The Ford Explorer is one of the blue oval brand’s best selling SUVs in the North American market, and to further continue its dominance in the midsize crossover SUV segment, Ford is giving the Explorer a thorough makeover.
On the outside, it may not seem all-new, but the design has been modernized to keep it looking fresh. The evolutionary styling carries traits such as the characteristic floating roof design, making the Explorer have a distinct identity among its peers. The prominent grille has now been reshaped to feature a hexagonal design, which are then flanked by a pair of slim LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, which are equipped on select variants. The roof now slopes slightly downward to give it a more dynamic profile, while the rear has been restyled to become more dynamic and bolder to look at.
Whereas the outside is evolutionary, the interior is completely different, featuring a minimalist design and higher quality materials. The luxury-oriented Limited variant features perforated leather seats, 10-way driver and front passenger seats, a standard 8-inch SYNC3 infotainment system, wireless phone charging, PowerFold third row seats, ambient lighting, rear sunshades, and a 14-speaker B&O premium sound system. Stepping up to the top trim Platinum variant adds further niceties that range from a dual-pane sunroof, leather-wrapped dashboard, Ash Swirl wood trim, and “tri-diamond” perforated leather seats. Additionally, the analog gauge cluster gets replaced by a 12.3-inch TFT LCD digital instrument cluster, while the 8-inch SYNC3 infotainment system gets beefed up to a bigger 10.1-inch portrait screen.
Depending on the trim level, buyers can opt for either a carry-over 2.3-liter inline-4 turbocharged EcoBoost petrol engine that’s also found in the base Ford Mustang. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine produces 300 hp and 420 Nm of torque. The other engine choice is a new 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that produces 365 hp and 514 Nm of torque when running on 93-octane fuel. Power is sent through the rear wheels via a 10-speed automatic transmission. An intelligent 4WD system is available with terrain management system that lets drivers change the drive modes depending on the road surfaces. The new drivetrains should help make the Explorer driver better, since the new model now tips the scales at 1,970 kg, which is 51 kg less than its predecessor.
Like most new cars nowadays, the Explorer comes with a slew of driver-assist systems under the Co-Pilot360 suite of features. This includes automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, blind spot warning, full-speed adaptive cruise control, and reverse automatic braking. The new Explorer also debuts the company’s Active Park Assist 2.0 system, which enables the Explorer to parallel or perpendicular park at the touch of the button. Unlike past systems, drivers do not need to touch the steering, throttle, brakes, or even change gear at all.
The all-new Ford Explorer will arrive in US dealerships in the summer, while a Philippine launch may follow a year later.