No Hybrid Ford Explorer or Lincoln Aviator for the 2024 Model Year

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

It looks like the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator are dumping their hybrid trims for the 2024 model year. The Explorer SUV was previously offered with a hybridized 3.3-liter V6, whereas the Aviator Grand Touring came with a hybridized twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6. These powertrains won’t be available on the retail market anymore. However, there’s a chance PHEV variants of both models will return in 2025.

While the company’s reasoning isn’t entirely clear, Car and Driver reported the Blue Oval had cited high demand for the hybrid version of the Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility, along with demand for other Ford hybrids. The automaker may simply be prioritizing Explorer hybrid production for fleet sales. But it doesn’t account for what’s happening with the Aviator.

Truth be told, the hybrid version of the Explorer really only helped drivers save some fuel around town. But if that was all Ford’s clientele were interested in, there are other three-row SUVS that should have been on their shortlist. The Explorer excels at towing and off-road work, all while still being a competent commuter car. It seems plausible that retail customers were looking at the fuel economy advantages offered by the hybrid and decided it wasn’t worth the extra money. But police departments would undoubtedly appreciate getting a few extra MPGs as they patrol city streets for the whole day.

The hybrid system in the Lincoln Aviator was more about adding performance and modernizing the SUV by chasing down the latest trends. As a plug-in hybrid, it offered a dozen or so miles of all-electric driving range and a significant boost in power over the trims that don’t include the words “Grand Touring.” While your author has not driven that particular model, others have said the powertrain lacked refinement and often failed to transition between gasoline and electric power in a smooth manner.

It doesn’t exactly sound like something you’d want from a luxury vehicle. The Aviator is also shares the Explorer’s CD6 platform and is manufactured at the same Chicago facility, likely influencing Ford’s production decisions.

From Car and Driver:

Notably, the Aviator Grand Touring was one of the few plug-in-hybrid models eligible for the full $7500 tax credit as part of the new Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) rules. The 2024 Aviator is now available only with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 gas engine, while the 2024 Explorer is offered with the same 3.0L V-6 or a turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four base engine.
While the nonhybrid Explorer and Aviator models are unchanged for the 2024 model year, we expect to see updated 2025 versions soon with a new look. These photos show what the 2025 Ford Explorer's new front and rear ends will look like, including reshaped headlights and taillights, a larger grille, and different fascias. We can also see new wheel designs, and it's likely there will be updates for the interior as well.
We're not sure if Ford or Lincoln plans to bring back the hybrids as part of this update, but Ford did say that the 2.3L and 3.0L engines make up "a majority of Explorer sales," so it's possible the hybrids are done for good. Ford has previously promised that an electric version of the Explorer is in the works, and is already selling a smaller EV in Europe that also uses the Explorer nameplate.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. The 2025 model year should be on sale within the next 12 months and Ford won’t be able to keep everything a secret forever. We imagine the sixth-generation Explorer should stick around for a couple more years, providing us with at least one more opportunity to see if the hybrid comes back.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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7 of 31 comments
  • Jeff Jeff on Oct 20, 2023

    There is a difference between law enforcement fleets and Federal, State, County, and City fleets. GSA fleets are Federal and for non law enforcement fleets there are requirements that most of the their fleet be more efficient than law enforcement. The only place where law enforcement would use a smaller more efficient vehicle would be for parking violations or just to patrol in a dense urban whereas a pursuit vehicle used by law enforcement will have a larger more performance engine, heavier shocks and suspension, and heavy duty alternator and battery which are not needed or required on most government vehicles. Most police cars have a police package with the higher performance engines and the upgrades I mentioned in the previous sentence. Ford has 63% of the law enforcement vehicle market police department then Chevy and then Dodge. Dodge will likely lose some of the law enforcement business with the end of the Charger which many law enforcement agencies bought to replace their Crown Victorias (many have replaced the CVs with Explorers as well). I have seen some Durangos as well used by law enforcement and Chevy Tahoes.

    • See 4 previous
    • EBFlex EBFlex on Oct 21, 2023

      “but who in actual police service would want it I'll never know (even the free take home cars for the upper echelon staff, who would want an N/A when the turbo was available?).”

      City admin who sets budgets. A good friend runs the fleet at his police department and they only buy TT Fords for the K9 squads. Otherwise the N/A Fords are just fine for their use.

  • Robert Robert on Oct 23, 2023

    Good! We don't need one.

  • Ronin Or can sedans be saved from themselves? Modern sedans have very low entry and seating, and unnecessarily downward sloping rear roofs. This may have been a sleek design center 25 years ago, but it's nice to have an alternative to SUVs for the olds (ie, anyone over 30).
  • Bd2 The Hyundai Sonota is the best sedan on the market right now.
  • Kcflyer hang in there Lexus. Keep making the IS with the V8 and sooner or later I will buy a new one :)
  • 1995 SC I'll take Mystichrome. And a different car
  • Wolfwagen I wish I could afford one of these except that stupid short master. Has no one learned from the Hummer H2 SUT?