Ford Authority

2024 Ford Explorer Refresh For North America Begins Testing

Following the debut of the current-gen Ford Explorer back in 2020, the long-running crossover underwent a handful of changes for the 2022 model year – including the addition of standard rear-wheel drive for the ST, the new ST-Line trim, and a few other minor tweaks – yet will enter 2023 essentially unchanged. With the Explorer receiving its own unique refresh in China recently, many have wondered when, exactly, the North American version will receive updates as well. That will happen when the refreshed 2024 Ford Explorer launches – which is likely to happen later in 2023 – but sources familiar with the matter have told Ford Authority that the revised crossover is already in the testing phase.

It’s unclear what sort of changes the 2024 Ford Explorer will bring for North American customers, but the recently-refreshed Chinese version features a unique front end, 21-inch Turbine fan wheels, and a massive 27-inch coast-to-coast touchscreen inside the cabin. The Explorer was treated to its own host of unique touches for the Chinese market to cater to customers there, however, which makes it unlikely that they’ll wind up in the North American version.

Meanwhile, the all-electric Explorer and Lincoln Aviator will reportedly enter production at the Oakville Assembly plant in Canada – which will soon be retooled for the production of five all-electric models – in late 2024 for the 2025 model year. The Blue Oval also reportedly teased the Explorer EV to select dealers, showing them some early video renderings of the electrified crossover that featured a large touchscreen similar to the unit present in the Ford F-150 Lightning and Ford Mustang Mach-E.

In the meantime, 2023 Ford Explorer order banks are already open, and production is currently slated to begin at the Chicago Assembly plant on November 7th, 2022. The 2023 Ford Explorer will carry over 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 like the refreshed Chinese version.

We’ll have more on the 2023 Explorer soon, so subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest Ford Explorer news and continuous 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. LWA

    No chance that this thing is defect free. I wouldn’t buy the first two model years of this refresh.

    1. Julio

      I have a 2o2o Explorer ST and had no issues, remember is I see a Pallisade or a Kia I’ma eat u for lunch! If fake ass wood interior weak ass engine. I might have a basic interior but I have a superior 400 powerful engine which still gets 22 mpg on the HW suckas

  2. Mf

    The refresh should be priority #1. The worst in class interior really holds explorer back. It’s a great chassis with good engine options, and an overall useful size. But the interior is an embarrassment above the basic trims, especially for their lofty price points.

    1. maybeford

      agreed. The exterior is fine. Can do with some improvements for 2024 year sure….but that interior, oh wow, it is one of the most garbage interiors in a modern car for its price point.

      Had a slight interest in buying an ST for my wife but that thought only lasted one day after i read about the awful infotainment system.

  3. JDE

    I honestly think part of the reason the Palisade and and Telluride are so popular and inversely why the the Exploder is less so is because of the engine options. We do not need 400HP in a commuter SUV. we need 300 maybe if we get the tow package, but what we really need is peace of mind that we do not have turbo leaks and coolant cracks in the #2 and #3 cylinders. a tried and true 3.8 v6 making adequate HP in a fresh package for a lot less money is much more appealing than a questionable build quality road burner that often seems to just burn on the side of the road.

    1. Vinny

      Kia’s lackluster engine is exactly why I went with the explorer st, speak for yourself. Explorer st is competing on mercedes gle53 level, kia is not.

      1. Mf

        Only in hp. The interior of the explorer and all the stuff in that interior is a joke, and doesn’t hold a candle to any other vehicle in its class or even near it.

    2. Vinny

      Also kia/hyundai is bang for your buck/value “luxury” vehicle that’s why it’s popular.

    3. Mf

      No, it’s because the Kia and Hyundai are huge inside, have incredibly high quality interiors, awesome warranties, nice looking and functional electronics, and features a class above.

      Explorer has none of those attributes. The 400hp v6 and great chassis ate the only reason to buy explorer. And while the 2.3t is fine, it’s not as effortless feeling around town as the Hyundai v6.

  4. Michael K

    Remember when the 2020 Explorer launched and they had to roll back the price by thousands? I have to think any update is going to pull cost out of the Explorer, rather than add to it (similar to other updates like the upcoming Escape refresh). Although I’m sure they’ll make some severely overdue tech upgrades, I expect plenty of ugly cost-cutting to go with it.

  5. Michael Bol

    I don’t know why people buy this, for 10+ years it is one of the worst reliable vehicles on the road, including this year, it also was the number one buyback in the ‘cash for clunkers’ scheme. Time to start over with a new vehicle and really test them, get the bugs out first.

    1. Robert.Walter

      Are you seriously lumping all explorers together? And trying to infer that the cash for clunkers vehicles from near a decade and a half ago are some kind of proxy indicator for current production vehicles?

      That’s nuts man!

      One reason the explorers were popular is that they sold 1/2 million of them a year next to the f-series and Ranger they were among the best selling vehicles in their time.

      When you have one of the best selling vehicles then become a rattletrap nearly 20 years old that can claim a rebate, it might just turn out to be one of the most popular clunkers.

      Funny how that happens.

      It might also stand as testimonial to the durability of these vehicles that many were around long enough to be scrapped under this program.

  6. John F

    The interior is an embarrassment. Ford needs to take the whole cabin back to the drawing board. I purchased a 2022 Palisade SEL AWD based on two factors compared to the Explorer:

    1. Interior design and quality of the fit and finish. As a lifelong Ford owner, it made me sad to see what the engineers slapped together from the parts bin. Gaps and uneven seams EVERYWHERE. They also reused the lock/seat memory switchgear from a 2013 Fusion in a $60,000 vehicle in 2022. Sickening.

    2. 4-cylinder engine in any configuration under $55,000. Turbo or not, I’m not purchasing a nearly 4,800 lb. vehicle with a 4-cylimder engine. The unrefined nature of that base drivetrain with the constantly hunting 9-speed and buzzy, small displacement engine contribute to the terrible driving experience.

    1. troverman

      The turbo 2.3L is more powerful than what is in your Hyundai. There is no 9-speed in the Explorer. Volvo XC90 is a considerably nicer vehicle than either of these, and is offered only with a 4-cylinder turbo, and at a much higher price.


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