2023 Ford Explorer: New Ford Explorer SUV Expert Review

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2023 Ford Explorer model hasn’t even been released yet, but what are rumored to be leaked photos of the Explorer 2023 have found their way online and have people talking.

The latest generation of Explorer has just found its way back into the public’s heart after the 2020 model brought back a fan favorite, the rear-wheel drive platform.

The 2022 model is expected to retain the sturdier look of the traditional SUV while retaining some subtleties with the body lines and comfortable interior. With these leaked photos, however, people are now focusing on the 2023 model year.

The only new feature the spy photos seem to reveal is a refresh in the outer design. The SUV appears to have slightly altered head and taillights, restyled vents on each side of the front bumper, new wheel designs, and, most interestingly, a redesigned grille pattern.

There is no confirmation that these changes will remain or will even appear on the American model. Since the photos are allegedly from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the photos show the Chinese market model and the Explorer versions of the two countries look slightly different, despite sharing platforms.

Also shared by the latest Chinese and American versions of the Explorer is the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. It delivers an output of 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.

Higher trims like the ST and King Ranch are equipped with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that makes 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque.

There’s no word yet on whether the engine options will change for the 2023 model or not, but at the moment we’re not sure that will.

2023 Ford Explorer Review

The 2023 Ford Explorer will remain one of the most popular midsize 3-row SUVs thanks to its wide range of engine options, including fuel-sucking hybrids, and the versatility that comes with room for up to seven people.

2023 Ford Explorer

After debuting for the 2020 model year, Explorer 2023 could usher in several minor updates (and perhaps one major addition) to the lineup. Last year, Ford was busy offering the new ST-Line trim, along with a rear-wheel-drive version of the sporty 400-horsepower ST model.

The Explorer 2023 could continue this gradual evolution with a mid-cycle update to the exterior, potentially borrowing design cues from the larger Expeditionary SUV and F-150 full-size pickup truck.

It’s possible, though not confirmed, that Ford will add a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant to the Explorer lineup at some point as well.

With a fully electric F-150 in the works and a smaller Escape PHEV already on sale, it looks like some sort of additional electrification – in addition to the existing hybrid version – will be coming to the popular Explorer.

With the Escape PHEV offering an electric driving range of 37 miles, a similar figure in the larger and heavier Explorer should be possible with a little bit of engineering finesse.

As for the rest of the Explorer range, it will continue to offer the standard 4-cylinder turbo, two twin-turbocharged V6 versions, along with a 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain.

Ford’s intuitive SYNC 4 infotainment system is already one of the better systems available in a midsize SUV, though don’t be surprised if the 2023 Explorer adds more touches of standard technology like wireless charging or wireless smartphone connectivity.

This was included when the optional 12-inch infotainment screen was added.

It’s possible that the 2023 Explorer could get more power, but engine updates aren’t usually included with mid-cycle updates. However, rumors are circulating about a new plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The Explorer has had many recent updates with the addition of the Timberline and ST-Line off-road trims. So, it’s no wonder American Explorer doesn’t get a new look until 2024.

We should learn more about the new Explorer sometime now as the day draws closer to 2023. We’ll be keeping an eye on it to provide updates as soon as new information emerges.

Read next: 2024 Ford Raptor: Next-Gen Ford Raptor V6 Review

2023 Ford Explorer Facelift Redesign

It looks like the Ford Explorer just got an interesting makeover, but that’s for 2020. Now the Ford Explorer 2023 could feature a midcycle refresh that includes an eye-catching new face and a refreshed interior.

Yes, the Ford Explorer 2023 has an updated face and a fresh interior design in some countries. The new Explorer is debuting in China, and we can get the new model in America. The Chinese-spec Explorer was caught incognito, so the updated look may have leaked.

If this model comes to America, it will feature new LED headlights that look a little bigger. It also has a light bar that spans the entire width of the grille. Why is the grille that was previously bigger on the Chinese model, now look bigger?

The grille design differs based on the trim level. For example, the sportier ST-Line model has a unique honeycomb pattern.

The front bumper is slightly longer and has slimmer side intakes and chrome accents. The rear bumper is also bigger. In addition, the LED taillights are paired with chrome accents. The new skid plate also protects the larger dual exhaust.

Looks like the side profile hasn’t changed. Also, it’s safe to expect some new wheel colors and designs.

Ford Explorer 2023 Interior

redesigned interior for the Chinese market. This change can happen in America. While we agree that the Explorer has a comfortable interior, it could use a tech update.

Based on the leaked images, we can see that the interior has high-quality materials that replace hard plastic. The leather seats have an attractive maroon color with black upholstery and chrome accents.

It looks like the cordless phone charging pad was moved from the center console to the trash can under the slimmer air vents. Also, there seems to be more ambient lighting, and the wood finish gives it a luxurious feel.

We can’t stop staring at the large, portrait-oriented touchscreen. The infotainment system on the current model seems a complete waste of space. Also, there’s a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a heads-up display.

Read next: Don’t Miss Out: New 2023 Ford Expedition Exclusive Review

2023 Ford Explorer Price

We expect the entry-level Ford Explorer 2023 to have a starting price of around $33,000. This is for the base Explorer with a 300-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder, 10-speed automatic transmission, and rear-wheel drive format.

Moving higher up to the Explorer XLT and Limited trim, you can expect to pay between $38,000 and $50,000 respectively. The performance-oriented ST model, with a 400-horsepower twin-turbo V6, makes around $55,000.

While the Explorer Hybrid will save you money on fuel, the 2023 variation comes with a hefty entry fee of around $50,000.