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Ford made some significant upgrades to the 2021 Explorer, honestly, it had to. The 2021 Ford Explorer has five trims available, similar to the 2020 model, and the highest trim level is the Platinum.

Ford is really trying its best to offer a luxury-like SUV at a more affordable price. Whether they succeed or not is a different matter. Though it looks like the 2021 Explorer Platinum might be a winner for Ford.

A Ford logo on the front grille of an Explorer
A Ford logo on the front of an Explorer | Alexander DemianchukTASS via Getty Images

The highest 2021 Ford Explorer trim level? Platinum of course

Out of the five possible trims, Base, XLT, Limited, ST, and Platinum, it is clear which the highest is. Platinum, it is almost always platinum. Recording artists are certified platinum after they have already been certified gold. And the highest trim for most cars is Platinum.

Of course, that does also mean it is the most expensive, starting at $54,480. Though this is pretty cheap compared to the Ford Expedition Platinum which starts around $84,000, and the Cadillac Premium Luxury Platinum, which is just shy of $100,000. So is the Platinum trim on the 2021 Explorer worth it?

What does the 2021 Explorer Platinum get you?


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Ford’s website tells us you get a choice of three different engines, the 2021 Explorer Platinum trim does offer quite a bit. The base engine, a 2.3-liter I-4, puts out 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. You can also choose a 3.0-liter V-6 that will put out 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The final choice is a 3.3-liter hybrid, with a decent 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque.

Each engine has a 10-speed automatic and comes with RWD with intelligent 4WD available. The hybrid will tow up to 5000 lbs, the I-4 up to 5300 lbs, and the V-6 will tow up to 5600 lbs. The EPA estimates 18/24 MPG (city/hwy).

The Platinum trim seats up to seven with a foldable third row, second-row bucket seats, and tri-diamond perforated leather seats throughout. The front row has acoustic-laminate glass, and the second and third rows have privacy glass.

It also boasts a twin-panel moonroof, second-row sunblinds, and a heated steering wheel wrapped in leather with paddle shifters. The sound system has a choice of 12 or 14 speakers, and is the B&O sound system by Bang and Olufsen. Along with a remote start, a rear camera with washer, and reverse sensing, it also has a voice-activated touchscreen navigation system.

But can it compete with true luxury SUVs?

It definitely does not have some touches its pricer cousin, the Expedition has. One cool extra is the Multicontour with Active Motion seat technology, which automatically applies pressure to reduce back and leg fatigue.

The previously mentioned Cadillac offers a premium, and futuristic, infotainment system, with a bunch of fun technology and an impressive 36 speaker sound system. Of course, with these perks comes a drastically higher price. While there is a little of the “you get what you pay for”, the Platinum Explorer does offer a fairly luxurious SUV at a more affordable price. 

Depending on what you are looking for in terms of a luxury SUV, the 2021 Platinum Ford Explorer, could be a good choice. It has a lot of luxury touches and does not break your bank account like a Cadillac would.