2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport

Just a while back motorists were running to dealers trading in their Explorers and Dodge Durango SUVs with the more economical cars like the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. This surging oil prices almost condemned the SUV segment to its deathbed. However, over the last few years, fuel prices have been declining making the SUV market very attractive again.

In fact the market is growing very fast such that automakers are rushing to come up with new SUVs and crossovers to capitalize on the new SUV craze. One such model that is expanding its fleet of SUVs is Ford.

Ford is adding a new trim to its Explorer lineup.  Though Ford is calling it a trim, it is not really a trim but rather a package going with the name”Ford Explorer Sport Appearance Package”. The package will be offered on the XLT trim level hence the name “ 2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport ” in some quarters.

The package joins the other five trims which are the Base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum. Ford says that buyers look for different things when buying SUVs but most concentrate on the exterior looks and thus, the XLT Sport Appearance package is meant to give buyers another attractive option.

Read along to find out what Ford has added to the XLT to make the Sport Appearance Package so special;


2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Picture from Chicago Auto Show

2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Exterior

Though Ford claims that this is a whole new model, it is just a package of exterior and interior upgrades to the XLT trim. At the front, Ford has introduced a Magnetic Gray grille and new LED fog lights.

The hood features the “Explorer” Moniker spelled across it. Other additions include a black roof rack and a Magnetic Gray strip between its two taillights. The vehicle rides on new 20-inch Magnetic Gray wheels.  Magnetic Gray mirror caps on its side view mirror and Ebony Black body side cladding complete the look.

I think it would have been better if the automaker added a sporty bumper and more aerodynamics to the vehicle’s profile.


2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Interior

The updates continue on the inside. First, the front seats are wrapped in Earth Gray leather while the out bolsters are wrapped in Salerno premium leather.

The rear seats on the other hand feature Dark Earth Gray Miko suede on the seat back uppers while their inserts feature Umber scrim. Umber scrim trim is also featured on the door inserts while Umber contrast stitching is featured all around the cabin. There are also floor mats with the Explorer logo on them.

Other features include Ford’s Intelligent Access system which features a push-button ignition, 10-way power driver’s seat and the Sync3 infotainment system. Other standard XLT features remain.


Engine Specs

The model is powered by the same engine that powers the XLT trim. This is a naturally aspirated 3.5 L V-6 engine that comes good with 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired to a 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission system that channels power to all wheels.

It is also offered with a Terrain Management system which features 4 terrain modes which are; normal, snow, sand and mud.


Price and release date

When showcasing the model, Ford didn’t disclose its intended price but we believe the vehicle will sit between the XLT and Limited. So the price will lie between $33,400 and $ 37,000. We also understand that the model will be released sometimes this summer.

Ford disclosed that the Sport Appearance Package will also be offered on the 2017 Ford Escape lineup. Unlike on the Explorer, the Package will be offered on two trims i.e. the SE and Titanium trims.



The Sport Appearance Package is meant to give the Explorer a competitive edge over its competitor, the likes of the Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, Nissan Pathfinder and Jeep Grand Cherokee.


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