What’s New for the 2025 Ford Explorer?

May 10th, 2024 by

A white 2025 Ford Explorer is shown parked near a family.

The Ford Explorer is a three-row SUV that has won over drivers with its capable powertrain, spacious interior, and stylish design. While the 2024 model already had plenty to love, the 2025 Ford Explorer is getting some significant upgrades. Drivers who are thinking of trading in their old model for the latest version of the Explorer may be wondering exactly what’s changing for this new model year. If that’s you, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to dive in and let you know what’s different about this new and improved Explorer.

New Look Inside & Out

In line with the Explorer’s name, its new exterior styling gives off an even bolder attitude than the outgoing model. There’s new fascia designs up front and in the back, plus sleek LED headlamps and taillamps that are both stylish and functional. The grille is larger than it used to be, and each trim level has a distinct grille design: a saw-tooth design with chrome bars on the Active, a honeycomb pattern in gloss black on the ST-Line and ST, and a wing design in satin chrome and Ebony on the top-tier Platinum. Some trims also offer an available black-painted roof for an even more unique look. The styling upgrades continue inside the cabin, where soft-touch surfaces and premium materials provide an elegant look and feel that contrasts and complements the rugged exterior.

Infotainment Upgrades

While the 2024 Explorer’s most basic infotainment setup used an 8-inch touchscreen, an impressive 13.2-inch LCD touchscreen comes standard on the 2025 model. Behind the wheel, there’s also a 12.3-inch digital cluster, replacing fixed-in-place mechanical dials with a customizable display that puts vital information in the driver’s natural line of sight. Eight USB ports spread throughout the vehicle make it easy for you and all your passengers to keep your phones and other devices charged throughout the drive.

A blue 2025 Ford Explorer is shown driving on a highway.

Introducing the Ford Digital Experience

There is one other change to the infotainment system that feels significant enough to get its own section: Ford Digital Experience. This feature isn’t just new to the Explorer; it’s brand-new to any Ford lineup: the 2025 Explorer will be the first Ford vehicle to get this feature. FDE is basically the replacement for the Sync infotainment system; you can think of it as the underlying software for the entire infotainment setup.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will continue to be standard features on the 2025 Explorer, but wireless now, which is a step up from the 2024 model. However, it will no longer be the only way to access useful apps through the vehicle’s interface. While Apple CarPlay and Android Auto use your smartphone to give you access to apps, Ford Digital Experience has way more built-in computing power, letting you access media, navigation, and more through the vehicle’s system alone—no smartphone required. Ford has partnered with both Google and Amazon so that drivers can choose between either Google Assistant or available Alexa Built-In. Either one can act as a virtual, voice-activated assistant on the go, helping you stay connected, play the music or podcasts you’re in the mood for, and even change the in-vehicle temperature, all through hands-free voice commands.

In addition to being a helpful tool while you’re on the road, the new system can also keep you entertained while you’re parked. If you arrive early for an appointment, get stuck in a long line at a drive-through, or simply want a moment of privacy during your lunch break, you can use the Explorer’s screen to watch visual media, something that’s only possible while the SUV is parked for obvious safety reasons. You can watch videos, TV, or movies with apps like YouTube and Prime Video, surf the internet with Vivaldi Browser (and, down the line, with Google Chrome), and play video games through Google Play, either via the touchscreen or using a Bluetooth-connected controller.

Simplified Trim Lineup

The 2024 Explorer had eight trim levels, while the 2025 model simplifies your choices to four incredible options. While having a variety of trims can be helpful for drivers looking for just the right balance between features and price, it can also be overwhelming for drivers who want to be able to do thorough research before deciding on a big purchase like a vehicle. The lineup for the 2025 Explorer includes the following trims:

  • The Active—This affordable trim comes standard with the upgraded infotainment system, heated front seats, Ford Co-Pilot360 driver assistance tech, and plenty of other useful features. However, it doesn’t have the full range of high-end style and luxury features that can drive up a vehicle’s price tag, making it an accessible option for drivers on a budget who still want a great SUV.
  • The ST-Line—Several features, from the black-painted roof to hands-free highway driving with Ford BlueCruise, are available on this trim level and up, enhancing your driving experience without breaking the bank. This trim also has a sporty aesthetic that makes it distinct from not just the Active trim but also the Platinum.
  • The Platinum—This high-end trim has an upscale interior with heated and ventilated front seats, perforated leather seating surfaces, and a twin-panel moonroof. It also has an upgraded 14-speaker sound system, a more advanced suite of driver assistance tech, and more to make you feel comfortable and secure behind the wheel.
  • The ST—While the ST-Line has athletic style, the ST backs it up with significantly better performance; a 400-horsepower V6 engine and Sport-tuned Suspension come standard, giving you improved driving dynamics wherever you go.

A blue 2025 Ford Explorer ST is shown parked off-road.

Ford BlueCruise

Cruise control has long been a standard feature on the Explorer, letting drivers cruise at a set speed without keeping their foot on the gas pedal. More recently, adaptive cruise control has replaced the old system with a safer one that uses sensors to react to changes in traffic. With adaptive cruise control, the vehicle will automatically slow down or even come to a complete stop (when paired with Stop-and-Go) in order to keep a safe following distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you, then speed back up to your set MPH when the path is clear. For the 2025 model year, the system is taking another technological step forward with Ford BlueCruise.

BlueCruise pairs the adaptive cruise control system with the systems that control lane-keeping functions and other high-tech sensors to allow you to drive hands-free on the highway, making long road trips less stressful so you don’t burn out on the road. This system has several features to help you customize your experience, like Lane Change Assist, which lets you change lanes hands-free, and In-Lane Repositioning, which helps you keep some space between your Explorer and vehicles in adjacent lanes that might be getting a little too close for comfort. BlueCruise is a standard feature on the ST-Line, ST, and Platinum trims.

Drive Into the Future With the 2025 Explorer

Looking over the changes to the 2025 Explorer, it’s clear that they run the gamut. While some only affect the way the SUV looks, others fundamentally change the infotainment system or add completely new driver assistance features. Together, these upgrades make the Explorer a more modern vehicle that embraces the latest and greatest in automotive technology. If you want to see the all-new Explorer for yourself, ask questions about individual features or trims, and even take a test drive to see how it handles, you can visit us here at Jim Ellis Ford, and we’ll be happy to show you, up-close and in-person, all that this SUV has to offer.

Posted in 2025 Ford Explorer