Making its debut in Chicago, the 2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package offers buyers a way to add visual edge to their vehicles. Last available on the 2015 model, the

return of this upgrade on the facelifted Explorer that rolled onto the scene for 2016 was pretty much a given according to Omar Odeh, Explorer brand marketing manager. He points out that appearance is the top purchase-influencing element for sport utility buyers in general, adding: “In the market right now, across all our SUVs, customers are looking for unique colors, wheels and interior appointments.”

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Developed in concert with Ford Design, the new XLT Sport Appearance Package provides a more affordable alternative to the high-profile but pricy Explorer Sport and Platinum models that currently account for about 30 percent of total sales. To raise its curbside charm, the Sport Appearance Package features 20-inch Magnetic Gray painted wheels plus a Magnetic Gray grille, mirror caps, and rear applique set off by body side cladding, roof rack and an Explorer hood badge all rendered in black.

Interior upgrades

The Sport Appearance Package tweaks the Explorer’s cabin with enhanced front seat appointments that pairs Dark Earth Gray Miko Suede upper backs and inserts with Salerno Dark Earth Gray premium leather outer bolsters and umber stitching. Miko Suede inserts used on the door panels are complemented by Explorer-logo floor mats.

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The 2017 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Appearance Package arrives in showrooms this summer. Pricing will be will be announced closer to the actual on-sale date. Prior to its arrival, Ford announced a spring intro date for a new Sport Appearance Package that will be offer on the 2017 Escape. Available on both Escape SE and Titanium models, it will include 19-inch Ebony Black premium-painted aluminum wheels, an Ebony Black high-gloss painted upper grille; black beltline and front fender molding, leather-embellished sport seats with contrast stitching and more.

More Midsize SUVs…

Check out our Midsize SUV Buyer's Guide for a look at what’s new and what’s next.

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