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The black interior of a 2023 Ford Explorer XLT is shown from the backseat. A woman in the drivers seat watches a rearview camera on the dashboard.

2023 Ford Explorer XLT Features That Keep Drivers Safe

The Ford Explorer XLT is a terrific vehicle for anyone who needs seating for up to seven passengers and a highly configurable cargo area. It is a spacious and comfortable three-row SUV that’s ideal for those hectic carpool mornings or soccer practice drop-offs. One of the characteristics that families, in particular, might like about the Explorer is just how safe it is. This three-row people hauler is so safe that it won a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

If you transport lots of passengers on a regular basis, especially young ones, you deal with a lot of distractions. You’d like to just keep your eyes on the road and stay focused, but your rear seat passengers have other plans. Luckily, the 2023 Ford Explorer XLT trim, despite being just one trim above the base level model, has several standard features that help reduce the chances of some of the more common incidents and issues on the road. Here’s a look at six features that you’ll be glad to have when rear seat passengers fight over who pulled whose hair and distract you.

Standard Rear and Front Parking Sensors

Parallel and back-in parking jobs are always tricky, even in small vehicles. They become even more challenging when you’re maneuvering a larger vehicle like the Explorer. With the blind spots that come with modern vehicle designs, it’s difficult to get a comprehensive view of everything around the vehicle. Without a designated spotter to hop out and guide you, it’s easy to accidentally ding the vehicle against a wall or large rock.

Luckily, the 2023 Ford Explorer XLT gets standard front and rear parking sensors. These sensors detect when you’re in close proximity to an object, and the beeps will increase in speed the closer you get.. Having these in the front and back will mean you’re constantly receiving feedback and guidance when tackling tricky parking spots. Hopefully, the beeps are louder than the “Are we there yet?!” complaints coming from the rear seats.

Available 360-Degree Split-View Camera

While your eyes can’t see through walls, you can still get a comprehensive view of what’s happening around your vehicle at all times with the Explorer XLT’s available 360-degree split-view camera. This displays a birds-eye view of your vehicle on the infotainment screen so you can easily see what’s happening around, behind, and in front of the vehicle. It also gives you the standard rear camera view, so you always know what’s happening behind you.

This is a helpful feature for busy parents who never know when a neighborhood kid might be riding their bicycle right alongside you, or when another kid rolls a ball behind the vehicle and goes chasing after it. If you constantly have a lot happening at home in your driveway or on your street, having this 360-degree view can help you be a safer driver.

In addition to the safety aspects, the rear camera view is also a great perk for families who like to camp or go on other excursions. It helps you back up to and attach a trailer to the Explorer. Since the 3.0L EcoBoost engine earns you 5,600 pounds of towing capability, you might want to hitch up a camper or tow a boat behind your Explorer.

Backup Trajectory and Distance Markers

The rear camera display also provides markers to help you back up more effectively. While the screen provides a good view of what’s behind you, the two-dimensional display doesn’t effectively convey what’s happening in three dimensions, making the distance to objects behind you hard to determine. That’s where the distance markers come in, providing a visual reference to help you figure out how close you are to that car, wall, or trailer you’re backing up to.

Additionally, the Explorer XLT will read what direction your front wheels are pointed, and display your trajectory on the backup vew screen. This helps you maneuver in and out of tight spaces, or back straight up to a trailer. This is a major improvement from having your co-pilot get out and try to explain with hand gestures or their voice when you need to stop, reverse, adjust, and go. The grid assist understands the real-time trajectory of the vehicle with every adjustment you make.

The black interior of a 2023 Ford Explorer XLT is shown from the driver side window, including the front seats, wheel, stick, and dashboard.

Auto Hold

If you spend a lot of time in stop-and-go traffic, or hit a lot of red lights during your commute, you’ll love this feature. Auto Hold is a feature you can activate via your instrument cluster. Once it’s on, it will sense when you’ve brought your vehicle to a stop and then keep the vehicle stopped instead of rolling forward, without you needing to keep your foot on the brake. The vehicle will only move forward once you press on the accelerator.

Everyone has had those moments when they get so tired in stop-and-go traffic that their foot slides off the brake. But rolling forward even at a slow speed can mean bumping the vehicle in front of you and paying for costly repairs. This safety-enhancing feature ensures the vehicle only moves forward after a stop when you want it to.

Seat Belt Reminders

In order to keep everyone else safe, you have to keep yourself safe. But when you’re opening someone’s juice box and telling one kid to stop bothering the other, it’s easy to forget to do one simple thing: buckle your seat belt.

The 2023 Ford Explorer XLT has standard front seat belt reminders called the Belt-Minder. A simple chime will notify you when the front seat belts aren’t buckled. When you’re always busy taking care of others, it’s nice to have a vehicle that takes care of you with simple reminders like the Belt-Minder.

Ford SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System

There’s no feeling more violating than returning to your parking spot to realize your vehicle is gone. Vehicles get stolen once every 23 seconds, and it’s important to have a vehicle with features that prevent theft, even once someone has made their way into the driver’s seat.

The SecuriLock Passive Anti-Theft System prevents anyone from starting your engine without a coded key that’s been programmed for your specific vehicle. No hot-wiring or other tricks will get the engine going without it. A thief might get into the vehicle, but they aren’t taking it anywhere if they don’t have the key.

A blue 2023 Ford Explorer XLT is shown from behind parked in a crowded parking lot.

Avoid Common Accidents and Focus on What Matters Most

The 2023 Ford Explorer XLT has a number of thoughtful features that are designed to prevent common incidents on the road. These features act as your second set of eyes and ears, providing pivotal reminders and alerts that can save your vehicle from damage and even save lives.

The Ford Explorer XLT is a large vehicle, which is what makes it so great for busy family life. It also simply means it’s a lot of vehicle to manage and monitor, so having helpful features like a 360-degree split-view camera, rear parking assists, and the auto hold function help you remain in control of this spacious three-row SUV. When you don’t have to worry about the little incidents that might occur, you can focus on what matters, like making sure that one rear-seat passenger is doing their homework and not DMing their friends on social media.