The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST has the same 3.0-liter, 400 horsepower EcoBoost engine, with 415 lb-ft of torque, just like the Explorer ST. What it also has is a lower starting price, $49,995.
Ford made this happen was by creating a new Standard Equipment Group for the ST, combining the engine with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and sport-tuned suspension. 143 MPH is where the Enthusiast ST tops out, faster than any at this price. Also standard is a trailer towing package good to 5,600 pounds, neither of which we could test.
The Explorer Enthusiast ST has leather seats, a digital dash cluster, and a heated sports-style steering wheel. ST logos on the seats and the steering wheel are included at no extra cost, along with chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch wheels, and sideview mirrors with ST lamps. Ford ‘who’s my’ Co-Pilot360 technology provides blind spot information, cross-traffic alerts, and a keep-it-in-your lane nanny. Flush tech goodness, you get hill start assist, auto headlamps that’ll still blind oncoming traffic, and emergency braking that detects pedestrians even before they decide to cross the street.
Then there’s forward collision warning, and post-impact braking. Post-impact braking senses when to hit the binders hard. Rear-ended on I-880 in the Bay Area years ago, I had room in front of me to allow my car to roll forward. It wasn’t until I was about to hit the car in front of me that I applied the brakes. Why forward collision warning, versus a rearward warning that another car is about to hit you? Wouldn’t it be better if it judged the approaching speed of another vehicle and the distance between yours and theirs?
Ford has two more models, the Platinum with the same engine and rear-wheel-drive, and a Platinum Hybrid. The Platinum RWD is a bargain if you don’t need 4WD, although Ford didn’t give us this price. They did say the full hybrid-electric Platinum Hybrid starts at $53,085.
All three new models, the Enthusiast ST, Platinum RWD, and Platinum Hybrid, can be ordered now. Why wait until deliveries begin this summer?