As the automotive industry shifts towards electrification, the market for flex fuel vehicles has become increasingly narrow. In 2023, the last remaining options for flex fuel (E85) SUVs are the 2022 and 2023 Ford Explorer FFV models. These SUVs, equipped with a 3.3 L AWD engine, offer the capability to run on a blend of gasoline and ethanol, making them a versatile choice for drivers who value flexibility in fuel options.
With Ford being the only automaker still offering flex fuel sports utility vehicles, it is worth examining the differences between the 2022 and 2023 Explorer FFV models and evaluating their overall performance.
Differences between the 2022 and 2023 Explorer FFV
The 2023 Ford Explorer FFV has made some notable improvements over its predecessor in terms of fuel economy and cost. With a combined fuel efficiency of 15 mpg, the 2023 model offers a slight advantage over the 2022 model’s 13 mpg. This increase in fuel economy translates to a longer total range of 327 miles, compared to the 2022 model’s 283-mile range.
Additionally, the annual fuel cost for the 2023 model is slightly lower at $2,750, as opposed to the $3,200 for the previous year’s model. While the MSRP of the 2023 Explorer FFV is slightly higher at $37,760, the improved fuel efficiency and lower annual fuel cost can help offset the increased upfront cost.
Drawbacks of Flex fuels (E85)
Despite their status as the only flex fuel SUVs for sale in 2023, the Ford Explorer FFV models are not without their drawbacks. Both models have relatively low fuel efficiency compared to their non-flex fuel counterparts, and the market for flex fuel vehicles has been dwindling in recent years.
With the rise of electric and hybrid vehicles, there has been a significant decline in the demand for flex fuel options, making it uncertain how long these models will remain available.
The 2023 Ford Explorer FFV offers some improvements in fuel economy and cost compared to the 2022 model, making it a slightly better option for those seeking a flex fuel sports utility vehicle. The automotive industry moving towards electrification and alternative fuel sources, the Ford Explorer FFV models represent a dying breed.
Consumers interested in these vehicles should weigh the benefits of a flex fuel option against the long-term viability and sustainability of the technology, as well as the availability of alternative, more fuel-efficient options.
Main image courtesy: Ford