And chances are people will happily write Ford a check.
The redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer was unveiled at Detroit last month and its base price was also announced: $33,860, including destination. Compared to the outgoing model, that's a $400 increase. Not at all unreasonable. However, according to Autoblog, prices will become quite a bit more expensive once buyers start climbing the trim ladder. For example, the mid-range XLT will start at $37,700, a $2,275 increase from this year's model.
The new Explorer Limited will begin at $49,225 and it's still equipped with the base 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-four engine. For those who desire the Hybrid powertrain, which is only available on the Limited, will have to fork over an additional $3,555, bringing the SUV's price tag up to $52,780.
For the new ST trim, Ford is asking customers to write a check for at least $55,835, which gets them a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. By comparison, the 2020 Lincoln Aviator carries a starting price of $52,195, including destination. Both have the same engine, though the Explorer ST does have an additional 15 lb-ft. Is that worth an extra $3,640? For those who truly want a luxurious Explorer and, for whatever reason(s) are not interested in the Lincoln Aviator, there's the Platinum trim, beginning at $59,345 – a $4,085 increase over the 2019 Explorer Platinum.
As we previously reported, the Aviator can also get very expensive, climbing as high as just over $90,000 fully loaded. But still, a $60k Ford Explorer?
Fortunately, Ford's improvements to its long-running SUV are impressive, most notably the return to standard rear-wheel-drive, more cargo space, and a sleeker interior design. What will be interesting to observe is how many Explorer customers will be willing to pile on the options.
We can easily see the ST appealing to speed lovers, but beyond that, the Aviator may ultimately prove to be the preferred choice for luxury buyers instead of the more expensive than ever Explorer Platinum.