What isn’t to love about a powerful Ford? Driving the Ford Explorer is quite the experience, and the 2023 Ford Explorer XLT trim level represents a great balance between power and style. Ford is clearly committed to all manner of automotive innovations, and here at DePaula Ford, we are proud to showcase them. The XLT is just one step up from the base trim but still manages to pack a lot of value with its additional standard and optional features.
Perhaps you are looking to trade in your current ride for something a little more contemporary, or maybe you are on the hunt for your very first vehicle. You might be looking for a reliable daily commuter or require a spacious option to take with you on a long cross-country trek. Whatever the case, this three-row SUV can handle any challenge you throw at it with poise and elegance, making every outing an adventure.
The 2023 Explorer XLT’s front fascia is nothing short of eye-catching. The grille stands out from the crowd and is adorned with Ford’s iconic logo placed smack-dab between chic LED headlights. Chiseled contours and cutting lines give the impression that this is a strong SUV that can tackle various terrains. The XLT’s profile strikes a harmonious balance between function and form. You’ll notice that the standard 18-inch silver wheels are placed beneath striking wheel arches; premium 20-inch wheel options offer an extra degree of athleticism while giving the XLT an even more dynamic personality. The body’s surfaces are smooth and feature thoughtfully placed accents that perpetuate the sense of flow from front to rear.
The high roofline on the Explorer gives the cabin a lot of space and, from the outside, creates more aesthetic allure. There are functional black roof rails on the XLT that add to the rugged vibe and allow you to attach a variety of accessories. In the back, there is a unique design featuring LED taillights with signature lighting elements that work together to create a sophisticated look. The tailgate is both stylish and utilitarian, letting you easily load and unload cargo.
The Explorer XLT’s cabin offers three rows of seating, giving you plenty of room for up to seven passengers. Each person can find the perfect seating position given the flexible seating arrangements, and you can fold the second and third rows down if you need to load extra cargo. Overall, the interior features keen attention to detail and a slew of premium materials.
Comfort is ensured for both the driver and passengers riding in the Explorer XLT. Durable ActiveX upholstery is available for the seats, and the standard tri-zone automatic climate control system delivers superb airflow. The front seats come with a standard heating function, creating another layer of luxury in the winter. There is also a power liftgate that makes loading and unloading the vehicle exponentially easier, allowing you to access the cargo area without all the hassle of a traditional, manually operated liftgate.
The SYNC 3 infotainment system is at the core of the 2023 Explorer XLT’s tech experience. The interface, which is displayed on a responsive eight-inch touchscreen, offers a user-oriented experience. Voice recognition is enhanced to understand natural speech patterns, so you can interact using an array of commands. This allows you to remain focused on the road while controlling various infotainment functions. Wireless connectivity options abound, including an available wireless charging pad and onboard Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity.
Connecting your smartphone to the Explorer has never been easier! Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard and allow you to use your apps, send texts, make phone calls, and rock out to your favorite tunes. You can boost your audio experience with the optional 12-speaker B&O Sound System––a premium option that pumps crisp sound into the entire cabin.
A standout option for the 2023 Ford Explorer XLT is the XLT Technology Package. This package includes the 12-speaker B&O premium audio system with its high-quality sound. You also get a 360-degree surround-view camera that displays a bird’s-eye view of everything around your SUV. Split View lets you see a combination of the front, side, and rear views simultaneously.
The XLT Technology Package also includes convenience features like a universal garage door opener. A wireless charging pad allows you to charge your device without creating extra cord clutter, and front parking sensors make parking just a bit easier. The Class IV Trailer Tow Package also comes as part of the XLT Technology Package, adding some useful utility to your Explorer when it comes to towing.
Beneath the 2023 Explorer XLT’s hood is a standard 2.3L EcoBoost engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, offering seamless shifts between gears and maximum efficiency. You can opt for Ford's Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system, which helps the vehicle tackle rugged terrain and difficult weather conditions. This system constantly monitors road conditions and adjusts torque distribution between the SUV’s front and rear wheels, resulting in enhanced stability and traction.
Planning to tow heavy loads? The 2023 Explorer XLT has an optional Class IV Trailer Tow Package that includes a frame-mounted Class IV hitch and trailer wiring harness connectors. Together, these features ensure that the SUV can handle towing up to 5,300 lbs. Trailer Sway Control helps you control trailer sway, keeping you safe while towing. It does this by applying the brakes to individual wheels and adjusting the engine’s torque output. Stability and traction control are enhanced even under difficult conditions.
The 2023 Ford Explorer XLT trim level is equipped with an abundance of standard advanced driver aids. BLIS with Cross-Traffic Alert monitors your blind spots and warns you when a vehicle is detected in them, thereby making lane changes safer. Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking mitigates potential forward collisions by utilizing camera and radar technology to sense pedestrians and other vehicles in your path. The system applies the brakes for you if it deems you cannot do so in time to prevent a crash. Lane-Keeping Assist keeps the vehicle within your intended lane and gently guides the Explorer back into the lane if unintended drift is sensed.
On top of the driver aids you get a tire pressure monitoring system, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, and the SOS Post-Crash Alert System. Also standard is a rear-view camera that shows you the area behind your SUV on the central touchscreen display. Altogether, these features help keep you safe and can get you assistance should you ever need it.
Opting for the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ Package adds several more driver aids. This includes Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane Centering, which is effective at centering the Explorer within its lane. Evasive Steering Assist is added to help avoid collisions by providing extra steering support in emergencies. Integrated navigation with voice commands is also included in this package.