2021 Ford Explorer

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2021 Ford Explorer
2021 Ford Explorer

Key specs

Base trim shown


The good:

  • Responsive, powerful gas engines
  • Sync 3 multimedia system is easy to use
  • Lots of cabin storage spaces
  • Solid braking feel

The bad:

  • First- and second-row seat comfort
  • Third row too small for adult comfort
  • Hybrid acceleration and braking refinement
  • Visibility compromised by large C-pillar
  • Gets expensive fast

7 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2021 Ford Explorer trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • New Timberline, King Ranch trims
  • Three-row SUV
  • Rear- or four-wheel drive
  • Choice of two turbocharged gas engines
  • Hybrid drivetrain available
  • Automatic emergency braking standard

2021 Ford Explorer review: Our expert's take

What Is the 2021 Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer is a three-row SUV with room for six or seven, depending on seating configuration, and is offered with rear- or four-wheel drive. The base engine is a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and an available turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 makes 365 or 400 hp. Both engines work with a 10-speed automatic transmission. A hybrid drivetrain rated at 318 total hp is also available. Competitors include the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and Kia Telluride.  

What’s New on the 2021 Ford Explorer?

Off-road-oriented Timberline and upscale King Ranch trim levels are new this year, and a Sport Appearance Package is available for XLT trims. 

What Features in the 2021 Ford Explorer Are Most Important?

Standard features include:

  • 18-inch aluminum wheels
  • Power liftgate
  • Tri-zone automatic air conditioning
  • 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot (data subscription required after free trial)
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane keep assist
  • Blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Rear parking sensors

Available features include:

  • 20- or 21-inch aluminum wheels
  • Panoramic moonroof 
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated second-row seats
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Second-row captain’s chairs
  • Power-folding third-row seat
  • Second-row sunshades
  • Digital instrument panel
  • 10.1-inch vertically oriented dashboard touchscreen
  • 360-degree camera system
  • Navigation
  • Bang & Olufsen premium stereo
  • Wireless device charging
  • Adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability
  • Lane-centering steering assist
  • Front parking sensors

Should I Buy the 2021 Ford Explorer?

The Explorer offers a wide range of trim levels to appeal to different buyers, and we like the performance its gas engines offer. Its standard touchscreen multimedia system is intuitive, and the cabin offers good storage space. Seat comfort, however, isn’t great, and the third row is small. 

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.9
  • Interior design 4.8
  • Performance 4.9
  • Value for the money 4.8
  • Exterior styling 4.9
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews


Beauty is only skin deep

Dealer services are backlogged preventing recalls from being repaired. No loaner cars availble when service is available. Fancy high tech touch screen and camera system is full of bugs. Gps gets lost often.


Great SUV

I have been a Ford driver for very many years and have owned Mustang GTs to F-250s.I love the styling, drive, comfort and power. I'm most impressed with the comfort when towing my boat. We live half the year in Coastal North Carolina and half is SW Florida, so our boat commutes between the two. Switching from an F-150 to the Explorer I was concerned, but the Explorer handled the job without any problem.


Best car ever

Awesome ride. Plenty of legroom. Best SUV I have ever had. The captains seats in the middle row make accessing the rear seats easy. Seats are very comfortable

See all 61 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Ford Blue Advantage Gold
New car program benefits
36 months/36,000 miles
60 months/unlimited distance
60 months/60,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/60,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Gold Certified: Ford models up to 6 years old with less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12-Month/12,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty Blue Certified: 90-Day/4,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty Disclaimer: See your dealer for warranty coverage details.
7-Year/100,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Powertrain Limited Warranty Blue Certified: Available Disclaimer: See your dealer for warranty coverage details.
Dealer certification required
Certified 172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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