2021 Ford Explorer

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  • Overview

    A blue 2021 Ford Explorer ST is angled left.

    The market is increasingly flooded with SUV designs of all shapes and sizes. You can now find an SUV that is narrowly tailored for almost any driver's particular needs. However, sometimes you want a vehicle that can accomplish almost anything - and in that case, you should take a look at the 2021 Ford Explorer, America's most well-rounded SUV.

    Ford has combined its outstandingly engineered trucks with its fun-to-drive cars to create the most balanced SUV yet. While previous versions of the Explorer have been among the most popular midsize SUVs in America since the model first hit the market back in 1990, the 2021 Explorer takes the model to new heights. It doesn't just do more than any other Explorer could - it offers unique capabilities that set it apart from every other SUV on the market.

    There's more to expect from the 2021 Explorer than ever, as it excels in just about every category. With multiple trims and customization options, there's an Explorer for every American driver, no matter what your idea of a perfect vehicle may be. Here's everything you need to know about the latest and greatest SUV from Ford, exciting features new in 2021, and tips on where to test drive the new Explorer.

    27/28 MPG

    Fuel Economy (city/highway)


    Max Towing Capacity (lbs)


    Horsepower (hp)

    Starting at


  • Performance

    A red 2021 Ford Explorer is shown from the front towing an Airstream camper.

    The Explorer may be a roomy SUV, but it sure doesn't drive like one. Most trims come with a turbocharged 2.3-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces up to 300 horsepower. The upgraded turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 engine, meanwhile, produces 365 horsepower in its standard tune. For the most athletic SUV around, choose the 2021 Explorer ST, with is fitted with a version of the 3.0-liter that is tuned for a shocking 400 horsepower. The ST outraces just about any SUV in its class.

    Available in the 2021 models is a relatively new Hybrid option, which combines an electric motor and gas engine for dual power that alternates based on your driving conditions and maximizes your total driving range. You also get the top available fuel economy of 27 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. The hybrid output is a respectable 318 horsepower, so your engine conserves energy while also performing like any other Escape. It's just about everything you'd want from a midsize SUV.

    Powertrain Features

    As for handling, the 2021 Explorer is available with all-wheel drive or rear-wheel drive, and every engine is connected to a 10-speed automatic transmission for sharp acceleration and smooth driving. If you upgrade to the Explorer ST trim, you get enhanced power and suspension that do the unheard-of. This is a true performance SUV that, despite its size, is fit for spirited driving.

    With features like the available Intelligent 4-Wheel Drive and a Terrain Management System with seven different driving modes, your Explorer can adjust to different driving conditions with ease. Take on the open road, handle bad weather conditions, and even tear along off-road trails. The Explorer earns its namesake thanks to its outstanding ability to navigate snow, trails, slippery roads, and more. Best of all, the Explorer has a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds and has an available tow driving mode perfect for trailering, shipping, and making the best of travel. Big families and solo adventurers with plenty of outdoor gear will find the 2021 Explorer is the perfect travel guide.

  • Interior

    The rear seats are down and shown from the cargo area facing forward of a 2021 Ford Explorer.

    The 2021 Ford Explorer comfortably seats up to seven people in its spacious, relaxing cabin. The available eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat can be attuned to your body and preferred driving position, optimizing comfort and reducing driving fatigue. An overall sharper, more metallic interior design provides a luxury look at attainable prices, while the large 8-inch infotainment screen on the center console is your gateway to the latest in audio, smartphone, and navigation technology. Upgrade the center infotainment console to the 10.1-inch model, and you'll have intelligent features like 3D animated graphics that are as informative as they are entertaining.

    Safety Technology

    Ford has improved driving technology to help you keep you safe and at ease, starting with the Ford Co-Pilot360 system that optimizes your SUV inside and out. This suite's available features include automatic high-beam lamps that adjust to dark driving conditions and oncoming traffic, a rearview camera, and a lane-keeping system to help prevent collisions. Meanwhile, intelligent adaptive cruise control adjusts your cruising speed in real-time to match the speed of the traffic ahead of you.

    Utility and Luxury Features

    As for its spacious interior, the 2021 Explorer's smart interior design maximizes both comfort and storage. The available Cargo Management System upgrades your Explorer with a series of locks, ties, and button controls that keep cargo secure while you drive. It even improves the loading and unloading experience. If you upgrade your Explorer with the Class III Trailer Tow Package, you get Cargo Management features included at no extra cost. With these features, your 2021 Explorer will be perfectly outfitted for road trips, commuting with the whole family, and even daring adventures out in Mother Nature.

    Other interior upgrades for the 2021 Ford Explorer include a large, twin-panel moonroof that maximizes ceiling views for all passengers. Open up the panels completely to give your Explorer a convertible-like feel as you enjoy the open road. Heated seats come standard in some models, including the XLT trim, and the Limited trim's fine leather upholstery looks like imported luxury. For superb convenience, available wireless charging stations offer up to nine different powerpoints for keeping smartphones and other electronics fully charged. The port in the center dash doesn't just charge your smartphone; it acts as the perfect secure pocket; step into the cabin and set your smartphone in its cozy port.


    Speaking of smartphones, every 2021 Explorer is compatible with the FordPass app, which offers complimentary remote features like lock/unlock, start/stop, vehicle locating and tracking, and even a comprehensive vehicle status report. Stay connected with your vehicle and even schedule services at the nearest Ford dealership from your phone.

  • Exterior

    A white 2021 Ford Explorer is parked on a pier in front of a carnival.

    The 2021 Explorer may be a family vehicle, but that doesn't mean it has to look bulky and homely. Rather, it has a luxurious appearance that is varying degrees of sporty and suave depending on which trim you select. Its seven paint options are sleek and modern, while its proportions are classic for SUV aficionados. Options include added chrome bars and appliqués on the XLT edition, signature LED lighting on the top two trims, and a special grille on the Limited edition that includes a bright silver mesh insert with sleek chrome horizontal bars.

    The ST Looks and Tech

    True to its sporty performance, the 2021 Explorer ST has the most aerodynamic look of the lineup, with racing-inspired features like quad chrome exhaust tips and blacked-out trim that is unlike anything else you've seen in the SUV world. The ST has a handsome look thanks to its blacked-out front grille, specialized inserts around all handles, and blackout head and taillamps. Its simple athleticism is sure to turn heads as you zoom by.

    The ST edition has the most exterior tech as well, like the hands-free, foot-activated liftgate that responds to motion, so you don't have to struggle to load and unload cargo. Recommended paint colors to cement the look include Rapid Red metallic tinted clearcoat, which is stylish and sporty. For those who prefer a more classic and refined look, Star White metallic tri-coat catches the light beautifully with its subtle variations.

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