Ford may have given the current Explorer a mid-cycle facelift in late 2014 for the 2016MY, but they’re not quite ready for its replacement – contrary to recent rumors.
At this week’s New York Auto Show, the Blue Oval will debut a very lightly updated 2018 Explorer with some mild styling tweaks, new colors and packages, and improved technology features.
You’ll have to closely compare it to the outgoing 2017MY to notice any exterior differences, but they’re there and include a new grille and fog lamps, different details on the front and rear bumper, and quad pipes for the 3.5L EcoBoost models.
Ford also added four new exterior color choices named Burgundy Velvet Tinted Clearcoat, Cinnamon Glaze, Platinum Dune Tricoat and Blue Metallic, and five new wheel designs as well.
More interesting things take place inside where the Detroit carmaker added an available 4G embedded modem with a Wi-Fi hotspot that supports as many as 10 devices at once, up to 50 feet away from the vehicle. The same connection allows users to pair with the Explorer remotely using FordPass to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from almost anywhere.
There’s also a newly available Safe and Smart Package that combines a number of driver-assist features for a better price (according to Ford), including the following:
- Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support uses radar to detect moving vehicles directly ahead, and changes cruising speed if necessary
- Blind Spot Information System uses radar to trigger a warning when another motorist is in the driver’s blind spot
- Cross-traffic alert uses radar to help alert drivers to oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space
- Lane-keeping system automatically detects left- and right-hand road lane markings using front camera system. A vibration in the steering wheel alerts the driver if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane. System can also provide steering torque to help guide the vehicle back into the lane if needed
- Auto high-beams use windshield-mounted cameras to automatically switch between high-beam and low-beam settings when oncoming traffic is detected
- Rain-sensing wipers
No changes were made to the Explorer’s powertrain options. The base model comes with a 2.3-liter turbocharged-four EcoBoost delivering 280hp at 5,500 rpm and 310 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000rpm, while the Sport and Platinum edition models get a 3.5L twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 pumping out 365hp at 5,500 rpm and 350 lb.-ft at 3,500 rpm.
The 2018 Ford Explorer will reach US and Canadian dealerships in the fall with pricing to be announced. A brand new generation of the Explorer is currently under development.