2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

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2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Review: Eco-Friendly

The Ford Explorer is one of the best-selling crossover SUVs in the USA, and an all-new model showed its face in 2020. Along with the new Explorer came a hybrid model, which is back for 2021 with a few changes. The Ford Explorer Hybrid is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 engine mated to an electric motor that produces a combined 318 horsepower and 322 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels or the rear via a 10-speed automatic transmission. Last year the Hybrid was only available in Limited trim, but Ford now offers its eco-friendly SUV in top-of-the-range Platinum trim as well. While the Ford Explorer Hybrid is a capable SUV, it's not really designed for extreme off-road shenanigans, and while the hybridized powertrain offers improved fuel economy over the regular gasoline version, it's not class leading in terms of mpg. With competition from the brand-new hybrid Kia Sorento and the evergreen Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Explorer Hybrid is going to need to work a little harder to really stand out in the segment.

Read in this review:

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2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2020 Explorer Hybrid?

The hybrid Explorer was introduced last year and remains mostly unchanged for 2021, but Ford now offers the Hybrid in Platinum trim. While Limited models get access to RWD or 4WD, the Platinum trim can only be paired with four-wheel drive. Both new Ford Explorer hybrid trims also get an eight-way power-adjustable front passenger's seat; oddly, last year's non-hybrid Platinum had a 10-way power front passenger seat. There are numerous other small changes to the lineup such as the addition of a few new exterior colors (Carbonized Gray, Infinite Blue, and Stone Gray) and improved interior finishes.

Pros and Cons

  • Lively powertrain
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Looks good
  • Available in RWD and AWD
  • Excellent NHTSA review
  • Competitors offer more passenger space
  • Some iffy interior materials
  • The gas mileage isn't that great

Best Deals on 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Hybrid Limited
3.3L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
10-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
Four-Wheel Drive
Hybrid Platinum
3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Hybrid
10-Speed Automatic
Four-Wheel Drive

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Exterior

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Front Angle View Ford
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Rear Angle View Ford
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Front Angle View 1 Ford
See All 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Exterior Photos


  • Wheelbase 119.1 in
  • Height 69.9 in
  • Max Width 78.9 in
  • Front Width 66.9 in
  • Rear Width 66.9 in
  • Curb Weight 4,345.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Infinite Blue Metallic Tinted Clearcoat +$395
  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat +$395
  • Rich Copper Metallic Tinted Clearcoat +$395
  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat +$395
  • Star White Metallic Tri-Coat +$595
  • Forged Green Metallic
  • Agate Black Metallic
  • Iconic Silver Metallic
  • Carbonized Gray Metallic
  • Stone Gray Metallic
  • Atlas Blue Metallic
  • Blue Metallic
  • Magnetic Metallic
  • Silver Spruce Metallic
  • Oxford White

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Performance

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Front View Driving Ford
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Rear View Driving Ford
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Steering Wheel Design Ford

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    3.0L Twin-Turbo V6 Hybrid, 3.3L Turbo Inline-4 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    10-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    4X4, RWD

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Interior

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Dashboard Ford
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Central Console Ford
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Window Controls Ford
See All 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Front Leg Room 43.0 in
  • Front Head Room 40.7 in
  • Rear Leg Room 39.0 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.5 in

Explorer Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Rear Passenger Seats Ford
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Trunk Space Ford
2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid Trunk Space 1 Ford
  • Trunk Volume
    18.2 ft³

Explorer Hybrid Safety


  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

Verdict: Is the 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid A Good SUV?

The mid-size SUV class is one of the most competitive markets in the US, and the Ford Explorer has managed to remain competitive for six generations. The 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid forms part of an accomplished family that includes some impressive gas engines and some decent features. Still, we can't help but feel that the hybrid powertrain feels like somewhat of an afterthought. Even Ford doesn't seem keen to flaunt the hybrid's capabilities (a small badge on the tailgate is all you get), because to be honest, it doesn't offer that much more efficiency. It's plenty powerful enough, but you might as well go for the twin-turbo V6 engine and pay a few bucks more for gas. The good news is that if you're really keen on a hybrid, Ford now offers the Explorer Hybrid in Platinum trim, which means you get all the bells and whistles. On the plus side, decent powertrain specs mean a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs, and the NHTSA's safety review of the Ford Explorer Hybrid resulted in a five-star overall score.

What's the Price of the 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid?

The Ford Explorer hybrid is only available in two trim levels, namely Limited and Platinum. The price of the Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited in RWD guise is $50,105 MSRP excluding tax, registration, and a destination fee of $1,245. For 4WD, you pay $2,000 extra. The top of the range Platinum trim adds some tasty standard features but only comes in AWD guise, and for that, you pay extra: this model will set you back $53,335 without options added to that price.

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