The most obvious difference: It's built on a car platform, not a truck one, so it sits lower to the ground and has a smoother, more fuel-efficient ride.
Ford says the 2011 Explorer can get 30 percent better fuel economy that the previous model, with a turbocharged ecoboost engine.
It also features lighter materials and improved safety features, including the first inflatable seat belts.
At $28,190, the base price is also $1,000 less than the 2010 Explorer.
The 2010 Explorer will be in showrooms this winter.