Ford Explorer Platinum
Ford Explorer Platinum
Ford Explorer Platinum

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum

Pros: Broad model lineup; roomy first- and second-row seating; acceleration in ST and Platinum models; high towing capacity

Cons: Third-row room is not among the best in class; top models get very expensive

CG Says: After last year’s redesign, the 2021 Ford Explorer has few changes and Ford has reduced prices on all models. XLT models gain standard heated front seats and an optional Sport Appearance Package with 20-inch wheels. The Explorer is Ford’s three-row midsize SUV with rear-wheel-drive-based architecture. All-wheel drive is available on all models, except the sporty ST and line-topping Platinum trims where it’s standard. The base engine is a 300-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder. The performance engine is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that is rated at 365 hp in the luxury Platinum model or 400 hp in the sporty ST. Turbo V6 models can tow up to 5600 pounds. The Hybrid’s powertrain is a 3.3-liter V6 paired with an electric motor that produces a combined 318 hp. All engines are mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Available safety features include forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, rear automatic braking, blind-spot alert, lane keep assist, automatic high-beam headlights, and Evasive Steering Assist, which can provide steering support to avoid a collision. Other available features include Active Park Assist 2.0, an automatic parking system that controls the throttle, steering, shifting, and braking; an upgraded Terrain Management System with seven drive modes; and adaptive cruise control that includes stop-and-go capability. The Explorer has long been one Ford’s best-selling vehicles, and the ambitiously expanded model lineup for the 2020 redesign is evidence that Ford continues to consider the Explorer one of its key products. In addition to its “something for nearly everyone” roster of trim levels, the Explorer boasts an impressive menu of available comfort, safety, and technology features, and the move to rear-wheel-drive architecture improves its handling and towing capabilities. It isn’t as outright commodious as rival three-row midsize SUVs, and the bottom-line prices rise very quickly, but Explorer’s attributes make it well worth considering.

The Facts
Class Midsize SUV
Body Style(s) 4-door wagon
Passenger Count 7
Drive Wheels rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Ford
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices Base: $33,470
AWD Base: $35,470
XLT: $35,245
AWD XLT: $37,245
Limited: $46,950
AWD Limited: $48,950
AWD ST: $53,850
AWD Platinum: $55,745
Hybrid Limited: $51,100
AWD Hybrid Limited: $53,100

Base Engine
turbocharged 2.3-liter 4-cylinder (XLT, Limited)
Horsepower
300
Std. Transmission
10-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
20-21
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
27-28

Optional Engine
turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (ST, Platinum)
Horsepower
365 (400 in ST)
Std. Transmission
10-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
18
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
24-26

Optional Engine
3.3-liter V6/electric motor (Hybrid Limited)
Horsepower
318
Std. Transmission
10-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
23-27
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
26-28