Everything Ford Refreshed for the 2025 Explorer


Ford is giving its Explorer SUV a makeover for the 2025 model year, with the brunt of the effort going to the interior and the technology suite. A revised cabin design features a new dashboard layout, plenty of new materials for seats and touchpoints, and the introduction of the Ford Digital Experience, which the automaker says will “allow customers to access their digital life inside the car.”

2025 Ford Explorer Platinum interior front cabin area ambient lighting

We’ll start with that last one because it certainly raised our eyebrows. Ford says that its new digital experience will enable customers to enjoy a greater level of personalization with their ’25 Explorer through specific profiles (that presumably have saved settings for things like climate control, radio presets, and more), content, and apps. It looks like most of this experience will take place on the 13.2-inch central touchscreen. One image shows the car displaying a YouTube video for front-seat occupants, and Ford says you can also watch Prime Video.

The system also has Google Maps and will use Google Assistant as the default aid, although Amazon Alexa is also included. Through either, you can do things like set the vehicle temperature, search for and find destinations, request radio stations, and manage basic phone functions like calling or sending texts, just with your voice. Google Play is also offered, enabling streaming through Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, and more. If you’re parked for a long time, the system can also pair with a Bluetooth gaming controller to access a growing list of games through Google Play. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will come standard across the lineup.

2025 Ford Explorer Platinum exterior front three quarter white by lake

Customers can opt for one of four trims for the new Explorer, in ascending order of price and standard features: Active, ST-Line, ST, and Platinum. Notably, that adventure-focused Explorer Timberline is nowhere to be seen, at least for the time being.

Certain trims (ST-Line, ST, and Platinum) of the ’25 Explorer will also come equipped with BlueCruise, Ford’s hands-free highway driving system. Features such as lane-change assist, in-lane repositioning, and automated braking + acceleration in traffic jams are all included. Customers buying properly equipped Explorers can activate BlueCruise for a one-year plan at the time of purchase with a complimentary 90-day trial, and then add or deactivate the system as needed following that. (Sigh.)

Within the cabin, the dashboard has been pushed forward to open up the front-row seating a bit. A new integrated tray below the center screen can be equipped with a wireless phone charger. Trim-specific interior color schemes are new as well, with the high-end Platinum getting flourishes such as a leather instrument panel to match the new leather seats. That 13.2-inch center screen is no longer upright, as it was in the outgoing 2024 model, but laid horizontally across the dash. The tweak should also add to the airiness of the cabin.

2025 Ford Explorer ST interior center screen and tray detail

All 2025 Explorers will feature a new face with a different grille for each trim. The grille is noticeably larger, now stretching down into the lower bodywork that spans the front bumper. Fog light openings and cooling intakes along the lower outsides of the front fascia have also been redesigned. Platinum, ST, and ST-Line Explorers can get an optional black painted roof, the trendy styling choice of the modern era. There’s also a redesigned liftgate out back. Along with the four different grille designs (each trim gets a unique face), Ford is bringing seven wheel designs to the Explorer, with limited accessibility across the choices based on what trim you opt for.

2025 Ford Explorer ST exterior front three quarter red on logging trail

Powertrain offerings are largely carried over. The Explorer Active will get a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder making 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. The ST-Line will make do with the same engine. The Explorer ST is the first trim that grants access to the twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6, which is good for 400 horses and 415 lb-ft of torque. Explorer Platinums will get the 2.3-liter four standard but offers the V-6 as an option. All Explorers come with standard rear-wheel-drive and a recalibrated 10-speed automatic transmission, though every model does offer four-wheel-drive as an option.

Order books open today, says Ford. Starting MSRP for a 2025 Explorer Active with no options is $41,220, including the destination fee. Vehicles are expected to arrive at dealerships next quarter.




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    Why has Ford discontinued the Edge? We have a 2022 and love it. It’s the perfect size compared to the Explorer, IMHO.

    So they asked people, “What do you really want in a mid-cycle refresh?” and the resounding answer was “WE WANT MOAR TOUCH SCREEN!” or what? The steering wheel now has more buttons on it than the rest of the dash.

    The large display on the 2-17 ST is what kept me from buying it then. Too distracting. Opted for the 2018 XLT with the nice Sync display. Am very happy with this choice.

    So this will per their words “allow customers to access their digital life inside the car.” So in other words do things other than paying attention to their driving?

    Hopefully the recall fix for the roof racks isn’t double-sided tape this time. I’ve had six recalls on my explorer and three of them have been fixed with tape.

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