Remember when Ford launched the totally new Explorer in late 2010, and people were skeptical about how the now-crossover would fare, after ditching its traditional SUV roots? Well, we're several years in, and I think we can assuredly say that Ford made the right decision. Sales are better than ever (in fact, May was the current Explorer's best month yet), and the crossover is finding its way into the hands of a whole host of new Ford buyers.

A wholly refreshed Explorer is still forthcoming, but to keep its strong-selling crossover fresh, Ford is offering a host of improvements for the 2015 model year, including the attractive appearance package available on the XLT trim level, pictured above. Outside, the pack gets you goodies like 20-inch machined aluminum wheels, black bodyside cladding and roof rack rails. Contrasting Magnetic Metallic accents are found on the grille, mirror caps and liftgate appliqué, and there's an "Explorer" hood badge and body-colored door handles. Inside, there are new Miko suede inserts in the seats, and the package includes the automaker's Sync connectivity with MyFord Touch infotainment.

Elsewhere in the Explorer range, the Class III trailer tow pack is now standard on the Sport, base models get new 18-inch aluminum wheels, and there are three new colors on offer: Bronze Fire Metallic and Magnetic Metallic.

2015 Explorer pricing starts at $30,600 for the base model, going as high as $42,670 for the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6-equipped Sport. The appearance package adds $1,195 to the price of the $32,900 XLT, assuming you've also chosen the $2,500 Equipment Group 202A. All MSRPs listed do not include $895 for destination.

Have a look below for the full details in Ford's press blast.
Show full PR text
FORD EXPLORER UPDATED FOR 2015 WITH NEW COLORS, FEATURES AND A SPORTY NEW LOOK IDEAL FOR SUMMER

– Ford Explorer sales break the 20,000-vehicle mark last month for the first time since July 2005; 20,346 vehicles sold makes May the best month ever for the current-generation utility

– 2015 Ford Explorer XLT is available later this month with a new appearance package that adds a sportier look and more comfort and technology features at an outstanding value

– New package includes grille and mirror caps painted Magnetic Metallic, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and leather-trimmed and heated front seats with genuine Miko® suede inserts

Ford Explorer brings new options to utility vehicle customers for 2015, including a sport-inspired appearance package that raises the bar on comfort and technology without breaking the bank, as well as new colors and features.

"Customers asked for more and this is our answer," said Matt Zuehlk, Ford Explorer brand manager. "We know consumers love the look of Explorer Sport; with this package, you get that for Explorer XLT. It looks bold and rugged, and offers impressive technology at a surprising value."

Available later this month, the new option brings even greater variety, as customer demand for utility vehicles increases. Explorer sales topped 20,000 in May for the first time since July 2005, with 20,346 vehicles sold. This is a 21 percent increase compared to May 2013.

Based on Ford analysis of Polk new vehicle retail registration data from IHS Automotive, Ford is gaining share in the millennial demographic, defined as buyers ages 18-34. According to the analysis, as vehicle registrations within this demographic have increased 33 percent since 2009, Ford's share has increased 72 percent, more than double the industry pace. That means retail share for the Ford brand in this age group grew from 9.4 percent in 2009 to 12 percent today.

Since 2009, Explorer has contributed 21 percent to Ford's overall growth in retail registrations within this coveted demographic.

"Explorer contributes more to Ford's millennial sales and share growth than any other passenger car or utility vehicle in the lineup," said Erich Merkle, U.S. sales analyst for Ford. "This is more proof Explorer attracts all types of customers with great looks and third-row versatility."

The new appearance package for Explorer XLT includes striking exterior details, with 20-inch machined aluminum wheels featuring painted pockets, black body-side cladding and roof rack rails. Other features include a Magnetic Metallic painted grille, mirror caps and liftgate appliqué, "EXPLORER" hood badge and body-color door handles.

Interior details include leather-trimmed, heated front seats featuring Miko® suede inserts and contrast stitching, floor mats with special badging and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The package also features technology upgrades such as SYNC® with MyFord Touch®, two 4.2-inch color LCD screens in the instrument cluster, an 8-inch color LCD touch screen in the Meteorite Black center stack, two USB ports and an SD card reader.

Additional updates for 2015 include new 18-inch aluminum wheels now standard on the base model; Class III trailer tow package now standard on Explorer Sport; and three new colors – Bronze Fire Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Caribou Metallic and Magnetic Metallic.


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  • 34 Comments
      Bavarian818
      • 6 Months Ago
      I am curious to see how many law enforcement sales were included in this... Here in California the Highway Patrol is replacing its entire fleet with the Explorer "Interceptor" Although I do see these on the road, I actually see more CHP and LAPD versions rather than privately owned ones...Just curious!!!
      john m
      • 6 Months Ago
      I like this vehicle for the most part and I'd consider buying one. And I wish Lincoln would do a sport version of it to compete with the Range Rover Sport. But I hate...HATE the instrument panel. Why is the speedo the size of a freakin' dinner plate but the tach is almost microscopic in size! Others here may not care here on this site but it drives me nuckin' futz!!!
      MechE
      • 6 Months Ago
      I find this segment to be the least interesting, even less interesting than the minivan segment.
      Cadillac Jack
      • 6 Months Ago
      I miss truck based SUV's, this is just a mini van without the sliding doors.
        jtav2002
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Cadillac Jack
        They're just not necessary for most people. If most people were utilizing what you can gain from having a traditional BOF SUV, most of them wouldn't be switching over to unibody.
        11fiveoh
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Cadillac Jack
        Doesnt make much sense to me. People need to get over themselves and buy a mini van if that's what they need.
          JaredN
          • 6 Months Ago
          @11fiveoh
          A minivan won't get up 4 miles up the beach to where I fish. My truck-based SUV (4Runner) will. And I don't have a pack of kids.
        Jesus!
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Cadillac Jack
        I do too and American cars that are American made,but our Automakers messed up and now we have Euro Ford's and Italian Chryslers. GM still makes American looking offerings however I won't touch one til they get their carp together.
          billfrombuckhead
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jesus!
          There's very little about a Detroit built Grand Cherokee or Durango that's Italian except the optional VM diesel. The Grand Caravan is built in a south Canadian suburb of Detroit Michigan USA out of mostly American parts with some of the engines coming from Mexico. The Dodge Journey/Fiat Freemont is built in Mexico out of mostly American parts. All 3 of these North American assembled platforms are sold in Europe and around the world by FCA. The world is too complicated for the typical anti-American tRWNJ troll still pining for a Romney victory.
          Jesus!
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jesus!
          P.S. Bill. I own a 13 Grand Cherokee.
          Tariff The Imports
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jesus!
          ...fire
          ckm
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Jesus!
          @jesus Actually, it's the other way around. Chrysler engineered the GC WK1 unibody platform during the Daimler/Chrysler days. Keep in mind that while Jeep had a (better) unibody SUV platform, the first gen Merc ML SUV was still body on frame. Mercedes contributed some NVH engineering. the transmission and a Mercedes diesel when it was available. The current WK2 platform (which is based on WK1) was mostly engineered by Jeep, although some components like the transmission & diesel come from other suppliers. I know Jalopink claims the current WK2 platform is an ML350 base, but the ML350 is actually derived from Jeep's WK1 unibody platform. I guess you could call it a derivative of a German platform derived from a platform originally engineered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA. It's pretty normal for manufacturers to borrow across product lines and, IMHO, a good think. It reduces cost, people learn how to do new stuff and we get better products.
      Jesus!
      • 6 Months Ago
      Call me when they ditch the tacky black plastic. Until then no thanks.
        merlot066
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jesus!
        There is the Acadia Denali for you. There are also places to get the cladding replaced with body color pieces. I've seen a few Explorers that have had that done and it looks ridiculous, but if you're so intent on making it look as visually hefty as possible then by all means go for it.
          Jesus!
          • 6 Months Ago
          @merlot066
          Merlot...I want it to look like a finished product. Ford could have designed the vehicle differently. The Flex is on the same platform and looks finished (though the 2nd gen is visually ugly). And why should the customer have to foot the bill for Fords cheapness? If Volvo figured out black plastic fades and looks awful in a few years time why can't everyone else? I remember when black plastic meant you had the base model...yuck.
          Jesus!
          • 6 Months Ago
          @merlot066
          Well Merlot they did the same thing to the 2010 Mustang then for 13 guess what? They painted it and it looked TONS better. You can defend your precious cheap plastic all day long....have fun armor all'ing every other wash. And I no longer worry about what Ford thinks. I was a long time customer born and raised. After the last 3 being problematic, especially the 30k plus F150 and Taurus I purchased with paint blobs and runs, rattly interiors, gas tank recall on the Taurus, 3rd brake light going out on the Taurus, two interior door handles breaking on the Taurus(and all under 17k miles), they can keep the garbage they spew out these days.
          merlot066
          • 6 Months Ago
          @merlot066
          Lol we know you're done with Ford from the 600 other times you've carried on about it. And as I said, wipe new, put it on over a year ago, still looks exactly as good as the day I put it on. I just drove past a second-gen Navigator on the way home that had a similar body-color treatment and couldn't believe how massive and bland it looked. I prefer the way the cladding looks. The '13 Mustang looks better because the '10 looked slightly off and with a few minor styling tweaks it brought it all together. And I thought the Taurus was one of the good 'ole American cars that Ford makes instead of that new euro trash that is boosting their sales to the stratosphere? Guess there's no pleasing you. My uncle used to work for Rolls Royce in marketing. He used to get the most unreal complaints from customers. His favorite of all was some old woman who complained because there was glare on her rearview mirror when it was sunny. Sometimes there's just no pleasing people.
        CJ_313
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Jesus!
        @ Jesus! I agree. Ford must save a ton of money on paint since a 1/3 of this thing is covered in black Rubbermaid plastic.
      Winnie Jenkems
      • 6 Months Ago
      I think the single biggest appearance improvement they could make would be to ditch those amber eyebrows in the headlamps. It didn't look good on the E65 7-series, and it doesn't look good here.
        Jesus!
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        It's a throwback to the 95 Explorer which I loved. I think it looks fine.
        Chip
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Winnie Jenkems
        I think Job 1 should be to make the A pillar body color. The black doesn't do it for me. Ditto the B pillar.
          Jesus!
          • 6 Months Ago
          @Chip
          I saw one with that a pillar plastic broken off...yikes! It needs to go I think all the mountains of black plastic is a J. Mays thing. Glad he is gone from Ford.
      Ken
      • 6 Months Ago
      That thing is just too fat. It looks like it has been sitting on the couch eating french fries and Twinkies for the last ten years.
      vi_per
      • 6 Months Ago
      Looks great inside and out.
      kingrat001
      • 6 Months Ago
      I ride in one every so often, it's a friend's wife's daily driver. It's a '12, I think. So far, it's been great, zero issues except a tire blew when she hit a huge crater, er pothole. The thing that shocks me about it is how much it cost. It's loaded and stickered for close to $50K. Crazy.
        jtav2002
        • 6 Months Ago
        @kingrat001
        Expensive, yes. Although, in line with the segment. The GC easily goes into the 50's. And since the Explorer is selling better than ever, their pricing can't be hurting them that much.
      Brodz
      • 6 Months Ago
      Needs to look less like a Land Rover with a massive underbite.
      leo
      • 6 Months Ago
      they can't do that black plastic trim painted because the belt line is way too high lower that 3 inches would not only improve outwards visibility, but it could then not look awkward with the plastic trim painted body color and then putting knobs and real buttons back would make this much easier to use daily til then this is the lost option to consider
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 6 Months Ago
      Meh, it's still down there at the bottom of the segment. Others offer much better value, packaging, and driving dynamics.
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