The Ford Explorer three-row crossover SUV seats up to seven passengers and competes with other family haulers ranging from the new Chevrolet Traverse to the all-electric Kia EV9.
Ford streamlined the lineup and freshened the face for 2025, as well as loading it standard with the latest safety and tech features, but it lacks any electrified powertrain options when many rivals do. That could limit its TCC Rating, but we won’t know it until we drive it this spring. The outgoing model earned a TCC Rating of 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The 2025 Explorer lineup gets simplified with more standard equipment, more tech, and a tweaked design.
The lineup has been trimmed down to just four models including the base Active, muscular-looking ST-Line, the ST performance grade, and the luxurious Platinum trim. The trail-oriented Timberline model takes a brief hiatus but is set to return.
It’ll take more than a quick glance to notice the updated exterior, but Ford’s given the Explorer a small facelift with new headlights and grille designs. New air curtains help improve aerodynamics. Out back the LED taillights now bleed into the tailgate, adding visual width.
Inside, the Explorer gets a makeover with an updated dashboard featuring fewer buttons, larger screens, and a less-is-more approach. A full-width soundbar wrapped in fabric spans the dashboard and top trims feature a Bang & Olufsen sound system. A tray sits front and center under the touchscreen with space to hold two smartphones.
Most families will probably be fine with the Active and ST-Line’s 2.3-liter turbo-4 with 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Buyers looking for a bit more muscle will pony up for the ST or Platinum trims to get a 3.0-liter turbo-6 with 400 hp and 415 lb-ft. Every Explorer gets a 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard while all-wheel drive is available. Ford equips every Explorer with a Class III receiver and it’s rated to tow 5,000 pounds.
Explorers feature three rows of seats and all but the ST can fit seven passengers. The ST has standard second-row captain’s chairs, which can be optioned on other trims. The third row will be a tight squeeze for larger passengers.
Every Explorer has a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The infotainment system now wraps all climate controls into the touchscreen, and the system itself runs on Android Automotive OS. Ford still integrates both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay phone projection systems, and the latter can even display Apple Maps navigation directly in the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster.
To keep things running, Ford’s equipped Explorers with a 5G cellular connection to enable over-the-air software updates. The first year of the cellular connection is complimentary, but Ford hasn’t determined pricing for after that first year.
Every Explorer features automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control. Ford’s BlueCruise Level 2 hands-free driver-assist system hardware comes standard on ST-Line, ST, and Platinum models. Buyers can subscribe to the service at time of purchase for $700 for a 1-year subscription. Otherwise, Explorer buyers will get a 90-day free trial. After the trial period BlueCruise will cost $75 per month or $800 each year to continue functioning.
How much does the 2025 Ford Explorer cost?
The base Explorer Active costs $41,220 including $1,595 destination charge. That’s a price increase of $2,765 over the previous model year. In addition to the twin screens, standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, a power tailgate, heated seats, eight USB ports, power front seats, and Ford’s Terrain Management driving mode software. Upper trim ST and Platinum models net massaging front seats, which can be optioned on the ST-Line. A top-end Platinum model costs $53,120.
Where is the 2025 Ford Explorer made?
It’s built in Ford’s production facility on the south side of Chicago.