Ford Authority

2023 Ford Explorer Arrives Later This Year Completely Unchanged

Following a redesign for the 2020 model year, the Ford Explorer received a few changes for 2022, including the addition of standard rear-wheel drive for the ST, the new ST-Line trim, and a few other minor tweaks. Meanwhile, a refreshed Ford Explorer was recently revealed in China sporting a different look and a revised interior compared to its North American counterpart. It would make sense to assume that the U.S. Explorer would follow suit, but as Ford Authority reported yesterday, that isn’t likely to happen. Now, sources familiar with the matter have told Ford Authority that the 2023 Ford Explorer will arrive later this year, completely unchanged from the 2022 model year.

The 2023 Ford Explorer will carryover from the 2022 model with no changes to trim levels or colors, though it’s possible Ford may offer a few tweaks later in the model year, but those would represent relatively minor changes, and nothing resembling the refresh that the Chinese version of the long-running crossover recently received.

As Ford Authority reported in June, 2023 Explorer order banks are scheduled to open up on August 11th, 2022, while production is slated to begin at the Chicago Assembly plant on November 7th, 2022. But while this particular model won’t introduce any changes for the new model year, bigger things are on the horizon.

Chinese 2023 Ford Explorer

That includes the launch of the all-electric Explorer and Lincoln Aviator, which were originally expected to launch in 2023 but have since been pushed back to late 2024. These two EVs won’t be built at the Chicago plant or the Cuautitlan Assembly Plant in Mexico alongside the Ford Mustang Mach-E as originally planned, though a recent report indicates that each could instead be produced at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada following its forthcoming retooling for EV production.

We’ll have more on the Explorer soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Explorer news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. DWH

    It’s obvious that Ford is putting a lot of eggs in their China basket and leaving the US basket less than half full. Building a redesigned 2023 Explorer that includes more and improved technology for China happens from reduced manufacturing costs using their Chinese partners. My concern is like the US economy. China us having it’s issues. Threats continue to fly from China toward the US regarding Taiwan. A conventional war with China would cost Ford their entire China operations and billions of dollars that would likely destroy FMC. Unfortunately it seems Ford is taking the US customers for granted. That could be a hugh issue if the Chinese market tanks.

  2. JimL

    So disappointing. The Explorer desperately needs a completely re-designed dash.

  3. CarlJ

    China gets all the good stuff. Sedans, upgrades, Sedans, better refinements, Sedans. Oh, did I mention Sedans?? USA Ford gets the garbage that we don’t want. Time to buy non-Ford. The Celestiq is going to be the new “Escalade” of high-end luxury. Hummer and Chevy EV crush Ford F-150. Hoping Ram surpasses F150 which could happen too. Not a great time to be a Fordie.

    1. JarlC


  4. JJ

    Sorry Ford, you are a AMERICAN company, but you sure don’t act like it. Thanks for revamping the China market while you forget about your home.

    1. James H

      Hard to buy “Made in the USA” anymore. I want to support the US and US companies, but Ford doesn’t seem to care about that any longer. It’s hard to even say that Ford is a US company now.

  5. Walter Thomas

    Ford obviously is not try at all to be competitive. The Explorer is the worst in its segment for being an all rounder for having a striking exterior and interior. The exterior is nice but most definitely could be updated. The interior is awfully bland, boring and lacks a real thoughtful design. How could Ford be an American brand but Americans gets the WORSE of the companies efforts. All models outside of the US looks a lot better than the loads of poorly built crap they throw together for the US.

  6. JB

    I’m fine with them leaving the outside as is. All I want is and updated dash that doesn’t have a ipad duct taped to it, some decent seats/interior that you would expect for a 50-60k suv and you know maybe…. SYNC 4 that came out in 2019/20

  7. Andrew Sommers

    I miss the body on frame Explorer’s or what I like to call a true SUV not the CUV the Explorer has become!!

    1. Dee

      I hear you, Andrew. I am the original owner of a 2002 body-on-frame 4×4 Explorer XLS (base model) with 133,000 miles on the odometer. For an extra $1,000 I got the (sport package? ) – not sure if that’s what it was actually called. Anyway, the package included rear AC, alloy wheels, tinted rear windows, and black running boards — a steal at the time and could never come close to a price like that now! When in 2WD it’s powered by the rear wheels and handles, well, like only a 2WD can! I live in the Rocky Mtns. and when those curvy mountain roads are dry, the rear-wheel drive makes my Explorer handle like a dream — which is the main reason I was interested in the 2022 or 2023 model Explorers. I say “was” interested because the pricing, in my opinion, has gotten way too high for what you get. I think that’s why many potential buyers now lean toward the Traverse, Telluride, Palisade, Highlander, and Pilot– all of which seem to offer more for the dollar. Sorry Ford, but you have lost this loyal Ford customer. In 2002, with big rebates at the time, I was out the door for $25K. Those were the days!

  8. noway

    My wife was waiting for the new and improved version of the 2023 (Chinese) ford. She is not happy and Ford has lost a sell (would have been a return customer). We will pass on the crappy one and move to a different brand. Good luck!

    1. James H

      I agree!!!! Any of these companies doing business in China have lost my sale. Good luck (not really) Ford. I wonder what the UAW thinks about all of this “cheap” Chinese labor and “first to market” attitude Ford keeps throwing in the face of the US market and its workers. I used to be a Ford/Lincoln guy…not so much anymore.

    2. cathy

      China??? I’m done buying fords and that would have been my 6th

    3. cathy


  9. Nonspecific Motors

    Ford needs to bring the Everest here to compete with the 4Runner.

  10. Dan

    I want to buy a brand new Explorer but wanted the Chinese version model. WTF? Damn. I will have to look elsewhere now for an SUV. I well, I love the Explorer but I’m not gonna spend 50K for a new one that looks very similar to the one I have right now (2018). I’m surprised at FORD. They going woke as well?

    1. DH

      Woke? Lol you need to touch grass

      1. Bruce Fennie

        My reaction to the 2023 Explorer disappointment as well as the lack of my local ford dealers interest in talking about the 2023 model is to trade in my 2020 Explorer Limited for either a Highlander or Palisade both of which have significantly better interiors and are certainly rated better. They also have a much better transmission. I have researched them thoroughly and driven them. As a person with 4 fords, I hate switching but the alternatives are much better value.

  11. Ohio Carl

    I am a Ford / Lincoln buyer for many years and I am also upset that the Chinese and Europe
    get the upgraded Explorer when the county that made Ford gets the old design. Was going
    to order a 2023 now I am on the fence. I wonder if you could import a Chinese Explorer ?

  12. Ed

    My wife has a 2016 Explorer that she was planning on trading in for a 2023 revised model. When she learned we are not getting it here in the US, she ended up buying a new Mitsubishi Outlander that she’s very happy with.

  13. Mf

    Real miss for Ford. Explorer desperately needs an interior refresh, the current interior is worst than the last gen, amd is easily worst in class. They’ve got a great chassis, ok powertrains that win on power, but an insanely cheap interior.

  14. Matthew

    I currently own a 2016 Ford Explorer. It is the third Explorer I have purchased. I was considering purchasing the 2023 Explorer but upon learning that Ford it is now the “Chinese Ford Explorer,” I will no longer consider it. Very disappointed in you Ford.

  15. Dave P

    Ford lost another long time customer. The US market can’t get rear hvac controls, but China gets a 27 inch LCD screen. Another US company that cares more about the CCP than people that built their brand.

  16. Mark

    Wow, really frustrating, I’ve been waiting to switch from my 2018 explorer but the crappy interior of the new gen and also Sync 3 have held me from buying, was really hoping for the 2023 to be refreshed, but now this news means I’ll be buying from another brand, bye bye ford.

  17. Specker

    Ordered a new 22 XLT 5 months ago—only to have it show up today with roof pushed in from transport damage AND also missing part of the tech package (memory seats and mirrors). I think I’ll just refuse to take delivery. Bad feelings about this one…..

  18. Robert

    I am just curious if Ford Management reads these posts on how many of their loyal followers are disappointed with many of their choices with the American market. I myself am disappointed that this American Auto company has many great updates with the Chinese and European markets and cannot re-tool their assembly lines in the same year as the other markets. It seems the American market always has to wait an extra year minimun when updates are made in other markets. America seems to always be on the back burner. To me it is apparent that the Chinese also did not like the interior of the Ford Explorer and that is why they made changes. From reading many of the posts, I feel the soon to be lost loyal followers feel the same way about the interior of the current Ford Explorer and they are going to move on to other brands. Anyway as I was writing this I did not expect to write this much, but as I was writing I had more and more to say.
    BTW I was interested in the 2023 Chinese Ford Explorer as an American version but not the 2023 American Ford Explorer with no changes from the 2022.

  19. James

    Not sure what all the bellyaching is about. We have 2x Broncos, the Maverick, a redesigned Escape, a new Ranger coming, and probably the Everest (which is epic). Ford isn’t forgetting the US market at all.

    In my opinion, 2022 Explorer design stands out from the sea of other import crossovers in the market and looks very sophisticated. I would highly recommend driving a Platinum, ST, or Timberline before opting not to buy. You will immediately fall in love with the car. I did. The RWD bias for normal driving makes the handing so much better 90% of the crossovers out there. Safety tech is excellent with copilot and adaptive headlights. Ford has the Explorer dialed in right now for the US market and its selling better than its competitors. I just say don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

    1. Robert

      James – Thank you for reading my Post and your reply. Glad to know the US in not forgetting the US market.



  21. John D. McKay

    We have been buying Fords for over 25 years, currently in a 2017 Explorer Limited, and we love it. We were planning on a new 2023 Explorer, not going to happen now, maybe a 2024 Explorer. If Ford doesn’t care enough about it’s US market and customers that it feels the need to cater to China, than I don’t want to give them my business, and the 2024 will be the deal breaker. Would Ford rather be a Chinese company that US?

  22. jim nasium

    4 ford explorers in a row. last 2 being the ST version. Now these bastards send china and japan a better model. really? i’m no longer buying ford. go screw yourselves.

    1. jim nasium

      and both my 2015 Sport and 2017 Sport had to have the turbos replaced right at the 60,000 mile mark. such a shame. try to buy american and they treat you like this. this is why we are in such a mess

  23. Chari Luporini-Jock

    The ipad afterthought design is something I cannot get past. I’ve been looking for a new Explorer and saw the version released in China. Now we in the US are stuck with the same afterthought of a design. No thanks, time to look at another brand.

  24. Rick

    The Explorer AWD system is electronic and not a true AWD. That ended it for me. I need real AWD or 4wd for snow. All improvements went to their Chicom market, leaving US customers with cheap plastic, low rent interiors and sub-par design. Pass


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