2018 Ford Explorer Review, specs and Release date

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The 2018 Ford Explorer gets mild freshening before its next major redesign. Updates include a new grille and foglights, and quad exhaust tips on models with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6. Other exterior changes include four new paint options and five wheel choices. The interior gains a 4G LTE modem and Wi-Fi hotspot. A new Safe and Smart package combines several popular active safety and driver assist tech together.

Vehicle Summary

2018 Ford Explorer Exterior and Interior Review

In price, the three-row midsize 2018 Ford Explorer slots above the compact Escape, midsize two-row Edge, and three-row Flex, but below the full-size Expedition SUV.


Three engine options are offered for the 2018 Ford Explorer including a 3.5-liter V-6 base engine making 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. Optional engines include turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 with 280 hp and 310 lb-ft or a twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 making 365 hp and 350 lb-ft. A six-speed automatic backs all engine options. Front-drive is standard with the 3.5-liter and 2.3-liter, and the automaker’s all-wheel-drive system is available with the base 3.5-liter and 2.3-liter EcoBoost and standard with 3.5-liter EcoBoost.

2018 Ford Explorer New Review

The 2018 Explorer is available in five trim levels including the base model, XLT, Limited, Sport, and top-spec Platinum. Standard and available options include cloth or leather seating surfaces, rear auxiliary climate control, 12-speaker Sony premium audio system, SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation, a twin-panel moonroof, heated and cooled seats, heated steering wheel, and more.


With only a mild refresh to the 2018 Explorer, we expect the 2017 Ford Explorer’s five-star NHTSA rating (out of a possible five stars) to carry over, as well as the IIHS’ Good ratings in the moderate overlap front, side, and roof strength tests and its Marginal rating in the small overlap front test. The 2017 Explorer also earned a Basic rating for its front crash warning. Available active safety and driver assistance tech on the 2017 model includes in the new Safe and Sound package includes collision warning and emergency braking, lane keeping, blind-spot warning, cross-traffic warning, adaptive cruise control, auto high beams, and rain-sensing wipers.

What We Think

“Ultimately, that might be the single biggest problem with the new Explorer Platinum and the Explorer as a whole: For every one thing it does well, someone else does it better. Want something roomier? There’s the Honda Pilot. Want something more fun to drive? Look at the Mazda CX-9. Want something more luxurious? Check out the GMC Acadia,” we concluded in out 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum EcoBoost First Test. “The Ford Explorer line is thoroughly competitive on paper, but its dominance has ultimately led the competition to simply try harder. With others overtaking the Explorer in comfort, packaging, luxury, and dynamics, it’s now finally time for Ford to show ‘we try harder’ when the next-generation Explorer hits the streets in 2019.”

Cool Fact

The 2.3-liter EcoBoost is available with all-wheel drive, while the previous 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 was front-drive only.

The 2018 Ford Explorer offers outstanding style and technology both inside and out. See interior & exterior photos. 2018 Ford Explorer New features complemented by a lower starting price and streamlined packages. The mid-size 2018 Ford Explorer offers a complete lineup with a wide variety of finishes and features, two conventional engines.

Check out the 2018 Ford Explorer review at Release Car. Use our Car Buying Guide to research 2018 Ford Explorer prices, specs, photos, videos. The well-rounded 2018 Ford Explorer does just about everything you’re probably looking for in a three-row family SUV. Get in-depth expert information for the 2018 Ford Explorer including reviews, pricing, features and photos on Release Car. New and used 2018 Ford Explorer vehicles. Select a year to find 2018 Ford Explorer pricing, reviews, photos, and videos.

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