2021 Ford Explorer

MSRP range: $32,675 - $54,480
(12)
MSRP$36,255
Edmunds suggests you pay$35,639

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2021 Ford Explorer Review

  • Strong engines for quick acceleration
  • Rear-wheel-drive platform improves handling and towing
  • Roomy cargo area
  • Too much wind noise at highway speeds
  • The price can get frighteningly expensive in a hurry
  • Lackluster interior material quality
  • New Sport Appearance package available on XLT trim
  • More affordable version of the Explorer ST debuts
  • Platinum trim is now available for the Hybrid model
  • New off-road-themed Timberline debuts midway through the model year
  • Part of the sixth Explorer generation introduced for 2020

Ford redesigned its Explorer last year and is giving this midsize three-row SUV a few more updates for 2021. New to the roster is the King Ranch trim; it slots between the Limited and the top-trim Platinum in terms of price and equipment. There's also the new Timberline. Its lifted ride height, all-terrain tires, limited-slip rear differential and steel skid plates combine to make this the most capable Explorer for going off-road and getting out into nature.

But what if you aren't in the market for one of these seriously well-equipped models? Even budget-friendly versions of the 2022 Ford Explorer are notable for a variety of reasons, including this SUV's rear-wheel-drive layout. Most competitors, such as the Honda Pilot and Kia Telluride, have a front-wheel-drive layout.

Ford has gone with traditional rear-wheel drive (all-wheel drive is optional) for a few reasons. Handling and overall balance improve dramatically when you stop trying to steer and power a vehicle from the same end. Towing stability and powertrain selection also benefit. Indeed, the Explorer is one of the better choices in the midsize three-row SUV class for towing. But while  Ford Explorer is a pleasure to drive and has a big cargo space, it's kept in check by its comparably expensive sticker and an interior that doesn't meet the standards set by its price. Check out our in-depth Explorer Expert Rating below to learn more.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team
The Ford Explorer has uncommonly good balance and poise for a midsize three-row SUV. It's not the roomiest, but its standard infotainment and safety tech offerings are competitive. Two things hold it back: subpar materials quality and high pricing.
The Explorer is the three-row SUV to get if your priorities include balanced handling and strong acceleration. Unlike a lot of other SUVs in this class, it feels eager and light as you drive around turns. There's a lot of grip too.

The latest Explorer can handle lots of power, and Ford takes full advantage. The sturdy turbocharged four-cylinder base engine easily outpaces the competition. And there's a bonkers turbo V6 in the Explorer ST for those who believe too much is never enough. Both are helped along by a 10-speed transmission. It kicks down faithfully when you need it to, but in city traffic, when you're just lightly getting on and off the gas, its shifting is too indecisive.
The Explorer's front seats are nicely shaped and comfortable. But we don't recommend the optional massaging ones — the mechanism behind the massaging can make the seats feel lumpy when it's off. Seat comfort gets progressively less cushiony as you move back to the second and third rows. Our Explorer Limited test vehicle rode smoothly most of the time, but smaller road imperfections were a little more noticeable than in some other SUVs.

Operating the automatic climate control system can require more manual adjustments than expected; the air vents won't pump out as much air as you want when you lower the temperature, for instance. Another drawback is that the Explorer isn't as quiet as it should be. The sound of the engine isn't well masked, and you can hear gusty wind noises at even moderate highway speeds.
Things look decent from the driver's perspective. Front-seat space is abundant, and the driving position is nicely adjustable. It's generally easy to see out thanks to adequate glass area and good-size mirrors.

But middle- and rear-seat passengers aren't as well taken care of. Middle-row knee room and legroom are not up to the standard set by others in the class, and the third row is unlikely to impress taller-than-average adults. Rear door access can be clumsy if the doors can't be opened past the first detent because space is tight between the large door map pockets and the prominent rear wheel arches. The third-row power-folding mechanism is nice, but raising the row for passengers must be done from the hatch area.
Every Explorer comes with an 8-inch touchscreen, the Sync 3 infotainment system, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Limited comes with built-in navigation and a strong-sounding Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. Do not be tempted by the optional 10.1-inch vertical touchscreen. Its skinnier profile does not work well with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the display of the rearview camera.

The Explorer is well equipped with driving safety aids. All Explorers come standard with automated emergency braking, lane keeping assistance, cross-traffic and blind-spot monitoring, and automatic high beams. The Limited also has adaptive cruise with lane centering. These systems work well. However, the alerts sound overly similar, and the lane centering system may falsely accuse you of taking your hands off the wheel.
The Explorer's cargo hold is generous. With the third-row seats up, it's a bit tighter than in some other SUVs, but you can still fit three or four rolling suitcases back there. There's a good amount of small-item storage up front for your odds and ends, and child seats are easy to install in the middle row.

The Explorer's rear-drive architecture makes it especially well suited to towing, even if the rating of 5,000 pounds isn't particularly distinctive. The Trailer Tow package comes with an easily accessed receiver hitch, four- and seven-pin wiring, full support for an add-on electric trailer brake controller, a tow-haul transmission mode, and an enhanced blind-spot monitoring system that covers the length of the trailer.
On paper, the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine has slightly better EPA fuel economy estimates than its closest competition. The rear-wheel-drive version gets 24 mpg combined, and the all-wheel-drive model gets 23 mpg combined. Depending on what you compare it to, that's generally 1 or 2 mpg better.

But we could not match these figures in practice, possibly because this turbocharged engine feels overeager. Our test average was 21.1 mpg, and our driving included a long freeway stretch. This number lined up more or less exactly with lower-rated competitors that we drove in the same way.
You don't have to look very far or very hard to see plasticky interior plastics, unsightly gaps and mediocre design details. These would be understandable if this vehicle was a bargain, but it's not. The competition's very well-equipped top-level models cost less than a lowly Explorer XLT with minimal options. What's more, the Explorer's stiffest competition offers stronger warranty coverage.

You'd have to be the sort who puts a high premium indeed on mountain road agility and powertrain performance to offset these drawbacks. On paper at least, the 2.3-liter EcoBoost will reward you with better fuel economy. But we found it hard to replicate the EPA ratings in the real world, and in our tests the Explorer came out no better than its rivals.
You'll still peg the latest model as an Explorer, but this new one has a strong stance and sleek proportions that suggest motion. And this is no hollow promise because it offers a much better driving experience than any previous Explorer — or the majority of its competition. It's fast, it has poise and balance, and it likes to be hustled through corners. This Ford is the one to get if your daily drive includes mountain roads or interesting corners.

Which Explorer does Edmunds recommend?

The base Explorer is generously appointed, but we suggest stepping up to the XLT trim for its nicer interior and additional convenience features. If the Limited trim didn't have such a big price jump, that would have earned our recommendation for its added safety and luxury features.

Ford Explorer models

The 2021 Ford Explorer is a midsize three-row SUV with seating for seven (six if you opt for the second-row captain's chairs). The Explorer is available in base, XLT, Limited, ST, King Ranch and Platinum trim levels. Most models receive a four-cylinder engine, while the top trims get a more powerful V6. A 10-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and drives the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is available as an option. There is also a hybrid variant that's covered in a separate review.

Base
Even in its entry-level trim, the Explorer comes with a lot of standard features that include:

  • A turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine (300 horsepower, 310 lb-ft of torque)
  • Power liftgate
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • 35/30/35-split folding second-row bench
  • 50/50-split folding third-row seats
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration
  • In-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Remote monitoring and control via a smartphone app

Every Explorer also comes with these advanced safety features:

  • Frontal collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle is in your blind spot during a lane change or while reversing)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the vehicle back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Trailer sway control (adjusts vehicle brakes to help control trailer movement if a trailer begins to sway)

XLT
The XLT receives improve interior materials and several convenience items that include:

  • Roof rails
  • Keyless entry/ignition and an exterior keypad
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Heated front seats
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Second-row captain's chairs
  • Second-row USB ports

Limited
The midrange Limited dresses up the interior with higher-quality trim pieces. It also adds:

  • Interior ambient lighting
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Power-folding and heated second-row seats
  • Second-row sunshades
  • Wireless charging pad
  • Navigation system with voice control
  • 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system
  • Additional safety features that include:
    • Front parking sensors (alert you to obstacles that may not be visible in front of the vehicle when parking)
    • Surround-view camera system (gives you a top-down view of the vehicle and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
    • Adaptive cruise control (adjusts speed to maintain a constant distance between the vehicle and the car in front)
    • Lane centering system (makes minor steering corrections to help keep the vehicle centered in its lane)

ST
The ST is the sporty Explorer. Models produced earlier in the model year built off the Limited's features, removed the roof rails, and added unique styling treatments. Halfway through the model year, Ford introduced a new, less expensive version referred to as the ST Enthusiast that built off the XLT's features. Most of the Limited's features could be added via the new 401 package.

All 2021 Explorer STs, regardless of when they were produced, include:

  • A turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine (400 hp, 415 lb-ft)
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • Paddle shifters
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Sport front seats

King Ranch
The new King Ranch trim builds off the Limited equipped with its 301A option package. Besides the turbocharged V6, it adds:

  • Wood interior trim
  • Digital gauge cluster display
  • Unique leather upholstery
  • Rear automatic braking (brakes if sensors detect an imminent collision with an object behind the vehicle)

Platinum
The top-of-the-line Platinum trim gets a positively luxurious interior. It has the turbocharged V6 but forgoes the ST's sporty touches. It adds:

  • Adaptive headlights (swivel as you turn the steering wheel for better illumination in curves)
  • Class 3 Trailer Tow package
  • Digital gauge cluster display
  • Extended leather upholstery
  • Rear automatic braking (brakes if sensors detect an imminent collision with an object behind the vehicle)

Many features are available on supporting trims as options. Other add-ons are dependent on trim levels and include:

  • Sunroof
  • Hands-free liftgate
  • Upgraded brakes (ST trim only)
  • Power-folding third-row seats
  • Massaging front seats
  • A larger 10.1-inch touchscreen
  • 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system
  • Dual-screen rear entertainment system
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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Ford Explorer.

Average user rating: 4.0 stars
12 total reviews
5 star reviews: 67%
4 star reviews: 0%
3 star reviews: 8%
2 star reviews: 17%
1 star reviews: 8%

Trending topics in reviews

  • engine
  • driving experience
  • fuel efficiency
  • acceleration
  • technology
  • comfort
  • appearance
  • lights
  • spaciousness
  • ride quality
  • value
  • brakes
  • warranty
  • doors
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • transmission
  • interior
  • sound system
  • infotainment system
  • visibility
  • road noise
  • seats
  • maintenance & parts
  • handling & steering

Most helpful consumer reviews

1/5 stars, Serious issues
Jarrod ,
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A)
Hit 660 miles Feb 9th, check engine light comes on with every warning the truck could possibly give. Grinding noise, steering wheel shaking and lost all acceleration. Coasted to almost stop and truck abruptly stops and completely shuts off. Will not restart. Towed to dealer they couldn't find anything wrong. Hit 890 miles today and boom exact same issues. Recorded it this time. Truck towed to different dealer due to where it broke down. Not happy
3/5 stars, Lots of BUGS, but generally a Good truck.
M King,
Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A)
High level takeaway- it’s fine. Comfortable, plenty of power when you need it, lots of room for a family of 5 road tripping and the hybrid system gets decent mileage. It’s not “fun” to drive, but it’s comfortable and confident on the road. With more than 2,500 miles in 2 months the average mpg has settled at 25mpg of both highway and local driving. I drive in the eco mode 90% of the time. The hybrid function feels clunky compared to the standard turbo 4 or the 6. Not a big deal, and it’s nice when the engine shuts down for a few miles of the low speed/low rpm driving. Cons - I returned the truck 3 times in the first 3 weeks I had it. It spent 18 of its first 30 days at the dealership. They finally figured out the amp was bad and cutting all audio (gps, radio, phone, etc). The electronics have issues occasionally- I’ve learned to never plug in my phone until the onboard computer has warmed up - and just stop working. It’s like an old PC that you have to pull over, shut down, wait and then restart. Pro- The seats are very comfortable, lots of room fir the kids and adults can sit in back without a problem. Storage is better than our MDX, even though they are similar in size. Conclusion- I wouldn’t buy it again, but it will be good for a couple of years and then I will happily trade in for a plug in hybrid. And if they don’t have the bugs of those worked out yet, I’d just go with the turbo 4 Limited or platinum.
5/5 stars, Super Car
Robert Coleman,
Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)
Traded Volvo XC90 for the 2021 explorer platinum. Vehicle is tight and quite. Ride is very smooth with more power than you need.Fit and finish is great. Very pleased.Ford hit a home run with this model!
2/5 stars, Explorer ST-Good for cops but not the public.
JayC,
ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)
Your money would be spent better elsewhere. The electronics are horrible in this. The radio stations don't change and lock up all the time and Sync is slow and sporatic. You listen and do what Ford wants, not what you want. The vehicle hits the brakes all the time when backing without a soul around. The ride is absolutely terrible here in Michigan-you feel every expansion joint and every bump and then some in this. I watch my passengers shake while driving. Not a long hauler or daily driver. This family vehicle is begging for some kind of ride control. It's embarrassing having spent so much for this. The plastic trim is coming off around the wheel wells and isn't painted without an option to paint. The street pack 21s are too big for this vehicle-too much unsprung weight. The power is there though. It is a strong puller but you pay at all the pumps. Don't even think of getting 20mpg to the gallon. Not happening. Try 17-18 driving mellow. The seats are not sporty and there's very little bolster support. Steering feels very heavy. Wind and road noise are there, not overwhelming but there. Cheap plastic interior abounds. B & O stereo is good though but not liking the non-integrated ipad someone just threw in there which doesn't work well at all. The HVAC and wipers work well if the electrical is working. Lots of space to put spare parts. Been in for repairs for electronic and tranny related issues. Fingers crossed.

2021 Ford Explorer videos

DAN EDMUNDS: Midsize three row SUVs provide lots of utility at a reasonable price-- usually between $30,000 and $50,000, if you don't go nuts with options. They're perfect for a growing family and a stylish alternative to the minivan, which doesn't offer all wheel drive in most cases. You can expect lots of advanced safety features, along with capable acceleration. JONATHAN ELFALAN: The KIA Telluride is our number one ranked midsize three row SUV, recently beating out our previous favorite, the Honda Pilot. KURT NIEBUHR: Now we have the new Hyundai Palisade and the all new Ford Explorer. We wanted to include a Honda Pilot in this comparison test, but Honda declined. JONATHAN ELFALAN: We put these SUVs through our rigorous and standardized testing and evaluation process to find out which of these three you'd have at the top of your shopping list. DAN EDMUNDS: But before we get started, remember to visit edmonds.com next time you're ready to research a new car, truck, or SUV. And for more videos like this one, click Subscribe. JONATHAN ELFALAN: One of the most important aspects of any midsize three row SUV worth it's sheet metal is interior space. And we've crawled through all three of these cabins pretty extensively. What did you guys think? KURT NIEBUHR: I thought, when we're talking about the front rows on these things, any size driver is going to be able to sit in them. There's plenty of leg room, headroom, shoulder room. That's not the issue. It's when you get into the second row. That's when things-- DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah there are definitely some differences back there. All of them have slide and recline middle row seats. It's interesting that the Ford comes standard in most cases with captain's chairs and a bench is optional, whereas on the Hyundai KIA, it's the other way around. But with a seat all the way back-- I'm 6' 2, so I notice it more-- there's just kind of like a little less leg room in the Explorer. I felt like my knees are a little closer to the front seat back. And I can sit behind myself, technically, if I set the driver's seat to my liking. But in the other two, I just have lots of room and the seats have better cushioning, too. JONATHAN ELFALAN: It's probably a good time to mention car seats. So I tried installing car seats in all three of the cars. As far as the seat anchors, I found that the Ford had anchors that are slightly more visible, which made it easier to find and click in, whereas with the Telluride and the Palisade, the anchors were a bit more recessed. But when it came to installing the seat base, all three were relatively easy. But having a larger, rear facing car seat, I found that there were significantly more space in the Telluride and Palisade than there was in the Explorer, where I could barely fit a hand in between the driver's seat and the car seat when it suggested for myself. I'm about 5' 9, so it wasn't an issue. But I think drivers that are 6 foot and taller might have an issue with that. KURT NIEBUHR: Speaking of size issues, these are three row SUVs, but that extra row is not really meant for someone like you. But it was still kind of eye opening to get in the back of these. I'm about 6 feet tall, so I'm kind of at the limit as to what you can reasonably expect a vehicle this size to accommodate. But here we also saw two of the vehicles have enough room for people like me. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Third row seats are usually meant for children. But I feel like the Telluride and the Palisade did an exceptionally good job in making it actually pretty comfortable for adults. Now, in terms of access to the third row-- again, the Telluride and Palisade have similar ways of getting back there. There's a release button you press. And they actually have two-- there's one on the shoulder, and one on the bottom, which makes it easier for kids to access. And when you push that button, the seat slides forward and you can just climb in. DAN EDMUNDS: One thing I noticed about the Ford is if somebody wanted to get in the third row, but it was folded down flat, that you couldn't do it from the door. You'd have to go around to the hatch, open the hatch, and use the buttons there to power the third row up and then go around and get in. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the KIA having manual fold seats, and the Palisade having power fold seats, it didn't matter. You could put the third row seat up from either the rear passenger door or the trunk. KURT NIEBUHR: Now, once we actually sat in those back m it was also more comfortable, I felt, in the Hyundai and the KIA. There was just that much more room, not only for our bodies, but it was a better place to sit. The Hyundai and the KIA-- both had a cup holder, they had USB power jacks back there. And the Ford, on the left hand side, had an armrest. But your side-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: That's right. It was really strange, Ford having some sort of asymmetrical arrangement. I went to go put my arm on the armrest and found it sitting in a bin instead, which was very uncomfortable. KURT NIEBUHR: Speaking of bins, that kind of leads us back up to the front row. And each of these vehicles has a different way of handling small items storage. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, the last car I was in was the Explorer and I really liked the way they've used the space there. It's got a rotary shifter. I think all three of these handle the shifter differently and the Ford is in a nice rotary knob. It's really easy to figure out. But what it means is doesn't take up much space. So there's room for a nice big bin in front of it that you can close, and that's where the USB port is. There's a couple of cup holders alongside the shifter and a little slot where you can stand up your phone, so you can still use the cup holders you don't have to put your phone in a cup holder, which is nice. Yeah and there's a little place where you can lean a phone up against a wireless charging pad right behind that. And then there's the center console, which isn't too huge. But since you've got the one in the front, that's not bad. And then the door pockets are big and the glove box is big. And even the rear seat has big door pockets. The center console in the Ford Explorer is non-existent, it's more of a tray on the floor. They say that so you can hop into the back row between the captain's chairs. OK, but it is just a tray on the floor. But still, it's a pretty good setup. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I found that the Palisade also made good use of that storage space up front. It also has a shift by wire, gear selector up front. So you don't have this mechanical mechanism taking up a lot of space. DAN EDMUNDS: Push buttons, though. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Push buttons-- yeah I know. I mean we can argue that point. I think some people might like it, some people not. But I think the fact is, it saves space up front. KURT NIEBUHR: As big as that space is, I think within a month or two, that's going to turn into like a junk drawer in somebody's house. I think you're going to throw hair clips in there, like cell phone cable, sunglasses, car keys are going to get lost because it's got a little charging pad slot that actually disappears underneath the shifter. And I didn't run into a time when I couldn't find my car keys. And they'd actually slid inside there. And I had to go fishing around for it. But I think normal life is just going to pile a bunch of stuff inside that bin. Yeah, the KIA does have a more old school shifter. I kind of like that better. It has less space, less actual volume. But I think the KIA uses it better. I think you've got cup holders that hold cups well. You've got a place to put your phone. You've got not as much space, but I think it just utilizes the space and it has better. And if you open up the center console bin, you can put a roll of paper towels in there vertically. I don't know why you would ever want to do that, but-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: You know you can. KURT NIEBUHR: Yes. JONATHAN ELFALAN: It's just kind of cool. KURT NIEBUHR: Exactly. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I know it doesn't have quite as much space as the other two, but I didn't find myself wanting for extra space. So even though I didn't have as much space, like you said, I think it makes good use of the space it does have. And I also think it looks kind of the nicest. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, sure. KURT NIEBUHR: I think as long as you're still sitting in the front seats of these vehicles, we can talk about climate control because each of these SUVs handles it in their own way. The KIA has got three vents across the center, tons of airflow. I was always comfortable. The Hyundai Palisade has two. And the Explorer also has two. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, but the Explorer is a little different because they've got that screen in the middle and the vents are off to the side. And so that it doesn't really have the airflow down the middle of the car. It's like right on your hand. So I didn't really like that so much. But the other thing that was almost a little more annoying was I just never could quite be comfortable without always fussing with the temperature. It's not really very good at just picking a temperature and setting it and forgetting. JONATHAN ELFALAN: One thing that I did like about the Explorer was how effective the seat ventilation and heat were. I mean, noticeably better than both the KIA and the Hyundai. I think that's maybe enough to compensate for its lack of climate control. DAN EDMUNDS: But this is a great way to talk about an SUVs interior. But they're about carrying cargo and doing some work. So we should talk about utility. All three of these, when you have the rear seats folded down and the middle is in use, they all have about the same amount of space. But things start to get different when you put up the third row to put people in it. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah we actually tried loading all three of these with carry on luggage. And what we found is that we could fit five regulation size carry on luggages in the back of both the Telluride and the Palisade and just hit the hatch button and have the hatch close all by itself. DAN EDMUNDS: Five is good. You could go pick somebody up from the airport and have the kids along. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Right. When it came to the Explorer, and we did the same sort of method with having an automated hatch close on its own, we can only fit three. Now we were able to fit four kind of laying down and squishing it a little bit. But depends on how much you care about your luggage. If you're cool with that, then four will fit in the back of the Explorer. KURT NIEBUHR: All three of these also have their own way of folding that third row. The Hyundai Palisade and the Ford Explorer, they're power, the KIA they're manual. I actually prefer a manual folding seat. It's quick and easy. I'm tall enough, and my arms are long enough where I can just reach in and grab the strap and then the seat folds flat. But something to keep in mind is that if the weather isn't that great outside, if you don't live in sunny Southern California, to reach in and grab that handle to raise the seats, you're going to lean over a muddy bumper or a wet bumper, or a bumper covered in snow and your clothes are going to get ruined. DAN EDMUNDS: Right, and if you're not very tall, you might have a little bit more trouble reaching in and pulling the strap up. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, I agree. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I also liked the speed and ease of which those KIA seats folded. But I will have to say, I was holding my baby girl and trying to put the seat down, and you actually need to use two hands to both raise and lower that seat. So when you grab the strap, you need to pull it back and hold it in place when you release it. DAN EDMUNDS: You just dropped your child. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Exactly. Having the power release, other than the convenience of it, still serves some use in real world situations. DAN EDMUNDS: The other thing is getting into the hatch of all these vehicles. They all have a cool, hands free way to open the hatch. But they're not quite the same. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the Ford, you have to do this kicking motion. And I think you tried it a few times. How did you find that? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, you have to stand on one foot and swipe your other foot underneath it. And there's a certain spot it wants you to be at. If you don't get it right, you look kind of silly. But getting to your point earlier about ice and snow, if this was winter and it was icy, standing there on one foot trying to get the door to behave, I don't know-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: While holding shopping bags or your child trying to do that it's kind of awkward. Whereas with the KIA and the Hyundai, they have this smart tailgate where you just have to stand in back of the tailgate, it beeps to let you know that something's happening. And then the tailgate just opens, which I think is a brilliant solution. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, when I first walked up and tried that on the Hyundai Palisade, I swiped my foot and the hatch opened. And I only later found out that no, it can sense where the key is and then it beeps, and then it opens. You can just walk up like you guys both said, you can walk up with your arms full and just wait. You might look a little weird and people might look at you and think that you've lost your keys. But you just wait and that's it. JONATHAN ELFALAN: But it's also not a perfect solution because there are times where I was standing in my driveway talking to my neighbor and I'm behind the Telluride and all of a sudden it starts beeping. And you're just like, oh wait, I don't want it to open. DAN EDMUNDS: I guess if you stood back there and then started talking, got interrupted by a dog walker coming by-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah, but it's also nice to know that you can turn that feature off if you don't like it. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So other than hauling things inside, SUVs are generally more capable at towing things than other types of vehicles. But since I don't have any real experience in this, maybe our resident tow expert can shed some light. DAN EDMUNDS: Sure, and you know there's some big differences here because the Ford, in its two wheel drive form, is rear drive. It was front drive in the last generation but they changed back to rear drive. The Hyundai and KIA are both front drive machines at heart. So really, that's an advantage for Ford because you want your tongue weight to be pressing down on the drive wheels. And you get that with a Ford. And that's part of the reason why I can tell a little bit more. It's maximum tow rating is about 5,600 pounds. And they have four engines and even the hybrid can tow 5,000. The thing about the Ford that is also good is that the hitch is right there where you can see it, the connector for the four and seven pin wiring is right there. Seven pin wiring means it'll support electric trailer brakes. You have to add your own trailer brake controller, but that's a plug and play operation using a pigtail that comes in the glove box. So kudos to Ford for that. But the Hyundai and KIA, they're no slouch either. They can tow 5,000 pounds. And what's good about them is you can get load leveling rear shocks with those. In the case of the Telluride, it comes when you get the hitch. In the case of the Palisade, it's something that comes when you get the 20 inch wheels. So it works even if you're not towing if you got three rows of people in there. And 5,000 pounds is a nice solid number. And the one thing that the Ford has over both of them is that it's got a tow haul mode. And that changes the shift points and just makes it a nice drive when you're towing a trailer. KURT NIEBUHR: So that rear drive platform has more benefits than just being able to do power slides in an SUV. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, I think so. But that's a good one. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Speaking of power slides, let's talk about performance. DAN EDMUNDS: Finally. KURT NIEBUHR: So that Ford is [BLEEP] fast. All right. That Ford is really fast. And we actually had two of the available four engines come in. We had platinum with a three leader twin turbo V6. And we had a limited with a 2.3 liter turbo charge four cylinder. And they were both quicker than the KIA and Hyundai. DAN EDMUNDS: The four cylinder, the 2.3 liter four, got to 60 miles an hour in seven seconds. And the V6, the 3 liter V6, did in 5.8 seconds. So as you say, that's fairly fast. KURT NIEBUHR: Just what you want out of three row SUV. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I don't think anything else in this segment even comes close to that three liter. I mean, they've put their stamp on that. And that's not the only thing that Ford does well. It actually handles, quite surprisingly well. I think you said it at the track where this is more like a tall wagon than a midsize three row SUV. But that said, the Hyundai and KIA aren't slouches in a straight line. I think 7 and 1/2 seconds to 60. Considering these things are primarily people movers, I think we could call those both adequate. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, sure. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Now, in terms of handling, I felt like the Telluride and Palisade also weren't bad. They're not going to feel like a vehicle that you can go out and you'd want to attack a back road in. But at the same time, they handled themselves pretty well. DAN EDMUNDS: The Ford Explorer would be a little bit more enjoyable to drive. It's just really nice on a winding road. Steering loads up nice in corners. And it just has nice balance and composure. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So performance is kind of a fun thing to talk about, but it's not all about performance, especially with these types of vehicles. So driveability-- I think with the Ford and its new 10 speed automatic transmission, I found that it wasn't quite as smooth as I would have wanted it to be if I was driving this thing every day. Like the performance, it's got it. It's got it. But it seems like it's tuned a little too aggressively, would you say? DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, it feels really eager. You really feel the boost, not so much the eco. And it really wants to go. And that shows in our mpg results. The Hyundai and the KIA are both rated at 21 miles per gallon combined. And the 2.3 liter Ford is rated at 23. And so it should be two better based on similar driving. But what we saw is that everything got 21 miles per gallon. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the Ford, the way that it's tuned, you want to almost dig into that boost, which is going to cost you mpgs. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, that eagerness in the Ford, where it's always on and it feels like it's always ready, also was kind of found in the ride too. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah you bring up a good point with comfort. So with the Ford, I found that it had good primary ride but not good secondary ride. And what I mean by that is that it was able to handle the big stuff really well. But some of the finer undulations in the road really came through and it made the ride feel a little busy, following every little detail of the road surface, which I didn't feel in the Telluride or the Palisade. Now, those suspensions are by no means perfect. But I felt like they absorbed a lot more of that secondary jitteryness better. DAN EDMUNDS: I think they were a little more consistent across a wider range of road surfaces. JONATHAN ELFALAN: All of these SUVs can be had with all wheel drive. And all of our test cars came with all wheel drive. These systems aren't necessarily geared for any hardcore off-road. It's more inclement weather. But that said, we did spend a little bit of time with these things off road. And by we, I mean Dan. So Dan, what do you think? DAN EDMUNDS: Inclement weather is the main reason for having all wheel drive, here. But they can do a little bit more than that. We had a little off road course, we could take them on. The Hyundai and KIA both have a four wheel drive lock button, which doesn't necessarily lock the center differential, but it makes sure that the front and rear axle have equal amounts of torque. It's not waiting for slip to engage an axle, it's just making it be engaged all the time. The Ford has something similar, but it's kind of buried into a setting that they call trail. And then there's another one for sand and deep snow. So you have a couple of different settings there. They all have about the same level of articulation. None of them really hiked the wheel any further off the ground than any of the others. But ultimately, if we all took all three of these out someplace, it's not like one of them was going to be holding up the other two. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Pretty equally capable. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, but it's going to be you know dirt roads, not the Rubicon trail. JONATHAN ELFALAN: OK, moving on to technology. All these SUVs were equipped with some pretty advanced driving aids, like adaptive cruise control. They had lane keep assists. They had blind spot monitoring. And all worked fairly well, I think pretty even in that field. But I think what grabs people's attention even more today is the infotainment systems and smartphone integration. What do you guys think about those? KURT NIEBUHR: Unsurprisingly, the Hyundai and KIA systems were basically the exact same. Has its own Font. Yeah, shocker. But also, both of them were the same size. As 10.25 inches for both, It's the traditional landscape layout. DAN EDMUNDS: Widescreen landscape, really nice. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, but Ford had a better idea. DAN EDMUNDS: The one that everybody talks about is the 10.1 inch portrait oriented screen that's right in the middle. It looks like an iPad sitting there. And we like the portrait oriented screen at around 1500, but this one is quite a bit narrower. And so when you run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, the screen is kind of small, the useful part. The bottom half doesn't really have anything going on, either. So I like the lower level eight inch screen, which is landscape oriented. And you get a little tray underneath it, which I like. I mean I can actually put my phone right in there. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Now, what is that thing about having CarPlay plugged in and using the native nav. DAN EDMUNDS: As soon as you plug-in your phone, it wants you to use the navigation system through Apple CarPlay, and the native nav winks out. And it's like, no, I need to be in both environments at once. The Ford isn't really very happy doing that, whereas the Hyundai and KIA are just fine. JONATHAN ELFALAN: But I will say this-- the benefit of that larger vertical screen on the board is that if you're using the native navigation system, and you like to run in the direction of travel, you do have a long runway to see what's coming up. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, yeah. JONATHAN ELFALAN: You can see a lot of streets. DAN EDMUNDS: You know, the one thing we haven't talked about yet is probably the most important thing, is price. So how much do these things cost? KURT NIEBUHR: Well, that's a tough question to answer. All of these things have a pretty broad price range. And I think it depends on what you want as far as options go. You can buy all three of these vehicles in a base two wheel drive configuration. That Palisade starts at 32,645, the Telluride at 32,785, and the Explorer XLT starts at 37,870. Now, there is a more basic Explorer than the XLT but that's probably just for fleet sales. But if you can find one of those, that's going to start at 33,860. All the ones we drove are highly optioned all wheel drive versions. The Palisade limited stickered at 47,605, the Telluride SX at 46,860 and they Explore Platinum at, get this, 61,330. Now 61k is pretty steep, and most people probably won't pay that much for an Explorer. So we brought in a limited with a four cylinder engine to see if that would help its case. No, that stickered at 53,120. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I mean, that just goes to show you where the Telluride and the Palisade are at. Like, I don't think you could get those things above 50 if you threw everything at it. Yet, they had the same number of features as the Ford, and, in some ways, felt better built. Like, I think the interior quality of both those cabins were really nice, the materials that they use, everything felt solidly screwed together. So KIA and Hyundai are providing a real value at this price point. And I think they've set a new benchmark for this class in that sense. So with the Ford, I mean, that's a hefty price tag. So what are we getting? DAN EDMUNDS: Where the money is in the Ford, I think, is in the rear drive layout. They've got some really cool forged aluminum control arms underneath there. There's the 10 speed automatic four engines with turbocharger. So there's a lot of money in the engineering. But it's not the kind of thing that you're going to see each and every day. It does lead to sharper handling and a couple of other things. But as far as just commuting to the store or whatever, you're not going to necessarily see it. So it's kind of like a case of, you don't quite get what you pay for. KURT NIEBUHR: So we talked about a lot of stuff. We tallied up all the scores. And one of these vehicles comes out in first place. But that means one of these vehicles comes out in last place. JONATHAN ELFALAN: This is the best Explorer that Ford has ever built. And I think it could be an attractive option if you're going to be doing a lot of towing. And if you live up in the mountains, you could be driving a lot of mountain roads. But fact of the matter is, the benchmark has been moved. And the KIA and Hyundai are really, really good SUVs. KURT NIEBUHR: Both of those vehicles don't really have any flaws. They do everything that they're supposed to do-- they're smooth or quiet, they're comfortable, they carry people. Also, in a lot of comfort, they can still tow. My preference, though, would lean toward the KIA. I think it has a richer interior. And I think it fits in with the brand. I know that styling is very subjective and it always will be. But the KIA is instantly recognizable as a KIA. And I think the Palisade doesn't seem to fit in with other Hyundais. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, I'm totally with you there. I like to Telluride because it's got its own personality. People stop me at gas stations and they wondered what it was. One of them thought it was Land Rover. And I don't see that exactly, but I do see that it looks really unique. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So it sounds like we decided. Explorer, Palisade, Telluride. The Telluride remains our top pick in this segment against some pretty formidable competition. It received an impressive score of 8.4 out of 10 overall, which is to say we really like this thing. But let us know what you think down in the comments. Be sure to hit subscribe if you want to see more great content just like this and see you next time.

Ford Explorer vs. Kia Telluride vs. Hyundai Palisade -- 2020 Midsize SUV Comparison Test

NOTE: This video is about the 2020 Ford Explorer, but since the 2021 Ford Explorer is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.


Features & Specs

Base MSRP
$34,675
MPG & Fuel
20 City / 27 Hwy / 23 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.9 gal. capacity
Seating
7 seats
Drivetrain
Type: all wheel drive
Transmission: 10-speed shiftable automatic
Engine
Inline 4 cylinder
Horsepower: 300 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 310 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Dimensions
Length: 198.8 in. / Height: 69.9 in. / Width: 78.9 in.
Curb Weight: 4345 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 18.2 cu.ft.

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Safety

Our experts’ favorite Explorer safety features:

Lane Keeping System
Alerts the driver as the Explorer starts to drift out of its lane. Also applies pressure to the wheel to guide the car back into the lane.
Post-Collision Braking
Applies the brakes after a collision to reduce the effects of a secondary collision.
Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control
Maintains the distance between the Explorer and the car in front. Also includes a system that keeps the Explorer centered in the lane.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
RolloverRating
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover14.7%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Good
Roof Strength Test
Good
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
Good
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test
Good



Ford Explorer vs. the competition

2021 Ford Explorer

2021 Ford Explorer

2021 Kia Telluride

2021 Kia Telluride

Ford Explorer vs. Kia Telluride

After earning Edmunds Top Rated status for the last two years, the Kia Telluride continues to impress us with its abundant comfort, spacious interior and long list of standard features. By contrast, the Ford Explorer trails by a sizable margin — it's held back by its higher price, disappointing interior materials and noticeable wind noise on the highway. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Telluride.

Compare Ford Explorer & Kia Telluride features 

Ford Explorer vs. Hyundai Palisade

The Hyundai Palisade is a close relative of the Kia Telluride and enjoys many of the same advantages. Not surprisingly, it easily leads the Ford Explorer in a number of ways. The Palisade is a bit more expensive than the Telluride but still represents a relative bargain compared to the Explorer.

Compare Ford Explorer & Hyundai Palisade features 

Ford Explorer vs. Honda Pilot

The Honda Pilot is the veteran of the class; it was last redesigned in 2016. Despite its age, the Pilot remains a very strong pick among three-row SUVs thanks to its versatile interior, smooth ride and clever storage options. It might not be as exciting to drive as the Explorer, but its smart family-friendly design gives it a distinct edge. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Pilot.

Compare Ford Explorer & Honda Pilot features 

2021 Ford Explorer First Impressions

What is the Explorer?

Ford redesigned the Explorer in 2020, and it's an understatement to say that it was vitally important for the automaker to get it right. In our evaluations, Ford left a lot of the Explorer's potential untapped while its chief rivals have made giant leaps forward.

For 2021, the XLT Sport appearance package will be reintroduced into the Explorer lineup. We expect a dark finish on exterior trim and badging as well as unique wheels. Perhaps it'll also add some interior flourishes.

If those are indeed the only changes for 2021, don't expect the Explorer to fare any better in Edmunds' rankings. If you're dead-set on getting a new Explorer, you probably won't miss anything by opting for a 2020 model. Keep checking back here for more information as we get closer to the on-sale date this summer.

2021 Ford Explorer - Front Interior
2021 Ford Explorer
EdmundsEdmunds says

Despite coming off a full redesign in 2020, the Ford Explorer ranks a disappointing eighth place in current Edmunds rankings. It may benefit from an abundance of passenger and cargo space, but the price tends to skyrocket when you climb up through trim levels and add options. Sadly, the interior materials don't seem to match that price. We suggest checking out the Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride and new Toyota Highlander before committing to a new Explorer.

2021 Ford Explorer - Rear 3/4
2021 Ford Explorer

FAQ

Is the Ford Explorer a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Explorer both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.4 out of 10. You probably care about Ford Explorer fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Explorer gets an EPA-estimated 20 mpg to 27 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Explorer has 18.2 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Ford Explorer. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Ford Explorer?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Ford Explorer:

  • New Sport Appearance package available on XLT trim
  • More affordable version of the Explorer ST debuts
  • Platinum trim is now available for the Hybrid model
  • New off-road-themed Timberline debuts midway through the model year
  • Part of the sixth Explorer generation introduced for 2020
Learn more

Is the Ford Explorer reliable?

To determine whether the Ford Explorer is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Explorer. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Explorer's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Ford Explorer a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Ford Explorer is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Explorer and gave it a 7.4 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Explorer is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Ford Explorer?

The least-expensive 2021 Ford Explorer is the 2021 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $32,675.

Other versions include:

  • XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $36,825
  • ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $48,750
  • XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $34,825
  • Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $54,480
  • Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $47,005
  • 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $34,675
  • 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $32,675
  • Limited 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $45,005
  • Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) which starts at $51,855
  • Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) which starts at $49,855
  • Platinum 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $52,480
  • King Ranch 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $54,350
  • King Ranch 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $52,350
  • Timberline 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) which starts at $45,765
  • Platinum Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) which starts at $53,085
Learn more

What are the different models of Ford Explorer?

If you're interested in the Ford Explorer, the next question is, which Explorer model is right for you? Explorer variants include XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), and Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A). For a full list of Explorer models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Ford Explorer

2021 Ford Explorer Overview

The 2021 Ford Explorer is offered in the following submodels: Explorer SUV, Explorer Hybrid. Available styles include XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), Platinum 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), Limited 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A), Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A), Platinum 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), King Ranch 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), King Ranch 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), Timberline 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), and Platinum Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A). Ford Explorer models are available with a 2.3 L-liter gas engine or a 3.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 400 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Ford Explorer comes with all wheel drive, and rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 10-speed shiftable automatic. The 2021 Ford Explorer comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Ford Explorer?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Ford Explorer and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Explorer 4.0 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Explorer.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Ford Explorer and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Explorer featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Ford Explorer?

2021 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $36,255. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $616 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $616 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $35,639.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) is 1.7% below the MSRP.

2021 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $43,250. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $1,314 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,314 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $41,936.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) is 3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 4 2021 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Rutland area.

2021 Ford Explorer Timberline 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $47,010. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $1,097 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,097 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $45,913.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) is 2.3% below the MSRP.

2021 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $51,450. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $1,464 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,464 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $49,986.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) is 2.8% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 9 2021 Ford Explorer Limited 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Rutland area.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $54,330. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) is trending $1,341 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,341 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $52,989.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) is 2.5% below the MSRP.

2021 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $55,340. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) is trending $1,356 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,356 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $53,984.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) is 2.5% below the MSRP.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $56,715. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $1,373 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,373 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $55,342.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is 2.4% below the MSRP.

2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $56,785. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $1,375 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,375 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $55,410.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch 4dr SUV (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is 2.4% below the MSRP.

2021 Ford Explorer ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A)

The 2021 Ford Explorer ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $57,980. The average price paid for a new 2021 Ford Explorer ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is trending $1,350 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $1,350 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $56,630.

The average savings for the 2021 Ford Explorer ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) is 2.3% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2021 Ford Explorer ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Rutland area.

Which 2021 Ford Explorers are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Ford Explorer for sale near. There are currently 1 new 2021 Explorers listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $44,245 and mileage as low as 246 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Ford Explorer.

Can't find a new 2021 Ford Explorers you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Ford for sale - 10 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $18,878.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Ford Explorer?

2021 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV AWD (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), 10-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
23 compined MPG,
20 city MPG/27 highway MPG

2021 Ford Explorer ST 4dr SUV AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 10A), 10-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
20 compined MPG,
18 city MPG/24 highway MPG

2021 Ford Explorer XLT 4dr SUV (2.3L 4cyl Turbo 10A), 10-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
24 compined MPG,
21 city MPG/28 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG23
Transmission10-speed shiftable automatic
Drive Trainall wheel drive
Displacement2.3 L
Passenger VolumeN/A
Wheelbase119.1 in.
Length198.8 in.
Width78.9 in.
Height69.9 in.
Curb Weight4345 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Ford Explorer?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Ford lease specials