Does The Ford Explorer Have Front-Wheel Drive? Unveiling It’s Shift!

Does The Ford Explorer Have Front-Wheel Drive?

A photo of a Ford Explorer - Does The Ford Explorer Have Front-Wheel Drive?
Does The Ford Explorer Have Front-Wheel Drive? Image source: Wikipedia


Does The Ford Explorer Have Front-Wheel Drive?


The Ford Explorer, an impressive crossover SUV, excels in both urban commuting and tackling tough off-road terrains.

Its extensive range of packages and configurations might overwhelm potential buyers.

So, is front-wheel drive available for the Ford Explorer?

In the latest Ford Explorers, a rear-wheel drive platform comes standard, a departure from the front-wheel drive setup in the outgoing models.

These new models also feature a cutting-edge four-wheel drive system known as Intelligent 4WD, akin to the all-wheel drive choice in alternative vehicles.


Is The Ford Explorer Front- Or Rear-Wheel Drive?


In contrast to the front-wheel drive (FWD) platform of the outgoing Ford Explorer base models, the latest models feature rear-wheel drive (RWD) architecture and offer an optional Intelligent 4WD feature.

The RWD models align their engines in the same direction as the vehicles.

A notable shift from the previous transverse engine placement found in the front-wheel drive models.

In technical terms, the engines in the RWD Explorers are positioned “longitudinally.”

So, what prompted the change in transmission layout?

The decision aligns with the configuration seen in pickup trucks, performance vehicles, and certain SUVs, where longitudinal engines contribute to increased power, superior handling, and enhanced towing capabilities.

While power and handling haven’t traditionally been the primary focus of Ford Explorer owners, the automaker anticipates a shift in this trend.

With SUVs becoming more prevalent, car manufacturers are seeking opportunities to differentiate their brands.

Ford is positioning itself to cater to evolving consumer preferences.



Is The New Ford Explorer Rear-Wheel Drive?


The latest Ford Explorer now comes with a standard rear-wheel-drive platform, although the Intelligent 4WD remains an optional feature.

Notably, it includes the Terrain Management System and Trailer Sway Control as standard features.

Under the hood, the standard engine is the 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 with Auto Start-Stop.

Alternatively, buyers can opt for either the 3.0L EcoBoost V6 or the 3.3L hybrid.

all configurations, a 10-speed automatic transmission is standard.

The decision to shift from front-wheel drive (FWD) to rear-wheel drive (RWD) marks a notable change for Ford.

Considering the success of FWD Explorers in sales over the past decade.

The move to RWD is seen as both celebratory and puzzling.

Many car owners appreciate RWD vehicles for their handling, towing capabilities, and styling proportions.

The initial FWD crossover SUVs were praised for offering a lower load floor and more passenger space in the second and third rows.


Frequently Asked Questions


What Is FWD In A Ford Explorer?


Standard front-wheel drive with the option for all-wheel drive characterizes the Ford Explorer lineup.

Specifically, the 2.3-liter turbo-4 engine is a standard feature on the Explorer Limited AWD.

It is also available on certain other models within the range.


What Are The Disadvantages Of FWD Cars?


Front-wheel drive typically exhibits lower towing capacity compared to rear-wheel or 4WD/AWD drivetrains.

In terms of acceleration, front-wheel drive generally lags behind rear-wheel drive.

This explains why many sporty and race cars opt for the latter.

The weight distribution in front-wheel drive, with a majority of the weight over the front wheels, can result in more challenging handling characteristics.




The Ford Explorer is known for its versatility in urban and off-road settings.

It has transitioned to a standard rear-wheel-drive platform in its latest models, departing from the front-wheel drive of previous versions.

This change aligns with configurations seen in vehicles prioritizing power, handling, and towing, reflecting evolving consumer preferences.

While the shift is both celebratory and puzzling, considering the success of front-wheel-drive Explorers, Ford anticipates a changing trend as SUVs become more prevalent.

The latest Ford Explorer boasts a standard 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine with Auto Start-Stop and offers optional features like the 3.0L EcoBoost V6 and the 3.3L hybrid, all paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.

The move to rear-wheel drive emphasizes handling, towing capabilities, and styling proportions, although it contrasts with the initial front-wheel drive models that prioritized a lower load floor and spacious passenger areas.

In response to common queries, the Ford Explorer lineup includes standard front-wheel drive with an option for all-wheel drive, featuring the 2.3-litre turbo-4 engine as standard on certain models.

However, front-wheel drive comes with disadvantages such as lower towing capacity, comparatively slower acceleration, and handling challenges due to the majority of the weight being over the front wheels.

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