DETROIT - Ford unveiled the latest version of its popular Explorer SUV Wednesday, a few days ahead of its public debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
The new SUV features a host of improvements and new standard features over the outgoing model, which Ford managers say were directly inspired and chosen by existing Explorer owners
"We met with customer groups, pored through internet forums and dissected social media posts to determine what they love about today’s Explorer and understand their pain points. Then we found ways to improve it across the board. Every enhancement on this all-new Explorer was inspired by our customers,” said Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer.
Outside, the Explorer doesn't stray far from conventional SUV styling. Its upright stance and clean lines look modern without being fussy or over-styled.
Inside, there are a host of improvements over the outgoing model. All Explorers now feature a standard eight-inch center touchscreen, power tailgate and safety features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot and cross-traffic alerts, lane-keep assist and automatic headlights with automatic high beams.
All Explorers will also come standard with dual-zone climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Moving up to one of the higher-trim models brings in more safety features like lane departure assist, leather seats and trim, an available twin-panel moonroof and a giant 10.1-inch center touchscreen.
There will be two engine choices initially for the new Explorer. The standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine puts out a healthy 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Buyers picking up the top-of-the-line Platinum model will get a 3-liter V6 good for 365 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. A hybrid configuration will be added later.
Unlike the outgoing model, the new Explorer will have a rear-wheel-drive system, which Ford says improves towing capacity up to 5,600 pounds. An all-wheel-drive system is also available.
Ford managers say the new Explorer will be priced about $400 more than the 2019 models when the new version appears in showrooms this summer.