2018 Ford Explorer Midsize SUV review

2018 Ford Explorer Midsize SUV review

It may have had a few facelifts over the years, but the current 2018 Ford Explorer is still part of the fifth-generation of a crossover SUV that's been around for eight model years. It's a tough task to come up with a role this mighty crossover couldn’t fulfil, so here's a little of what you can expect when you go to check one out for yourself.


The exterior styling of the Ford Explorer has remained largely unchanged over the last eight years, but regular enhancements to the front fascia have kept this model fresh and entirely fitted in the current market. Lower trim levels can appear to be conservative family haulers, but with the Explorer you can select wheels, trim and color and it can appear sporty, modern and even in some guises quite menacing. It's hard to think too many potential buyers who couldn't be attracted by this versatile and practical model in one of its many forms.

Engines and performance

Three engines are available in the Explorer right now and none of them are in any way underpowered. The standard engine remains the familiar 3.5-liter non-turbo V-6, which in this version develops 290 horsepower. The middle of the trio is the turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four, which produces an impressive 280 horsepower for such a small displacement unit. The best is saved for last, and then we're talking a twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 only available for Sport and Platinum that offers a very healthy 365 horsepower. Every Explorer comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive is the standard format with the base Explorer, XLT and Limited trim levels. All-wheel drive is available, of course, but Sport and Platinum models get it as part of their standard equipment.

Features and equipment

The entry level Explorer trim includes climate and cruise control, a full set of power features, steering-wheel mounted audio and phone controls, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system, Bluetooth streaming, and a 4.2-inch touchscreen. XLT models add the likes of 18-inch wheels, satellite radio, keyless ignition, and a 10-way power driver's seat, but it can then be transformed by adding the available Sport Appearance Package that includes 20-inch wheels, a black roof rack, gray leather seats with suede and accent stitching, and a gray grille. There are two distinct directions to go at the top of the range. The Explorer Sport understandably goes down the performance route thanks to that twin-turbo V-6, all-wheel drive, 20-inch wheels, sport suspension, and some smart black exterior trim to finish things off. The Platinum is the alternative direction and therefore the luxury alternative, which means it comes with the likes of adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warnings, a dual-pane moonroof, leather upholstery, woodgrain trim, automatic park assist, and even a heated steering wheel. Like the Sport model, the Platinum trim Explorer also features the EcoBoost V-6 and all-wheel drive.


Every model in the Explorer family includes a rearview camera, and the majority of models can also be equipped with advanced safety features such as forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, so the Explorer is definitely safe.


The 2018 Ford Explorer is a three-row, full-size model available in a wide variety of prices and different configurations that make it an even more versatile model than its midsize SUV siblings in the Ford range. Whatever it is you want and need from a full-size SUV Ford Explorer is up to do the job.

For more details on pricing and availability of the Explorer or any Ford SUVs for that matter, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Ford of Upland today.