Ford Explorer

ford explorer review 2024 01 front cornering
ford explorer review 2024 01 front cornering

The Ford Explorer is a new Ford like no other. The fact that it’s based on a Volkswagen architecture is remarkable enough, that it takes the place of the Fiesta on its production lines in Cologne perhaps more so. Oh, and it resets the notion of a mainstream, mass-market family-sized Ford as a car that is now electric and starts at £40,000.

The new Explorer is not just a new Ford, then - a significant enough event itself - yet the boldest embodiment of entirely new approach for the Blue Oval in Europe. The strategy has been to replace high-volume, low-margin models like the Fiesta and Focus with more profitable crossovers like the Puma and now the Explorer, ‘legacy’ names being rebooted in the process.

This isn’t a fringe manufacturer tinkering around with the margins of its range. It’s Ford, the UK’s number one car maker and maker of its number one car in the Fiesta for as long as anyone can remember, but with the demise of the Fiesta it is no more on either count, and the brand is clinging onto a place in the top five in the UK’s sales charts.


The Explorer’s development has not been easy. It was delayed by over a year and re-engineered late on to take advantage of more advanced battery technology, and Martin Sander, who has led the company throughout its development and been the spokesperson for this new Ford of Europe, including being the face of the Fiesta news, left Ford to join Volkswagen just a week before the first test drives.

That’s quite a lot to unpick, yet whatever the narrative to date only one thing really matters now: is it any good to drive? The pretty yet sodden roads around Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, will reveal all.