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If you're planning to buy a midsize SUV, it's a good idea to get the 2023 Ford Explorer. This Ford model offers a great blend of performance, comfort, feature content, and value for money, making it one of the most appealing entries in its segment. In addition, it's a highly customizable SUV that comes in a whopping eight trim levels. Therefore, you can rest assured you'll find a model that suits your unique needs and preferences. Let's take a look at this detailed trim comparison to determine which Ford Explorer model is right for you.
The entry-level trim of the 2023 Ford Explorer is equipped with a 2.3-liter turbo-four engine that produces 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. This powertrain will satisfy you with its brisk acceleration and hearty passing power. The Explorer can race to 60 mph from a standstill in 6.8 seconds, which is impressive for a midsize SUV. Despite its strong performance, the standard engine has an above-average fuel economy rating of 20/28 mpg (city/highway).
Like the other trim levels, the base model of the Explorer uses a slick-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission to transfer power to the rear wheels. For better traction in poor driving conditions, you can choose the available four-wheel drive.
No matter which trim you choose, the Ford Explorer can accommodate up to seven people in three rows of seats. However, opting for the available second-row captain's chairs reduces the seating capacity to six. The SUV comes standard with cloth upholstery, a power driver's seat, tri-zone automatic climate control, and push-button start.
Although it has an affordable price tag, the base Explorer offers a generous list of infotainment features to give you a connected and entertaining driving experience. These features include an 8-inch touch-screen display, a six-speaker audio system, a Wi-Fi hotspot, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and satellite radio.
In addition, this model is fitted with plenty of driver-assistance technologies to improve your safety behind the wheel, such as automated high-beam headlamps, forward-collision detection, forward automated emergency braking, pedestrian alert, driver-attention monitoring, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, lane-keeping assistance, lane-departure detection, blind-spot alert, and rear cross-traffic detection. It also comes with Ford's MyKey, which allows you to set speed and audio limits for secondary drivers.
The Explorer XLT has all the features found in the base trim plus a four-way power front-passenger seat, heated front seats, middle-row captain's chairs, extra USB ports, and Proximity keyless entry. In addition to the standard features, this trim gives you access to an array of available packages and options.
For enhanced comfort and convenience, consider getting the 202A Equipment Group package, which comprises ActiveX synthetic-leather seats, eight-way power front seats, a heated steering wheel, and remote start. This package also unlocks the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ safety suite with adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, evasive steering assistance, lane-centering assistance, and navigation. Other optional features include a twin-panel moon-roof and dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system.
If you want a sporty-looking Ford Explorer that will give you good fuel economy, go for the ST-Line. This trim distinguishes itself with black exterior accents and badging and rides on 20-inch wheels. It also features a performance-oriented cabin with synthetic-suede upholstery and a flat-bottom steering wheel. As for features, it adds a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system, a wireless device charger, a 360-degree parking camera system, and the 202A Equipment Group and Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ packages.
The Explorer Limited builds off the ST-Line with genuine leather seats, cooled front- and middle-row seats, heated middle-row seats, and front parking sensors. It also gives you power-folding third-row seats and a hands-free liftgate at an extra cost.
If you regularly need to venture away from the pavement, the Timberline may be the best option. It doesn't offer the Limited's leather and ventilated seats, but it gains a variety of off-road features, including standard four-wheel drive, a torque-sensing limited slip differential, off-road struts, and skid plates.
The ST is the performance-focused model of the Ford Explorer. It's the first trim in the lineup that comes standard with the available 3.6-liter twin-turbo V-6 engine. Rated at 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque, this powertrain can propel the Ford SUV from zero to 60 mph in a mere 5.3 seconds. It's only slightly less efficient than the standard engine, returning 18/25 mpg for the city/highway.
Note that this trim loses some of the features of the ST-Line and Limited trims, such as the heated middle-row seats, wireless device charging, and 12-speaker audio system. However, you can purchase the 401A Equipment Group that includes the Co-Pilot360+ and ST High packages. The ST High package consists of a 12-speaker audio system, ventilated seats, reverse automated emergency braking, front parking sensors, and parking assistance. Other available packages include the ST High-Performance with performance brakes and red brake calipers and Premium Technology with a 10.1-inch touch screen display, a 14-speaker Bang & Oulfsen audio system, and massaging front seats.
The King Ranch comes with the ST's engine and digital instrument cluster and the Limited's features. It also adds the Premium Technology and other packages available on the ST.
As the range-topping trim level in the new Ford Explorer lineup, the Platinum features an upscale cabin with an aesthetically pleasing wood trim and exclusive tri-diamond leather seats. You'll also get more driver-assistance features, such as adaptive headlamps and parking assistance. This trim comes standard with four-wheel drive, but you can save money by choosing a rear-wheel model.
Ford hasn't confirmed the official release date for the 2023 Ford Explorer. However, if you live in Dallas, Arlington, Garland, Mesquite, Rockwall, Plano, or Fort Worth, Texas, you can book a test drive in advance with Planet Ford Dallas. Our dealership will keep you updated on the arrival of this awesome SUV. Please feel free to contact us if you have any inquiries. We'll be happy to assist you in any way we can.