The 2023 Ford Explorer is still going to be one of the first choices when it comes to buying mid-size three-row SUVs. The company did a great job with the sixth generation, introduced in 2020. Explorer is a spacious, powerful, reliable, and safe vehicle. If you need it for longer family trips, there are seven seating spots. Or, if you need more cargo room, fold the rear row, slide the middle row seats back for increased comfort. You can make the SUV a luxury vehicle. Just check some of the high-end packages that deliver leather seats, advanced systems, and more powerful drivetrains.
Speaking of engines, the 2023 Ford Explorer is going to use turbocharged powerplants. It is hard to say which of these is the highlight of the lineup since all four configurations deliver an excellent performance. A hybrid is the newest addition and a step towards complete electrification. The ST is a performance package, centered around a 400-hp rated engine.
Besides the engine, there are other cool options that will make the building of the 2023 Explorer so exciting. Seven trim levels are currently available, and we expect most of them to reappear in the following years. Timberline is the unique package for the mid-size SUV. High-end options are King Ranch and Platinum. Rumors are still claiming a diesel and Raptor are options for the 2023 YM. Foundations of these speculations are not so reliable, so fans don’t hope too much.
2023 Ford Explorer Engines and Specs
One of the jewels of the company’s engine lineup is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-banger. It might seem a bit small for an SUV that is 199 inches long. But, 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque are more than enough for this sort of SUVs. Plus, that is more than many V6 units can do on Explorer’s rivals. The engine sends power to rear wheels by default. A ten-speed auto transmission is a gearbox for all drivetrains. The turbo-four engine is available only for lower trim levels. The gas mileage is 21/28 mpg.
A V6 takes the outputs to new levels. A 3.0-liter twin-turbo configuration delivers 365 horsepower for the King Ranch and Platinum models. There is room for more, and engineers tune it to 400 ponies on the ST. This is a competitor to the Dodge Durango SRT, which uses a V8 mill (not the Hellcat version with 700+ horsepower). Of course, the twin-turbo system consumes more fuel than the base turbocharged four-banger. Still, 18/26 mpg is a good result. ST comes with AWD as the standard option, while it is optional on lighter configurations.
The 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid is one of the most interesting models in the market. The company crafted a powerful plug-in variant for the Lincoln Aviator, which will deliver 495 horsepower. But, for the standard lineup, the Explorer is equipped with a setup that cranks 318 horsepower. A 3.3-liter displacement is a main source of energy and the Explorer Hybrid can also make 322 lb-ft of torque. The gas mileage is more suitable for an urban ride, returning 27 mpg. All-wheel drive harms it significantly, dropping the fuel economy to 23/26 mpg.
2023 Ford Explorer Diesel, Plug-In Hybrid
Ford already has engines to deploy on the mid-size SUV. But, a 3.0-liter turbodiesel is not going to happen on Explorer. The company is taking an environmental-friendlier path, so a diesel unit is reserved only for a few vehicles. It probably wouldn’t be available without the F-150 pickup truck. On the other hand, the plug-in hybrid is also not an option. The ST delivers enough power for a high-performance ride. If you need more, you will have to go after the Lincoln Aviator.
What makes the 2023 Ford Explorer so cool are its packages. Even the base model is very nice thanks to 18-inch wheels and a power liftgate. The company takes care of safety with the Co-Pilot360 system. The XLT adds a larger screen for the infotainment, while the front seats are heated. Five-spoke silver wheels are also there. The Limited edition comes with a few premium options, such as leather seats and B&O sound. Also, the Co-Pilot360 + package comes standard, as well as the surround-view camera.
The Explorer Timberline was introduced for 2021 YM. It is questionable if it is coming back for 2023. However, this is a unique version, with special body upgrades and colors. The main thing you gain with the Timberline is the off-road capability. For a sub-$50,000 price, this is a bargain.
The 2023 Ford Explorer ST breaks this line. The highlight is the most powerful engine configuration in the lineup. King Ranch and Platinum are also using a V6, but the version with 365 hp. Unique wheels, upscale interior materials, and advanced infotainment and safety systems are going to make it a cool luxury SUV for a better price than some Lincoln, Cadillac, or German vehicles. Heavily loaded, those two won’t exceed $60,000.