2021 ford explorer

DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. is slashing prices on the 2021 Explorer crossover by more than $3,000 on certain trims and repackaging some content in a bid to bolster its front-runner status in the large crossover segment.

The base Explorer will cost $33,470 for the 2021 model year, including shipping, a $540 decrease from the 2020 model, according to prices first reported by Ford Authority. The XLT will start at $35,245, a nearly $3,000 price cut. The Limited will start at $45,955, down more than $3,500 than the outgoing model. The Limited hybrid variant is more than $2,600 cheaper, starting at $51,100. ST and Platinum models will also be considerably less expensive.

Ford said the pricing changes reflect a reshuffling of content.

“We repackaged some content offerings to better match customer requests and made other content standard,” Ford spokesman Mike Levine said in an emailed statement. “The net result is a more competitively priced Explorer with content and features customers want. This will improve residual values for our customers, resulting in a lower monthly payment for those leasing and better resale value for those who purchase. It’s a win-win for America’s all-time best selling SUV.”

The Explorer was redesigned for the 2020 model year on a rear-wheel-drive platform. Its biggest competitor, the Toyota Highlander, starts at $35,775 including shipping, but the segment has recently seen new competitors, such as the Kia Telluride, which start at $32,735.

In July, Explorer incentives averaged $5,599 — the highest among the three top-selling 3-row crossovers, according to data from Motor Intelligence. Only discounts on the Nissan Pathfinder and Buick Enclave were higher.

With the price reductions, the Explorer could also compare more favorably and draw more consideration from consumers that use third-party shopping sites.

After a bumpy start to the year due to a botched launch, the Explorer appears to be hitting its stride.

Ford sold 101,149 Explorers through the first six months of the year, about 22,000 more than the closest competitor in the segment, the Highlander. Explorer sales are down 0.7 percent for the year, well out-pacing overall sales in the large crossover segment, which have fallen 15 percent year-over-year.

U.S. sales of the Explorer rose 12 percent in the second quarter.