Ford Freshens Explorer for 2025

Ford refreshes and adds technology to its leading crossover model for ’25 model year.

Gary S. Vasilash

February 2, 2024

3 Min Read
Explorer Platinum (left) and ST (right) each sport a unique grille for ’25.

DEARBORN, MI – Ford reveals the ’25 Explorer, the most important product in the company’s portfolio that doesn’t have a bed on the back. Although the automaker is positioning the model as “new,” that’s somewhat of an exaggeration.

A “new” vehicle would have major changes from the platform up. But the coming Explorer is based on the current model, the sixth-generation CUV which went on sale in mid-2019 as a ’20 model. Based on the then-new Ford CD6 platform, that Explorer brought rear-wheel drive (and optional all-wheel drive) to a model that had been front-drive based. And that remains the case with the ’25.

Still, for the ’25 model, much has changed. One phrase that chief engineer Kelley Clark uses that puts that in focus, particularly as Ford is pursuing complexity reduction: “We listened to our customers.”

While that is something that you can imagine being said by marketing rather than engineering, what’s primarily new about the ’25 Explorer are things that customers are going to see, hear and feel.

And let’s face it: When you have a vehicle that is as popular as the Explorer has proven to be (in 2023 there were 186,799 delivered, 45,831 more than the second-place non-F-Series vehicle, the Escape), making wholesale changes is not advantageous in terms of customers.Explorer2.jpg

Changes the customers can see include a redesigned interior. Most noticeable is the new 13.2-in. (33.5-cm), horizontal touchscreen. A silver-mesh accent bar located below the screen provides purchase while making selections on the screen. Michele De Demo, lead designer-Color and Materials, says the palette for the interior is based on elements of U.S. landscapes – Dark Grey for the Active trim; Black Onyx for the ST-Line and ST; Mojave Dusk for Platinum.

Built into the vehicle is the first application of the Ford Digital Experience that integrates Google services. Google Assistant is the default voice assistant, but Ford also collaborates with Amazon for Alexa Built-In. Navigation mapping can be pushed from the center touchscreen to the 12.3-in. (31.2-cm) instrument cluster. Over-the-air updates are available for apps and 5G wireless is available, as are wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

BlueCruise, the hands-free highway driving technology is currently available in the Mustang Mach-E, Expedition, F-150 and F-150 Lightning is available in the 1.2 release, which means there are features including Lane Change Assist and In-Lane Repositioning.

There is another phrase that describes the execution of the vehicle built at the Ford Chicago Assembly Plant: Complexity reduction. That means a reduction from eight trim levels in the ’24 model to four for ’25: Active, ST-Line, ST, Platinum. Each trim has its own grille, but LED headlamps and taillamps are standard across the lineup.

Ford drops the hybrid option in the’25 Explorer (except for the Police Utility Interceptor), offering two turbocharged engines, the 300-hp 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cyl. that is available in all trims except the ST, and the 400-hp 3.0L EcoBoost V-6 standard in the ST and optional in the Platinum. All come with a 10-speed automatic driving the rear wheels. AWD is optional.
The ’25 Explorer starts at $41,220. It goes on sale this spring.


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