One of the worst kept secrets in the last couple years was the Ford Explorer refresh as photos and information from Chinese models similar and lots of spy photos have been circulating for years. In fact this was originally supposed to be a 2024 model but was pushed back another model year but finally arrives early as a 2025.

At first blush it appears not many changes but there are some pretty big shifts in what’s offered and what isn’t that could make or break a purchase decision for some.

Like most refresh programs the new 2025 Ford Explorer gets minor nips and tucks in the styling department. These include new headlights, grille and fascia designs that refine its look – one that is familiar already since photos have been around a while. It’s fresh though. At the rear are new tail lamps and wheels all around are given new designs from 18 to 21-inches in size.

What is most new in terms of design can be found inside where the interior is completely redesigned. This is a welcome move as the previous cabin has long been panned as cheap and uninspired for the price point.

Soft stitched materials and more premium looking forms surround on the all-new dash, door panels and redesigned center console. A new palette of colors and finishes and materials will be offered depending on the trim grade. Ahead of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital screen instrument cluster.

Center stage is a new larger infotainment screen that showcases what they are calling the “Ford Digital Experience”. The first Ford model to offer the next generation infotainment system, it features a 13.2-inch touchscreen.

If offers a wide range of expanded connectivity features , entertainment and travel related information content too long to list– much of which is subscription based. It can even host apps for playing video games with an included controller when parked. To set the mood LED ambient lighting is standard on top trim grades that offers seven different colors.

Based on a rear-wheel-drive biased platform not to distant from the Mustang, the Ford Explorer has been a favorite for its driving performance and handling characteristics so they didn’t mess with a good thing.

As you can see from the video and pictures Ford is showing us, the performance minded ST model returns for 2025. Under its hood is the 400-horsepower twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 and a 10-speed automatic transmission. Best of all you can order it in either rear-wheel-drive only as well as all-wheel-drive.

The 300-horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost four carries over for 2025 with no changes. The hybrid model however is missing in action. Dropped in the 2024 model year, it’s not coming back for 2025 either.

What’s also been dropped for 2025 are a lot of trim grades. Previously offered in a dizzying array of eight different trims, the range has been pared down to only four choices: Active, ST-Line, Platinum and ST. Trims Base, XLT, Limited and even the off-road themed Timberline are all history. History too are color choices, down to about five across the board all in cool tones mostly of black, gray, red, white and blue.
If there is good news, you won’t have to wait for it. Order banks for the 2025 Ford Explorer are now open which means you can get with your dealership and get your name on one for future production. Prices start at about $40,000 for the Active model and range up to $56,000 for an ST. All plus options, delivery, etc.