Ford Explorer Review & Prices

The Explorer is Ford’s second all-electric model. It will offer competitive range in a handsome package, but doesn’t really move the game on

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Find out more about the Ford Explorer

Is the Ford Explorer a good car?

Ford’s first electric SUV, the Mustang Mach-e, wasn’t a particular standout - now it’s time for the even more difficult second album. This time, Ford’s borrowing technology from well-proven Volkswagen models, and a name from one of its huge, petrol-powered SUVs in the US - Ford Explorer.

Don’t be too fooled by the adventurous name. Though some models do have four-wheel drive, the Explorer is basically a Volkswagen ID4 in a Ford frock - so it’s a bit like a European version of an American diner. It might have hot dogs and burgers on the menu, but the portions are reasonable sizes and the chef is from Kettering rather than Kentucky.

Competition is fierce, including everything from the Volkswagen ID4 to the Nissan Ariya, Tesla Model Y and Kia EV6. The Explorer is also sized perfectly for customers who want an upgrade from something like a Ford Kuga - perhaps making the leap from hybrid power to a fully electric car.

Ford is using battery and motor tech from Volkswagen, and the Explorer will be available with a single motor and rear-wheel drive or twin motors providing four-wheel drive. You’ll get up to 335hp, and a range of up to 335 miles from the single-motor car with the largest battery option.

Despite being very closely related to the Volkswagen ID4 you wouldn’t know it from the outside. Ford’s imbued the Explorer with its own character - from the blanked out grille at the front with ‘Explorer’ writ large across the top, to the floating roofline. It has shorter overhangs than the Volkswagen giving it a blockier look, but retains a high roof giving it good interior space.

It's an EV with style and substance, even if it doesn't really move the game on

Inside, there’s some familiar Volkswagen switchgear but plenty of Ford’s own work, including the massive 15.0-inch infotainment screen in the centre. This has wireless smartphone connectivity as you might expect but there’s also plenty of functionality built in, which is useful because you’ll be using it for almost everything. Media, sat nav, climate controls, car settings - it’s all accessed through the screen.

A small display for the driver gives the essentials of speed, charge status and warning symbols. The software Volkswagen fits to the similar ID4 has historically been quite buggy, so here’s hoping Ford does a little better on that front.

Ford’s certainly beaten VW - and indeed Tesla - in terms of interior quality. The Explorer’s interior uses lots of nice materials, with really comfortable and soft artificial leather seats on the top trim level and high-quality plastics used throughout. These even extend back to the rear passengers.

The Explorer isn’t as practical as some of its rivals, with a smaller boot than the VW ID4 or Kia EV6, but space in the back is competitive and the seats are supportive with plenty of adjustment.

Though it was originally intended to go on sale in the autumn of 2023, Ford has delayed sales of the Explorer until summer 2024. If you can’t wait until then, you can check out the Explorer’s closest competition by reading about our favourite electric SUVs. If a different Ford catches your eye, we have dozens of used Fords available at Carwow, and you can check out other new Ford deals through Carwow too. And when you’re ready to make your purchase, don’t forget you can also sell your current car through Carwow. 

How much is the Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer has a RRP range of £45,875 to £55,275. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,770. Prices start at £44,273 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £467.

Our most popular versions of the Ford Explorer are:

Model version Carwow price from
210kW Select 77kWh 5dr Auto £44,273 Compare offers

Ford hasn’t announced pricing for the new Explorer yet, but we’re expecting prices to sit around £40,000 - similar to the Volkswagen ID4 with which it shares batteries and motors. Initially Ford will only offer the longer-range models, but a smaller battery version with less range and a lower price tag will join the line-up later.

Two trim levels will be available from launch, an unnamed base trim and the Premium model. All cars will come with heated and massaging seats, dual-zone climate control and a dash-mounted soundbar, while the Premium adds full artificial leather upholstery. Options include a panoramic glass roof and a towbar.

Space and practicality

The Explorer has good rear seat space and plenty of cubbies, but competitors have larger boots

Life up front is pretty good in the Ford Explorer. The front seats have electrical adjustment with a good range of motion to suit all sizes and shapes of driver, while the steering wheel adjusts for both rake and reach - the latter in particular has a big range of motion.

Unlike the closely-related Volkswagen ID4, the Explorer’s instrument panel stays in one place and doesn’t move with the steering column. This does mean it’s possible to block it out in certain driving positions. 

You get a variety of storage cubbies, including Ford’s so-called ‘Mega Console’ - essentially, a usefully large storage area underneath the central armrest with adjustable dividers, big enough to store a laptop. You can choose whether you’d like cupholders at the front of this or a plain storage tray. The infotainment screen slides forward at the touch of a switch to reveal a space perfect for keeping assorted odds and ends - and it’s linked with the central locking so it’s secure when the car’s turned off. There are also twin wireless charging pads, positioned almost vertically so your phone stays out of sight and possible temptation.

Space in the back seats

There’s at least as much space in the back of the Ford Explorer as there is in electric SUVs such as the Volkswagen ID4 or Kia EV6. There’s enough legroom for a six-foot passenger to sit behind a similarly-sized driver, and headroom is pretty good. Some models get a panoramic glass roof, which typically results in reduced headroom - but here it doesn’t, because the glass panel extends back further than the rear passengers’ heads.

Each rear door gets a usefully large door bin, there’s a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, and two USB-C charging ports in the middle. If you’d like to carry three passengers, you’ll find a totally flat floor and a reasonably comfortable middle seat.

Boot space

Boot space totals 450 litres - bigger than the pricier Ford Mustang Mach-e but less than a Volkswagen ID4 or a Kia EV6 which have 543 and 480 litres respectively. The top trim level gets an electric tailgate (with a piercingly loud chime when you open it) revealing a square, practical space. There’s space underneath the floor to store your charging cables, and you can fold the rear seats down in a 60:40 split to carry larger items.

There’s also a ski hatch allowing you to carry long, thin items between the two rear passengers. A couple of bag hooks and some deep wells just behind the rear wheels help keep things tidy, and there’s also a 12V socket. The rear seats drop easily and leave a totally flat floor.

And if you like towing a trailer or caravan, the Explorer’s available with a towbar - four-wheel drive models can tow up to 1.4 tonnes, which is still quite rare for an electric car. What’s missing is the front boot, or ‘frunk’ that some rivals such as the Tesla Model Y offer.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

High quality build, but touchscreen-driven interior isn’t the most intuitive to use

Like so many modern SUVs, the Ford Explorer has precious few physical buttons on the inside. Most items are controlled through the large 15.0-inch touchscreen in the centre, but what buttons remain are touch-sensitive and therefore not the easiest to use on the move.

The Ford Explorer’s column stalks aren’t totally self-explanatory either, with the right-hand stalk being the drive selector - leaving lights, wipers and indicators to cram onto the left-hand stalk all together. Even the window switches haven’t escaped - there are just two, with a further touch-sensitive button to switch between controlling the fronts and the rears.

It’s not all doom and gloom. The dashboard has a cool-looking soundbar on top of it, and material quality seems good throughout - the artificial leather seats in particular are nicer than the ones you get on a Tesla or a Volkswagen. The infotainment system itself doesn’t have the simplest interface, but all the virtual buttons are big enough to be easy to press which isn’t always the case. We like the shortcut buttons permanently at the top and bottom of the screen, and wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto cover off smartphone connectivity requirements.

Electric range, charging and tax

Official range figures for the Ford Explorer haven’t yet been finalised. The largest battery will offer around 335 miles of range according to official testing, and we’re expecting the figure for the smaller battery to be around 220 miles. These will inevitably be lower in real-world use, as is the same with every car.

Sharing its tech with the Volkswagen ID4 means the Explorer will offer largely similar range and charging figures. The ID4 can charge at 118kW, which means it can go from 10-80% in around 30 minutes at a suitably powerful public charger. On a 7.4kW home wallbox, a full charge will take around 8.5 hours. The Explorer won’t pay any road tax until 2025 and is exempt from congestion and emissions charges.

Safety and security

Again, nothing official here just yet, but we would expect the new Explorer to achieve a full five-star Euro NCAP rating. The Volkswagen ID4 on which the Explorer is based did just that in 2021.

All models will include a plethora of driver assistance and safety features including autonomous emergency braking, front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

Reliability and problems

Neither Ford nor VW (which supplies the battery and motor technology for the Explorer) are known for stellar reliability. The relative simplicity of electric cars should mean mechanical maladies are largely avoidable, but some EVs have suffered software bugs for a while after launch.

Ford’s standard warranty is three years or 60,000 miles and is pretty standard. It doesn’t look so generous compared to Kia’s seven years of cover, or Toyota’s ten. The battery will likely be covered for a period of eight years/100,000 miles, which is in line with most other manufacturers.

Buy or lease the Ford Explorer at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £45,875 - £55,275 Avg. Carwow saving £1,770 off RRP
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