Ford has revealed a new Explorer, an all-electric family SUV for Europe only, at this stage anyway. This is the first Ford EV to utilise the Volkswagen MEB platform and the first electric vehicle to be built in numbers at the Cologne factory in Germany.
Ford has managed to use a cut off front styling and square outline to create a sensible family SUV with an attractive look and strikingly different appearance. Not your typical boring Ford that has been criticized many times in the past.
Ford have been adamant about making the new EV Explorer more compact and easier to park for their customers. The Explorer is shorter than the old model, in fact it’s only a few centimetres longer than a Focus and has more luggage space than a Mondeo.
Practicality, said Ford, was the main driver with the new 5-seat Explorer. They have designed a roomy 3-person rear bench with through-loading, and a boot with over 400 litres of space, but there’s also a big centre storage area up front that’s large enough for a laptop.
There’s also what Ford describes as a private locker hidden behind the adjustable, 37 cm touchscreen where items can be stored out of plain sight.
The Ford Explorer EV has latest Sync Move infotainment software and include Alexa voice recognition, intelligent charger search function, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and over-the-air software updates. There is a soundbar that sits on top of the dash. The audio is Ford’s own speaker system rather than any third-party fitted system.
Other tech highlights include a more-advanced autonomous feature, including Assisted Lane Change, which will see the car changing lanes for you when you indicate, provided the system is active and it deems the move to be safe.
Performance, driving range, and battery specifics are yet to be confirmed for the Ford Explorer, which is due to go on sale in the UK later in 2023. We do know that it will be available with a range of up to 495 Ks and should be able to rapid charge from 10 to 80% in 25 minutes.
The Explorer is likely to be offered with both rear- and FWD variants. Pricing is still to be confirmed, but it’s expected that the Explorer will cost from around $85,000 NZ dollars as a price guide in our language.
The top-specification model Explorer Premium Edition will add massage seats and various other luxuries like heated seats and keyless entry that every Explorer gets, although we notice that the Mustang Mach-E’s novelty handle-less doors have been scrapped in favour of conventional door handles on the new Explorer.
There’s no shortage of EV rivals out there in this price range, from the smaller VW ID.3 to the bigger Skoda Enyaq iV, not to mention the Kia Niro EV and various new contenders such as the new to Europe BYD Atto 3.
In our opinion the styling of the Ford Explorer has more appeal than most of the competition, with something of an electric Evoque feel that the Ford can certainly capitalise on particularly.
Since Land Rover isn’t due to launch any pure EV’s for its range until 2024 and its unlikely Range Rover’s pricing will compete with a sub $85,000 pricing in the UK or beyond. Ford’s European electric SUV could be a winner despite the abundant competition in that marketplace, well, for the wealthy anyway.