There was a time when you could look down the street and see a line of minivans gracing every driveway, but those days are long gone. While the minivan hasn't been entirely forgotten, it has been all but replaced by the versatile SUV. Three-row SUVs like the 2023 Ford Explorer have become popular for their adaptability. Able to fit many lifestyles and needs, the SUV is a one size fits all type of car, and the Ford Explorer is no exception.
The Explorer had big tires to fill as it took the place of the Bronco in Ford's lineup. However, with plenty to offer, the Explorer was an overwhelming success and proved to be a great addition to the market. The Ford Explorer has been one of the top-selling SUVs in its segment since its rollout in the early 1990s and has continued to offer safe and reliable transportation wrapped up nicely in an attractive SUV shell.
Although today's model is quite different then the one that started it all, it is impossible not to recognize how previous versions contributed to the 2023 version we enjoy today. The four-door body, which was offered as an option on the first-generation Explorer, makes this SUV family-friendly. The third generation added the roomy third row, providing seating for up to seven passengers. The square-jawed front end, sculpted sides, and rounded rear all take cues from the redesigned fifth generation, providing us with one really good-looking SUV.
The 2023 Ford Explorer is available with three distinct engine options, each with a balance of power and efficiency. The Base, XLT, ST-Line, Timberline, and Limited trims all come standard with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Its twin-scroll turbocharger and inline-four design results in 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Upgrading to the ST, King Ranch, or Platinum trim replaces the base engine with a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6. Combining direct injection and turbocharging enhances overall efficiency and performance, resulting in 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque.
If you are looking to prioritize fuel efficiency over performance, then the 3.3-liter V6 hybrid powertrain is the perfect compromise. Available on the Limited and the Platinum trims, the Hybrid V6 pumps out 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. With numbers like those, you will never need to compromise. Both EcoBoost engine options and the hybrid are mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission that utilizes more of their power bands, offering increased performance, control, and capability.
To get the most out of each engine option, the 2023 Ford Explorer is equipped with a Terrain Management System. This system allows you to select between various drive modes that optimize settings to provide the most control and offer the best experience. The Terrain Management System can be enjoyed on two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive models, offering up to seven unique modes. Specialized modes such as Deep Snow/Sand, Trail, and Slippery are ideal for unforgiving environments, while the Tow/Haul mode is perfect for when work comes first. Settings such as Sport, Eco, and Normal help you tackle everyday situations with ease.
The 2023 Ford Explorer is well equipped, featuring some of the latest technology for improved safety and convenience. Ford Co-Pilot360, for instance, is a suite of driver-assist features that are designed to lend a virtual helping hand while on the road. Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control is one of those features, elevating old-school cruise control by using radar and cameras to keep your vehicle a safe distance from the car ahead of you.
BLIS, otherwise known as the Blind Spot Information System, is another tool in the Ford Co-Pilot360 utility belt. BLIS monitors the area behind your vehicle when backing up and the area around your SUV when making lane changes. However, dangers don't only occupy your blind spots, which is why Ford Co-Pilot360 also offers Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking. This driver-assist feature monitors the area in front of your vehicle, watching for other cars or pedestrians.
For safety and convenience, a 360-Degree Camera with Split-View Display provides a live view of what's behind you when backing up and a bird's eye view so you can monitor everything around your vehicle. Active Park Assist 2.0 is another feature that combines both convenience and safety by putting parking into easy mode. Active Park Assist 2.0 can not only locate a parking spot for you, but it can safely maneuver into some of the most difficult parking spots.
Of course, we can't talk about technology without looking at the options that keep you connected. Ford utilizes several advanced applications to provide the ultimate experience. You can access voice-controlled navigation, connect your smart device, and listen to music. The audio experience is improved even further by the available Bang and Olufsen sound systems with up to fourteen speakers and a subwoofer for rich sound. You can select music from your smart device and keep it charged with the available wireless charging pad.
The 2023 Ford Explorer is a roomy and luxurious SUV with seating for up to seven passengers. The adjustable third row can be folded down, making it easy to take full advantage of the available cargo space. For added convenience, the available PowerFold function lets you redesign the interior, folding down the third row with a simple press of a button. Select trims offer a tri-split option, splitting the second-row bench seat 35/30/35 for even more options. Plus, with the fold-flat feature, you don't lose any space.
On some trims, the second-row passengers get to enjoy comfortable captain's chair seating. This option includes easy access to the third row and fold-down armrests for the second-row occupants. Power-adjustable heated and ventilated seats are a few more perks to be enjoyed in the front row. Seat upholsteries range from soft cloth to high-end leather appointments in natural and warm color palettes. The available ActiveX material is a great choice for adventurers, providing easy-to-clean and durable seats.
Complimenting materials, like real wood accents, vibrant stitching, and branded floor mats, elevate the interior with unique and elegant design details. For further customization, ambient lighting is available, allowing you to set the mood with an assortment of colors. When you are calm and serene, try the Active Motion seats, which prioritize comfort. These seats are designed to minimize fatigue and even include five massage settings that focus on the upper and lower back.
Additional comfort comes from the Tri-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control, which is standard on all trim levels and offers broader coverage and more advanced control. If you are in the mood to feel the natural rays of the sun, the available twin-panel moonroof opens up to let the outside in. The moonroof adds to the open feeling of the cabin, making it feel even roomier.