New models rarely mean price drops, but in the case of the 2011 Ford Explorer, that's exactly what the all-new model means: a $1,000 savings over the 2010 Explorer. The base model will start from $28,995, equipped with the standard V-6 engine.
The news, released in several reports around the web, means the Explorer will sit just above the 2011 Edge, which starts at $27,220 and just a tick below the Flex, which starts at $29,075. If you're confused as to where each of the three crossovers sits in the hierarchy, you're not alone.
Ford says each of the three vehicles appeals to a specific--and different--target demographic. With the Edge pitched as a sporty, five-seat model, the Explorer as the do-it-all utility, and the Flex as the family cruiser with style and space, that makes sense. But on the other hand, they're all priced similarly, and both Explorer and Flex are based on the same platform. The real test of Ford's vehicle strategy will be played out on dealer lots.
There will be room to upgrade the 2011 Explorer, however, with XLT and Limited trims in addition to the base model. If you opt for the base, you can upgrade to the Trailer Tow Package, but that's it. Moving up to the $31,190 XLT adds 18-inch wheels, climate control leather accents, and the option to upgrade to SYNC and MyFord Touch among other convenience features in the $1,750 Options Package 1. The Limited trim starts from $37,190, but adds bling with 20-inch wheels, leather upholstery, standard SYNC and MyFord Touch, plus a host of electronics upgrades, with the ability to add its own Options Package 1, including a power liftgate, power-folding third row, heated and cooled front-row seats, and voice-activated navigation for $2,000. Package 2, which requires Package 1, costs another $2,000 and adds park assist, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control and collision warning system, blind-spot warning system, and HID headlamps.
In total, you can price the 2011 Ford Explorer Limited up to at least $41,190, putting it into the range of some luxury crossovers, such as the smaller 2011 BMW X3 and within spitting distance of the base 2011 BMW X5.
For the full details on the 2011 Explorer, check out our index to High Gear Media's coverage of the new 2011 Explorer.