2018 Ford Explorer Trim Levels: XLT vs. Limited vs. Sport vs. Platinum

A white Ford Explorer driving down an open road

One of the best selling SUV’s in the U.S. returns again for 2018 with five trim levels: Base, XLT, Limited, Sport, and Platinum. The experts at Hutcheson Ford have broken down all available features of each trim package below. Once you’ve read the article check out the new vehicle inventory and special offers our Ford dealership of St. James, MO has for 2018 Ford Explorers. If you want to speak to a Hutcheson Ford representative directly, call at 573-265-7015.

What are the differences between the 2018 Ford Explorer base, XLT, and Limited?

The 2018 Ford Explorer base, XLT, and Limited trims provide the basic necessities and comfort features your family needs. From the base trim level, to the incredibly comfortable Limited trim, you’ll find practical options to enhance your daily drive. Differences between the base, XLT, and Limited trims can be found in the table below.

2018 Ford Explorer Trim Key Features
Ford Explorer Starting at $32,140 MSRP
  • 3.5L V6 engine with 290 HP
  • SYNC® infotainment with voice recognition and 4.2-in. LCD screen
  • 8-way power drivers seat
  • Six-speaker audio system
  • Power heated sideview mirrors
Ford Explorer XLT Starting at $34,175 MSRP           Ford Explorer features plus:

  • Reverse sensing system
  • 10-way power drivers seat
  • SiriusXM® Radio
  • Intelligent Access with push-button start
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • SecuriCode™ invisible keypad
Ford Explorer Limited Starting at $42,090 MSRP           Ford Explorer LXT feature plus:

  • 2.3L EcoBoost® I4 engine with 280 HP
  • Forward sensing system
  • SYNC® 3 with 8-in. touchscreen
  • Drivers seat memory
  • Heated and cooled first row seats
  • PowerFold® third-row seat
  • 12-speaker Sony® audio system
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Remote start system
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Hands-free liftgate

A red Ford Explorer offroading

2018 Ford Explorer Sport vs. Platinum

Do you prefer exhilarating performance or supreme comfort? If the latter is more your style, then the Platinum trim level will provide the luxury features you need for each drive. The Sport trim, on the other hand, includes a sport-tuned suspension and paddle shifters for responsive performance. Key differences between the 2018 Ford Explorer Sport and Platinum trims include:

2018 Ford Explorer Trim Key Features
Ford Explorer Sport Starting at $45,950 MSRP
  • 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 engine with 365 HP
  • Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System™ and Hill Descent Control™
  • Sport-tuned suspension
  • 10-way power drivers seat with power lumbar
  • Heated first-row seats
  • Sony® 12-speaker audio system
  • Sheeting wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • Blackout treatment on headlamps and taillamps
Ford Explorer Platinum Starting at $53,940 MSRP Ford Explorer Sport features plus:

  • Adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with brake support
  • Blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert
  • Enhanced active park assist with parallel park, park out assist, reverse perpendicular parking and forward and side sensing systems
  • Front 180-degree camera with washer
  • Multicontour first-row seats with Active Motion®
  • Sony audio system with Clear Phase® and Live Acoustics™ technology
  • Power-adjustable pedals with memory

Further Reading

Interested in something specific? Find out more by reading our in depth reviews on the 2018 Ford Explorer features

Interior Comfort & Tech Features

All Explorer trims are packed with features throughout the cabin. The Base model comes standard with a 4.2-in. center console touchscreen, a rearview camera, voice recognition controls, 8-way power driver seat and the SYNC® infotainment system. The XLT trim adds amenities like leather accents and push-button start. While the Limited, Sport and Platinum trims bring a true luxury feel to the Explorer with features like a premium Sony® audio system, leather upholstery, and heated/cooled front seats.

2018 Ford Explorer Trim

Available Features

Base (FWD, 4×4)

Starting at $32,140 MSRP

  • Cloth upholstery
  • 8-way power drivers seat
  • Rearview camera
  • SYNC® infotainment system
  • Voice activated audio controls
  • 4.2-in. center console touchscreen w/ Bluetooth & USB
  • 81.7 cu. ft. of cargo space
  • 6-speaker audio system
  • Leather & chrome shift knob
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Smart device integration

XLT (FWD, 4×4)

Starting at $34,175 MSRP

Base features plus:

  • Premium cloth upholstery
  • 7-in. center console touchscreen
  • 10-way power driver seat
  • 6-way power passenger seat
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Proximity entry system
  • Push-button start
  • Valet function

Limited (FWD 4×4)

Starting at $42,090 MSRP

XLT features plus:

  • Leather upholstery
  • Chrome & wood tone accents
  • 8-way power passenger seat
  • Heated & ventilated driver and passenger seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Power adjustable pedals
  • Power folding 3rd row seats
  • Ambient lighting
  • Navigation system w/ voice recognition
  • Wi-Fi hotspot capability
  • Remote engine start
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
  • 12-speaker premium Sony audio system
  • 390W amplifier
  • Automatic climate control
  • Steering wheel memory

Sport (4×4)

Starting at $45,9450 MSRP

Limited features plus:

  • Paddle shifter
  • Premium leather upholstery
  • Voice activated air conditioning
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Illuminated door sill trim

Platinum (4×4)

Starting at $53,940 MSRP

Sport features plus:

  • Panoramic moonroof w/ sliding sunshade, one-touch open/close
  • Rear sunroof
  • Leather & genuine wood steering wheel
  • 500W premium amplifier
  • Door mirror memory
  • Power sunshade
  • Hands-free liftgate

A black Ford Explorer Hauling a boat past a lake.

Exterior Design & Features

With several different package designs, the Explorer offers a variety of driving experiences. The Base model comes standard with chrome-tipped exhaust and 18-in. wheels as well as deep-tinted windows and LED headlights. The Limited package adds 20-in. wheels and extra chrome accents, while the Sport package comes equipped with a trailer hitch and a quad-pipe exhaust.

2018 Ford Explorer Trim

Available Features

Base (FWD, 4×4)

Starting at $32,140 MSRP

  • Dual chrome-tipped exhaust
  • Roofline spoiler
  • Black roof rails
  • 18-in. alloy wheels
  • Black bodyside cladding
  • Body-colored front & rear bumpers w/ black rub strip
  • LED headlights & taillights
  • Deep tinted windows

XLT (FWD, 4×4)

Starting at $34,175 MSRP

Base features plus:

  • Chrome bodyside insert
  • Chrome grille
  • Silver roof rails

Limited (FWD, 4×4)

Starting at $42,090 MSRP

XLT features plus:

  • Chrome door handles
  • Chrome roof rails
  • 20-in. alloy wheels
  • Power remote heated side-view mirrors w/ turn signal indicator
  • Metal-look w/ chrome surround grille
  • LED fog lights

Sport (4×4)

Starting at $45,9450 MSRP

Limited features plus:

  • Class III trailering w/ harness, hitch
  • Black door handles
  • 20-in. alloy wheels w/ painted accents
  • Quad chrome-tipped exhaust
  • Black headlight bezel

Platinum (4×4)

Starting at $53,940 MSRP

Sport features plus:

  • Chrome side-view mirrors
  • Exterior entry lights

Safety Features

The Explorer comes standard with several high-end safety features. For parents, the MyKey® program allows for safe driving practices to be applied to the car, like restricted driving modes and limited top speeds. The Limited package brings front/rear parking sensors and real time updates for traffic and weather. The Platinum package adds a bevy of sensors and a pre-collision warning system.

2018 Ford Explorer Trim

Available Features

Base (FWD, 4×4)

Starting at $32,140 MSRP

  • Rearview camera
  • Anti-lock brake system (ABS)
  • LATCH system
  • Post-collision safety system
  • MyKey®
  • 2-stage unlocking doors
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • Engine immobilizer
  • Anti-lockout door locks
  • Safety Canopy system
  • AdvancedTrac® w/ roll stability control

XLT (FWD, 4×4)

Starting at $34,175 MSRP

Base features plus:

  • Rear parking sensor
  • Perimeter alarm

Limited (FWD, 4×4)

Starting at $42,090 MSRP

XLT features plus:

  • Front parking sensor
  • Security app w/ remote locking
  • Real time traffic updates on navigation
  • Real time weather updates

Sport (4×4)

Starting at $45,9450 MSRP

Limited features plus:

  • Hill descent control
  • AWD standard

Platinum (4×4)

Starting at $53,940 MSRP

Sport features plus:

  • Emergency braking preparation
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind spot sensor
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Lane deviation sensors
  • Lane keeping assist
  • Pre-collision warning system
  • Inflatable seatbelts

 

Schedule a Test Drive in St. James, MO

If you’ve made a decision between the Base, XLT, Limited, Sport and Platinum trims pay Hutcheson Ford a visit to check out the new vehicle inventory and special offers on the 2018 Ford Explorer. Schedule a test drive online or by calling one of the Hutcheson Ford specialists at 573-265-7015. At Hutcheson Ford it’s not what we do, it’s how we do it!

A white Ford Explorer parked by the water at sunset