Trucks & SUVs

What’s New With the 2021 Ford Explorer Interior

The Ford Explorer is the tried-and-true SUV that pairs affordability with practicality. They are nowhere near as striking in appearances or luxurious as higher-end SUV options like the Aston Martin DBX, but the Ford Explorer has always done well to serve its purpose. With luxury car manufacturers stepping up their SUV game, it makes sense that other, more experienced SUV manufacturers would too, and that’s why the 2021 Ford Explorer has some great upgrades and new features to help it compete in the market, and make it a car genuinely worth buying.

A third-row seat option

We all know that the large Ford Expedition has three rows of seating to maximize passenger capacity, but often forget that the Ford Explorer does, too. This is a pretty big advantage that the car has over many of its competitors and makes it one of the few options of SUVs offering such seating — that does, unfortunately, mean it is competing with the Kia Telluride. Of course, between model years, that does mean there are some changes to the interior of the popular SUV.

A silver 2021 Ford Explorer driving between two boulders on a sand pathway
A silver 2021 Ford Explorer driving between two boulders on a sand pathway | Ford

What’s new

The 2021 Ford Explorer saw some additions and changes all around, but also a few to the car’s interior. The Limited, ST, and Platinum models now have an even more upgraded interior with enhanced finishes. The changes also included making heated front-row seats standard on the XLT and some confusing changes to how the floor liner and mat options between each trim. It still offers an ample amount of space for passengers, or for cargo with the two back rows of seats able to fold down, but there wasn’t much new or exciting for this model year.

Looking through the 2021 Ford Explorer, you can see the amount of potential cargo capacity with both rows of back seats folded down
Back seats of the 2021 Ford Explorer folded down to show potential cargo capacity | Ford

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Abysmal reliability ratings

Growing up, we had a Ford Explorer or Expedition for most of my childhood, and I had always known them to be fairly reliable cars. Besides the odd repair here and there, I don’t remember there being any concerning or catastrophic problems with either model. So, when I checked out the predicted reliability ratings for the vehicle on Consumer Reports, I was pretty shocked to see that it had a 1/5 for predicted reliability.

There is already one active recall for the vehicle already regarding a faulty motor mount, and that doesn’t do much to help the vehicle’s case. Regardless, many owners brag about how much they love their Ford Explorer, and a few negative reviews will likely do very little to turn away potential buyers.

White, leather upholstered back seats of the 2021 Ford Explorer
The back seats of the 2021 Ford Explorer | Ford

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Perhaps with the next remodel, there will be some more exciting updates to the Ford Explorer, but for now, it’s the simple changes between years that work to slowly enhance the car as manufacturers can scope out what buyers are really looking for.