Inside boasts incredible, eye-catching updates.
In a vital revival, the mature Ford Explorer has undergone a thorough transformation, receiving enhancements to its exterior, interior, and technology. As a distinguished name in the legacy of SUVs, the Explorer has gradually lost its edge. While the initial two iterations were established upon the robust Ranger framework, the third generation released in 2002 introduced a unibody construction.
As a result, the main focus is on providing a comfortable and high-performing driving experience. This can be seen in the condensed lineup, with the exclusion of previous models such as the King Ranch and Timberline. The latter was equipped with four-wheel drive, an off-road suspension, and a limited-slip differential for improved handling. The updated range now includes the Active, ST-Line, ST, and Platinum trims, all featuring rear-wheel drive as the base option. Nevertheless, all-wheel drive remains a possible add-on.
The equipment has been transferred without any alterations, although we will delve into that topic at a later point.
The upcoming 2025 release of the Ford Explorer will feature significant modifications to its front-end design. These changes include a considerably enlarged grille, sleeker LED headlights, as well as a front skid plate and wider air curtains that not only enhance its appearance but also create a more impressive and solid stance. Moving towards the back, the tail lights have been upgraded with LED technology and now extend all the way to the corners, seamlessly incorporating the brand’s nameplate. As for customization options, the Platinum, ST, and ST-Line models can be outfitted with a striking black roof.
Each of the four trim levels features its own distinct trim styling. The initial Active model boasts a serrated black mesh design, while the ST and ST-Line versions sport a glossy black honeycomb grille with a mesh insert in black. The high-end, fully-loaded ST also includes a specially-designed badge for its grille. The ultimate Platinum option elevates the look with an exclusive wing design featuring satin chrome accents and an Ebony grille.
The selection of alloy wheels for the car includes both standard and additional options ranging from 18 to 21 inches. To further elevate each trim, there are various packages that can be chosen from. One notable example is the ST-Line Street Pack which includes 21-inch aluminum wheels with Magnetite paint finish, performance brakes, and front and rear brake calipers painted in vibrant red.
Ford moved the dashboard in a forward position to create a more expansive and airy interior for the front seat occupants. The car manufacturer also equipped the Explorer with fresh and upscale materials on the central console, door panels, and the recently redesigned dashboard. The silver mesh accents are especially eye-catching. An ambient lighting system is included as a standard feature for all models, and drivers can opt for illumination in a variety of colors such as Ice Blue, Orange, Soft Blue, Red, Green, Blue, and Purple.
Each trim level boasts a distinctive color scheme for its interior. The Active variation showcases the sleek Ultra Dark Space Gray on its instrument panel, door panels, and center console. It also features Dark Gray soft-touch seats with stylish Black Onyx inserts and striking Harvest Bronze accent stitching. The ST and ST-Line models, on the other hand, sport a sophisticated Black Onyx design on their instrument panels, door panels, and center console, enhanced by bold red accent stitching. As for seating, the fancier Black Onyx ActiveX option comes with luxurious Miko Suede inserts and striking red accent stitching as standard.
The highest-tier Platinum model is equipped with luxurious Mojave Dusk leather on the instrument panel, doors, and center console, complemented by perfectly coordinated stitching. The seats are also adorned with this premium leather and matching stitching.
Ford has replaced its existing 10.1-inch vertical iPad-style touchscreen with the Ford Digital Experience, a new and improved system. This upgraded feature comprises of a 12.3-inch digital display for instrument readings and a wider, horizontal 13.2-inch touchscreen for accessing the infotainment system. The purpose of this advanced technology is to ensure that the interface remains relevant in the future and can be continuously enhanced through over-the-air updates.
The recently developed system features wireless compatibility with both Apple Carplay and Android Auto, but the notable advantage is the inclusion of Google tools, such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play. This allows for downloading applications from the latter and streaming YouTube videos while the vehicle is stationary.
In terms of safety and advanced driver assistance features, all models are equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ as standard. However, ST-Line, ST, and Platinum models have the additional option of BlueCruise, which is only available for a trial period of 90 days. Subsequently, a three-year subscription must be purchased at a considerable cost.
BlueCruise technology presents the opportunity for drivers to operate their vehicles on highways without holding onto the steering wheel, changing lanes, and adjusting their position within their lane. This allows for increased distance between cars in neighboring lanes, as the car will automatically shift away from them. Furthermore, BlueCruise is designed to assist with braking, accelerating, and steering, ultimately promoting a sense of rejuvenation upon reaching your final destination according to Ford.
Ford has been incredibly generous when it comes to providing standard features. The newly introduced Ford Digital Experience is included in all models, even the base model which offers a 10-way power-adjustable heated driver’s seat and a four-way power heated front passenger seat. Among its many perks, the vehicle also includes eight USB ports, three 12-volt power points, and an embedded modem with 5G capability, accommodating up to 10 passengers. In addition, each model comes equipped with a Class III Trailer Tow Package, allowing for a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds.
The 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder and 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engines remain unaltered and are coupled with a ten-speed automatic transmission. The ST variant comes with the V6 as the standard engine, but for the top-of-the-line Platinum, it is an additional choice. The 2.3 EcoBoost generates a solid 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, while the V6 takes it up a notch to 400 hp and 415 lb-ft. Those who opt for the ST or ST-Line models will receive a complimentary pass to the Ford Performance Racing School’s ST Driving Experience.
Ford has not disclosed the specific performance metrics, however past records indicate that the four-cylinder EcoBoost vehicles are capable of achieving a speed of 60 mph in around six seconds. The inclusion of the powerful 400 hp engine shaves off an additional second from this initial sprint time.
As previously stated, RWD has become the standard configuration for all trim levels, with AWD requiring an additional fee.
As previously stated, the selection has been consolidated and now comprises of fewer options, from four to six. The updated lineup consists of the Active, ST-Line, ST, and Platinum models. This signifies that the Explorer base, XLT, Timberline, and King Ranch models have all been eliminated.
The starting price for the Active model is $39,625, while the ST-Line version goes up to $44,385. For those seeking a luxurious ride, the Platinum is the most high-end option with a sticker price of $51,525. However, if you desire the added power of the EcoBoost V6 engine, you’ll need to fork out an additional $4,615. The performance-focused ST comes in at $55,205. Compared to its predecessor, the new base model costs approximately $3,000 more, but the ST-Line is actually $2,000 more affordable. The overall difference in price between the old and new Platinum model is minimal, but the ST has seen a significant increase of over $5,000.
It will be intriguing to observe the comparison between the new model and usual competitors such as the Toyota 4Runner and Kia Sorento, as well as the recently released Mazda CX-70.
The book of orders will commence today, with the initial units expected to reach dealerships by the second quarter of 2024.