Sales of the sixth-generation Ford Explorer sales are up nearly 15% through the first six months of 2020 compared to last year, despite this year's relentless disruptions to normalcy. That could be interpreted as the model hitting its stride, or a sign of how many sales the clumsy launch robbed from the crossover's first year on the market. Ford Authority got eyes on an order guide for the 2021 Explorer, revealing discounts across the entire lineup. Ford didn't explain its rationale for lowering the prices on all trims, but buyers who waited for what will be the third year on sale will benefit, saving more money the higher they go up the food chain. The base Explorer gets the smallest price cut of $540, coming to $33,470 after a $1,245 charge for destination. That figure more than erases the $400 MSRP bump that debuted with the sixth-gen Explorer.
The XLT trim and its returning Sport Appearance Package hop into four-figure savings, starting at $34,245 next year — a $2,925 drop compared to this year. The Explorer Limited will be $3,670 less expensive, starting at $45,955.
The base, XLT, and Limited deliver the same savings in rear- and all-wheel drive. The hybrid Limited HEV rear-wheel drive lops $2,675 off the price for next year, opening the bidding at $51,100. Go for AWD and the cutback climbs to $2,870, to an MSRP of $53,100. The remaining trims only come in AWD — the Explorer ST kicking off at $53,850, saving $2,135 compared to 2020, the 2021 Explorer Platinum charging $55,275, saving $3,770.
On the options list, there's another hefty discount on Equipment Group 202A that bundles LED fog lamps, ActiveX seating surfaces, an eight-way adjustable passenger's seat, and remote start. Instead of costing $4,140 as now, buyers will pay just $3,540.
These new prices are the biggest change for 2021 that we know of so far, the others being more colors added to the exterior palette and slight changes to the ST cabin. Ford Authority has caught prototypes of what it believes is an off-road-oriented model, perhaps an FX4 trim that will join the Explorer lineup. The 2021 crossover is scheduled to enter production September 21 at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant.
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