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Comparison 2018 Ford Explorer Limited, XLT and Platinum

It’s been almost 30-years since Ford introduced the Explorer. The original 1991 model was a rugged, framed-based SUV. By comparison, the current Explorer, introduced in 2011, features a unibody construction. This gives the 7-passenger SUV more refined road manners and helps it fulfill its role as an adventure-oriented family hauler.

The Ford Explorer lineup

As the Explorer continues to evolve, it steadily remains the best-selling SUV in America. It features stylish good looks, a capable powertrain lineup and an abundance of advanced technology. For the 2018 model year, the ever-popular SUV is available in five trim levels: Base, XLT, Sport, Limited and Platinum.

Although it’s referred to as a base model, the entry-level Explorer is anything but basic. It comes with several high-level features, such as LED taillamps, a rearview camera (with a washer to keep it clean) and the SYNC infotainment system. And to improve the driving habits of young drivers, the base model comes with MyKey. This function allows parents to program the vehicle’s top speed and other parameters to prevent reckless driving.

2018 Ford Explorer
2018 Explorer
The XLT trim level has been offered since the Explorer first debuted in 1991. At that time, it was the middle-grade model, slotted between the XL and Eddie Bauer models. The XLT trim is still a great value that falls somewhere in the middle of pack. It gets a few upgrades from the base model, including LED headlights, Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start and a reverse-sensing system. Both Base and XLT models can be had with either a 3.5L V6 or a 2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. Front-wheel drive is standard with optional four-wheel drive available.

Things get swanky with the limited model. This trim level adds luxuries such as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats and power-adjustable pedals. There’s also a heated steering wheel, 3rd Row PowerFold seats and ambient lighting. Outside, the Limited model is more ornate as well, with a generous helping of chrome trim and 20-inch wheels. The limited comes standard with the turbocharged four-cylinder, though buyers can opt for the V6.

As the name implies, the Sport model is geared towards performance. It drops some of the creature comforts found in the limited, in exchange for a
turbocharged V6 engine and standard four-wheel drive. It also gets a firmer suspension and towing package to take advantage of the extra power. The Sport model looks as aggressive as it feels, thanks to its unique blacked-out trim and grille.

The Platinum trim level sits at the top of the Explorer hierarchy. These models have it all, from premium leather to a powerful turbocharged V6 engine. Other highlights include a panoramic sunroof, an automated parking system, Sony Premium audio and standard four-wheel drive. Much like the Limited, the Platinum model showcases a chromed out exterior and 20-inch wheels. Intelligent four-wheel drive comes standard for traction in any weather.

Visit Courtesy Ford

There’s an Explorer tailor fit to your needs. Stop by Courtesy Ford to find out which trim level is right for you. We have a wide selection of Ford SUVs to choose from.


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