The Explorer Hybrid’s powertrain consists of a 3.3-liter V6 and an electric motor that combine to make 318 horsepower. It’s available on the Explorer’s Limited trim and standard on the Platinum trim. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) is the default for both trims, with four-wheel drive (4WD) optional. A ten-speed automatic modular hybrid transmission manages both drivetrains.
The EPA-estimated fuel economy is 27 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with RWD. With 4WD, the Limited is rated for 23 mpg around town and 26 mpg on the open road. This changes to 24 mpg on the highway for the Platinum with 4WD. When it’s equipped with the appropriate components, the Explorer Hybrid can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The standard equipment for the 2023 Explorer Hybrid Limited is upscale, with the highlights being remote start, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, LED exterior lighting (including fog lamps), automatic headlights, proximity keyless entry, a SecuriCode entry keypad, push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated power side mirrors with a power-folding feature and integrated turn signals, rear privacy glass, second-row sunshades, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, and 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The seating for the Limited reflects leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a ten-way power driver’s seat, an eight-way power front passenger seat, and a 50/50 split-folding third-row seat for two. Power-folding heated second-row captain’s chairs are standard, limiting capacity to six passengers, but a three-person bench seat is an optional alternative for that row.
The Platinum raises the bar with upgraded leather-trimmed seating with perforated inserts, a driver’s position memory system, a power-folding third-row seat, premium interior accents, a digital instrument panel, adaptive headlights, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, and 21-inch alloy wheels. Both the Limited and Platinum can be equipped with a second-row bench seat which increases the passenger capacity to seven. Rooftop crossbars, a moonroof, and massaging front seats (Platinum only) are individually offered as options.
All 2023 Explorer Hybrids come with multiple airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, and vehicle stability control. The Ford Co-Pilot360 safety system is also standard. This supportive technology package features forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping alert, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams. Both trims also get lane centering, adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, a 360-degree camera with split view, and front and rear parking sensors. The Platinum also comes with reverse brake assist.
The Limited relies on an 8-inch touchscreen display to manage the Explorer Hybrid’s infotainment system, while the Platinum gets a 10.1-inch touchscreen. The system also houses navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, SiriusXM satellite radio, multiple USB ports, a 110-volt outlet, and access to a Wi-Fi hotspot and FordPass Connect remote services. A 12-speaker B&O sound system comes with the Limited, while the Platinum gets a 14-speaker version. Buyers of the Limited trim can add the Limited Technology Package at the time of ordering to upgrade to the larger touchscreen and premium sound system. Platinum buyers can select the Premium Technology Package for multicontoured Active Motion front seats, another pair of speakers, and a superior LCD capacitive portrait touchscreen (with swipe and pinch-zoom capabilities).