The iconic SUV was redesigned in 2020 and the 2025 Ford Explorer should be ready for the mid-cycle update. But, for now, we can only hear rumors about the all-electric version. That is a completely different segment and sooner or later, all Ford vehicles will become EVs.
A wide range of trims offers plenty of possibilities. The best performer will still be the 2025 Ford Explorer ST. The most expensive configurations are Platinum and King Ranch. Our recommendation is an off-road package, Timberline.
The base setup features a turbo-four engine. Don’t overreact – a 2.3-liter mill is pretty potent. Nevertheless, the SUV needs optional drivetrains. A hybrid is there to improve the gas mileage, especially in the city. The ST model features a turbocharged V6 unit with 400 hp. King Ranch and Platinum packages use the same powerplant, but the Explorer ST performs better thanks to other upgrades.
The all-new 2025 Ford Explorer EV will be out in 2024. The company won’t rush with announcements and details won’t be available so soon. We can also monitor news about the Ranger electric pickup truck, since two vehicles might share the same architecture.
Engines and Specs
A 2.3-liter turbo-four mill is under the hood of a few legendary vehicles, including Mustang and F-150 truck. The mid-size also uses it. The engine combines efficiency, durability and fuel economy. 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque might be enough for most buyers of the mid-size SUV. They also get 24 mpg unless the Timberline model is selected. All-wheel drive is optional and the transmission is a 10-speed automatic (as well as for all other engines we are going to mention).
A 3.0-liter turbo V6 raises the bar to 400 hp and 415 lb-ft. Models with this engine are ST, King Ranch and Platinum. Of course, the larger block is going to consume more fuel. 22 mpg combined is an acceptable price. With this configuration, the 2025 Ford Explorer can tow 5,600 pounds, 300 lbs more than the turbo-four.
Last but not least – the Explorer hybrid. Ford launched this one to compete with Toyota Highlander. But, the Japanese carmaker upgraded their system and now leads the way in gas mileage for three-row SUVs with 35 mpg. Explorer hybrid adds a bit of power and torque (318 hp, 322 lb-ft). Gas savings are significant compared to other two engines in the lineup – 28 mpg. But, it is still way behind the Highlander.
Which 2025 Ford Explorer is the Best?
It is all about the preferences. Models some fans like might not be favorites for others. We can’t say that “the more the better” is a rule. The base model is the most affordable. But, the XLT offers a lot more for only $2,000. You will get keyless entry and push-button start, heated front seats and exterior mirrors, and captain’s chairs in the middle row.
The ST-Line is a more expensive upgrade that will cost you almost $10k more than the base version. This is the ST version, with an aggressive appearance and sporty interior, but without a V6 engine. Limited edition is in a similar price range. Compared to the ST-Line, it is more elegant, with leather seats, ambient lighting, and chrome trim.
The 2025 Ford Explorer Timberline is a special off-road package. All-wheel drive is standard, as well as the limited-slip differential, off-road suspension, skid plates, extra gap under the body, tow hooks, and heated front seats. Timberline is above $50,000, as well as the ST. Here, the main upgrade is a V6 engine. Unique parts are quad exhaust pipes, 12.3-inch screen, paddle shifters, and sport suspension. Optional packages add red calipers, performance brakes and special 21-inch wheels.
King Ranch and Platinum are the high-end options. Of course, all the accessories they feature will draw attention, but the price is $55,000 – $60,000 and that is out of the limit for most fans.
2025 Ford Explorer vs Toyota Highlander
Toyota Highlander is the three-row SUV that leads the sales, so all other vehicles in the same class need to catch up with it. The Japanese company is setting the bar very high. The Highlander was the only 3-row SUV with a hybrid engine. When Ford added such a configuration to its Explorer, Toyota did magic and made its SUV return 35 mpg. We’ll see how the Blue Oval company is going to respond. Since it will be hard to match gas mileage, Ford might go with the PHEV version of the 2025 Ford Explorer. It can use a high-output configuration from the premium Lincoln Aviator. The engine is delivering 494 hp. It seems too much, but in those circumstances, Ford might bring it on.
All in all, the future of the Explorer is electric. The all-new vehicle is announced and we’ll review it as soon as new details are available. For now, the company hinted at the 2025 season as the release date.