After releasing most of the details for its all-new 2011 Ford Explorer at live unveilings across the country, Ford Motor Company finally announced the pricing for its redesigned full-size SUV-turned-crossover. When the redesigned Ford Explorer goes on sale this winter, it will have a starting MSRP of $28,190 (not including the required $805 destination charge) which is $1,090 less than the 2010 Explorer.
Ford is positioning the new Explorer dead center in its crossover and SUV lineup which includes the Ford Escape, Ford Edge, Ford Flex and Ford Expedition. Available in three trim levels (Explorer, Explorer XLT and Explorer Limited), the starting price of the base 2011 Explorer will be $885 less than the larger 2011 Flex and $970 more than the smaller 2011 Edge. The base Explorer will come standard with the three-row, seven-passenger seating configuration, and the only interior options are limited to Sirius Satellite radio ($195) and all-weather floor mats ($75). Base Explorer models are only available with 17-inch steel wheel with plastic wheel covers and a limited palette of exterior colors including Kona Blue Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, White Suede and Red Candy Metallic which is optional for $395.
Stepping up to the mid-level Explorer XLT, the starting price climbs to $31,190 thanks to additional standard features such as fog lights, reverse sensing system, 18-inch aluminum wheels and Ford's exclusive SecuriCode keyless entry keypad. Key options on the XLT include Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert ($495), power liftgate $495, navigation ($795) and a dual-panel moonroof ($1,595). The Explorer XLT will be available in the same colors as the base model plus Gold Leaf Metallic, Sterling Gray Metallic, Bordeaux Reserve Red Metallic, Golden Bronze Metallic and White Platinum Tri-Coat ($495)
The top-of-the-line Explorer Limited starts at $37,190 and is distinguishable by the body-color grille and the unique 20-inch painted aluminum wheels similar in design to the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO. All Explorer Limiteds come standard with the all-new MyFord Touch system, ambient cabin lighting, a rearview camera and leather interior with heated front seats. Perforated leather and the power-folding third-row seat appear to be no-cost options, but the second-row bucket seat configuration will cost an additional $750. The Ford Explorer Limited is available in the same colors as the XLT except White Suede is not an option.
One option that has yet to be priced is the available 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-four that features direct injection and turbocharging deliver the power of a V-6 with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder engine. This engine produces 237 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque, but, more importantly, is expected to be 30 percent better than the current Explorer V-6. Specific EPA fuel economy estimates haven't been announced yet, but the engine should be able to provide combined fuel economy in the mid-20 mpg range. Base model Explorers will come with the 3.5-liter V-6 that will have the added benefit of Ford's twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) to produce 290 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque. This engine produces almost as much horsepower as the 4.6-liter V-8 used in the 2010 Explorer with a broader torque curve and an increased maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds - an increase of 500 pounds over the current model.
Each model will come standard with front-wheel drive, although all-wheel drive is a $2,000 option for all models, as well as Ford's MyKey and Easy Fuel capless fuel filler system. For added safety and convenience, all new Explorer models will come standard with Trailer Sway Control, Hill Start Assist and AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and Curve Control. A $2,095 dual screen rear-entertainment system is available on all 2011 Explorers as is the trailer tow package for an extra $570.
On the opposite side of the pricing spectrum from a base Explorer, a fully-loaded 2011 Ford Explorer Limited 4WD comes in at $50,270 when all the option boxes are checked and the rear-entertainment system is factored in.