The last time Ford’s popular mid-size SUV was redesigned was in 2020 and therefore, it’s no wonder that rumors about a refresh appeared recently. This perfectly makes sense, especially if we consider that the version for the Chinese market has just received a facelift. However, it looks like that won’t happen to the North American 2023 Ford Explorer. Despite the rumors, the officials are still quiet and if we can trust the latest reports, the next year’s model will carry on without more important changes.
Therefore, we expect to see a familiar layout and design. The next year’s model will continue to deliver familiar characteristics, starting from capable powertrain options and good driving dynamics. The handling is quite composed as well while the spacious cabin and a long list of standard and available equipment are also one of the strong points. On the other hand, the biggest complaint goes to low interior quality.
Considering that there are no significant changes to come, the 2023 Ford Explorer should hit the market sometime in the last quarter of the year.
2023 Ford Explorer Design
As there are no bigger changes to come for the next year, it’s quite obvious that the overall design will remain the same. We are about to see a familiar layout, based on a CD6 platform, the same one that underpins Mustang. This makes Explorer one of the rare models in the class with an RWD layout. Of course, AWD is available too.
The Explorer offers quite composed handling. This SUV is easy to drive and acts pretty decently in corners, though it’s not as sporty as rivals like Mazda CX-9 or VW Atlas. When it comes to aesthetics, we don’t expect any notable changes for the next year, though there is always a chance to see minor things like new color options.
On the inside, the 2023 Ford Explorer will also continue in the same saw, which is both good and bad. What’s not so great about this cabin is the overall quality. Typically for Ford, there are way more areas covered with low-rent materials compared to rivals. The sound insulation isn’t particularly great either, while many drivers find the infotainment system a little bit annoying.
On the other hand, where this SUV really impresses is the interior space. It comes standard with three rows of seats and even the third row is quite functional. The front and second-row seats are very generous with space and offer a high level of comfort.
The cargo area is also pretty generous for the segment. You may count on about 18.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 47.9 cubic feet behind the second, and a total of 87.8 cubic feet of the overall cargo volume. That’s above-average for the segment but still behind class leaders like Chevy Traverse and Honda Pilot.
Novelties in this aspect are possible here and there but once again, most things will remain the same. Therefore, base models should come standard with goodies like tri-zone 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, and Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Additionally, you can get goodies like a twin-panel moonroof, 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, we expect that the list of standard equipment will include goodies like a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, driver attention monitoring etc.
2023 Ford Explorer Engines
Under the hood, the 2023 Ford Explorer will carry on with three familiar powertrains on offer. Therefore, base models will continue with a 2.3-liter turbo-four engine, which puts out around 300 horsepower. For those who look for something more capable, there s a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, which puts out around 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. Both engines come in pair with a 10-s[eed automatic transmission, which does a pretty decent job.
Finally, there is a hybrid version, based on a good-old 3.3-liter V6. The whole system delivers a combined output of 318 horsepower. Driving dynamics are decent, while you may also count on pretty good fuel economy, which goes around 26 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway.
2023 Ford Explorer Release Date and Price
Since there are no significant changes to come, we expect that the 2023 Ford Explorer will hit the market sometime in the last quarter of the year, with a starting price of around 35.000 dollars. Key competitors are models like Jeep Grand Cherokee, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot etc.