hamburger icon

2018 Ford Explorer

Ford Explorer OEM Exterior Primary Photo
Interior Profile
OEM Exterior
OEM Exterior
Interior Standard
Photos Colors
Used Car Price Range
$17,429 - $22,995
$17,429 $22,995
Select a Trim
Select a Trim
2018 Base 4dr Front-Wheel Drive
most popular
Price:   -  From $32,140
2018 XLT 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $34,175
2018 Base 4dr 4x4 Price:   -  From $34,290
2018 XLT 4dr 4x4 Price:   -  From $36,325
2018 Limited 4dr Front-Wheel Drive Price:   -  From $42,090
2018 Limited 4dr 4x4 Price:   -  From $44,240
2018 Sport 4dr 4x4 Price:   -  From $45,950
2018 Platinum 4dr 4x4 Price:   -  From $53,940
Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

See All Used Listings


It could be argued that the 2018 Ford Explorer is the best all-arounder in the competitive three-row crossover SUV segment. It's not the most stylish, powerful or fuel-efficient, but user-friendly technology, features, and competitive pricing makes it attractive to new vehicle shoppers looking for a well-rounded midsize SUV. The 2018 Ford Explorer features five trim levels with eight possible drivetrain configurations and multiple color options, making it a popular draw for a variety of families.

What's New for 2018

To dress-up its exterior appearance, Ford has slightly enhanced the Explorer's front-grille design, added quad-exhaust tips for the Platinum and Sport, and added five new wheel designs. Four new exterior colors have also been added for 2018. A Safe and Smart Package adds a bundle of popular upgrade items including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, a lane-keep assist system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic high-beams. A new 4G LTE wifi hotspot has also been added to the new Explorer.

Ford Explorer

Choosing Your Ford Explorer

Ford offers the 2018 Explorer with five trim levels – the base Explorer, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. The 2018 Explorer's base and XLT trims are powered by a standard 3.5-liter V6 with 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque. The EPA rates this engine at 17 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway, 20 combined.

Under the hood of the Limited is a turbocharged, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 280 horsepower with 310 lb-ft of torque. The EPA-estimated mileage falls to 19/27/22 mpg for the front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive Explorers reduce to 18/25/21 mpg. This engine is also available as an $895 option on the base and XLT models.

The Sport and Platinum trims are equipped with a peppy, 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 that delivers 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Although they're fun to drive, estimated fuel economy decreases to 16/22/18 mpg. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard with all engine combinations. Front-wheel drive comes standard on all but the Explorer Sport and Platinum, while all-wheel drive is a $2,150 option for the base, XLT, and Limited.

A $1,295 Safe and Smart Package adds adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, automatic high beams, and rain-sensing wipers, while a panoramic sunroof costs $1,695. Both of these items are available on the XLT, Limited, and Sport, while they come standard on the Platinum. A rear-seat entertainment system adds a pair of displays behind the front headrests along with a DVD player for $1,995. It's available all but the base Explorer.

Ford Explorer


Climbing the ladder of available trims on the 2018 Ford Explorer is the XLT with a starting price of $35,015.

The XLT includes LED running lights, SiriusXM satellite radio, rear parking sensors, and chrome body accents. But where the XLT doesn't offer much more standard equipment than the base trim, it does open up access to multiple packages and optional extras.

The 201A Equipment Group costs $2,330, but completely overhauls the Explorer's multimedia system. Ford's Sync 3 infotainment system works through an eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a seven-speaker audio system. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a pair of USB ports are also included. A power liftgate, dual-zone climate control, remote start, and an auto-dimming rear view mirror. For an additional $4,900, consumers can add the 202A Equipment Package, which includes everything from the 201A package plus a heated steering wheel, heated leather front seats, and two 4.2-inch LCD displays in the instrument cluster. The XLT Technology Feature Bundle available at $935 additional can also be added to include a voice-activated navigation system.

20-inch painted wheels, interior accent colors along with front and rear bumper covers are included in the XLT Appearance Package for an additional $1,295. A $650 Cold Weather Package with heated driver and passenger seats, cold-weather windshield wipers and heated side mirrors is also available with the XLT.

Ford Explorer


For buyers searching for attractive, user-friendly technology features, the Limited edition is an exceptional value. Starting at $43,085, the 2018 Ford Explorer Limited adds ventilated and heated front seats, leather upholstery, power-adjustable pedals, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, and power-folding third-row seats. Although the Limited comes with the smaller, four-cylinder turbocharged engine, consumers can switch to the V6 for no additional charge.

Unlike the XLT, the Limited is only available with one expansive equipment package. The 301A Equipment Group costs $3,240 and adds an automatic parking assist system, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. The 301A group also includes rain-sensing wipers and inflatable rear safety belts.

Ford Explorer


The Sport model lives up to its name adding firmer suspension, a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 engine, all-wheel drive, and quad-chrome exhaust tips for an MSRP of $46,945. Standard 20-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, a blacked-out exterior accents, and LED headlights are also standard. The Explorer Sport also adds a power liftgate and trailer towing package.

The Explorer Sport's 401A Equipment Group costs $3,875 and broadly matches the Limited's 301A package. It also adds second-row heated seats and USB ports, a front 180-degree camera, and a premium 500-watt Sony sound system.

Ford Explorer


At the top of the Ford Explorer food-chain is the Platinum edition, with an MSRP of $54,935. The Platinum comes with automated parking assist system, a panoramic sunroof, the Sony audio system, and an upgraded leather interior with a driver memory function. The Platinum includes virtually every option listed above, aside from the rear-seat entertainment system. That somewhat softens the blow of its high starting price.

CarsDirect Tip

While the 2018 Ford Explorer is a good, all-around three-row crossover SUV, accurately pricing Explorers can be confusing – especially when convenience packages are added. For consumers looking for an overall good value, packed with practical upgrades, we'd recommend the Limited trim with the Safe and Smart Package, which rings up just under $45,000.

Get your price on a Ford Explorer »

author image
Automotive Editor
Read Less

Expert Review

Expert Rating

Our expert ratings are based on seven comprehensive criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

author image
Contributing Editor

Ford’s largest crossover is also the best-selling model in the midsize SUV segment. The 2018 Explorer offers a strong stance backed up by powerful engines, competitive trailering capabilities, and the latest technologies.

Best Value

The 2018 Ford Explorer is available in five trims: Explorer, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum. The Explorer seats seven, but is ideal for five with ample cargo space available.

The Explorer XLT starts at $34,020 (including a $995 destination fee). Our best value choice is the Explorer XLT as it comes with LED lights, a V6 engine, keyless entry with push-button start, and a reverse sensing system.

  • Model: 2018 Ford Explorer XLT AWD
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Output: 290 hp/255 lb.-ft.
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • MPG: 17 city/24 highway
  • Options: All-wheel drive ($2,150), Equipment Group 201A ($2,300, remote start, power-operated and heated side mirrors, 18-inch painted aluminum wheels, a power liftgate, unique front bucket power seats with driver lumbar support, a SYNC 3 infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a seven-speaker audio system, and dual-zone climate control), Ford Safe and Smart Package ($1,295, automatic headlights, lane-keep assist and alert, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning)
  • Base Price: $37,165 (including $995 destination charge)
  • As Tested: $40,790


Ford Explorer

We found the V6 delivers capable off-the-mark acceleration and sufficient passing power, although the transmission tends to get lazy, taking longer time to move between gears than what we like. Operating in sport mode brings discipline to this powertrain, but at a slight sacrifice to fuel efficiency. An available 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder provides a more fuel efficient option, but it lacks the oomph to really get the Explorer moving.

The 2018 Explorer rides smoothly in most instances and the steering responds quickly to small and big inputs alike. When you need to tow, you have a 5,000-pound towing capacity to work with, same as most competitors, including the Nissan Pathfinder, but much less than the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee.

Interior and Exterior

Now in its eighth year, the current-generation Ford Explorer is showing its age. Nevertheless, its stance is one of the most powerful entries in the segment, as it eschews the rounded edges and soft lines of many competitors. This model looks handsome with its sporty grille, flared wheel wells and aluminum wheels. Available features include 20-inch polished aluminum wheels, a panoramic sunroof, and a hands-free foot-activated liftgate.

The Explorer offers room for seven with the most comfortable seats in the cabin up front. We found the second-row seat tilted slightly forward and thinner than what we’d like. The third row is disappointingly cramped, but the same applies to most models in this segment.

Standard cargo space measures 21 cubic feet behind the third-row seat and that’s more room than the GMC Acadia. Behind the second-row seat is 43.9 cubic feet, topping out at a roomy 81.7 cubic feet behind the first row.

Key features include full power accessories, cloth seats, a power driver’s seat and Sync 3 infotainment. Options include a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, 12-speaker Sony audio system and a voice-activated navigation system.

The Best and Worst Things

More isn’t always better, but the three engine choices for the 2018 Explorer ensure that robust performance is never lacking, no matter which engine you choose. On the other hand, buyers may find disappointment with the fuel economy of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Right For

Ford Explorer

Anyone wanting an SUV with burly good looks. Front to back and top to bottom, the Explorer projects confidence. Unlike most other models which have made the transition from traditional to modern SUV, the Ford has succeeded, at least in the looks department.

Wrong For

Customers desiring a modern model. The Explorer’s floor is high and that affects passenger space, although cargo room is sufficient. The similar-sized Ford Flex provides a more comfortable cabin than the Explorer.

The Bottom Line

As old as this model is, Ford has kept up with updates, enabling the Explorer to maintain its place as the top-selling three-row crossover. Premium features on top-trim models enable the Explorer to punch above its weight, but at a cost that can top $50,000.

Read Less

Specs & Features

Overall Crash Safety Rating
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
Standard: 3.5L V-6 / 290 HP / 255 ft.lbs.
Available: 2.3L I-4 / 280 HP / 310 ft.lbs.
6-spd SelectShift w/OD
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Highway/Combined
17 / 24 / 20 Mpg
Passenger Capacity
Bumper to Bumper Warranty
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Mechanical Specs
Engine - Cylinders/Horsepower/Torque
Standard: 3.5L V-6 / 290 HP / 255 ft.lbs.
Available: 2.3L I-4 / 280 HP / 310 ft.lbs.
Drive Type
Fuel Economy - City/Hwy/Combined
17 / 24 / 20 Mpg
4-wheel Disc
Front Suspension
Rear Suspension
Independent Multi-link
Spare Tire And Wheel
Compact Steel
Fuel Tank
18.6 Gal.
Recommended Fuel Type
Regular Unleaded / Premium Unleaded
Average Cost To Fill Tank
Dimensions & Capabilities
Maximum Cargo Volume
80.7 Cu.ft.
Passenger Volume
152 Cu.ft.
Exterior Length
198.3 "
Exterior Width
78.9 "
Exterior Height
70.0 "
Front Headroom
41.4 "
Rear Headroom
40.6 "
Front Legroom
42.9 "
Rear Legroom
39.5 "
Front Shoulder Room
61.5 "
Rear Shoulder Room
61.0 "
Front Hip Room
Rear Hip Room
Curb Weight
4,443 Lbs.
Wheel Base
113 "
Turning Radius
19.6 '
Exterior Features
Door Count
4 Doors
18.0 " Silver Aluminum
Clearcoat Monotone
Exterior Mirrors
Dual Power Remote Heated Convex Spotter
Grille Moldings
Metal-look W/chrome Surround
Rear Spoiler
Stainless Steel With Chrome Tailpipe Finish
Interior Features
Passenger Capacity
Seat Trim
Front Seat Type
Heated Front Seats
Front Driver Seat Direction Controls
8-way (6-way Power)
Front Passenger Seat Direction Controls
Front Armrests
8-way (6-way Power)
Rear Armrests
Rear Seats
60-40 Split-bench
Radio & Infotainment
Am/fm, Seek-scan / Am/fm/satellite, Seek-scan
Radio Steering Wheel Controls
Apple Car Play
Android Auto
Bluetooth w/ Hands-Free Connectivity
Convenience Features
Steering Wheel Type
Telescopic Tilt
Climate Control
Cruise Control
With Steering Wheel Controls
Sun Roof
Rearview Mirror
One Touch Open Window
Driver And Passenger
Tinted Windows
Vanity Mirrors
Dual Illuminated
Remote Keyless Entry
Keyfob (all Doors)
Power Outlets
Safety Features
Overall Crash Safety Rating
Overall Front Crash Safety Rating
Overall Side Crash Safety Rating
Rollover Crash Safety Rating
Front Impact Airbags
Driver And Passenger
Driver Side Impact Airbags
Seat Mounted
Knee Airbag
Passenger Side Impact Airbag
Seat Mounted
Rear Side Airbag
Seatbelt Pretensioners
Anti-Lock Brakes
4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes (abs)
Forward Collision Warning
Blind Spot Sensor
Lane Departure Warning
Autonomous Cruise Control
Pedestrian Detection
Driver Attention Alert
Daytime Running Lights
Auto High Beams
Adaptive Headlights
Parking Sensors
Security Systems
Panic Alarm
Ignition Disable
Bumper To Bumper Months Miles
36 Months / 36,000 Miles
Major Components Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Included Maintenance Months
Roadside Assistance Months
60 Months / 60,000 Miles
Corrosion Perforation
60 Months / Unlimited Miles
Accessories Months
36 Months / 36,000 Miles

Used 2018 Ford Explorer for Sale

11 vehicles found within 50 miles of your area
Sport Utility 4D
Color: Ingot Silver



101,551 mi

Map location icon

Kar Genie (42 mi)

Color: Gray



92,219 mi

Map location icon

Karplus Warehouse Inc (23 mi)

Phone: (747) 232-5403
XLT Sport Utility 4D
Color: Shadow Black



96,490 mi

Map location icon

Kar Genie (42 mi)




95,441 mi

Map location icon

Sterling Imports LTD (30 mi)

Phone: (714) 554-5127
See All Used Car Listings

Insider Information

We have information you must know before you buy the Explorer. We want to send it to you, along with other pricing insights.

Sign Me Up

I agree to receive emails from CarsDirect. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. We will not spam you, and will never sell your email. Privacy Policy.

Thank you. You are now subscribed to our Pricing Insider updates.