Ford sees the SUV segment growing further – accounting for more than 45 percent of the non-premium U.S. retail auto industry in the next five to seven years. Ford is well-positioned for this growth, with plans to add five all-new SUVs to its lineup in North America by 2020.
Demographics are driving the anticipated trend, as more millennials and baby boomers favor the functionality and technology SUVs bring.
“In the 1990s, SUVs defined the unstoppable American spirit, and once again, we’re seeing a utility boom take hold with a whole new generation of customers,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Two sets of consumers – millennials and baby boomers – are driving this growth, and Ford will be ready with a full portfolio of SUVs to meet their needs.”
Today, 35- to 44-year-olds buy more midsize and large SUVs than any other demographic – and even more millennials are expected to join this SUV-loving group as they age. Baby boomers – already buying nearly 30 percent of small SUVs – are expected to lean even more heavily into SUVs as they age, with the youngest in this group turning 53 years old this year.
Ford already has a full utility lineup – including the fun, capable and connected EcoSport, technology-packed Escape, stylish Edge crossover, all-new full-size Expedition that’s the smartest, most adaptable and capable ever, and now, the new Explorer that’s on its way.
For 2018, Explorer has been further upgraded, providing customers freshened front and rear styling details, even better technology and more choice.
Explorer offers an available 4G embedded modem that includes a Wi-Fi hotspot and supports as many as 10 devices at once – up to 50 feet away from the vehicle.
It also features SYNC Connect, which allows owners to connect with Explorer remotely using FordPass® to start, lock, unlock and locate their vehicle from almost anywhere – while also allowing access to important vehicle diagnostic information.
This technology joins such existing features as enhanced active park assist, which uses ultrasonic sensors and electric power-assisted steering to help drivers with parallel and perpendicular parking; park-out assist, which helps drivers pull out of parallel parking spots; and intelligent all-wheel drive with Terrain Management System™, which enables improved driving capability by sending power where needed.
For 2018, Explorer also offers a newly available Safe and Smart Package that combines high-demand driver-assist features for a great value. The package includes:
- Adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support uses radar to detect moving vehicles directly ahead, and changes cruising speed if necessary
- Blind Spot Information System uses radar to trigger a warning when another motorist is in the driver’s blind spot
- Cross-traffic alert uses radar to help alert drivers to oncoming traffic when backing out of a parking space
- Lane-keeping system automatically detects left- and right-hand road lane markings using front camera system. A vibration in the steering wheel alerts the driver if the vehicle begins to drift out of its lane. System can also provide steering torque to help guide the vehicle back into the lane if needed
- Auto high-beams use windshield-mounted cameras to automatically switch between high-beam and low-beam settings when oncoming traffic is detected
- Rain-sensing wipers
Drivers can opt for five different series featuring three different engines including a 2.3-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder that delivers 280 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 310 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,000 rpm. Explorer Sport and Platinum edition models are equipped with a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6 featuring new quad exhaust tips. The engine generates 365 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 350 lb.-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm.
Customers have more personalization options for 2018 with four new exterior color choices – Burgundy Velvet Tinted Clearcoat, Cinnamon Glaze, Platinum Dune Tricoat and Blue Metallic. Explorer gets five new wheel choices as well.
The 2018 Explorer arrives at dealerships this fall. It is built at Chicago Assembly Plant.