The all-new Explorer switches from body-on-frame construction to a unibody platform shared with the Taurus and Lincoln MKS. Towing capacity for V-6 models is rated at 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kg).
The standard engine is a 3.5L V-6 with dual independent variable valve timing, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. It also features fuel-shutoff while decelerating under closed throttle. The 2.0.L direct-injection turbocharged EcoBoost 4-cyl. is optional in front-drive variants.
The transmission has a wide range of gear ratios, lower initial gears for faster off-the-line and low-speed acceleration, and higher ratios in the upper gears for lower RPMs and improved fuel efficiency at cruising speeds. The optional all-wheel-drive system allows the driver to select a terrain and shift on-the-fly, versus traditional transfer case wheel settings and range selections.
Safety equipment includes stability and roll control, curtain-side airbags, a post-crash alert system that automatically shuts off the fuel pump and notifies emergency services, and the world’s first inflatable second-row seatbelts, according to Ford. Adaptive cruise control and a blind-spot information system are optional.
A variable-displacement air conditioning compressor, variable-rate electric power steering and low-rolling-resistance tires help improve fuel economy.