Ford knows the SUV market is hot now, so they’re doing everything they can to keep the Explorer fresh. For 2018 the blue oval has thrown more technology at the Explorer and provided some very minor visual updates in an effort to keep it fresh.
One has to squint to really notice the design changes on the 2018 model. The primary difference is that the fog lamp housing has been redesigned to look more modern than the 2017 model. Ford has also provided new wheel designs, exterior colors and quad exhaust tips on the V-6 models.
On the technology side Ford will now offer a 4G LTE WiFi hotspot system in the Explorer, mirroring that of the 2018 Expedition. The system will allow up to 10 devices connected to it at any time and will work within 50 feet of the vehicle. The embedded 4G LTE modem is also enabling buyers to utilize Sync Connect, Ford’s app that allows buyers to lock, unlock and start their Explorer from their smartphone.
Also on the tech front, Ford has bundled what it says are the highest-demand options into a new Safe and Smart Package. The package includes: adaptive cruise control, collision warning, blind spot information system, cross-traffic alert, lane keeping system, auto high beams and rain-sensing wipers. Ford hasn’t stated what the package will cost.
Mechanically the 2018 Explorer remains unchanged from today’s version. That means the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder with 280 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque is standard, while a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 is optional with a healthy 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque.
Ford says to expect the 2018 Explorer in dealerships this fall.