Tech Package Worth It? Specifically massaging seats | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Tech Package Worth It? Specifically massaging seats


Well-Known Member
October 29, 2000
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Detroit, MI
City, State
Detroit, MI
Year, Model & Trim Level
2018 Ford Explorer XLT
I watched the 2020 Explorer review by Savage Geese on YouTube (their reviews are awesome, totally spot on for a lot of the other cars) and he showed how horrible the 10 inch screen was with respect to the backup camera view. He briefly mentioned how the massaging seats were meh, and the 2 extra B&O speakers were basically worthless as the entire stereo system was very poor in performance.

So how good/bad are the massaging seats and the speakers? I don't like how the 10 inch screen sticks up, and if the backup camera screen is really that small I will pass.

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I didn't carefully examine the other screen but I have a feeling I wish I had. The software on the 10 inch screen is very buggy and the backup view is absurdly small. I don't know what all the differences are but if the core features are the same I would skip the tech package. Massage seats are of no value to me, I don't use that feature at all. I think the audio system is good, but I can't imagine 2 speakers makes much difference.

Savage Geese did an audio analysis of the B&O speakers and said they were not very good. I've known for some time B&O is the cheap branding of Bang & Olufsen, basically entry level stuff. The Sony speakers in my Fusion Sport are pretty decent with poly cones and such, except my left driver's tweeter needs to be physically smacked from time to time to play sound.

Did you ever try the massaging seats? My girlfriend and I like to do long cross country road trips (most recent one was about 5800 miles), and was curious if the massaging feature works.

If you go to 5:34 he starts talking about the interior, audio quality, and then shows the analysis

The audio in the 2020 is far better than the 5th gen. There is not enough base but the highs and clarity is very good, especially when streaming. I subscribe to Amazon music UHD and the audio is fantastic. However, the sub definitely needs more punch.

The massaging seats are great for long trips. After a full day of skiing, my wife and I loved the massaging seats to help with our legs. As one who gets very uncomfortable on long trips with blood flow under my thighs, it definitely helps. I get the same way when plowing long snow storms and wish I had them in my F350 to keep me more comfortable.

The screen definitely needs to be updated for better layout utilization. If I could do it over, I wouldn't change a thing in regards to giving up that package.

So what exactly does the massaging seat do? Does it just move the air around different bladders to try to and pulse the muscles? Or is there a mechanism inside that moves around?
The tech package just adds 2 extra speakers over the existing 12 B&O's. I'm guessing they are tweeters. I wasn't too impressed with the review of the audio system though.

Yes, air bladders in the bottom and back. They inflate and deflate in order to give a kneading/rolling effect.

Think like making a fist and rolling that fist up and down your back.

As far as the 2 extra speakers, they are midrange speakers below the exit handle.


I had the massaging seats in my 2017 Platinum and never turned them ON. I have them in the Aviator as well but haven't used them to date. Might be helpful on long drives as blwnsmoke mentioned but I believe my longest drive in the past 5+ years has been with the Aviator last weekend at 30 miles one way. Most of my mileage is due to trips to coach my hockey team.:D

Not sure what the impact of two midrange speakers are but the sound system is very, very good. Compared to what I've experienced in Infiniti, Audi, and BMW, it's superior. But who knows, maybe without the tech package it would still sound just as good. I leave it in stereo mode not surround.

The massaging seats are nice for family trips. That's about 3 trips a year for me where I do use it and appreciate it.

The 10" screen is currently the problem. It's a downgrade!!! If they fixed the layout for this screen, it would be a major upgrade, but there is no customisability to it and the layout downright sucks. Because of the 10" screen, I would NOT order the tech package.

I like the massage seats, although it wasn’t a selling point for me. I work 10 plus hours a day mostly on my feet and appreciate the massage with heat. The screen grows on you but the backup camera view is way small and under utilizes the space. The sound system is good but not sure how the 2 speakers are better over the standard. Unless you special order it is hard to find an ST with street pack and sunroof without the tech pack and I definitely wanted the street pack and sun roof. I’m not unhappy with the choice.

I don't want the sunroof because I've had issues dealing with Ford to replace a sunroof under warranty. Turns out none of the OEMs will cover the sunroof/glass roof under warranty. The best they usually do is pay 50% of the repair costs. It sounds like a factory order is the only way to get it right.

Are you referring to issues with the moonroof in general or the glass specifically? The moonroof is covered under the 3 year, 36k bumper to bumper warranty. Glass of any kind is not covered under the ESP. There is no exclusion of the moonroof in the Warranty Guide.


It's the glass. None of the OEMs cover it. The glass separated from my Fusion Sport sunroof because the adhesion failed. Clearly a manufacturer defect but Ford declined to cover it. Doing my research i found plenty of cases where Ford panaroamic roofs or glass roofs blew out or had some kind of issue with the glass and the owner was SOL. Best Ford will do is pay 50% of repairs. Problem is it's not just the glass when it comes to the dealership . The glass flew off my Fsport sunroof but the dealer wanted me to replace the entire assembly. I bought the glass from a totalled MKZ and it took 15 minutes to replace. You have to shame the OEM via social threamedia or small claims court with Ford before they offer to pay up to 50% of the repairs.

Lesson learned.
I will never buy or lease a vehicle with any kind of glass on the roof.

............................Lesson learned.
I will never buy or lease a vehicle with any kind of glass on the roof.
Like many things, I guess it all comes down to personal experiences. This is my 7th vehicle with a sun/moonroof and I've never had any issues. I wouldn't get a vehicle without one.


Like many things, I guess it all comes down to personal experiences. This is my 7th vehicle with a sun/moonroof and I've never had any issues. I wouldn't get a vehicle without one.


One of the things I've learned from life is that until it happens to you, you wouldn't believe it or understand it.

My 2009 Cobalt SS turbo has a factory sun roof that never gave me any problems even at speeds over 110 mph. But My 2017 Fusion Sport factory sunroof lost its glass like it was shucked off, clean from the adhesive. It's a lease and they wanted me to pay almost $2000 to repair it (claimed I needed a new motor and rail assembly) or go through my insurance all for a factory defect. Doing a simple Google search will show lots of other people with similar experiences. No thanks brother.

The things in the Tech Package are pretty much personal preference. I ordered it and now that I have the vehicle believe it to be a total waste of money. If I ever try the massaging seats I suspect I will find that they failed sometime in the past. I think the audio system is terrible and doubt it would be worse without the extra speakers. In my opinion the layout of the large screen is also terrible, but I think most of the in vehicle tech is this car is a design failure and seems haphazardly developed at best. Why the design team couldn't buy a few cars from companies that did this right and just copy it, I don't know. If they do some sort of software upgrade that improves the screen and dash layouts my opinion could change. I like the way the car drives though. Again, just my opinion and you know what they say about opinions.

I really like the massaging seats, but its not enough to make up for the tech package with the embarrassing vertical screen.

Majority of passengers my point ask, “Is that an iPad on the dash?” or “did the car come like that?” It’s the only thing they notice and it’s not pretty or useful.

If you’re someone like me that exclusively uses Apple CarPlay for navigation, audio, etc. it’s infuriating that my usable display is smaller than a $24,000 Fusion’s screen. The Ford portrait nav Is cool, but it’s so tedious to enter an address relative to using Siri in CarPlay that I don’t bother.

Standard display offers a bigger usable screen area in most scenarios. And that phone holder area would be a convenient cubby to have.

As for audio, a lot of this could be just simply better calibrated or solved with a more advanced software tuning. The bass from the subwoofer is too loud, but lowering bass on the EQ to reduce boom makes most music lackluster. Adding a separate subwoofer adjustment could fix this, but that won’t happen.

If I was doing it all over again I wouldn’t buy a new Explorer at all. But if I was and I was you, I’d forgo the Tech pack and Street Pack as my Platinum with 21” wheels could use more sidewall to improve the ride that’s even softer than ST’s. No sunroof is a good idea as mine occasionally rattles.

I've used navigation in the Aviator more so far than in my previous vehicles and I've never yet had to enter an address. I've always use the voice system.


No sunroof for me after previous Ford Explorer Sport 2014 leaked and killed the electronics (plugged up drains). I never opened it so the leaks are annoying, especially when they flooded the car during a storm and screwed the dash electronics. Years ago I had the same issue with other brand vehicles. My Ford ESP would cover it but I couldn't leave the car for weeks, even with a non-SUV loaner. So got the 2020 ST with no sunroof.

While I like the tech pack, I would have liked a full gauge display (turbo pressures, oil pressure and temp, etc.) on screen option. I mean it is the Ford performance model!

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Thoughts about the IPad sticking up from the dash. Like it don’t like it. I tend to say I don’t but if you want the better stereo it comes with it.