Ford Streamlines Explorer Options: Simplifying the Lineup
The upcoming 2025 Ford Explorer range has been streamlined, reducing the previous eight trim choices to a more manageable four. In an interview with Kelly Clark, Chief Program Engineer for the Explorer, CarBuzz discovered the reasoning behind Ford’s decision to simplify the lineup for the 2025 version.
According to Clark, “We have streamlined our offerings, reducing them from approximately eight options to just four.” This decision has resulted in a simplification of the decision-making process for customers. Previously, there were hundreds of orderable configurations, but now there are less than 40.This change has had a positive impact on Ford as it has made the assembly line for the Explorer less complex. Additionally, customers are now able to enjoy a greater number of standard features.
In the year 2025, the Explorer series will see a change in its lineup, with the addition of the new-for-Explorer Active trim, along with the existing ST-Line, ST, and Platinum trims. All three models – Active, ST-Line, and Platinum – will be equipped with a powerful 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that can generate 300 horsepower. On the other hand, the ST model (or available as an option on the Platinum) will come with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, capable of producing 400 hp. Clark humorously mentions, “We’re placing bets to see which one between the Active and ST-Line will emerge as the top-selling model.”
For the upcoming 2025 models, a few trims from the previous year will not be making a comeback. These include the base, XLT, Timberline, Limited, and King Ranch. However, this is not a permanent decision and these trims may return at a later time.According to a spokesperson, the decision to exclude these trims was based on customer feedback. One of the main reasons for this change was the confusion caused by having similar trims such as King Ranch, Platinum, and Limited. The company received feedback from customers stating that this messaging was not clear and caused confusion.
For those who have a passion for venturing off the beaten path with their Explorer, the tough and durable Timberline trim will not be an option for the 2025 model. However, this does not mean that it will not make a comeback in the near future. According to Clark, “We are aiming to introduce and unveil the most proficient off-road Explorer later this year. Our primary focus right now is on perfecting the basics. The Timberline was introduced a year after the base [Explorer] and it has been a huge success. While we have yet to finalize the details of what this new model will entail, we will do so later this year.”
The popularity of off-road SUVs has grown significantly, making it highly unlikely that Ford would remove this feature from the Explorer series. There is even speculation that Ford may enhance the vehicle’s off-road performance, potentially replacing the Timberline branding with the Rally name used for the Mustang Mach-E, or potentially introducing a Raptor version. These possibilities are certainly exciting to imagine.