These days, consumers just can’t get enough crossovers and SUVs in their lives. Ford Motor Company has been happy to oblige over the last few years, axing its sedan lineup in the U.S. and replacing those models with a whole host of utility vehicles in all sorts of configurations and trims. One thing The Blue Oval does not currently offer, however, is a two-row Explorer, and we think that’s something it should definitely consider for a number of reasons.
For starters, as we reported last June, the Ford Edge will reportedly be discontinued at the end of its current lifecycle. This seems even more likely now that the Ford Oakville Assembly Plant, where the Edge is produced, will be retooled to build five electric vehicles in 2024.
The Edge’s departure leaves a large hole in FoMoCo’s lineup, as the automaker will no longer have a two-row, mid-size CUV to slot between the compact Ford Escape and the nearly full-size Ford Explorer. The Ford Bronco doesn’t fill that void either, as it’s a specialty body-on-frame SUV – not a crossover.
Ford could fill this gap quite easily with a two-row Explorer, much in the same way it did with the recently-launched two-row Ford Expedition XL STX. It might have to come up with a different name to distinguish the two-row Explorer from the rest of the lineup, however, as buyers could get a little confused between the Explorer ST and an STX model.
Regardless, this seems like a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to fill a rather large gap in Ford’s lineup. It would also result in a more affordable version of the popular crossover for those that don’t need the extra seating, a market that obviously exists given the presence of the Expedition XL STX. Now the question is – will Ford actually do it, or will it come up with an entirely new vehicle to replace the Edge?