Ford has pulled the wraps off its new electric family SUV which shares parts with the VW ID.4
Ford is focusing on its American heritage with the Explorer, both in terms of its name and its feel. It brings a new styling direction, including a bluff front end and an interesting rear pillar design said to echo Explorers of old, and a high-tech interior.
It’s the latest car to come from Ford’s tie-in with Volkswagen, and means the Explorer uses most of the same mechanical parts as the Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4. Ford expects many customers to trade up from the Focus.
Ford Explorer UK prices and release date
The Explorer will enter production in mid-2023, so we expect to see it on sale before the end of the year. Prices are yet to be confirmed but the Explorer is likely to be more expensive than a similarly specced Kuga. We’d expect most Explorer models to cost between £40,000 and £50,000.
Two trim levels are confirmed – base and Premium. All cars will come with heated and massaging front seats, a heated steering wheel, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, keyless entry and two-zone air conditioning.
Interior and practicality
Inside, the Ford Explorer boasts a huge 14.6-inch portrait touchscreen running the company’s Sync 4 infotainment system. As with many electric cars, the Explorer includes an EV trip planner and connected sat nav, allowing you to find vacant chargepoints nearby.
The screen is able to tilt forwards and backwards by up to 30 degrees, so you should be able to find a position you like – plus, there’s a storage cubby accessible when the screen is upright. Ford has equipped the Explorer with a ‘soundbar’ on the dashboard – so, if you like your music to sound as good as possible, it might be up your street.
There are clusters of controls on the steering wheel and a slim digital information display in front of the driver, but the Explorer features a minimalist interior design that’s a bit like a Tesla.
You won’t find too many shared parts with the ID.4 inside, except for the gear selector and the fiddly window control switches – there are two switches and a button to change their functionality from the front windows to the rear ones.
Measuring just under 4.5 metres long, the Ford Explorer EV is marginally shorter than a Ford Kuga. It sits right between the ID.3 and ID.4, which is so as not to directly compete with either car, and that’s evident in its interior and boot space. The Explorer is a strict five-seater, but has a decent 450-litre boot – more than the Mach-E – and a maximum load capacity of 1,400 litres.
While the Explorer misses out on a ‘frunk’ storage area under the bonnet, it does get a hidden storage box underneath the boot floor like the Ford Puma. There’s also a big storage zone between the front seats, so the Explorer should prove to be a practical option for families.
Range, charging time and performance
The Ford Explorer will have several different battery and motor options available. The range-topping version will come with 340hp, all-wheel drive and a 0-62mph time of less than six seconds. This could be badged the Explorer ST or GT – in reference to Ford’s other performance models – and will come with a Sport driving mode.
Below that will be two rear-wheel-drive versions with 170hp or 285hp. Battery sizes will be 52kWh and 77kWh (usable), with the latter offering a competitive 310-mile range. Fast-charging at up to 170kW is available, enabling a 10-80% top-up in 25 minutes.
When will I be able to buy a Ford Explorer from Motorpoint?
With a release date looking likely for late-2023, you should start to see Ford Explorers at Motorpoint from mid-to-late 2024. In the meantime, browse our selection of used Ford cars for sale.