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2019 June
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Car and Driver: Explore More: New Sport Appearance Package Unveiled for the Prolific Ford Explorer

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The Ford Explorer is riding the current SUV boom, with sales approaching 250,000 in 2015, a 19-percent increase over the previous year. But Ford seemingly will not rest until there’s an Explorer in every driveway. For the revised 2016 model, Ford already added a new, top-tier Platinum trim level and gave it the muscular 365-hp EcoBoost V-6 that previously was exclusive to the Sport. Now it’s making the Sport’s blackout grille and other visuals available on the lower-spec XLT model, with the new Sport Appearance Package.




The package gives the workingman XLT the bad-boy look of the Sport, with that grille and other black exterior trim, a black roof rack, and 20-inch wheels in dark gray. The interior gets a bit of visual spice, too, its gray seats boasting contrast stitching, leather bolsters, and microsuede inserts—the latter on the door panels, as well.


That spice doesn’t extend to the mechanicals, however. The XLT makes do with the standard, 290-hp naturally aspirated V-6 or, optionally, the more-economical, 280-hp 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four. If you want the 3.5-liter EcoBoost or the firmer suspension, you’ll have to spring for the genuine Sport. Ford hasn’t released pricing for the package—which arrives this fall with the 2017 model—but expect it to be a lot closer to the XLT’s $34,295 base price than to the nearly $10K-dearer Sport, which starts at $44,195.




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