The Ford Explorer is one of the quintessential SUVs, ever since it hit the market in 1991. Ford gave its ute a mid-cycle refresh for the 2016 model year, but for 2018, it's giving it a little more love.
There are a few aesthetic changes in store for the 2018 Explorer. You might not be able to tell at first, but there are some slight tweaks to the front and rear fascia. The grille is new, as is the fog lamp assembly. The most powerful engine also receives four tailpipes. Five new wheel designs are available, as well.
The 2018 Explorer will also offer four new paint colors -- cinnamon glaze (yum), burgundy velvet tinted clearcoat, platinum dune tricoat and blue metallic.
But the real interesting stuff lies within. The 2018 Explorer now has an optional 4G LTE connection, with a Wi-Fi hotspot that can support up to 10 devices as far as 50 feet away from the vehicle, which is the same system included in the new Expedition. That connection will also enable owners to start, lock, unlock and locate their Explorers using the FordPass app.
Safety tech rides shotgun on this mild refresh. There's a new Safe and Smart Package that adds a truckload of active and passive safety systems. It includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams and rain-sensing wipers.
The Explorer's powertrains remain unchanged. There's a base 3.5-liter V6, which puts out 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The midrange offering is a 2.3-liter turbocharged I4 good for 280 horsepower and 310 torques. If you really want to hustle, there's a 3.5-liter, turbocharged V6. Output on that bad boy is 365 horsepower and 350 pound-feet.
The 2018 Ford Explorer goes on sale this fall. Like the current Explorer, it will be built at the Chicago Assembly Plant in Illinois.