2023 Ford Explorer XLT Review

November 23rd, 2023 by

Ford Explorer XLT

The Ford Explorer is America’s favorite SUV for many reasons. This vehicle is renowned for its impressive power, unwavering dependability, spaciousness, excellent gas mileage and fantastic amenities. Its XLT trim level is one of its most popular amongst consumers and journalists alike.

In this review, we’ll take a close look at the 2023 Explorer XLT, exploring all its unique perks and exciting features.


The 2023 Explorer is the latest offering of the 6th generation of Ford’s mid-size SUV. It is right above the base model and is second overall on the trim hierarchy. It offers a single engine and two drivetrains.

The 2023 Explorer XLT introduces a few new features that are upgrades from last year. These include an available hands-free liftgate for easier access to the cargo area, standard Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 with advanced safety features, and the upgraded SYNC 4 infotainment system with a 12-inch touchscreen display.

These additions enhance convenience, safety, and technology in the 2023 Explorer XLT, truly taking the experience to another level.

Powertrain and Numbers

The 2023 Explorer XLT is equipped with an amazing 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine that delivers a powerful punch. With 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, it’s a force to be reckoned with. Paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, you have the choice of rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

Thanks to this robust engine, the Explorer XLT boasts impressive acceleration. The all-wheel drive version can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 6 seconds, making it one of the quickest midsize SUVs out there. The rear-wheel drive version is not far behind, taking just a second longer.

When it comes to towing and payload capabilities, the 2023 Explorer XLT truly shines. It can tow up to 5300 lbs and haul up to 1265 lbs, which are among the best in its class. This makes it a practical choice for road trips and adventures whether you are pulling a trailer or a pair of jet skis.

Fuel efficiency is also a highlight of the Explorer. The rear-wheel drive model achieves an estimated 21 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while the all-wheel drive version gets around 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, without sacrificing performance.

Ford Explorer XLT Interior
Ford Explorer XLT Interior

Interior and Technology

The 2023 Ford Explorer XLT has a slick interior that’s well-designed and super comfortable. It’s got enough space for all 7 people, with plenty of headroom and legroom in every row. When we talk about storage, this bad boy has you covered with lots of cubbies, pockets, and compartments, plus a spacious trunk. You can even fold down the second and third rows for extra cargo space. The standard features are fancy too.

You’ve got tri-zone automatic climate control, push-button ignition with keyless entry, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated seats in the first and second rows, and a power liftgate. Plus, the driver and front passenger seats are power-adjustable.

The state-of-the-art infotainment system comes with an all-new 12-inch touchscreen, six speakers, and support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. And don’t forget about all the USB outlets and power points for easy connectivity.

Safety is a priority as you get a whole suite of safety features. These include forward-collision warning, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring, reverse parking sensors, and lane-departure warning.

If you want even more luxury, there are some awesome optional extras like ActiveX seat trimmings, a 360-degree camera, a premium B&O stereo, a twin-panel moonroof, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Exterior and Driving

The Explorer XLT has got some sweet upgrades from the base model, like a black mesh front grille, roof rack side rails, heated glass mirrors, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.

The colors on the 2023 Explorer XLT are the following:

  • Star White Metallic Tri-Coat
  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Forged Green Metallic
  • Carbonized Gray Metallic
  • Jewel Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Agate Black Metallic
  • Stone Blue Metallic
  • Iconic Silver Metallic
  • Diamond Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat

Be sure to check out which ones are available from your dealer.

You’re probably expecting the 2023 Explorer XLT is a thrill to drive and you’re right. It’s a beast when you hit the gas, and it handles corners like a champ. The ride quality is super smooth, and the cabin keeps things quiet as a mouse.

If you’re up for some off-roading adventures, this menace surely won’t let you down. With all-wheel drive and awesome ground clearance, you can take it trailblazing with confidence. But if you’re a serious off-road enthusiast, you might want to check out the 2023 Explorer Timberline — it’s purpose-built for the great outdoors by specialists.

Ford Explorer XLT EXTERIOR
Ford Explorer XLT EXTERIOR

Reliability and Warranty

The 2023 Explorer has earned a solid predicted reliability rating of 83 out of 100 from JD Power, placing it in the ‘Great’ category. Consumer reviews for the Explorer have also been positive, and there haven’t been any recalls issued for this model.

Ford offers industry-standard warranties, with a 3-year/36k mile limited warranty and a 5-year/60k mile powertrain components warranty. It’s great to know that the Explorer comes with such reliable coverage.


The 2023 Ford Explorer XLT is the ultimate choice in its category. Its performance is top-notch, with impressive acceleration, precise handling, and a smooth ride that keeps everyone comfortable. When it comes to towing and payload capacities, the Explorer XLT outshines its competitors.

Even without being a hybrid, the Explorer XLT delivers exceptional fuel economy, making it a practical choice. Inside, you’ll be greeted by a luxurious cabin packed with high-end features. The exterior design of the XLT has also been upgraded, giving it a stylish and modern look.

But what truly sets the Explorer XLT apart is its commitment to driver’s assistance systems. With advanced safety features, you can drive with peace of mind. And let’s not forget about its reliability, which is backed by positive consumer reviews.

To get the 2023 Ford Explorer XLT in Woods Cross, North Salt Lake UT, Centerville UT, and Bountiful UT, check out Performance Ford Lincoln Bountiful here.