Since its release in mid-2017, the 2018 Ford Explorer has gotten quite a bit of attention. As the epitome of what it means to be an SUV, the Explorer hasn’t taken a totally revolutionary turn. At the same time, it’s definitely evolved since last year’s model.
What’s the difference between the two? Check out 10 important things you’ll want to know when trying to decide whether you want to stick with a pre-owned older Ford Explorer or dive straight into this highly modern option.
It has a hotspot feature embedded into its tech.
Without a doubt, plugged-in passengers (and drivers who aren’t operating the vehicle at the time) will appreciate what’s Ford’s done: They’ve enabled the 2018 Explorer to be its own personal hotspot. This allows your device — as well as nine others — to get and stay connected.
What’s the best part of this hotspot? You don’t have to stay in the Ford Explorer to get the benefits. You can step up to 50 feet away with confidence, knowing that you’re still tethered by a way to get all the stuff you need — like reviews on other Ford cars, trucks, and SUVs.
It’s taken safety to new levels.
Is it possible for a vehicle to be too safe? Not if you’re the driver or passengers. Ford understands this, which is why the manufacturer constantly tries to reset the bar and burn the competition.
Although the safety upgrades on the Ford Explorer aren’t revolutionary, they’re still significant. What can you expect from the Safe and Smart Package? Think everything from lane assisting (for those late nights when you should really be sleeping instead of driving), monitoring of blind spots, alerts to tell you when cross-traffic in your rear view might be a problem, and wiping mechanisms that know it’s raining before you need to hit a button. Consider these additions to be your personal safety nets as you jet around in your new ride.
It looks a little different… but just a little.
At first blush, you’ll probably think, “Hey! This looks exactly like the 2017 Ford Explorer. What gives?” But you need to examine the 2018 with a bit more scrutiny. When you do, you’ll see that the fascia — in the front as well as the rear — have gotten modern facelifts. In addition, the grille has been revamped.
To top off all this novelty, Ford has added paint colors to the Ford Explorer line-up that you haven’t seen before. Fancy a burgundy clear coat? Cinnamon glaze (no, it’s not a doughnut, although you can probably do doughnuts in it)? How about platinum dune? Maybe metallic blue? Take your pick and personalize your Explorer.
The fuel economy has moved up some notches.
When you’re constantly paying $3.50, $4.50, and more per gallon of gas, you want to feel like your SUV isn’t guzzling it up willy-nilly. Thankfully, Ford has made some fuel-related tweaks so it’s a little more efficient than its predecessors without losing any effectiveness.
The average MPG you can expect from your 2018 Ford Explorer is 20. Not perfect, but certainly the needle is going north and not south. Eventually, Ford will probably figure out a way to boost its economy further, but for now, a range of 17-24 MPG will have to suffice.
You can go whole-hog with platinum-level upgrades.
Let’s say that money isn’t an issue, and no one’s concerned about anything but having the most loaded SUV on the block. In that case, you have a royal flush of features to turn your Explorer into the best-looking ride this side of your neighborhood.
For example, you could always add your must-have satellite radio, 20-inch wheels, a rack for the roof, third-row seat with power folding capacity, all-wheel drive, moonroof, and park assist, among other options. Of course, be ready to open your wallet for the privilege and pleasure of an Explorer with all the trimmings. Although standard models begin in the $30,000s, the more amenities you include, the fast you get to a price in the mid-$50,000s.
The 2018 Ford Explorer feels — well — big!
Some people want their SUVs to run like cars, but others prefer to have a big, bold experience. And that’s what they’ll get every time they turn on their Explorer and drive out of the garage.
If you’re not into the “bigger is better” mindset, you might not be sold on how massive the Ford Explorer feels. On the other hand, if it gives you a kick to “go big or go home,” this 2018 is right up your alley.
It’s still a dependable workhorse.
Would you expect anything less than a workaholic vehicle from one of the world’s most well-known, prolific SUV manufacturers? The Explorer has constantly earned kudos for its workhorse appeal. In other words, it’ll get you from Point A to Point Z without complaint… and then it’ll do it all over again tomorrow with the same intensity and durability.
Perhaps this is one of the biggest reasons that Ford Explorer loyalists keep coming back to the trough. They know what to expect, and they’ll get it from the 2018 Explorer just like they have for years.
When It’s Time for an SUV, Test Drive an Explorer
Is your family packed like sardines in a tin can whenever you take a drive? Do you feel like you’re never able to take everything you want when you go for a mountainous hike, let alone a week-long vacation? You might be on the cusp of becoming an SUV owner.
Even if you’ve always been sure you’d never buy an SUV (never say never!), the 2018 Ford Explorer is worth your time. Get to a Ford Dealership and ask to take it out on the streets. Evaluate its cargo capacity, as well as the way it makes you feel as a driver.
Who knows? You might just be surprised at how smooth and inviting a world-class SUV can be!