The Ford Explorer. It’s the one that started an automotive revolution way back in 1991, over 30 years ago. With the Explorer, Ford is credited with kick-starting what is now the most popular vehicle category on the planet: the three-row family SUV. The 2021 Ford Explorer is the second model year of the SUV’s sixth generation, and it’s filled with all the technology and advanced safety features families want.
Ford completely redesigned the Explorer from the ground up for the 2020 model year. For 2021, the Explorer receives some new trims and equipment packages that will thrill off-roaders and luxury seekers alike. The lineup now includes seven trim options ranging in price from just over $30,000 to over $50,000.
At the heart of the Explorer’s appeal is its family-friendly interior. With seating for up to seven and bonus cargo space in the rear, there’s elbow room for everyone, which means even third-row passengers will look forward to carpools and road trips. Trips to the big box home store are also easier and more productive with the Explorer’s available 87.8 cubic feet of max cargo space.
Are you shopping for a midsize SUV? Get to know the king of all SUVs, the 2021 Ford Explorer.
Max Horsepower (hp): 400
Max Towing (lbs): 5,00
Max Seating (qty): 7
Buying a 2021 Ford Explorer doesn’t require you to pay a premium. Ford designed the lineup for a diverse pool of buyers, including those looking to stay in a value-oriented price range. In true Ford fashion, even the entry-level base and XLT trims are loaded with standard equipment. Ford knows that even budget buyers want comfort, safety, and technology.
Safety and Power, Standard
All Ford Explorers receive the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s coveted Top Safety Pick+ distinction for 2021, an honor bestowed in part because of Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assist systems, a feature that’s standard across the entire trim range. Co-Pilot360 includes adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation systems, and sensors that both keep the vehicle in its designated lane of travel and provide helpful blind spot monitoring for safer lane changes.
The Explorer base trim also features a powerful 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine that delivers a mighty 300 horsepower with enough acceleration to mollify performance-oriented parents. The fuel-efficient engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, and together the configuration nets approximately 28 mpg of highway fuel economy. The base trim rides on a set of all-season tires and 18-inch wheels.
Standard exterior equipment includes automatic high beams, LED tail lights, folding side mirrors, and a very handy power liftgate. The cabin receives plenty of high-end standard equipment too, including a tri-zone automatic temperature control system and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Buyers can also opt to activate the standard 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot with a low-cost data plan.
The Explorer XLT
Move up a few thousand to the Explorer XLT and enjoy its included front heated seats, push-button start, extra USB charging ports in the rear, and standard second-row bucket seats with a large center console. On the exterior, LED signature lighting, a liftgate spoiler, and roof side rails are all standard equipment. The XLT is a great mid-range option for buyers that still want to remain in the lower end of the price spectrum while receiving some extra bells and whistles.
The XLT is also a versatile trim because, for a little more, Explorer XLT buyers can add an equipment bundle that includes durable ActiveX seating that looks like leather but is easier to clean and resists stains, LED fog lamps nestled within protective skid plates, remote start capability, and a heated steering wheel. For many, the XLT trim represents the best overall value in the Explorer lineup.
Brand new to the lineup for 2021 is the Explorer Timberline trim, the perfect choice for adventure seekers. Don’t let the family SUV reputation fool you – the Timberline trim is just as off-road-ready as comparably-equipped pickups. This capability is thanks to standard four-wheel drive, a full complement of protective steel skid plates, a trim-specific front grille pre-made to accommodate auxiliary lighting, and a TORSEN limited-slip rear axle for additional traction right when you need it.
The Timberline’s standard selectable Terrain Management System lets drivers use a dash-mounted dial to toggle through seven Drive Modes. These include normal, slippery, sport, tow/haul, eco, deep snow/sand, and trail modes. Each drive mode changes traction, shifting, and torque ranges to achieve optimal performance for that specific road (or trail) condition. Standard 18-inch glossy black aluminum wheels are etched with the Timberline logo and house trail-ready 18-inch all-terrain tires.
Hit the Streets with the 2021 Explorer ST
If speed and street performance are more your style, check out the performance-oriented Explorer ST. It’s also new for the 2021 model year and is the trim with the most available horsepower and highest top speed rating. The twin-turbo 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine gets tweaked exclusively for the ST, affording drivers 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Top speed clocks in at a blistering 143 mph, putting the ST’s range in the company of high-performance sports coupes.
The Explorer ST also receives a handful of special interior appointments, including upscale perforated leather seating with silver accent stitching and a power-folding third-row seat. Voice-activated navigation is also standard. Add the optional Premium Technology Package, and you’ll get Ford’s massive 10.1-inch portrait-mounted infotainment touchscreen and a 980-watt, 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Ford also equips the performance ST with a standard 360-degree exterior camera with a split view feature that’s visible on the dash-mounted touchscreen, along with Active Park Assist 2.0, a system that uses sensors to make parallel parking stress-free and nearly automatic. Add the optional High-Performance Pack to your Explorer ST, and it’s outfitted with 21-inch wheels and high-performance brakes with red brake calipers.
The mid-$40,000 price of the Ford Explorer Limited makes it a great entry-level luxury trim, but if you’re looking for something a little different, consider moving up one rung: brand new for the 2021 model year is the addition of the Explorer King Ranch. If you’re a Ford fan, the King Ranch name is probably very familiar. It’s more of a rugged take on high-end luxury, which makes sense, as its namesake is an 825,000 acre working Texas cattle ranch.
Drive in Style with the 2021 Explorer King Ranch
Most of Ford’s King Ranch trims feature Southwest-inspired brown leather and wood trim accenting, and the Explorer King Ranch is no exception. It features rich Mesa Del Rio brown leather seating surfaces with embroidered King Ranch logos, and the same leather material covers the console. Additionally, the mysterious trim-specific “Running W” branding appears throughout the interior and exterior.
The Explorer King Ranch also features second-row heated Captains Seats, a hands-free power liftgate that’s activated by swiping your foot under the sensor, rain-sensing wipers that adjust speed in keeping with the rain’s intensity, and additional exterior chrome accents. Special acoustic glass adds to the cabin’s whisper-quiet environment and its overall upscale feel. The King Ranch puts a unique Southwestern spin on luxury.
Experience Luxury with the 2021 Explorer Platinum
If you’re holding out for the pinnacle of luxury, you’ll find it in the Explorer Platinum. This top-of-the-line trim features buttery soft perforated leather seating in a tri-diamond pattern, an available twin-panel moonroof, and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system. Over-the-top luxury is everywhere, including on the scuff plates, where Ford has installed illuminated Explorer nameplates. The Explorer Platinum also receives a standard wireless charging pad and a 12.3-inch customizable digital display cluster for the driver.
The Platinum trim is available with Ford’s remarkably efficient 3.3-liter V6 hybrid engine (a powertrain that’s available also on the Limited trim). The hybrid engine offers 318 horsepower and 322 lb-ft of torque, enough power to tow up to 5,000 pounds. Whether outfitted with the hybrid or the standard twin-turbo V6, the Platinum can stretch into the mid-$50,000 price range, but because it’s loaded with high-end luxury features, the higher price is justified.
Find Your 2021 Explorer at Future Ford
Future Ford of Sacramento is where you’ll find the largest selection of Ford Explorers in the River City. Not only do we stock a huge variety of 2021 Explorers, but our inventory is priced to sell. We believe in transparent everyday low pricing, so our customers never have to resort to haggling. Buying a new vehicle should be fun, not stressful.
Our team of finance pros is standing by to help you keep your monthly payments low. We have access to some of the most competitive lease and loan rates around, and we’ll match you with the one that best fits your individual financial situation. Bad credit? Don’t worry. We understand the unique needs of credit-challenged buyers. Trust the finance experts at Future Ford to get you financed.
At Future Ford of Sacramento, our commitment to world-class customer service doesn’t end when you drive home in your new vehicle. We carry that promise through to our state-of-the-art service facility. Our factory-trained technicians treat your vehicle as if it’s their own, using only genuine Ford replacement parts and applying the expertise that can only come from factory certification.
We invite you to call or visit us today and learn why Sacramento Ford buyers trust their business to Future Ford of Sacramento. From sales to service, our team is here for all your driving needs. Come in today!