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Ford Explorer: Ascending the Ladder of Midsize SUVs

As the sun set on September 2023, the auto industry witnessed an intriguing shift in the hierarchy of midsize SUV sales in the USA. Despite trailing year-to-date (YTD) sales of the Toyota Highlander by 1,800 units, the Ford Explorer strategically outsold its competition to proudly nestle into the #2 spot, just behind the enduring Jeep Grand Cherokee. It’s not simply a victory in numbers; it’s a testament to the vehicle’s perennial appeal and the brand’s strategic offerings through a diverse spectrum of trim packages. Let’s navigate through the sea of options provided by Ford Explorer, dissecting the trim packages and diving into their respective pricing.

Base and XLT – The Entry Portals

1. Base ($38,355 2WD, $40,355 4WD)

The Ford Explorer Base model offers a gateway into the Explorer universe, ensuring essential features without sacrificing comfort and performance. With its 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, the Base model provides a spirited drive. Inside, patrons find an 8-inch touchscreen, smartphone integration, and Wi-Fi capability, ensuring connectivity and entertainment are not compromised.

2. XLT ($40,165 2WD, $42,165 4WD)

The Ford Explorer XLT nudges a step higher, infusing a touch more luxury and tech. It garners respect with its signature LED signature lighting, a power liftgate, and intelligent access with a push-button start. The creature comforts extend to a 10-way power driver’s seat and a 6-way power passenger seat, underlining a smooth ride with ergonomic luxury.

ST-Line and Timberline – Where Luxury Meets Ruggedness

3. ST-Line ($47,950 2WD, $49,950 4WD)

The Explorer ST-Line shouts sportiness while echoing luxury. From its striking exterior with unique black-out detailing to the plush, red-stitched interior, it’s a tangible journey through meticulous craftsmanship. The addition of a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel cluster and a heated steering wheel intertwines technological sophistication with tactile delight.

4. Timberline ( $50,925 4WD)

Born to explore the unexplored, the Explorer Timberline, only available in 4WD, is built for off-road adventures. With steel skid plates, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and a robust 2.3L EcoBoost engine, it guarantees not to shudder when the asphalt fades away.

Limited and ST – Where Elegance Elegantly Powers Through

5. Limited ($49,015 2WD, $51,015 4WD)

Embracing you with its leather-trimmed interior and ambient lighting, the Explorer Limited package is a cocoon of luxury. Enhanced active noise cancellation ensures that the cabin remains serenely isolated from the external world’s hustle and bustle.

6. ST ($51,600 2WD, $53,600 4WD)

Where power and elegance converge, the Explorer ST breathes life with its 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque, assuring a pulse-quickening ride. This trim immerses you into a world where the B&O sound system and intelligent adaptive cruise control seamlessly intertwine with raw, unbridled power.

Platinum and King Ranch – The Zenith of Luxury and Heritage

7. Platinum ($55,865 2WD, $57,865 4WD)

The Explorer Platinum trim is the epitome of luxury within the Explorer lineup. With a tri-diamond perforated leather seating, a twin-panel moonroof, and a 3.0L EcoBoost engine, it effortlessly melds refined luxury with assertive performance.

8. King Ranch ($56,120 2WD, $58,120 4WD)

Imbued with the spirit of the iconic ranch in Texas, The Explorer King Ranch weaves a rich tale of heritage and rugged elegance. The interior is adorned with genuine Mesa Del Rio leather and Sapele wood, making it a tangible journey through meticulously crafted luxury.

Wrapping It Up

In providing a veritable kaleidoscope of trim options, Ford positions the Explorer to appeal to a broad spectrum of desires and needs. From the budget-friendly, yet well-equipped Base model to the indulgent luxury of the King Ranch, patrons find a multitude of options to satisfy divergent preferences.

Perhaps this versatility is the unspoken hero behind the Ford Explorer’s ascent in the sales charts. In a market where the demands of utility, comfort, and performance entwine with the strings of affordability and luxury, Ford has masterfully orchestrated a lineup that endeavors to sing a melodious tune to a wide array of automotive souls.

The Ford Explorer isn’t merely a vehicle; it’s a meticulously crafted tapestry where every thread is a choice, and every weave is a nod to the multifaceted desires of the modern motorist. As it revs into the future, the Explorer continues to chart a course through the vast, often tumultuous seas of the automotive industry, finding its harbor in the hearts of those who navigate towards its iconic emblem. offers accurate estimates of new and used car loan payments based on self-selected credit score, current rebates, down payment, and trade equity or negative equity, without customers having to provide their personal identifying information such as email and phone.

Note: Prices mentioned are the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Prices as provided including destination charges, but do not include taxes, or other fees. Always confirm the final drive-away price with your dealer.

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