2014 Ford Explorer: What's Changed


Most significant changes: Automatic headlamps, trailer-sway control, larger brakes and new electric power steering rack now standard

Price change: Base models see a $500 increase, XLT models are $80 lower; prices unchanged on Limited and Sport

On sale: Since midsummer

Which you should buy, 2013 or 2014? 2014

Ford's seven-passenger Explorer added the performance Sport model for 2013. This year's changes aren't dramatic, but Ford says the new electric power steering rack should improve steering feel and responsiveness, and the larger brakes should shorten stopping distances.

The Limited models add adaptive cruise control with collision warning and heated second-row seats to the options list.

Engine choices are unchanged: A 290-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 is the base engine, and a 240-hp, turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder is optional. The Sport uses a 365-hp, twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6.

Sales of the 2014 models started earlier in summer, and about 85% of the Explorers in dealer inventories are 2014 models. That means the pickings are pretty slim among 2013 models.

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Contributor Rick Popely has covered the auto industry for decades and hosts a weekly online radio show on TalkZone.com .  Email Rick