Ford has moved to the forefront of the SUV pack, and leading the way is the popular Explorer model. This three-row midsize SUV has features that make it ideal whether you need a vehicle for the family or like the versatility offered by a larger vehicle that handles like a sedan. This is reflected in the fact that the 2021 Ford Explorer is part of the sixth generation of this vehicle introduced in time for the 2020 model year. As a result, the 2021 Ford Explorer reflects the ultimate in midsize SUVs with a combination of performance, luxury styling, exceptional interior space, and advanced technological safety features.
The 2021 Ford Explorer has plenty of room for seven passengers to stretch out and enjoy the ride while you have even more fun handling this rugged and sporty SUV. Ford also gives you the choice of rear-wheel or Intelligent 4-wheel drive, with the former providing greater acceleration and fuel economy while the latter gives you better traction and overall handling. Intelligent 4-wheel drive is an innovation that matches your Explorer's driving conditions through optimization of the powertrain and braking systems. Whichever drivetrain you choose, the 2021 Ford Explorer is certain to provide you with the driving satisfaction you seek when buying your next model.
The 2021 Ford Explorer comes in five different trim levels. The base model is the Explorer, with an MSRP of $32,225. It features the FordPass Connect with 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM satellite radio, cloth seats, automatic high beams, LED tail lamps, and a power liftgate. The Explorer XLT adds the Ford SYNC infotainment system, dual smart-charging USB ports in the second row of seats, heated front row seats, dual bucket seats in the second row, LED signature lighting, and a roof rack with side rails. It has an MSRP of $34,000.
The Explorer Limited has an MSRP of $45,005, a choice of engines, leather seating surfaces with micro-perforation and accent stitching, rain-sensing windshield wipers, quad chrome exhaust tips, and a B&O premium 12-speaker sound system by Bang & Olufsen. The Explorer ST features a larger engine, unique sport-tuned independent front and rear suspension, a hands-free foot-activated liftgate, and heated second-row seats. The Explorer ST also comes with Intelligent 4-wheel drive only. This model has an MSRP of $52,605 and is the one to choose if you love a high-performance SUV. The top-of-the-line trim is the Explorer Platinum, and it has an MSRP of $54,480. It features unique tri-diamond perforated leather seating surfaces with accent stitching and automatic LED low-beam headlights.
The base engine on the 2021 Ford Explorer is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 gas engine. It is turbocharged to enhance performance. This engine comes standard on the Explorer, XLT, and Limited trim levels, and it can produce 300 horsepower and generate 310 lb-ft of torque.
The 2021 Explorer Limited trim is also offered with an optional 3.3-liter hybrid engine. The hybrid engine pairs a 3.3-liter V-6 gas engine with an electric motor to provide enhanced fuel economy, especially in city driving situations. This engine produces 318 horsepower and can generate up to 322 lb-ft of torque. Ford is one of the few automakers to offer a hybrid engine option on a three-row, midsize SUV like the 2021 Explorer.
The 2021 Explorer ST and Platinum trims feature a powerful 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 gas engine. The engine on the Platinum utilizes turbocharging and direct fuel injection to provide 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The ST's engine leverages Ford Performance technology to provide an outstanding 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque to give this model incredible acceleration.
All models of the 2021 Ford Explorer feature a 10-speed automatic transmission. The additional gear speeds not only give you greater control over your vehicle but also improve the overall performance and efficiency of the engine. This allows the engine's timing to better match driving conditions.
One of the most surprising things about the 2021 Ford Explorer is the exceptional fuel economy that you will get from this model. Unlike many other three-row midsize SUVs, the 2021 Ford Explorer won't hurt you at the gas pump. The Explorers that are equipped with the base 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine will provide their drivers with an estimated 21 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with rear-wheel drive. If you choose an Explorer with this engine and Intelligent 4-wheel drive, you can expect a slight drop in fuel economy to 20 miles per gallon in the city and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. Still, those are exceptional numbers for a midsize SUV.
The Explorer ST and Platinum with the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 are known for incredible acceleration. However, they also provide surprisingly good fuel economy. For rear-wheel drive models with this engine, you can get an estimated 18 miles per gallon in city driving and 26 miles per gallon when you're out on the highway. Those numbers remain the same for city driving with Intelligent 4-wheel drive but dip slightly to 26 miles per gallon on the highway.
The 2021 Ford Explorer with the best fuel economy is the Limited with the optional 3.3-liter hybrid V-6 engine. If you choose this model with rear-wheel drive, you will get an estimated 27 miles per gallon in city driving and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. With Intelligent 4-wheel drive, the hybrid Explorer Limited provides 23 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway.
The 2021 Ford Explorer provides exceptional towing capacity for a midsize SUV. If you choose a model with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine, you can tow up to 5,300 pounds of trailer. If you choose the ST or Platinum with the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6, your towing capacity increases to 5,600 pounds. Even the hybrid Explorer Limited can handle heavy loads with a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds. So, if you have a small trailer or boat, you can definitely take it with you when you set out in your Explorer.
The 2021 Ford Explorer features a great deal of room for you and your belongings. The liftgate opens to a full 18.2 cubic feet of space in the Explorer's trunk. This increases to 47.9 cubic feet when you easily fold down the third-row bench seat. If you need even more space, simply fold down the second row of chairs to provide a full 87.8 cubic feet of space for your stuff.
The Explorer offers a full 152.7 cubic feet of space in the passenger compartment. That is plenty of room for you and your passengers to stretch out, especially during long road trips. The front row offers passengers 40.7 inches of headroom, 43 inches of legroom, 61.8 inches of shoulder room, and 59.2 inches of hip room. The second row is equally as roomy with 40.5 inches of headroom, 39 inches of legroom, 61.9 inches of shoulder room, and 59.1 inches of hip room. Yes, that is actually more shoulder room in the second row than in the first row. The third row passengers won't be complaining either, with 38.9 inches of headroom, 32.2 inches of legroom, 54.6 inches of shoulder room, and 40.8 inches of hip room. As you can see, the designers at Ford did an exceptional job of equitably apportioning the interior space of the 2021 Ford Explorer so that you and all of your passengers will feel safe and comfortable.
Ford has equipped the 2021 Explorer with a great complement of standard safety features. This is all part of the Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology that has made it one of the top automakers when it comes to safety. The base Explorer model features a lane keeping system that includes lane-keeping assist, lane-keeping alert, and driver alert. It also has a rearview camera with a washer, AdvanceTrac with roll stability control, an SOS post-crash alert system, and a full range of airbags.
The Limited trim adds a forward sensing system and voice-activated touchscreen navigation system. If you choose the ST or Platinum trim, you will also get Active Park Assist 2.0, which helps you park your Explorer into even the narrowest spots. Ford shows its commitment to you and your family by making so many advanced safety features standard on the 2021 Explorer.