The new Ford Explorer recently went on sale in China, where it has been well-received. In fact, during its first two weeks on the market, FoMoCo has received 2,000 orders for the three-row crossover. The Chinese-market Ford Explorer is identical to the model sold in North America, except for a few small but important differences, like a different front fascia, which makes us ask – which one is the better-looking?
The Chinese-market Explorer features a larger grille than the version sold in America. The biggest and most noticeable difference is that the front grille is taller and occupies more real estate on the front end, thereby eliminating the small slot/intake below the grille that’s included on the U.S. model.
Additionally, the grille on the Chinese-market Ford Explorer also appears to be wider, extending further toward the lower accent lights.
To accommodate the taller and wider grille, FoMoCo designers massaged the front bumper cover. As a result, the Chinese model’s LED running lights are positioned differently within their housings, and the bumper cover’s surface treatment under the headlights doesn’t extend forward as much as on the U.S.-market model.
The Chinese-market Ford Explorer also has a different trim level structure and engine lineup. All Explorer models in China are powered by Ford’s 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine. Meanwhile, the base trim is the Fashion Edition, which comes standard with rear-wheel drive. From there, Ford offers three other trims – Titanium, ST-Line Sports Edition, and Platinum Edition; all three have AWD as standard.
The 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine is not offered in the Chinese-market Explorer, and there is no high-performance ST model, as the ST-Line feature the looks of the ST, without the enhancements to powertrain or suspension.
Besides the front fascia and trim level differences, the rest of the Chinese-market Ford Explorer is remarkably close to its counterpart sold in the U.S. The vehicles’ sides and rear ends are identical, with the exception of the quad exhausts outlets included on some U.S.-market models, which are absent on Chinese models.