The current generation of Ford’s mid-size crossover has been around for just a couple of years but it looks like we could see updates already for the next year. Simply, the competition in the segment is tougher than ever and the Explorer is no longer a class leader. That’s why the Blue Oval company wants to make some changes and regain its position. The latest reports suggest we are about to see a mid-cycle refresh for the 2023 Ford Explorer.
At this point, the officials are still quiet but from what we can see on the Chinese version, it looks like the next year could bring some styling updates. We count on an updated look, but there’s also a chance to see some interior updates. When it comes to the powertrain, we could finally see a plug-in hybrid version available in North America.
Considering the expected updates, we presume that the 2023 Ford Explorer could come a little bit earlier than usual, though still within the second half of the year.
2023 Ford Explorer Design
As we’ve just mentioned, this is expected to be a typical mid-cycle refresh. Therefore, it’s easy to conclude that most of the changes will be in terms of aesthetics. We presume that most of the changes would be made at the front. That refers to things like a new grille, new bumper and revised headlights. The rear end of the vehicle could come with a couple of novelties as well, though we don’t expect too much in this aspect. Finally, the 2023 Ford Explorer would probably come with new wheels and new color options on offer.
On the other hand, the mechanical aspect of the vehicle should remain pretty much the same. The current generation rides on the CD6 platform and unlike most rivals, it features an RWD layout, though you can opt for the AWD as well. The ride quality is balanced, though we would like to see a little bit more athleticism, especially in models with more powerful engines.
The 2023 Ford Explorer interior should also come with some updates. Simply, this is the weakest point of the current model, as a lot of the cabin is wrapped with hard plastics and other low-rent materials. We would like to see this changed in the next year’s model, while some revisions to the dashboard would be nice as well. Finally, we would like to see some novelties regarding tech features but we will get on that in a minute.
On the other hand, there is nothing to complain about regarding passenger and cargo space. This SUV comes standard with three rows of seats. The front seats are massive and supportive, while the second row accommodates adults with ease. The third row is typically spacious for the segment – not particularly comfortable but quite functional.
The cargo area offers around 18.2 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 47.9 cubic feet behind the second, and a total of 87.8 cubic feet. That’s about average for the segment.
Novelties in this aspect are also possible. One of them could be the addition of a new, bigger touchscreen, which recently debuted in the Expedition. We are talking about a massive 15.5-inch unit, which comes with new software as well. If this happens, we presume that the currently optional 10.1-inch unit would become standard. Also, the digital instrument cluster could get a new design and become part of the standard equipment too.
Other than that, most of the things should remain the same. This means that all models would come with things like tri-zone climate control, a Wi-Fi hot spot, a six-speaker sound system, satellite radio, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay etc.
2023 Ford Explorer Engines
Most likely, the powertrain lineup will remain the same. This means that base models will continue with a 2.3-liter turbo-four, which puts out around 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. While that’s enough to satisfy most drivers, there is also a version with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo, which puts out 400 horsepower.
The hybrid model will continue with the same setup, based on a good-old 3.3-liter V6. The whole system puts out 318 horsepower and just like gasoline versions, this one also comes in pair with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Some sources speculated about the plug-in hybrid model and its arrival in North America. Currently, this powertrain is available in Europe only, with a system based on a twin-turbo V6 engine. The whole system offers 450 horsepower and a massive 630 pound-feet of torque.
2023 Ford Explorer Release Date and Price
We expect to see the 2023 Ford Explorer sometime in the second half of the year. The base price should go around 35.000 dollars, while models like Toyota Highlander and Jeep Grand Cherokee should remain key competitors.