Great news for Ford-lovers everywhere! Their 2020 Explorer has undergone some of the model’s biggest changes in ten years! Yes, their triple-row family SUV has gone back to its rear-wheel-drive design and they’ve even added a new hybrid model. So, who can compete with that? Well, the Chevy Traverse, Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Subaru Ascent, and the Mazda CX-9 will certainly try since they’re the Ford Explorer’s main competition. So, just what does the new 2020 Ford Explorer have that makes it so competitive? Let’s take a closer look.
Early Explorer Design
Back in the early 90s when the Ford Explorer replaced the Bronco II in the area of midsize four-door SUVs, it was actually a derivation of the Ford Ranger pickup. Just like it has now in the 2020 model, the Explorer sported rear-wheel-drive but most of them actually had four-wheel drive. And, the 2020 Ford Explorer has been completely redesigned to switch it back to a the rear-drive/longitudinal-engine configuration of days gone by.
Sharing with the Aviator
The Explorer’s new design is actually being shared with another popular SUV, the luxurious 2020 Lincoln Aviator. And, in spite of the fact that the Explorer is only slightly longer overall, its wheelbase is growing by a full six-inches. In addition, Ford says that their new Explorer offers more passenger space in every one of its standard three rows of seats. Ford is also boasting that, when all of the seats are folded down, the Explorer is capable of fitting in building materials that are four-feet-wide lying flat on the floor. This capability is available for the very first time ever but only pertain to the second-row-bench-seat model. There’s also a second-row captain’s chair model being offered.
Power Liftgate, Seats & More
The load-floor surface is reversible with vinyl on one side and carpet on the other. One other available feature that’s very popular is a power liftgate and third-row seats that are power-folding are also available. A few of the available tech features include:
- Touchscreen Infotainment System- 10.1-inch portrait-oriented supporting both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and
- A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster,
- A wireless device charger,
- Four USB ports (including type-C),
- Three 12-volt outlets,
- A 110-volt outlet.
- The FordPass Connect app gives the driver the capability to unlock, lock, and start the vehicle via a smartphone.
- The 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost inline-four is returning as the 2020 Ford Explorer’s base engine. However, its output is increasing from 280 horsepower to 300 while the torque remains at 310 lb-ft. It’s also combined with a new ten-speed automatic transmission and a choice of rear or all-wheel drive. This Explorer wil also have a maximum tow rating that has been increased from 3000 to 5300 pounds.
- The 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 is standard with the Platinum trim package, replacing the previous 3.5-liter engine. It still has the same 365 horses and 380 lb-ft of torque, whereas the previous turbo V-6 had only 350. It has the same ten-speed transmission as the four-cylinder engine. Its towing capacity has increased from 5000 to 5600 pounds.
- The new ST model will be offering a more powerful 3.0-liter V-6 with 400 hp as well as 415 lb-ft of torque.
The 2020 Ford Explorer will be available with a choice of five trim levels:
- Base trim level- Up by $400 to a starting MSRP $33,860
- XLT trim level
- Limited trim level
- ST trim level
- Platinum trim level
(Other trim level prices not yet released).
Standard features will include:
- 4G LTE Wi-Fi (connect up to ten devices)
- Automated emergency-braking w/ pedestrian detection
- Automatic headlamps
- Blind-spot warning
- Lane-departure warning
- Pre-collision warning
- Rear cross-traffic alert
New Cop Cars
On January 4, 2019, Ford released info and official photos for their new Explorer-based Police Interceptor Utility. It’s reported to be the fastest police vehicle available for 2019. That analysis is according to the annual in-depth testing by the Michigan State Police of all of the police vehicles currently available. So, with all of those 2020 Ford Explorer police cars out there, we’ll all surely be seeing a lot of these interesting new SUVs on the road but hopefully not in our rear view mirrors.