2021 Ford Explorer Gas Tank Size

The 2021 Ford Explorer has a fuel tank capacity of 17.9 to 20.2 gallons depending on the trim, drivetrain, and powertrain configuration.
Written by Pat Roache
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The size of the gas tank in your 2021
Ford Explorer
depends on the trim, drivetrain, and powertrain. Most 2021 Explorers have a fuel tank capacity of 17.9 gallons, but certain configurations have a fuel tank capacity of 18 or 20.2 gallons.
Fueling up your SUV can be a touchy subject, given the fluctuating cost of gas these days, but knowing the size of your gas tank can at least help you know what to expect at the pumps. Fuel tank capacity is typically listed in your owner’s manual, but we get it—reading a Jerry article is just way too much fun to pass up!
Enjoy this quick guide to the 2021 Ford Explorer’s gas tank size from
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How big is the gas tank on a 2021 Ford Explorer?

The midsize three-row Ford Explorer carries a just-above-average amount of gas for its segment: 17.9 to 20.2 gallons.
In true Ford spirit, the Explorer is a highly customizable SUV when it comes to powertrain and drivetrain. Most trims are available with rear- and four-wheel drive, and a few are available as hybrids. Here’s how the size of the Explorer’s gas tank varies across trim configurations:
  • Base RWD: 17.9 gallons
  • Base 4WD: 17.9 gallons
  • XLT
    RWD: 17.9 gallons
  • XLT 4WD: 17.9 gallons
  • Limited
    RWD: 17.9 gallons
  • Limited 4WD: 17.9 gallons
  • Timberline 4WD: 17.9 gallons
  • ST
    4WD: 20.2 gallons
  • Limited Hybrid RWD: 18.0 gallons
  • Limited Hybrid AWD: 18.0 gallons
  • Platinum
    RWD: 20.2 gallons
  • Platinum 4WD: 18.0 gallons
  • King Ranch RWD: 20.2 gallons
  • King Ranch 4WD: 20.2 gallons
  • Platinum Hybrid AWD: 18.0 gallons
As you can see, most lower-trim Explorers carry 17.9 gallons. Higher-tier trims typically carry 20.2 gallons, and hybrid options carry 18.0 gallons. For those four engines, the fuel tank capacity varies from 23 gallons to 36 gallons.
On the flip side, the lower-trim Explorers have a somewhat better fuel economy averaging around 23 and 24 mpg combined. The higher-trim Explorers may carry a bit more fuel, but their fuel economy is rated as 20 mpg combined. The Limited Hybrid RWD is considered the most efficient Explorer, with an EPA rating of 27 mpg combined.

How to check your 2021 Ford Explorer’s gas tank size

If you’re the type of person who takes manufacturer specs with a grain of salt, you can easily check your Explorer’s gas tank size on your own. You even have a few options!

Measure the gas tank

Time for a geometry lesson!
Volume equals width times length times height. Break out your measuring tape and a calculator to multiply these three measurements to get your fuel tank’s volume in cubic inches. Then just divide the result by 231, the conversion factor for cubic inches into a gallon.

Check your owner’s manual

If you know where your owner’s manual is, you can use it to easily check the size of your Explorer’s gas tank. Just look for “fuel tank capacity” or similar terms as you skim the pages to find the recorded measurement.

Drive till empty, then fill it up

If you don’t like either of these options and are willing to live on the edge, you can drive your Explorer to an empty tank and then see how much gas you can pump on a complete fill-up. There’s no guarantee you’ll get an exact measurement, but you can at least know what to expect when you’re filling up your tank on “E”.
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How to save on fuel costs in a Ford Explorer

The 2021 Ford Explorer gets 20 to 24 mpg combined on gas-only trims and 25 to 27 mpg combined on hybrid trims. Spring for the Limited Hybrid RWD to get that 27 mpg and make the most of a full Explorer tank of gas.
Though an Explorer may send you back to the pumps more often than not, there are a few ways to maximize your SUV’s fuel efficiency:
  • Stay on top of maintenance. Skipping
    regularly scheduled maintenance
    as laid out in your owner’s manual can cause wear and tear and hurt your Explorer’s fuel economy.
  • Drive carefully. Accelerate slowly and steadily to conserve your fuel.
  • Avoid idling, especially in cold weather. Even though you may want to let your car heat up for a while in the winter, this sucks up a lot of gas. The sooner you start driving, the better mileage you'll get.

How to optimize your Explorer’s insurance coverage

Figuring out your gas budget can be a tricky equation, but it’s much easier when you know how much gas you’re working with at a fill-up. Shopping for car insurance can also be tricky, but
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