Ford unveils redesigned 2025 Explorer featuring new digital experience

The redesigned 2025 Ford Explorer will be the automaker's first vehicle to feature the Ford Digital Experience

Ford Motor Company unveiled the new 2025 Explorer on Thursday, which will be the first vehicle to feature the Ford Digital Experience, which is designed to increase connectivity for customers.

"From the beginning, the Explorer is this distinctly American product," Ford general manager of family vehicles Jeff Marentic told FOX Business. "It’s America’s all-time best-selling SUV with more than 8 million units sold and close to 3.5 million still in operation, which is a big statement."

He explained that the redesigned 2025 Explorer standardizes a number of features in the 2025 Explorer’s four series that were previously optional but were very popular with customers. The new Explorer offers tools for customers going on vacations, towing a camper or boat, driving off-road and looking to stay connected using the new digital experience.

"What we’ve done is we’ve designed this thing and engineered this thing, and we’ve provided an Explorer for every customer," Marentic said. "We’re seeing this growing number of millennial and Gen Z parents, so as they get into the family life stage, enter this segment. They choose the Explorer based on their needs — their desire for the ability to travel, technology plays a really big role, all the connectivity and features that are provided."

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2025 Ford Explorer Platinum and ST

The 2025 Ford Explorer Platinum alongside the 2025 Ford Explorer ST. The redesigned Explorer is expected to arrive at dealers' lots in the second quarter of 2024. (Ford / Fox News)

Marentic said that the interior redesign included the materials, colors, surfaces and digital displays, as well as wireless chargers — with customizable displays as a key feature.

"We have a little over 12-inch digital instrument cluster and a 13-inch center stack so the display just in between the two seats, so you have almost two feet of screens, and it just provides this really easy view of information and anything that we do relative to connectivity," Marentic said. 

2025 Ford Explorer ST

The 2025 Ford Explorer ST. (Ford / Fox News)

Both the 13-inch touchscreen and the digital cluster can display navigation screens that are integrated with Google Maps.

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The Ford Digital Experience prioritizes the use of voice with Google Assistant serving as the default voice assistant and Amazon’s Alexa Built-In is available as an alternative for in-vehicle controls like temperature, search information, getting directions and tuning the radio. It can also help to make calls, send texts, schedule meetings and control connected home devices.

2025 Ford Explorer ST

The digital touchscreen in the 2025 Ford Explorer ST. (Ford / Fox News)

When parked, the new Explorer lets customers watch videos and stream using YouTube, Prime Video and more. They can also surf the web with the Vivaldi Browser, while Google Chrome is being integrated, or play games through Google Play. The 2025 Explorer can also serve as a Wi-Fi hotspot, connecting up to 10 mobile devices to the internet.

Customers who buy the 2025 Explorer will get one year of complimentary premium connectivity offered at the time of purchase. Ford is still determining whether it will offer monthly or annual subscriptions for the connectivity and whether it will expand or enhance that service, with details set to be announced at a later date. 

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2025 Ford Explorer ST

The wireless device chargers in the 2025 Ford Explorer ST. (Ford)

The new Explorer also continues to uphold the off-road credentials of its predecessors and looks to meet the needs of customers who go on road trips or tow campers or boats for outdoor recreation.

"We know that 90% of Explorer customers use their vehicles for vacations and, surprisingly, Millennial customers are more than 50% more likely to go camping and fishing, so they use this thing in a manner that it was designed and intended to be used, which is fabulous," Marentic said. 

2025 Ford Explorer Platinum

The 2025 Ford Explorer Platinum. (Ford / Fox News)

He added that younger buyers are also "more apt than most other large SUV customers to tow," which is why Ford standardized features like trailer tow.

Ford consolidated the 2025 Explorer into four series, down from eight in the prior year. Those include the value-based Active series, which starts at an MSRP of $41,220; the ST-Line; the ST series, which has a 400hp 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine; and the Platinum series, which has the 400hp 3.0-liter EcoBoost available, as well. 

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2025 Ford Explorer Platinum

The interior of the 2025 Ford Explorer Platinum. (Ford / Fox News)

Ford’s BlueCruise hands-free highway driving will be available in the Explorer’s ST-Line, ST and Platinum models.

The company also reduced the number of unique parts in the new Explorers to make it easier for the plant to produce, with the configurations that customers and dealers are ordering.

"What we’ve done is we’ve standardized so much content that customers would typically have already gone and checked the box and ordered this, so the whole thing that we’re trying drive is value — that this is such a tremendous value at the price point we offer," Marentic explained.

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Ordering for the 2025 Explorer opens Thursday, with vehicles expected to begin arriving at dealers’ lots in the second quarter of 2024.

The 2025 Ford Explorer will officially debut at the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 8.

The Explorer is manufactured at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant, which also makes the Police Interceptor Utility vehicles and Lincoln Navigators.