2021 Ford Explorer XLT Review: Bringing the Team Together

2021 Ford Explorer XLT

There is a parking spot’s amount of stuff lying beside the SUV.

Four of us are trying to determine how we’re going to fit everything into the 2021 Ford Explorer. It’s the last week of summer, but more importantly, it’s my cousin’s bachelor party. A Marvel fan to the very core, he’ll face six different challenges over the next 48 hours to win his own Infinity Stones, and the first one is staring him down in a Toronto underground parking garage. We—okay, mostly him, but the co-best men and I are here for support—need to fit three golf bags, a TV and some video game systems, food and drinks for nine, and all the other accessories needed for a weekend in cottage country.

The process is neither fast nor pretty, but eventually, the Explorer is packed to the rafters. Space stone duly earned, the man of the weekend installs himself into the front seat as the best men get into the second row, a wall of stuff separating them. The Explorer has passed its first test, too. Ford’s three-row is a spacious, comfort-first hauler, and while it has its foibles, the big SUV will end up ably handling everything the team asks of it over the next 350 miles.

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Detailed Specs

Price / $36,760 - $52,875
Engine / 2.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder / 3.3-liter 6-cylinder + hybrid / 3.0-liter turbo 6-cylinder
Horsepower / 300 hp / 318 hp / 400 hp
Torque / 310 lb-ft. / 322 lb-ft. / 415 lb-ft.
Drivetrain / RWD / AWD
Transmission / 10AT
Fuel Economy (city/hwy) / 18-27 mpg / 21-28 mpg
Cargo capacity / 18.2 cu ft.

Our Final Verdict

Ford Explorer