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The Ford Explorer Hybrid is the hybrid version of the popular midsize SUV, and it’s a relatively new option too. The American auto giant only started offering the Explorer Hybrid when the SUV was redesigned in the 2020 model year, and it’s been selling well ever since. That being said, despite the fact that Ford didn’t change much about the 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid, a car critic ended up liking the car more than it liked the 2022 version.

A 2023 Ford Explorer parked on a dirt road.
2023 Ford Explorer | Ford Media

An overview of the 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Although Ford recently redesigned the Explorer, the midsize SUV still has a lot of problems, and those issues persist in the hybrid version of the car. Overall, U.S. News gave the 2023 version of the hybrid SUV a score 7.5 out of 10. That may not sound bad, but it makes it one of the worst hybrid SUVs on the market as it was ranked in 12th place out of 14.

The Explorer Hybrid is a three-row SUV as standard, and that allows it to carry up to seven people. One of its best attributes is its cargo capacity, as it maxes out at 87.8 cu. ft. That’s above average for a midsize SUV. The car critic also liked the number of standard features that Ford gave the hybrid SUV, and the site also liked how well the car handles. 

The 2023 Ford Explorer Hybrid was slightly better than the 2022 model

However, U.S. News gave similar compliments to the 2022 version of the Explorer Hybrid. This isn’t too shocking since the Detroit-based automaker didn’t actually give the car many changes over the years. In fact, Ford didn’t give any major updates in the 2021 model year either, which means that between the 2020 to 2023 model years, the Explorer Hybrid was practically unchanged.

The only notable change between the 2023 model and the 2022 model was the fact that, for the 2023 model, Ford updated the optional features that it offered. Despite that lack of significant changes, U.S. News gave the 2023 model a higher overall score than it gave the 2022 model.

It wasn’t a huge difference either, as the site gave the 2022 Explorer Hybrid an overall score of 7.4 out of 10. While the two hybrid SUVs were fundamentally identical, there were several differences in regards to what the car critic had to say about them.

The small differences with how the two SUVs were rated

For the 2023 model year, the car critic said that the Explorer Hybrid had three pros and four cons, while the 2022 version had two pros and four cons. The one positive attribute that was different had to do with the SUV’s standard features. Although the two SUVs had the same number of negative attributes, there were some differences there too. 

U.S.  News said that the 2023 Explorer Hybrid had a “high base price“, but this wasn’t a criticism that the site had for the 2022 version. The car critic also gave the two cars slightly different ratings.

The 2023 model year got a critics’ score of 6.7 out of 10, and that’s higher than the 2022 model year’s 6.5 out of 10. Meanwhile, the 2023 version also had a performance rating of 6.9 out of 10, which was higher than the 6.3 out of 10 that the 2022 version got.

The 2023 version also had an 83 out of 100 for its quality and reliability, and that’s higher than the 81 out of 100 that the 2022 version got. To be fair, the 2023 Explorer Hybrid didn’t receive higher ratings across the board though, as its interior score of 6.4 out of 10 was lower than the 2022 model’s interior rating of 6.6 out of 10.


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