Since the Explorer is all-new, next season we won’t see too many of them. One of the options is to bring the 2021 Ford Explorer PHEV with the drivetrain similar to the one available on the Lincoln Aviator. Well, this one is already under the hood of the SUV in Europe. The situation with coronavirus will give some extra time to the Blue Oval company and the three-row mid-size model can bring some other surprises in 2021.
Without too many changes, we can expect the SUV with the same powerplant lineup. A turbo-four and a pair of V6 are there. We doubt in V8 since Ford is not using this kind of unit on the larger Expedition. So, a twin-turbo V6 is the engine with the highest outputs, if the PHEV doesn’t beat it.
There are five trim levels available for the current model. We don’t expect any additions on the 2021 Ford Explorer. So, besides the base SUV, there are also XLT and Limited edition, while the top trims are ST with a high-output engine, and Platinum, with premium features and equipment.
Why Buy 2021 Ford Explorer? (Pros and Cons)
The 2021 Ford Explorer is an all-new vehicle whose styling is only a year old. Nevertheless, the SUV is attractive and combines elements that will draw attention to all types of buyers. Explorer is also versatile, with multiple options under the hood and two- and three-row layouts available. Plus, the SUV comes with a huge ground clearance, making it more capable of off-roading. Still, the true competitor to the Jeep Wrangler and Toyota 4Runner will be Ford Bronco.
The base price of the 2021 Ford Explorer is not too high. The MSRP starts at the segment’s average values. Still, options can make the SUV get into the luxury waters. Platinum edition will cost above $60,000. The third row is not too generous with space. We recommend using it only for seating the children or fold them to provide more space for cargo and passengers in the middle row.
Which Model Is the Best?
The base version of the 2021 Ford Explorer is pretty well equipped. In combination with the fresh styling, that should be enough for most buyers. Here is what you are getting if the standard level of equipment is coming in the SUV: RWD, dual-zone climate, a power liftgate, 18-inch wheels. The Blue Oval company also adds the CoPilot360 safety system and Sync3 infotainment.
The XLT is going to enhance the offer with roof rails, LED lamps in headlights, leather steering wheel, AWD as optional drive, and extra USB ports for rear seats. Leather is wrapping seats on the Limited edition. Plus, there are 10-way power front seats, around-view camera, hands-free tailgate, 20-inch wheels, and B&O audio.
Two top trims are ST and Platinum. The 2021 Ford Explorer with the twin-turbo engine is the most powerful version. Besides the extra power, it also brings unique upgrades around the body. Well, the focus is on the drive system, with sport suspension providing better performance. All-wheel drive is standard, and you will see a bigger instrument cluster. The 2021 Ford Explorer can’t compete with the ST in performance, but the level of equipment on this package is stunning. For example, there are the heated steering wheel and seats, power moonroof, wooden inserts, adaptive headlights, and chromed exhaust tips.
2021 Ford Explorer Specs
Ford is using a 2.3-liter turbo-four engine in some vehicles surprisingly. One of them is the 2021 Ford Explorer. Generally speaking, the Blue Oval company is keener on smaller turbocharged displacements, rather than big blocks. That is why Expedition has a turbo V6 and not a V8, like most rivals.
So, the mid-size model will get 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque from the small displacement. Well, that is more than most competitors can do with a V6. Whatsoever, the Explorer will also bring the larger engine. A 3.0-liter is turbocharged. The twin-turbo setup makes the V6 crack 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of twist.
The ST model gets the most powerful thanks to the special system. This version will explode for 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. Only the PHEV version for European market can generate more power, up to 450 hp.
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid
The hybrid setup is based on a 3.3-liter V6 petrol unit. Combined, the output of the system is 318 hp. Toyota downgraded its Highlander by making a hybrid of a four-cylinder engine. It now returns 35 mpg, which is way above Explorer and its 25 mpg combined.
The MSRP of the 2021 Ford Explorer is $32,000. The XLT starts at $37,000 and the Limited edition package will cost you 10 grand. The ST is $5k above $50,000, and Platinum is even closer to $60,000. The cheapest hybrid, based on the Limited model, will cost $55,000.