The 2018 Ford Explorer gets gentle refreshing before its next major overhaul. There’s a well-rounded selection of Explorer models available so you can pick the power, perks, and price that fits you best. Five trims are available (Base, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum) with MSRPs ranging from $31,990 to $53,940. All trims come with a six-speed automatic transmission and one of three engines. The standard engine is a 3.5-liter V6. A turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 are also available. Most trims include front-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is standard in the Sport and Platinum trims and available in all lower trims for about $2,200.
Prices can quickly climb with the Explorer trims. If want to keep costs low, yet still want some premium amenities, we recommend starting with the Explorer XLT. It includes conveniences like rear backup sensors and a proximity key, and you can add upgrades through various packages. Options include the SYNC 3 infotainment system (which includes a nine-speaker sound system), a dual-panel moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, and automatic climate control for two zones.
In addition to the 3.5-liter V6 engine, the base Explorer ($31,990) comes with the SYNC infotainment interface, a 4.2-inch color display, voice commands, Bluetooth, a USB port, six speakers, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and a rearview camera. Ford’s MyKey – a system that lets you set limits for your teen drivers – is also included.
Standard features in the $34,020 Explorer XLT include satellite radio, rear parking sensors, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, a six-way power-adjustable passenger seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, keypad access on the door, a proximity key, push-button start, and upgraded brakes.
Powering the Explorer Limited is a turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. This edition also has the upgraded SYNC 3 interface with an 8-inch touch-screen display, two 4.2-inch driver information displays, a 180-degree front parking camera, and a 12-speaker Sony audio system. Other notable features include leather seats, a hands-free liftgate, dual-zone climate control, a 110-volt household power outlet, heated and cooled front seats, heated outboard second-row seats, and power-folding third-row seats. Prices start at $42,090.
The Explorer Sport ($45,950) boasts the most powerful engine in the lineup: a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6. This four-wheel-drive trim also comes with hill descent control, a sport-tuned suspension, a terrain management system, and an upgraded towing package.
The range-topping Explorer Platinum ($53,940) gets a full suite of active safety technology. Adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, active park assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and inflatable safety belts for the second-row outboard position are all included. Wood and leather interior embellishments give the Platinum a swanky ambiance. The twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine powers this trim.