodynamic shape, giving it a sleeker and more modern appearance. The second generation also introduced the first-ever Ford Explorer running boards, which provided an added level of convenience and safety for passengers entering and exiting the vehicle. Overall, the second-generation Ford Explorer was a game-changer for the SUV market, setting a new standard for performance, safety, and style.
Over the years, Ford Explorer has undergone several significant changes to its design and features, including the running board options. Initially, the running boards were introduced as an optional feature in the year 1991, providing an easy step for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. However, in the following years, the running board options were modified to suit the changing trends in the automotive industry. In some models, the running boards were made retractable to improve the vehicle’s aerodynamics, while in others, they were made more durable to withstand harsh weather conditions. Today, the running board options are available in a variety of materials, styles, and finishes, allowing customers to choose the ones that best suit their needs and preferences.
The introduction and evolution of Ford Explorer running boards can be attributed to various reasons. Initially, running boards were added to vehicles as a practical solution to help passengers climb into taller vehicles with ease. As the automotive industry evolved, running boards were also seen as a design element, adding a sleek and stylish look to vehicles. Moreover, as SUVs like the Ford Explorer became more popular, the need for running boards increased to accommodate families and individuals with mobility limitations. Over time, running boards have also been developed with technological advancements, such as lighting and integrated power-deployable steps, making them more functional and convenient for drivers and passengers alike. Ultimately, the reasons behind the changes in Ford Explorer running boards are a combination of practicality, aesthetics, and technological advancements.

Running Boards in the Third Generation Ford Explorer


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In the third generation of Ford Explorer, running boards became a standard feature in the XLT, Eddie Bauer, and Limited trims. These running boards were designed not only to enhance the vehicle’s appearance, but also to provide a practical function. The running boards made it easier for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle, especially for those with limited mobility. They also protected the vehicle from debris and other hazards on the road, preventing damage to the paint and body. The running boards in the third generation Ford Explorer were made of durable materials such as aluminum or plastic, ensuring they could withstand the wear and tear of daily use. They were typically installed on the lower side of the vehicle, running from the front to the back doors. Some models even featured illuminated running boards, which added an extra touch of style and functionality. Overall, the addition of running boards in the third generation Ford Explorer proved to be a popular feature, making the vehicle more accessible and practical for drivers and passengers alike.
The third generation Ford Explorer, which was produced between 2002 and 2005, marked a significant shift in the design and features of the popular SUV. This model featured a more refined exterior design with a sleeker profile and a more aerodynamic shape. The interior was also updated with new technology and safety features, including side-curtain airbags and a roll stability control system. The third generation Explorer also introduced a new independent rear suspension system, which improved the vehicle’s handling and ride comfort. Additionally, this model was available with a range of powerful engine options, including a 4.0-liter V6 and a 4.6-liter V8, both of which were paired with a five-speed automatic transmission. Overall, the third generation Explorer offered a more modern and refined driving experience, making it a popular choice for those in search of a versatile and capable SUV.
During the early years of the Ford Explorer, running board options were limited to basic designs for functionality purposes only. However, as time progressed, running boards became more of a luxury feature, and manufacturers began experimenting with different materials and styles. Some popular options during this time included chrome or stainless steel running boards with rubber grips for improved traction, as well as illuminated running boards for added visibility at night. Additionally, some models featured retractable running boards that could be hidden when not in use, giving the vehicle a sleeker appearance. Ultimately, the evolution of running board options in the Ford Explorer highlights the ever-changing nature of automotive design and the desire for improved functionality and aesthetics.
The introduction of running boards to Ford Explorer models has had a significant impact on sales. These functional additions have made it easier for drivers and passengers to enter and exit the vehicle, making it more accessible for a wider range of individuals. This increased convenience has made the Explorer a more attractive option for families and individuals alike, which has contributed to the vehicle’s ongoing success. Additionally, the inclusion of running boards has also enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the Explorer, giving it a more rugged, adventurous look that appeals to those who value style as well as function. Ultimately, the addition of running boards has helped to solidify the Explorer’s position as a leading SUV in the automotive market.

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Running Boards in the Fourth Generation Ford Explorer


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The Fourth Generation Ford Explorer, introduced in 2011, marked a significant step in the evolution of the popular SUV. One of the features that stood out in this iteration of the Explorer was the running boards, which were available as an option. These running boards were designed to provide additional footing and easier access to the cabin, making it more convenient for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. The running boards also added a touch of style to the Explorer, giving it a more rugged and sporty appearance. The running boards in the Fourth Generation Ford Explorer were made from high-quality materials and designed to withstand the rigors of daily use. They were available in a variety of finishes, including chrome and black, so customers could choose the option that best suited their preferences. The running boards were also designed to be easy to install, with no drilling required in most cases. This made it easy for customers to add this feature to their Explorer, enhancing the functionality and appearance of the vehicle. Overall, the running boards were a welcome addition to the Fourth Generation Ford Explorer, providing customers with a practical and stylish feature that enhanced the overall driving experience.
The fourth generation Ford Explorer, which was introduced in 2011, marked a significant departure from its predecessors in terms of design and engineering. It featured a sleeker and more aerodynamic body, along with improved fuel efficiency and handling. The fourth generation also saw the introduction of advanced safety features, including a blind-spot monitoring system and adaptive cruise control. In addition, the Explorer was equipped with modern technology, such as a touchscreen infotainment system and a rearview camera. Overall, the fourth generation Explorer represented a major step forward for the iconic SUV, and it continues to be a popular choice for drivers who value comfort, performance, and versatility.
Over the course of its history, the Ford Explorer has undergone numerous changes and updates, and one of the areas that has seen significant evolution is the running board options. Originally introduced in 1990 as a simple step plate, these running boards gradually became more sophisticated and stylish over the years, incorporating features like integrated lighting, textured surfaces, and custom logos. In recent years, Ford has focused on making the running boards more functional, using advanced materials like aluminum and composite plastics to reduce weight, improve durability, and enhance the overall driving experience. Whether you’re looking for a classic Explorer with a simple step plate or a modern model with advanced running board technology, there’s a Ford Explorer out there to suit your needs and preferences.
The introduction of running boards in Ford Explorer can be attributed to various reasons. In the early days, running boards were added to vehicles to help passengers climb aboard easily, especially for women who wore long dresses. However, in modern times, running boards serve as a safety feature, providing a step for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle safely. Additionally, running boards enhance the appearance and style of the car, making it look more attractive. With the changing trends in the automotive industry, running boards have evolved from being just a functional accessory to a stylish addition that enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of the vehicle.
The Ford Explorer has a rich history when it comes to running boards. In the early days, the Explorer was produced without running boards, which made it difficult for passengers to climb in and out of the vehicle. In 1995, Ford introduced running boards as an optional feature for the Explorer. These running boards were a simple design that helped passengers get in and out of the vehicle with ease. Over the years, running boards have evolved to become a more integral part of the Explorer’s design. Today, the Explorer features sleek, modern running boards that not only provide easy access to the vehicle, but also add to its overall aesthetic appeal. From simple add-ons to stylish accessories, running boards have come a long way in the evolution of the Ford Explorer.
Running boards have had a significant impact on the popularity of the Ford Explorer since their introduction. These boards provide an added convenience for passengers, making it easier to climb in and out of the vehicle. They also provide a sporty and rugged appearance that is synonymous with the Explorer’s adventurous spirit. The running boards have become a signature feature of the Explorer, adding to its appeal among consumers. Additionally, the boards make it easier to load and unload cargo, which is important for families and businesses alike. Overall, the inclusion of running boards has become an integral part of the Explorer’s success story, helping to cement its place as one of the most popular SUVs on the market today.
In conclusion, the running boards in SUVs, such as the Ford Explorer, are much more than a simple add-on accessory. These boards provide a practical function by making it easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle, especially for children and elderly individuals. Additionally, they act as a protective barrier, shielding the vehicle’s sides from debris and other objects that may cause damage. Moreover, running boards can enhance the overall appearance of an SUV, giving it a sleek and stylish look. Overall, running boards are an essential component of any SUV, and their importance cannot be overstated.

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Conclusion


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In conclusion, delving into the history of Ford Explorer running boards has shed light on the evolution of this iconic vehicle. It is fascinating to learn that these accessories were not always a standard feature and were only introduced in certain years. The Ford Explorer has come a long way since its inception, and the running boards are just one example of how it has adapted to the changing needs and preferences of consumers. Whether you are a fan of the classic models or the newer versions, it is undeniable that the Ford Explorer has left an indelible mark on the automotive industry.