Ford is after the all-electric vehicles. The most recent premiere brought the Mach E SUV with a pure electric motor. Before that, we saw a debut of the new Explorer with the plug-in hybrid system. In the future, the Escape and Expedition could get a base hybrid configuration. After the redesign for 2020 MY, we don’t expect big changes on the 2021 Ford Explorer.
The SUV is a big three-row model. It is one of the best-sellers in the class and the addition of the PHEV system will help it beat Toyota Highlander. The Japanese SUV was the only hybrid model in the mid-size three-row non-premium segment. Now, Explorer PHEV is out and soon we could see Honda Pilot plug-in hybrid.
Changes on the 2020 MY are massive, so designers will have a break with the 2021 Ford Explorer. Well, other models are also waiting for updates. The mid-size SUV is going to be mostly unchanged. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the 2021 model.
Why Buy 2021 Ford Explorer? And Why Not?
Explorer is not one of the most popular three-row SUVs by chance. It is a versatile model that offers plenty of options to its buyers. Definitely, the new design is the main advantage. All vehicles boost their sales after major changes. Old fans and drivers always want to test something new. Well, the 2021 Ford Explorer will provide a comfortable and quiet ride. The seven-seater is 199 inches long and provides enough space inside the cabin. Well, the third row is for children only. The company is yet to update its infotainment system, which is good for another season or two.
There are also three engine choices. All of them will deliver nice acceleration and handling. Safety is ok – visibility is superb through the front window, while the rear visibility needs improvement. Ford boosted safety by adding automatic emergency braking for the next-gen Explorer.
2021 Ford Explorer Drivetrains
The 2021 Ford Explorer will offer you plenty of options to choose from. One of the biggest advantages is a variety of drivetrains, starting with a turbocharged four-cylinder unit. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine is capable to produce 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough for the mid-size segment. Also, a smaller block is lighter, so the fuel economy is better than for the V6.
The new Explorer ST is boosted to deliver 400 hp from a twin-turbo V6 powerplant. Well, the same engine serves as the upper option for the lower trims. However, the rating drops to 365 hp and 380 lb-ft. ST also adds more torque for a top speed of 143 mph. The towing capacity of a 3.0-liter V6 engine is 5,600 pounds. A four-pot unit is good for 5,300 lbs. The least capable model is hybrid.
Explorer Hybrid Configuration
Under the hood of the 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid is a 3.3-liter petrol unit. Engineers combine it with an electric battery for 320 hp. This is more power than Highlander Hybrid is able to produce. In the premium segment, we can find Acura MDX Sport Hybrid with a similar output. But, the European Explorer combines a 3.0-liter turbo-six engine with hybrid technology for 450 ponies total. The US model is able to tow 5,000 pounds, while the Euro-spec SUV is better in this segment as well with 5,500 lbs.
Engine options are just the first step. The new Explorer offers plenty of other choices in building your perfect SUV. If the base trim level is not good enough, there are other packages available for further upgrades. The hybrid engine is coming only with the Limited model. The ST is the most powerful one, while the most luxurious is Platinum.
2021 Ford Explorer Colors
Ford is going to carry over all the color options for the 2021 Explorer. That means the SUV is available in ten combinations. The base version is Blue, while all other paintjobs come with a kind of upgrade. This one is also available as Atlas Blue, while you might like Rich Copper, Star White, or Rapid Red. All of them costs extra. Agate Black, Oxford White, Silver Spruce, and Iconic Silver are neutral colors, while Ford also offers a Magnetic scheme.
Inside the cabin, you will find only two combinations – Ebony and Sandstone. These are available for all kinds of upholstery and seat materials. Explorer uses the cloth as standard, while optional upgrades are ActiveX and leather.
The base version of the new Explorer is not priced yet. The company cannot start the offer at $37,000. Well, the XLT is worth it, but Ford needs to downgrade to offer to at least $33,000. There is a huge gap between the XLT and the next trim levels as well. Limited model costs $48,500 and you need to spend $55,000 for the performance-oriented ST version. The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum is the most expensive option. However, with the price of $60,000, there is no too many options left for an additional upgrade.