The Ford Explorer hybrid got its EPA ratings finally. They're an improvement over the base 2.3 liter 4-cylinder delivering 27 city, 29 highway, 28 combined for the most efficient RWD model. That is an improvement of 6 mpg for city and 4 mpg combined. The AWD model comes in a bit lower at 23 city, 26 highway, and 25 combined. Unlike the Lincoln Aviator GT, the Ford Explorer Hybrid is not a plug-in model.
Powered by a 3.3 liter V6 plus the electrified drive train, the Explorer hybrid has a lot more power than the 4-cylinder with 318 horsepower and 322 lb-ft of torque. It comes with the same 10-speed automatic that all Explorers come with. Compared to the 2.3 liter turbo with 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, we expect the Hybrid to feel faster and more refined due to the extra torque at the low end from the electric motor.
The Explorer Hybrid has more power and torque than its only direct competition, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The Highlander does slightly better in fuel economy, but comes up 1,500 lbs short in towing capacity, though the next generation Highland Hybrid is supposed to get 34 mpg in front-wheel drive form.
The Explorer Hybrid is available as a Limited trim model and starts at $51,780 after delivery charge, a $3,555 increase over an equivalent Limited trim.