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The Ford Explorer has been part of our automotive world since 1991. This well-named SUV explores the roads, and, in some configurations, the trails. Ford proudly boasts that the Explorer is the best-selling American SUV since its inception, with more than 8 million models sold. The 2025 Ford Explorer has significant changes that could make it even easier to enjoy.

From 8 trims to 4, the 2025 Ford Explorer makes shopping easier

Ford cut the number of trims in half but packaged more standard equipment in each version of the new Explorer. These four trims are Active, ST-Line, Premium, and ST. The reworked front has a new grille, headlights, and lower air inlets. The rear receives new taillights, giving this new model an improved lighting signature.

All models except the base Active trim can have a black-painted roof. Cabin improvements appear with new soft-touch surfaces and a much larger infotainment screen, delivering the Ford Digital Experience.

BlueCruise makes its way to the Explorer

For the first time, BlueCruise is available for this Ford SUV. This system is Ford’s hands-free driving feature, which uses cameras, driving systems, and GPS navigation to keep the Explorer in the desired lane while the driver relaxes their hands and feet.

Blue 2025 Ford Explorer ST posed outdoors.
2025 Ford Explorer ST | Ford

No engine upgrades for the 2025 Explorer

The reduced trims didn’t bring a new engine to the mix. The 2025 Ford Explorer has two engines powering all four trims. The base engine is a 2.3-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder model that sends 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. This engine is standard for the three lower trims.

The ST trim uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 rated at 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. This engine is optional for the Premium trim level.

Both engines mate to a 10-speed automatic transmission and come standard with RWD, but AWD is available at all four trim levels. If you need to tow with the Explorer, this SUV can pull up to 5,000 pounds.

What is the Ford Digital Experience?

The Ford Digital Experience is a fancy name for the Explorer’s infotainment system. This package gives you a 13.2-inch LCD touchscreen and the benefits of apps and services from Google and Amazon. The system connects to your smartphone through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it allows video streaming through YouTube or gameplay via Google Play.

The Explorer has eight USB ports, with two in the third row, and three 12-volt power outlets. The three higher trims include a standard 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system to deliver an amazing audio experience in this midsize Ford SUV.

Which model is recommended by experts?

Now that Ford offers only four trims for the Explorer, the recommended model differs from before. The experts at Car and Driver suggest the ST-Line model for the 2025 Ford Explorer. This model has sporty features from the ST while using the base engine. The ST-Line is about $11,000 less than the ST, which makes it the value option in the Explorer lineup.