When Explorer introduced its current generation back in 2011, it switched from body-on-frame construction to more carlike. With that, Ford Explorer smartly performs its role as daily family transport, bringing in better road behavior and much more improvement.
The Ford Explorer remains competitive despite entering its eighth year for the current generation. Meanwhile, finding a three-row crossover SUV is getting harder. The Explorer does not have the largest cargo capacity in its class, and the third row seats are not very wide. But overall, the 2018 Ford Explorer offers a lot of things, and sees it as a smart choice for midsize three-row SUV.
Trim, Features and Engine Specs
The 2018 Ford Explorer is a six or seven passengers five-door midsize crossover SUV that available in five trim levels: base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum. The base, XLT and Limited models are available in front-wheel or all-wheel drive, while the Sport and Platinum only offered with all-wheel drive. Every 2018 Ford Explorer is equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2018 Ford Explorer base models come standard with 18-inch wheels, cloth upholstery, rearview camera, cruise control, an eight-way power driver seat with manual recline, a 60/40-split second-row seat, rear climate controls, 50/50-split third-row seat, Ford Sync voice-activated, a 4.2-inch dashboard display screen, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system.
The XLT trim level adds a few standard features and desirable options that aren’t available on base variants at all. A 3.5-liter V6 engine (290 horsepower, 255 pound-feet of torque) is standard on the base and XLT models, while a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (280 hp, 310 lb-ft of torque) is available as an option.
The 2018 Ford Explorer Limited adds leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, power-adjustable pedals, heated and ventilated front seats, power-folding third-row seats, an 8-inch touchscreen display with the new Sync 3 interface and nine-speaker sound system. The Limited also comes standard with the turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while the regular V6 available as optional.
The Sport has most of the Limited features, but also come with a powerful turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine (365 hp, 350 lb-ft of torque), sport-oriented suspension tuning and a towing package. The Platinum trim level get the turbocharged V6, softer suspension, an automated parking system, a panoramic sunroof, premium leather upholstery and a premium audio system.
For 2018, the driver assistance features such as automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and intervention, automatic wipers have been grouped together into a single options package.
The 2018 Ford Explorer is a well-made SUV. Many soft touch materials in cabin and steering wheel have good quality of leather. Trim pieces look good and fit together. The only drawback is the occasional rumble of dashboard that is difficult to mark properly.
The driver will find it easy to find a good position that gives a good view and feels comfortable. On the negative side, the armrest position can be too far for convenient use. The passenger in front will feel comfortable with the long dash, plenty of head and elbow space. The second row seat is lying, and unlike the standard chair, it’s sliding fore and rear. Adults with average size will find headroom in the third row nice, but knee and leg room is very tight.
Expansive windshields and tall windows and thick glass roofing pillars at the bottom obstruct your visibility to see through turns. The rear view is also limited by thicker pillars, and getting an optional parking sensor or safety aids will help.
For utilities, the 2018 Ford Explorer provides enough space throughout the cabin for your personal belongings. The cargo space behind the third row is superior. The total capacity of 81.7 cubic feet is on the small end for the segment.
Release Date and Price
The 2018 Ford Explorer is expected to arrive at dealerships around the country beginning this fall. Like the current Explorer, it will be built at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Illinois.
The 2018 Ford Explorer will compete against the GMC Acadia, Chevrolet Traverse and Toyota Highlander. Pricing will start from $32,985 (include destination fees), adding all-wheel drive will cost $2,150. The top range Platinum 4×4 trim will be priced at $54,935 (include destination fees).