The Explorer is offered in base, XLT, Limited, ST and Platinum models, but no matter the model, it comes with three well-designed rows of seating and room for up to seven (the second row comes with two bucket seats for adults). While the third row is kid-sized, it's easier to fold than those on just about any other model, thanks to the simple, single-button power-folding system. Parents will also note that LATCH fasteners for child seats are included in the second-row outboard positions. Both the second and third rows flip forward, giving a cavernous amount of cargo space.
The base 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine makes a healthy 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, with fuel economy at a class leading 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway and a 5000-lb tow capacity this engine is real workhorse. A beefier 3.0L Ecoboost V6 is available on Platinum trimmed vehicles producing 365 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, with tow ratings all the way up to a 5600-lb maximum when properly equipped and an even more powerful ST model making 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque.
The available Intelligent 4-wheel-drive system in the Explorer is available with all engines, and it is designed with the urban driving done by most Explorer owners in mind. The system includes a Terrain Management system that recalibrates itself for snow, sand or mud when needed. With 4-wheel drive, there's also Hill Descent Control, to help maintain composure on steep, slippery slopes.
Standard equipment on the Explorer is more extensive than what is found in most mainstream-brand vehicles. Cruise control, power adjustable driver seat, media hub system, five 12-volt power points, 8-inch touchscreen, FordPass Connect 4G, multi-zone climate control with separate rear controls, cap less fuel-filling and the MyKey control/monitoring feature are all standard on the base model.
Standard features included on the XLT include heated front seats, premium cloth upholstery and power lumbar adjustable driver's seat and power adjustable passenger seat.
The Limited trim adds many more features including heated/vented front seats, leather upholstery, ambient lighting, heated steering wheel, HD radio, amplifier sound system, Bang & Olufsen 12 Speaker system, rain detecting wipers, 360 degree camera system, front/rear parking sensors, traffic sign information and evasion assist.
The top-of-the-line Platinum trim includes 21-inch premium aluminum wheels, quilted leather seating, illuminated sill plates and directionally adaptive lighting.
MyFord Touch combines a host of vehicle, information and entertainment functions in an interface that appears a bit like that of iPads or other tablet computers. The system works together with Ford's Sync interface to interact seamlessly -- and with voice commands -- with media players, smartphones, and music on USB sticks.
All Explorers include both Roll Stability Control and Curve Control sophisticated stability control systems. Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags also cover all three rows and an SOS Post-Crash System helps alert authorities if the airbags deploy. Safety-related tech features on the Explorer include available Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist, adaptive cruise control with a collision warning system that includes brake support as well as a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert and driver attention alert.
Excellent Ride Quality
World-class Safety Features
EcoBoost Engine: Trailering Capabilities
For 2021, the Ford Explorer gets minor updates after its refresh in 2020. The XLT now comes with heated seats and adds an optional Appearance Package. Top trim levels also come with updates interior finishes and there are several more wheel options along with more paint choices available.
The Ford Explorer has been rated one of the safest utility vehicles at any size or price; it's the first vehicle in the world to offer rear inflatable seatbelts. Curve control -- a more advanced version of electronic stability control -- is also a Ford exclusive. Ford's MyKey system helps parents manage the teen drivers in the family.
The Explorer also stands out for being one of the "greenest" choices available. Ford claims best-in-class gas mileage for non-hybrids and notes that the Explorer EcoBoost will go 20 percent farther on a gallon of gas than the Honda Pilot.
Engine: 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 -inc: auto start-stop technology
Transmission: 10-Speed Automatic
3.58 Non-Limited-Slip Rear Axle Ratio
GVWR: 6,160 lbs
50 State Emissions System Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) system is standard equipment for vehicles with the 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 FFV engine.
Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
Automatic Full-Time Four-Wheel Drive
Engine Oil Cooler
Battery w/Run Down Protection
Towing Equipment -inc: Trailer Sway Control
Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
17.9 Gal. Fuel Tank
Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust
Auto Locking Hubs
Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Descent Control, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
Wheels: 18" 5-Spoke Sparkle Silver-Painted Alum
Tires: P255/65R18 AS BSW -inc: mini spare
Steel Spare Wheel
Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
Body-Colored Front Bumper
Black Rear Bumper
Chrome Side Windows Trim, Black Front Windshield Trim and Black Rear Window Trim
Chrome Bodyside Insert, Black Bodyside Cladding and Black Wheel Well Trim
Body-Colored Door Handles
Black Power Heated Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper, Heated Wiper Park and Defroster
Deep Tinted Glass
Speed Sensitive Variable Intermittent Wipers
Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
Grille w/Chrome Bar
Power Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
Roof Rack Rails Only
Autolamp Auto On/Off Aero-Composite Led Low/High Beam Auto High-Beam Daytime Running Lights Preference Setting Headlamps w/Delay-Off
Radio: AM/FM Stereo -inc: MP3 capability, 6 speakers, speed-compensated volume and SiriusXM radio w/a 3 month prepaid subscription, Service is not available in Alaska and Hawaii SiriusXM audio and data services each require a subscription sold separately, or as a package, by Sirius XM radio inc. If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM customer agreement for complete terms at www.siriusxm.com. All fees and programming.
Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Steering Wheel Controls and Internal Memory
Integrated Roof Antenna
SYNC 3 Communications & Entertainment System -inc: enhanced voice recognition, 8" LCD capacitive touchscreen in center stack w/swipe capability, AppLink, 911 Assist, Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility and 1 smart-charging multimedia USB port in the media hub,
Voice Activated Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
Rear HVAC w/Separate Controls
HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts and Headliner/Pillar Ducts
Locking Glove Box
Driver Foot Rest
Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look/Piano Black Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look/Piano Black Door Panel Insert, Piano Black Console Insert and Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents
Full Cloth Headliner
Cloth Door Trim Insert
Unique Cloth Captain's Chairs -inc: 10-way power driver's seat w/power function for tilt, lumbar and recline, 4-way power front passenger seat w/fore/aft and manual recline and 2-way manually adjustable driver and front passenger head restraints
Day-Night Rearview Mirror
Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination, Driver And Passenger Auxiliary Mirror
Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage, Rear Console w/Storage and 4 12V DC Power Outlets
Front And Rear Map Lights
Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
Carpet Floor Trim
Cargo Area Concealed Storage
Cargo Space Lights
FOB Controls -inc: Cargo Access
FordPass Connect -inc: 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot connects up to 10 devices w/wireless data trial that begins upon AT&T activation and expires at the end of 3 months or when 3GB of data is used, whichever comes first, but cannot extend beyond the trial subscription period for remote features, To activate, go to www.att.com/ford), remotely start, lock and unlock vehicle, schedule specific times to remotely start vehicle, locate parked vehicle and check vehicle status (FordPass Connect, the Ford Pass App, and Complimentary Connected Services are required for remote features (see FordPass terms for details), Connected Service and features depend on compatible AT&T network availability, Evolving technology/cellular networks/vehicle capability may limit functionality and prevent operation of connected features, Connected services excludes Wi-Fi hotspot.), Note: Ford Telematics and data services prep included for fleet only: FordPass Connect 4G Wi-Fi modem provides data to support telematics and data services including but not limited to vehicle location, speed, idle time, fuel, vehicle diagnostics and maintenance alerts, Device enables telematics services through Ford or authorized providers, Activate at www.fleet.ford.com or call 833-FCS-Ford, (833-327-3673)
Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver And Passenger 1-Touch Up/Down