Ford’s popular mid-size SUV has been one of the segment leaders for a long time and even today, it is among the best-selling models in the class. The reasons are obvious, as this model is strong in many fields, including powertrain options. Besides several gasoline versions, this SUV also comes as a hybrid. Moreover, the European version also comes in a PHEV version and the latest reports suggest it will come to North America next year. The officials are still quiet about this.

In any case, we don’t expect bigger surprises for the next year. Some sources suggest that the 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid may receive a refresh but we think it’s still early for that, especially if we consider the sales numbers. The next year’s modes should continue in the same way, offering good handling, large cargo area, lots of standard equipment etc.

We expect to see the 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid sometime in the last quarter of the year.

2023 Ford Explorer front

2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid Powertrain

Currently, the 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid is available with one hybrid powertrain in North America. That is a classic hybrid system, based on a good-old 3.3-liter naturally-aspirated V6 engine. The engine comes coupled with a single electric motor and a 1.5-kWh battery pack. The total output goes up to 318 horsepower. Base models come with a rear-wheel-drive setup, while AWD is optional. The system comes coupled with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

A big novelty is expected for the next year, as the PHEV version has been rumored. This powertrain setup is already available in Europe and it looks like it could come to North America as well. The system is based on a new 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, which comes in pair with a 100-hp electric motor. So, the combined output goes all-away up to 450 horsepower and 630 pound-feet of torque.

2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid Design

Design-wise, the 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid will continue in the same way, with the same overall layout as standard gasoline models. The current generation has been around since 2019 and it rides on the company’s familiar CD6 platform, the same one that underpins the current-generation Mustang. Therefore, we are talking about an RWD vehicle, which is a pretty big advantage over most rivals that feature front-wheel drive. As a result, the Explorer offers a quite sporty handling and feels more fun to drive compared to most rivals.

2023 Ford Explorer Render

Visually, the next year’s model should also continue in the same way. This SUV looks good, even though it’s characterized mostly by conservative design solutions. The front end comes with a prominent grille and simply-shaped headlights, while the body features a typical wagon-like layout, which makes it very practical from the inside. The next year’s model might bring things like new color options, but anything more than that would be a surprise.

Interior

Most experts consider this aspect a mixed bag. What’s not so much to like is the overall interior quality. The cabin looks nice but most rivals look nicer. Most rivals feature better-quality materials, more attractive aesthetics, and better build quality. Simply, there is too much hard plastics, while aesthetics aren’t particularly attractive either.

On the other hand, there is nothing to complain about in terms of interior space. Moreover, the amount of passenger space is very generous. The first two rows are very generous in this aspect, while the third row is quite spacious as well. However, the third-row seats are very low to the ground, so adult passengers can’t enjoy themselves much there.

2023 Ford Explorer Interior Render

The cargo area offers around 18.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 47.9 cubic feet behind the second, and 87.8 cubic feet of the total cargo volume, which is pretty good for a mid-size SUV.

Features

We might see a couple of new standard features, but most things should remain the same as in the current model. Therefore, all models should come standard with goodies like tri-zone automatic climate control push-button start, an 8-inch touch screen, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a six-speaker sound system, satellite radio, two USB ports, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Also, count on various upgrades, such as a twin-panel sunroof, proximity keyless entry, a 10.1-inch touch screen, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a 12- or 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, HD Radio, two second-row USB ports, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

When it comes to safety features, all models should come standard with goodies like a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams and more.

2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid Release Date and Price

We expect to see the 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid sometime in the last quarter f the year, with a starting price of around 50.000 dollars. Of course, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will remain the key competitor.

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