The Ford Explorer isn't the first vehicle that comes to mind when we hear the word "sport," although the Blue Oval's engineers attempted to change that perception with the aptly named Ford Explorer Sport. Along with some visual changes, the Sport model benefits from a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 dispensing a stout 365 hp. The 2015 Ford Explorer, however, will offer a new trim package for buyers who want the Sport model's visual flair without its extra horsepower.
The 2015 Ford Explorer adds an $1195 Appearance package for XLT models that are powered by either a 290-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine or a 240-hp, 2.0-liter turbo-four. The package endows the Explorer with 20-inch wheels, a silver-painted grille, a bold chrome Explorer logo across the front edge of the hood, heated leather seats with Miko suede inserts, and specially badged floor mats. The Appearance pack also bundles MyFord Touch as standard. But while it looks like the racier, 365-hp Explorer Sport, this Appearance package offers no more performance than any other XLT model.
"We know consumers love the look of Explorer Sport; with this package, you get that for Explorer XLT," Ford Explorer brand manager Matt Zuehlk said in a statement. "It looks bold and rugged, and offers impressive technology at a surprising value."
The only other significant upgrades for the 2015 Ford Explorer concern the addition of 18-inch wheels as standard on the base car; a towing package becomes standard on the Explorer Sport; and there are three new paint colors, Bronze Fire Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Caribou Metallic, and Magnetic Metallic.
Pricing for the 2015 Ford Explorer rises slightly compared to the outgoing model. The base 2015 Ford Explorer now starts at $31,495 after destination, up $585 compared to the 2014 version. The 2015 Ford Explorer XLT is $33,795, the Limited costs $38,995, and the Explorer Sport is now $43,565.