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Tim Charlet
Automotive Editor - November 7, 2018

2019 Ford Explorer OVERVIEW

The 2019 Ford Explorer continues to shine in the heavy populated sea of crossover SUVs. Entering its final production year in the current generation, the 2019 Ford Explorer is available in five trims. This SUV is packed with impressive technology, offers multiple powertrain options, and features a slew of packages that can customize it seemingly any way you’d like.

What's New for 2019

The 2019 Explorer adds a few new packages, and active safety features are more widely available. Blind-spot monitoring and power and heated side mirrors are standard on all trims except the base. The Explorer Sport and Platinum gain paddle shifters, while a power tailgate is newly standard on the XLT.

Choosing Your Ford Explorer

For 2019, consumers can opt for one of five trim levels: base Explorer, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. The base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that delivers 290 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque and is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The EPA rates this engine at 17 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 combined. It comes standard on the base and XLT and is available on the Limited.

Standard on the Limited and available on the base and XLT (for an extra $895) is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy estimates improve to 19/27/22 mpg (city/highway/combined) with front-wheel drive. Finally, the Sport and Platinum trims come exclusively with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine that bangs out 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy drops to 16/22/18 mpg.

Front-wheel drive is standard on the base, XLT, and Limited, while the Sport and Platinum receive standard all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive can be added to the base, XLT, and Limited for $2,150 extra.


The base Explorer arrives at dealerships starting at $33,360 (all prices include the $995 destination charge). It comes standard with 18-inch wheels and Ford’s 100A equipment group, which includes an air filtration system, single-zone climate control, cruise control, second- and third-row tinted windows, cloth upholstery, and manual-adjustable front seats. The base also features the Sync voice command system and includes a rearview camera. The base comes in four exterior colors and a single interior pattern. The only notable package options are the Trailer Tow Package – Class II ($395) and Trailer Tow Package – Class III ($570).


The Explorer XLT is the second trim option and starts at $35,395. The XLT includes upgrades such as LED running lights, rear parking sensors, chrome body accents, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

The XLT trim opens the door to several Equipment Group upgrades. The 201A Equipment Group ($2,780) adds Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system displayed via an eight-inch LCD touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, two USB charging ports, a seven-speaker sound system, dual 4.2-inch LCD driver displays in the instrument cluster, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, fog lights, a power liftgate, remote start, dual-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and more. The 202A Equipment Group ($6,230) bundles the 201A features and adds a forward sensing system, a heated steering wheel, partial leather seating surfaces, and heated front seats.

The XLT can also be spiced up with several packages. The XLT Desert Copper Package ($1,840) adds 20-inch polished alloy wheels, first- and second-row black leather-trimmed seats, third-row black vinyl-trimmed seats, and chrome mirror caps, while the XLT Sport Appearance Package ($1,595) offers 20-inch wheels, black exterior treatments and badging, roof-rack side rails, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and leather seats. The Ford Safe and Smart Package ($1,020) bundles blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and automatic high beams.


Climbing up the trim ladder, the Limited begins at $43,760 and is arguably the best buy of the Explorer lineup. The Limited includes the 202A Equipment Group features and also adds the 2.3-liter turbocharged engine, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, a 12-speaker Sony audio system, and a voice-activated navigation system. Consumers can opt for the normally-aspirated V6 engine if they choose for $570. The Safe and Smart Package is again available, while the Limited Luxury Package ($1,905) adds 20-inch aluminum wheels, chrome mirror caps, front multi-contour seats, and an upgraded leather steering wheel.


Starting at $47,620, the Explorer Sport gains the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6, all-wheel drive, and a beefed-up suspension kit. It features perforated leather seating, 20-inch aluminum wheels, a rear spoiler, a power liftgate, chrome quad exhaust tips, the Class III Trailer Tow Package, LED headlights, a high gloss black mesh grille insert, black roof rack side rails, and blackout treatment for the headlights and taillights. The 401A Equipment Group ($2,825) installs rain-sensing windshield wipers, a 110-volt outlet, a universal garage door opener, second-row heated seats, cooled front seats, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, a Sony audio system, memory for the driver's seat and side mirrors, inflatable rear outboard safety belts, a front 180-degree camera, two second-row USB ports, and ambient lighting.


The ultimate Ford Explorer is the Platinum, with an MSRP of $55,160. This range-topper comes with the twin-turbo V6, chrome exterior touches, a twin-panel moonroof, an upgraded Sony audio system, perforated leather seats with quilted bolsters, memory functionality for the pedals, enhanced park assist, and the active safety features from the Safe and Smart Package. The Platinum doesn't have any packages available, as it already comes with nearly every upgrade and option as standard.

CarsDirect Tip

The 2019 Ford Explorer is the last of its current generation, as the model is due for a complete redesign in the 2020 model year. For the money, the Limited trim is the best value on the board for the 2019 lineup. Consumers living in cold weather climates should add all-wheel drive to any Explorer they choose.

Get your price on a Ford Explorer »

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