2021 Ford Explorer

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2021 Ford Explorer
2021 Ford Explorer

Key specs

Base trim shown


Body style


Combined MPG


Seating capacity

198.8” x 70.2”


Rear-wheel drive



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.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2023

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 4.8
  • Interior design 4.7
  • Performance 4.8
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.8
  • Reliability 4.7

Most recent consumer reviews


love the Ride

First time Explorer owner, had an Expedition that I loved but it was too high for my wife, so it went to our son. The Explorer Limited is lower, but still higher than a crossover or sedan which helps my visability. Love the electronics but concerned that they will have problems later on so I purchased a dealer extended warranty (bumper to bumper) that is 10 years 125,000 additional miles for piece of mind. Car drives like a dream, is VERY comfortable, has more than enough power even with the 4cyl (used to V8's). Gas mileage even with 4WD is great (23 city and almost 29 highway) not climbing hills. We will see how it does when we go north.



This explorer acerated on it's own, causing to damage It self, this vehicle needs to be recalled, other Ford vehicles have done that,I don't trust them anymore, not safe to drive..I will not buy another Ford vehicle,I have owned many Ford products ie Mercury , Lincoln, first car was a 1930 Ford model A...


You got to love the new body style explore 2021

My review on the 2021 Ford Explorer XLT model is that this is the SUV I ever owned also is my first SUV but to say that things I really like you said 360 Copilot cruise control it stops for you automatically slows down for you automatically drives for you automatically what more can you ask for it's got comfortable seats my seats are heated my steering wheel is heated I've got a moonroof that's beautiful when you open it and it's huge it's double moon also 300 horsepower keeps up with the Mustangs and the Chargers and the faster vehicles that are out there on the streets but it's also a family vehicle so I don't like to get on it too much but it will go over a hundred miles per hour easily overall I give this a 9 out of 10 and the only reason why I don't give it a 10 it's because it gives a stupid beeping noise if you walk out of the car with the keys in your pocket and it's running and it's done that to me many a times

See all 66 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Ford Blue Advantage Blue
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
Fords and many non-Ford vehicles up to 10 years old with less than 150,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
90-Day/4,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty
Dealer certification required
139-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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