The Ford Explorer is a three-row SUV that stands out from its rivals with handsome styling and excellent utility. For 2018, it becomes more appealing with new wheel designs, paint colors, and safety features. Here's a look at the latest Explorer.

Trim Levels

The Explorer comes in five trims: base, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. This SUV has a square-jawed, bulky body that gives it a handsome, masculine appearance. Its clean lines and well-balanced proportions make it look down-to-earth and reliable. It's one of the most aesthetically-pleasing vehicles in its class, especially when it's fitted with the optional 20-inch wheels. This year, it has a slightly-revised chrome mesh grille, five wheel designs, and quad exhaust tips on the Sport and Platinum trims. Additionally, it offers four new paint colors: Platinum Dune Tricoat, Cinnamon Glaze, Blue Metallic, and Burgundy Velvet Tinted Clearcoat.


There are three engines available for the 2018 Explorer. The base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 290 hp. If you're getting the base and XLT trims, you can opt for a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that produces 280 hp at an additional cost. On the Limited, it's a no-cost option. Both engines team with a six-speed automatic transmission to deliver power either to the front wheels or all wheels.

The most powerful engine in the lineup is a smooth 365-hp 3.5-liter turbocharged V6 that's available on the Sport and Platinum. With its standard AWD system, it enables the SUV to sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. The Explorer has a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.


You can rely on the new Explorer to deliver a smooth and stable ride in most situations. This SUV performs especially well on the highway and long-distance trips. With its quick and light electronically-assisted steering system, strong brakes, and well-planted handling, it also negotiates corners with ease. Despite its large size, it's relatively easy to maneuver in high-traffic situations and parking lots, making it a good choice for urban drivers as well. As for fuel economy, the SUV delivers 17/24 mpg (city/highway) with its standard engine and 19/27 mpg with the optional four-cylinder engine.


In its standard configuration, the 2018 Explorer can seat up to seven people. The second-row seats can be replaced with optional captain's chairs, which are more comfortable but reduce seating capacity to six. The lower trims look and feel nice with standard cloth upholstery and quality trimmings, while higher trims feature leather seats and wood trim. The standard infotainment system is a 4.2-inch unit with voice command and Bluetooth connectivity. For a better experience, you can upgrade it to a SYNC 3 system with an 8-inch display, navigation, Pandora, and iHeartRadio.

Safety Features

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the 2018 Explorer a five-star rating for overall safety. The SUV comes standard with a rearview camera and the MyKey system, but it also has optional driver assistance features such as automatic braking, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert, rear cross-traffic warning, parking sensors, and active parking assistance.

Start driving a Ford Explorer