The new Explorer is under the spotlight. The fresh design, in combination with the plug-in hybrid, is enough to consider the SUV as one of the best vehicles in the class. For a long time, Toyota highlander was the only hybrid in the mid-size three-row segment. But, not anymore. The 2021 Ford Explorer is setting up a challenge to the Japanese SUV, and all other rivals.
Under the hood still lays a new four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. Other options include a turbo-six and its high output version for the Explorer ST (400 hp). A hybrid is combining V6 with an electric motor. Euro-specs SUV offers more power than the US model. So, there are enough reasons in the engine room to choose the 2021 Ford Explorer.
The redesign is bringing the new look for the SUV. Well, fans will recognize the vehicle. Fresh styling makes Explorer more aerodynamic. Weight savings will improve the fuel economy. The interior offers more features and space. The SUV is nearly two inches longer than before, which will be used wisely for the new layout in the cabin.
The hybrid models will take advantage of the new system. The 2021 Ford Explorer PHEV combines a 3.3-liter V6 with a battery for a total output of 318 horsepower. The vehicle sends power to wheels through a new ten-speed automatic transmission. In Europe, Explorer is using a 3.0-liter turbo engine. This one creates 350 hp, which is a kick start. Add a 100 hp from the electric motor, and we are getting 450 hp beast. The vehicle is also capable to produce 600 lb-ft of torque.
Towing capacity is not suffering, and the SUV can haul 5,500 pounds (2,500 kg). On the other hand, the fuel economy can reach 3.4 l/100 km (69 mpg). Of course, a big battery is the main reason for such a superb gas mileage.
2021 Ford Explorer ST
One of the most attractive models for the upcoming lineup will be the 2021 Ford Explorer ST. As you already know, this badge is there for the high-performance vehicles. The Sport Technologies department surprised us all again. Engineers tuned a 3.0 model with a twin-turbo system for a total output of 400 hp. The top speed of a beast that adds 415 lb-ft is 143 mph.
The abovementioned engines are high-end, optional picks, while the standard 2021 Ford Explorer is coming with lighter configurations. The base model will exploit a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-pot unit. At its peak, the engine bursts 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and the power is being distributed through a ten-speed automatic transmission. An intelligent four-wheel drive is the right choice if you need better traction.
A single turbocharger is available for a 3.0 engine for 365 hp and 380 lb-ft. The same transmission is pairing the unit with a four-wheel drive exclusively. The towing capacity of the 2021 Explorer with a V6 engine is 5,600 pounds, while EcoBoost comes with 300 pounds shorter. Hybrid is rated at 5,000 lbs.
2021 Ford Explorer Trim Levels and Equipment
There are five models available for the SUV. Besides the base one, there are also XLT, Limited, and Platinum. The ST is a model for itself. A hybrid drivetrain is currently available only on the Limited trim, while the most equipped version is Platinum with a turbo-six unit. It also uses premium leather and a twin-panel moonroof. More intelligent features will make a drive and park easier. 18-inch wheels are standard on the base models, as well as the 8-inch touchscreen display. The Limited edition introduces leather seats, premium audio system, and CoPilot360 equipment.
2021 Ford Explorer vs Competition
Sales of the Explorer dropped in 2018 compared to the previous season. Well, buyers are aware that the new model is coming. This is the main reason why fewer fans are purchasing the vehicle. Still, the SUV is the best-seller in the mid-size class. Last year, Ford achieved 250k sales. Just 5,000 fewer units were sold by its biggest rival, Toyota Highlander. Well, with the PHEV system, we expect a bigger gap. The only other model that managed to get to 200,000 sales is Jeep Grand Cherokee. The new platform and a three-row model will definitely increase sales of this vehicle. Other three-row SUVs worth of mention as the 2021 Ford Explorer alternative are Honda Pilot, Chevy Traverse, and the fastest-growing Kia Sorento.
2021 Ford Explorer Price
The base MSRP for the new SUV starts just under $34,000. The XLT adds $3k. Limited edition with the petrol configuration will cost $50,000, while the hybrid engine increases the value for $3,500. You will pay at least $55,000 if you want the high-output 2021 Ford Explorer ST. The most expensive vehicle is Platinum. It starts at $60k and goes up to $65,000 with additional options and packages. Well, this model is already heavily loaded with most features.