2025 Ford Explorer Update Adds More Tech, Streamlined TrimsFebruary 1, 2024
The Ford Explorer has been around for over three decades now and in that time it’s done a lot for the Blue Oval’s SUV lineup. You no doubt see tons of them on your commute, including those moments of skipped heart beats and bated breaths when one pops up in your rearview mirror– assuming your local police officers conduct their patrols in appropriately spec’d out models.
Point is, the Explorer is a popular choice for buyers in the mid-size utility segment; and given its status, alongside the rapid change of the automotive market, Ford decided it was time for a refresh.
The 2025 mid-cycle refresh doesn’t bring any powertrain changes to the Explorer. Instead, this update brings a number of exterior and interior enhancements, carried by a streamline trim lineup. This new hierarchy starts with the Active, followed by the ST-Line, Platinum and ST grades. Standard is Ford’s 2.3-liter Ecoboost inline-4 paired to a 10-speed automatic, sending up to 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque to the ground. This engine is standard in the Active, ST-Line and Platinum; but, bumping up to the Platinum unlocks an available 3.0-liter Ecoboost V6, rated at 400 HP and 415 lb-ft. This engine is standard in the ST. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all trims, with all-wheel drive available.
We expect the hands-on driving experience to remain largely intact, but now Ford is focusing more on the hands-off experience by including BlueCruise hardware with select trims. BlueCruise, for the uninitiated, is Ford’s hands-free driving suite, and its implementation into the Explorer is appreciated. Equipped vehicles come with a complimentary 90-day trial, after which customers can choose to opt in annually or monthly.
While the overall design remains mostly the same, Ford has spruced up the Explorer with the usual plastic surgery. That means a new front fascia with a larger grille, bookended by LED headlights and underscored by a front skid plate. The rear liftgate has been slightly altered, though still wearing the “Explorer” moniker across the middle. New LED taillights extend from either corner, blending in with the horizontal nameplate. You can expect each trim to receive its own defining spin on the new look, like the ST’s gloss black honeycomb grille; and, per usual, new wheel designs join the fray, sizing from 18-inches to 21-inches. The Explorer’s color palette has expanded to include Vapor Blue Metallic, as seen on the latest Mustang. The black-painted roof is an option, however, available on the ST-Line, ST and Platinum.
The interior is where some of the more meaningful changes occur. All Explorers, regardless of trim, will come with a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, joined by a 13.2-inch infotainment system– Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatible– with built-in Alexa to control HVAC settings, set destinations and more. This comprises what Ford is calling the “Ford Digital Experience,” the Explorer being the first vehicle to utilize it. More apps are available through the Google Play store, allowing passengers to stream content, surf the web and even play games.
While the interior styling has altered slightly, it does stay within the boundaries of what we expected. New materials, including soft-touch points spread throughout, can be had in different color combinations, like the ST’s black and red theme or the Platinum’s grayscale appearance. The dashboard itself has also moved forward to provide more room for front occupants, and an available wireless charging pad will provide a seat for your device.
If this summary is enough to have you wanting a 2025 Ford Explorer of your very own, you’re in luck. Order banks open today, starting at $41,220 with destination for an Active model. The ST-Line starts at $45,980, followed by the Platinum at $53,120 and the ST at $56,800.