Almost a year ago, we wrote about the Ford Explorer getting a facelift in its home market (the United States, of course). Now that that attractive refresh has finally arrived in our market, and judging by what we saw at the launch last night, the wait is worth it.
The first thing that probably went through our collective minds was: Why does this look familiar? Indeed, the Explorer Sport resembles the latest Range Rover Sport, thanks mostly to its sleeker and more squarish LED headlights. Also, the grille looks more refined due to a glossy, consistent design, doing away with the alternate slat-and-honeycomb look of the outgoing Explorer Sport.
For now, only the Explorer Sport will get the new face, while the lower variants will stick to the current fascia.
Power and torque from the 3.5-liter twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 remain unchanged at 365hp and 475Nm. We’d actually be a little afraid if those figures grew even more. It’s a good thing the Exporer Sport has large 20-inch tires with machined aluminum wheels to handle all the power.
Cabin changes include an enhanced sound package with engine subframe mounts tuned to reduce vibration. This will let passengers enjoy the Sony MP3-capable audio system with 12 speakers and a subwoofer. The Explorer Sport’s entertainment capabilities extend to dual LCD screens mounted on the first-row headrests.
For 2015, Ford’s popular SUV gets more toys in the form of a 180-degree camera in front, front park assist for the parking-challenged, smart-charging USB ports at the back for social-media addicts, and the hands-free liftgate that debuted in the Escape compact SUV.
The face-lifted Ford Explorer Sport is available in Tuxedo Black, White Platinum and Magnetic Metallic. The price increases slightly to P2,819,000, and Ford Philippines said it will be available at all its dealerships within the month.
It's going to be a sporty Christmas for some Ford customers.
Photos by Tracy Carpena