Highlights of the 2023 Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer remains one of the most popular midsize sport utility vehicles on the market. Introduced in 1991, the Explorer has undergone numerous changes. The most recent design, introduced in 2020, returned the Explorer to its standard rear-wheel-drive roots. For 2023, the Explorer is a carryover from the previous year.

Ford offers the 2023 Explorer in eight trims. They are: Explorer, XLT, ST-Line, Limited, Timberline, ST, Platinum, and King Ranch. This midsize model seats up to seven and comes with standard rear-wheel drive and available all- or four-wheel drive. A 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder comes standard (310 horsepower) and works with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Ford Explorer interior

Standard Equipment

Ford equips the 2023 Explorer with a long list of standard features as follows:

Exterior Features:

  • Automatic LED Low- and High-Beam Headlamps
  • LED Taillamps
  • Black Exterior Door Handles
  • Body-Color Rear Spoiler
  • Lower bodyside cladding – Black
  • Liftgate Appliqué – Chrome
  • Mirrors, Sideview – Power Glass, Manual-Folding and Black Molded-in-Color Caps
  • Power Liftgate
  • Rear Bumper Step Pad – Molded-In-Color with Black
  • Capless Fuel Filler

Interior Features:

  • Tri-zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control
  • Rear Auxiliary Climate Control
  • Cargo Hooks
  • Dome/Map Lights in All Three Rows
  • Floor Mats – Carpet, Front and Second Rows
  • Cabin Particulate Air Filter
  • First-row center floor console with armrest and storage bin
  • Door-Sill Scuff Plates, Front and Rear – Black Molded-in-Color, embossed with “EXPLORER”
  • Integrated Key Fob
  • Manual Day/Night Rearview Mirror
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • MyKey Programming
  • Grab Handles – Front-Passenger; Second Row – two (2), includes Coat Hooks
    Power Door Locks
  • Power Windows, with 1-touch-up-and-down driver/passenger window
  • 12-Volt Powerpoints, 5 total (2 first row, 2 second row and 1 cargo area)

Audio and Technology:

  • Rear View Camera with Backup Assist Grid Lines
  • Rear Parking Sensors
  • Steering Wheel with Mounted Features – 5-way Controls, Audio Controls, and Cruise Controls
  • AM/FM, MP3-Compatible with Six Speakers
  • FordPass Connect for app-based smartphone connectivity
  • Instrument Panel Cluster with 4.2′-inch Color LCD Productivity Screen, Message Center, Outside Temperature Display, and Trip Computer
  • USB Ports, First Row – One (1) “A” and one (1) “C” in the Media Hub
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatibility
  • SYNC 3 interface with 10.1-inch LCD Capacitive Touchscreen
  • FordPass Connect 4G LTE Wi-Fi Hotspot Capability


  • AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control)
  • Auto Hold
  • Belt-Minder
  • Front Passenger Knee Airbag
  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether Anchors for Children)
  • Safety Canopy
  • SOS Post-Crash Alert System

Ford Explorer XLT ($38,570)

Move up from the base model to the XLT trim and this one includes many of the features customers desire in a midsize SUV.

  • Proximity Keyless Entry
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Two Second-Row USB Ports
  • 10-way Power-Adjustable Driver’s Seat
  • 4-way Power-Adjustable Passenger Seat
  • Heated Front Seats
  • Second-Row Captain’s Chairs

Ford Explorer ST-Line ($46,005)

The ST-Line makes a significant increase in price over the two base models.

  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Multicolor ambient interior lighting
  • HD Radio
  • Bang & Olufsen stereo
  • 6.5-inch digital instrument cluster display
  • Stop-and-go adaptive cruise control
  • Lane-centering assist
  • Evasive-steering assist
  • Navigation

It’s worth noting that the optional packages for the XLT include the Equipment Group 202A (which adds features like a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and a wireless charging pad) and the Comfort Package (which adds features like a 360-degree camera system and a hands-free liftgate).

Ford Explorer Limited ($47,070)

Building on the previous trims, the Explorer Limited adds the following:

  • Genuine leather upholstery
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Ventilated second-row seats
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Front parking sensors

Ford Explorer exterior

Ford Explorer Timberline ($48,980)

For a rugged expression, the Timberline edition combines handsome looks with off-road beefiness to deliver a thoroughly capable SUV. This model features the following:

  • Improved ground clearance
  • Steel unibody skid plates
  • Class IV trailer tow package
  • First and second row heated seats
  • High-end synthetic seat covers with orange stitching
  • 360-degree camera with split view
  • Off-road capable front struts and rear shocks

Ford Explorer ST ($50,005)

This model gains a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine generating 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. Other features include:

  • 20-inch machine-finished aluminum wheels
  • Quad chrome exhaust tips
  • 12.3-inch digital cluster
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and seats

Ford Explorer Platinum ($53,820)

Choose the Explorer Platinum and this model brings in the 3.3-liter V6 engine with a hybrid system. The hybrid system generates 318 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque. Some of the key features of the Platinum are as follows:

  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Front Parking Sensors
  • 360-Degree Camera with Split-View Display
  • Power Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Power-folding, Heated Sideview Mirrors with Memory and LED Turn Signal Indicators
  • LED Fog Lamps
  • Dual-Panel Moonroof
  • Satin Aluminum Roof Rack Side Rails
  • Ambient Lighting with Multiple Colors and Animation Settings
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel with Heating Functionality
  • Unique Platinum-Branded Floor Mats
  • Second-Row Heated Captain’s Chairs with Power-Assist Fold and E-Z Entry
  • Third-Row Power-Folding 50/50 Bench Seat
  • Wireless Charging Pad
  • Active Park Assist 2.0
  • Adaptive Headlights with Auto High-Beam
  • B&O Sound System with 980-Watt Amplifier and 14 Speakers

Ford Explorer King Ranch ($54,075)

The range-topping King Ranch model lives up to its “rugged luxury” label. This model comes with the twin-turbo V6 engine and the following features:

  • Handcrafted Del Rio Leather Covered Seats
  • Norais Real Wood Trim
  • Leather-wrapped Interior

Concluding Thoughts

It should be noted that the hybrid drivetrain is available with the Limited grade, a no-added-cost upgrade. As such, buyers at this level may obtain a well-appointed model with one of the most efficient powertrains in the segment.

All in all, the Ford Explorer remains a compelling model in a competitive segment. That segment includes the Volkswagen Atlas, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, Nissan Pathfinder, and many other models.

2023 Ford Explorer Specifications

Ford 2023 Explorer
Segment Midsize Crossover SUV
Price Range $36,760 – $54,075
Destination Charge $1,595
Engine No. 1 2.3-liter, I4
Horsepower 300 @ 5,500 rpm
Torque (lb.-ft.) 310 @ 3,500 rpm
Bore x Stroke (inches) N/A
Compression Ratio 10.0:1
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Engine No. 2 3.0-liter, V-6, turbocharged
Horsepower 400
Torque (lb.-ft.) 415
Bore x Stroke (inches) N/A
Compression Ratio 9.5:1
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Engine No. 3 3.3-liter, V-6, hybrid
Horsepower 318 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque (lb.-ft.) 322 @ 6,500 rpm
Bore x Stroke (inches) N/A
Compression Ratio 12.0:1
Transmission 10-speed automatic
Seating 7
Curb Weight (pounds) 4,345
Wheelbase (inches) 119.1
Length (inches) 198.8
Width (inches) 78.9
Height (inches) 69.9
Headroom (f,r…inches) 40.7, 40.5, 38.9
Legroom (f,r…inches) 43.0, 39.0, 32.2
Shoulder room (f,r…inches) 61.8, 61.9, 54.6
Hip room (f,r…inches) 59.2, 59.1, 40.9
Cargo Storage (cubic feet) 18.2/47.9/87.8
Gross vehicle weight (pounds) N/A
Towing (pounds) 5,000 to 5,600
Payload (pounds) N/A
Fuel Premium
Fuel Tank (gallons) 17.9 to 20.2
EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined) 17/24/20 (V6); 20/26/22 (I4); 27/28/27 (Hybrid)
Manufacturing Plant Chicago, Illinois

Specifications supplied by the manufacturer. Statistics compiled by Tom Keegan.

Photos supplied by the Ford Motor Company.

Matt Keegan
Author: Matthew Keegan
Matt Keegan is a journalist, media professional, and owner of this website. He has an extensive writing background and has covered the automotive sector continuously since 2004. When not driving and evaluating new vehicles, Matt enjoys spending his time outdoors.

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