August 18, 2016
Dale Buss

At least with one nameplate, Ford is actively pursuing what has become a somewhat forgotten demographic cohort for auto makers: Generation X.

New research shows that the Ford Explorer Sport—with stickers starting at about $45,000 versus the low $30,000s for a standard version of the vehicle—has the highest percentage of Gen X buyers of any non-luxury SUV in the United States, reflecting what the company calls a generational preference “for exclusivity and performance at a great value.”

The sporty version of Explorer delivers 365 horsepower versus about 275 for the standard version, and it has grabbed a significant 15 percent of total nameplate sales since its debut in 2014. Nearly 40 percent of Explorer Sport buyers were born between 1965 and 1978 compared with 23 percent of buyers of other midsize SUVs, Ford said.