Specifications of Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited VI 3.0 EcoBoost V6 (457 HP) PHEV AWD Automatic
General characteristics of Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited VI 3.0 EcoBoost V6 (457 HP) PHEV AWD Automatic
Classified as a mid-size crossover SUV, the Ford Explorer boasts the same dimensions across most configurations. The standard ones include a length of 198.8 inches spanned over a 119.1-inch wheelbase. The Explorer measures 89.3 inches wide including mirrors and stands 69.6 inches tall, except on ST and Platinum models which stand 70.2 inches in height. Most models have a 7.9-inch ground clearance and approach/breakover/departure angles 20.1/17.1/22 degrees for those who fancy going off-road.
There are variations, however. The ST has a bespoke front fascia that makes it 199.3 inches long, increases its approach angle to 21 degrees, and has 8.3 inches of ground clearance. The Platinum, meanwhile, has 8.2 inches of clearance and off-road angles of 21/17.7/22.3 degrees. The Timberline is the most off-road-focused with 8.7 inches of clearance, and approach/departure angles of 23.5/23.7 degrees.
The base curb weight is 4,345 pounds, but upper trims increase this to as much as 4,727 lbs with 4x4 and the EcoBoost V6, while the hybrid tips the scales at a mammoth 4,969 lbs.
Ford uses three engines with four engine outputs for the Explorer lineup. The base mill is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine developing 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. This is standard on the base Expedition, the XLT, Limited, and Timberline. King Ranch, Platinum, and ST models get a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6. In the King Ranch and Platinum, the V6 produces 365 hp and 380 lb-ft, but in ST form, 400 hp and 415 lb-ft are made available. A hybrid powertrain is available on the Limited and Platinum specs, comprising a 3.3-liter naturally aspirated V6 with electric assistance that produces a combined 318 hp and 322 lb-ft. All engines are mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
It doesn't matter which engine you go for; the 2021 Ford Explorer offers enough power for any daily driving situation and will soon make you forget that there is no V8 on the table. The EcoBoost V6 is naturally the better of the three, and the extra poke in ST guise makes it far quicker than you'd expect an SUV of this size to be. Shifts from the 10-speed 'box are smooth, and thanks to an abundance of torque in both motors, the transmission does not need to hunt for gears continually-overall, a great effort from Ford.
Fuel economy varies depending on engine choice, trim, and driven wheels, but overall, the Ford Explorer's gas mileage isn't all that bad, especially considering its size, weight, and powerful turbocharged engines.
Hybrid models are the most frugal, returning best figures of 27/28/27 mpg city/highway/combined in RWD form and 23/26/25 mpg in AWD format. The 2.3-liter RWD model is the lightest on fuel without electric assistance, returning an EPA-rated 21/28/24 mpg while AWD drops these figures to 20/27/23 mpg. With the off-road elements, the Timberline is marginally less efficient at 19/23/21 mpg, which is remarkably close to the more powerful V6 in RWD guise, which attains 18/26/21 mpg. AWD drops the estimates to 18/24/20 mpg.
Models with the 2.3L motor have a 17.9-gallon gas tank, while the EcoBoost V6-powered options have a 20.2-gallon capacity. The hybrid straddles these two at 18 gallons and returns the greatest range per tank - 486 miles.
The Ford Explorer crossover is all about carrying a large number of people. Technically, seven people can be coaxed into the cabin, but in reality, you'll get up to five adults in the first two rows and about two average-sized 12-year-olds in the third row. Optional second-row captain's chairs officially drop the seat count down to six. Getting in and out of the Explorer is easy, and even gaining access to the third row is a hassle-free experience. Still, once seated in the back, even children will feel cramped and uncomfortable over longer trips as the 32.2 inches of legroom simply isn't practical. This is a little disappointing for a midsize SUV like the Ford Explorer.
The Explorer provides eight-way power-adjustability for the driver and four-way manual adjustment for the front passenger in base form. XLT models up that to ten-way power adjustability for the driver and add power adjustability to the front passenger seat. Limited models and up give the front passenger the luxury of eight-way adjustability. The driver is offered a commanding driving position, but blind spots can be an issue for some due to some thick rear pillars. Thankfully, Ford had the foresight to include blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors as standard.
Being a seven-seater, the Explorer will naturally offer limited trunk space with all three rows in the upright position. Still, you get a useful 18.2 cubic feet of space, which should be enough for the kids' school bags and a decent run to the grocery store. If the tight third-row seats are dumped, that space opens up to a more impressive 47.9 cubic feet. This is significantly more than you get in the Jeep Grand Cherokee (36.3 ft³), but the Chevy Traverse provides a stunning 57.8 cubic feet behind its second row. If you need to pack a kiddie-sized jetski or an adolescent Tyrannosaurus Rex Skull in the back, then you're in luck: behind the first row, the Explorer boasts 87.8 cubic feet of space, which again falls between the Traverse and Grand Cherokee. Small items can be stored in the glovebox, first-row center floor console storage bin, and overhead sunglasses holder. There are a total of ten cupholders and driver and front-passenger seatback map pockets. Go for the optional second-row captain's chairs, and you get even more storage space in the form of shallow bins for keys, phones, and the like.