2020 Ford Explorer Interior Fully Uncovered In New Spy Shots

Following last month’s spy shots that gave us the best look yet at the 2020 Ford Explorer’s exterior, we now get to see the upcoming SUV’s interior completely undisguised.

The sixth-generation Explorer will be a significant departure from its predecessor, as it will shift from a front-drive layout with transverse-mounted engines to rear-wheel drive with longitudinally-mounted engines. On the outside, this will result in shorter overhangs and a modified dash-to-axle ratio.

Bigger touchscreen display powered by the latest SYNC software

There are plenty of changes inside, too. The dashboard and other components such as the door handle surrounds get a more angular design compared to the current Explorer. The dash layout is clean and elegant, featuring matte-finished wood trim and a neat center console that groups the climate control switchgear and buttons for the major functions of the infotainment system.

Above the center console, there’s a storage cubbyhole followed by a touchscreen display powered by the latest version of SYNC that seems pretty big and within easy reach of the driver. Under the center console, there’s another storage space in front of the transmission tunnel.

Big rotary dial replaces traditional gearshift lever

The 2020 Explorer gets a large rotary gearbox selector, as well as paddle shifters mounted on the steering column. The tunnel also features the electric parking brake and auto hold switches, as well as a smaller dial used to toggle between drive modes.

The photos also reveal a new multifunction steering wheel and a sizable digital screen in the instrument panel. This particular test prototype is a range-topping Platinum model, so chances are entry-level Explorers will look slightly less luxurious.

The flashier grille and quad exhausts are typical Platinum exterior features

Typical Platinum features on the outside include the more upscale grille treatment and the quad exhausts that hint at a powerful engine.

The new Explorer shares its CD6 platform with the recently-unveiled 2020 Lincoln Aviator. This likely means powertrain choices will include a 2.3-liter turbo-four, a 3.3-liter V6, a 3.3-liter V6 hybrid and an EcoBoost 3.0-liter V6 mated to a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Topping them all will be a turbocharged 3.0-liter Explorer ST variant with around 400 hp.

more photos...

Photo credits: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien for Carscoops

  • samurai

    the year 2005 called, it want its interior back… And the outside is not looking much more modern too

  • interior looks similar to the new Veloster’s

    • Enoch Gabriel Gonzales

      or the kia ceed

  • Enoch Gabriel Gonzales

    all this time i thought this was just a test mule

  • MarketAndChurch

    I cant believe that interior is for the top of the line platinum model…

    • DBP

      I thought the same…the article says that this photo is of the top of the line model, others will be less luxurious…? How much less is there? These are not cheap vehicles.

  • Knotmyrealname

    Interior looks like a staged photo shoot. The guy didn’t even try to cover any of it up.

    • DetrinKD

      It all staged. Notice non of the badges on the exterior are covered… matter of fact it seems they took extra measure to make sure they are all exposed. Ford wanted the pics to be taken. Some spy pics are just that, but some are a part of the marketing plan.

  • Stephen G

    Current model is much better looking.

  • Bo Hanan

    I like it.

  • Ilbirs

    I liked the fact that the center console isn’t that tall as we’re using to see a lot in current cars. Seems that someone at Dearborn realized that Lamborghini-esque consoles take away some precious room with them.

  • charlotteharry57

    That is by far the worst infotainment screen integration I’ve ever seen. Everything else looks good, in & out.

  • Rocket

    The interior lacks the Aviator’s appeal, as it should, but it looks very functional. I don’t love the styling, but it’s not offensive in any way. The important thing is that Ford is introducing an all new longitudinal RWD layout to the mainstream crossover/utility segment. I’m anxious to see what the ST has to offer.

  • Darnell Robeson

    Looks like a Hyundai Santa Fe interior

    • EL CHAPO

      The santa fe’s interior is way better than this. This interior remind of the 2005 model’s interior.

      • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen


        What mass production model, ANY MODEL, in 2005 had a floating navigation display?

        • EL CHAPO

          I said the interior of the 2005 explorer

          • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

            “This interior remind of the 2005 model’s interior.”

            No, actually, complete with spelling and grammatical errors, you said exactly what is above.

            Attached you’ll see that the 2005 and 2020 look nothing alike unless you don’t have eyes. Keep up your comments though, they’re proving not only how little you know, but how uneducated you are as well.

            This is fun.

          • EL CHAPO

            Lol i’m glad the troll is having fun trolling the crap out himself since he doesn’t get the memo. Haha, you’re an idiot. Here it is someone made a comment about the 2020 explorer having a 2005 interior, but you’re too worried about the tablet sitting between the air vents and you don’t see such similarity. Lol everyone has different views on cars and a liberal like you don’t like that comment. Gtfo troll, you need to go back to 4chan to make you better troll. Idiot

  • Research Janitor

    Cover it back up.

    • ErnieB

      I agree!

  • benni

    Palisade’s interior looks nicer than that.

    • ErnieB

      Way way way nicer!

  • Toronado_II

    Oh wow ! Look at this well-integrated screen ! First time I see that….

    • john1168


  • Patrick

    I can’t stand these rotary dial gear selectors, Jaguar/ford, GET RID OF THEM and you will sell more cars. I had a Jaguar xj, got used to it, but it ruined the whole driving experience and traded it in after one year. ditto for button selectors,

  • john1168

    This has to be one of the worst looking front ends around today. The way the headlights and grille come together, it looks cheap and awful. The interior seems nice except for the nav screen between the air vents. This area is really odd looking. I like the rotory shifter and it seems one can shift manually with paddle shifters which is nice.

  • DetrinKD

    That front end is horrible. It just looks goofy. The rear is too similar to the current model. I think the interior is decent.

  • Doug the Thug

    The center screen looks like they stuck it on with one of those clips that attaches to the vents.

    • Todd Colomy

      Second Ford I’ve seen where it appears a tablet was just stuck on the dash. Nice afterthought of interior design.


      • Bullitt2605

        Unfortunately that is a trend with the NAV screens Acura & BMW were already doing this long before Ford. That and the rotary shift knob need to go away. I am so glad my 17 Explorer sport has neither.

    • brn

      Oddly enough, luxury brands started the trend of cheap looking center screens.


    I wonder why the Highlander is going to crush this Explorer on sales.

    • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

      Dude, STFU.

      We understand that you sell Toyota, but you don’t need to repeat THE SAME DAMN THING in every single article, whether it has anything to do with Toyota or not. It is obnoxious.

      Toyota’s sales lead is due to huge incentives and dealers willingness to negotiate. The Highlander is a cheap feeling piece of shit, and Americans love cheap things.

      • EL CHAPO

        -triggered american patriotic got angry due to facts about this crappy explorer not being the best car as it use to be.
        Hey troll, go search on the computer and see why the Highlander the crushing the explorer on sales. Surely, you assumed that i worked for toyota because i just spoke facts about the highlander being better? You people are just sensitive and that’s the reason why you got hurtful to my comments. go back under your rock and stop trying to uplift the american junk.

        • Jawohl

          Selling Toyota’s? Given up on life I see?

          • EL CHAPO

            Ahh another troll

          • Jawohl

            I just feel sorry for you…

          • EL CHAPO

            -loves to troll because liberal’s like him is just has no other time in his life instead of being a loser by giving me attention

          • Jawohl

            Pot meet kettle

          • EL CHAPO

            I see both you guys got each other’s back. Man, the salt is so real. HAH HA

          • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

            LOLOLOL You upvoted YOURSELF!!!!

            You realize you can see who upvotes you, right?

          • EL CHAPO

            Why do you care? You act like you never upvote your comments before I think all of that self boosting came from these drones who upvoted your irrelevant troll comments. LMAO you’re such a weak minded kid. HAHA

        • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

          I see that you conveniently didn’t respond to my comment where I pointed out your incorrect assumption of the Highlander “crushing” the Explorer. Forget it already? Here you go:

          “go search on the computer and see why the Highlander the crushing the explorer on sales.”

          Guess you don’t have a rebuttal for that one, do you?

          Wait, maybe you do. Let me guess, you’re going to call me a liberal (WTF), or an idiot?

          Yeah, keep trying. You’re losing.

          • EL CHAPO

            -spends his whole life on the internet to debate since he’s a shy little man irl.

            Hey son, no need to be insecure and debate against me. I don’t need to give anymore evidence. Go check car sales data and see why your american junk is not selling as much as it used to be. Not my fault that ford makes unreliable cars and most sales are purchased by drone americans. I think you don’t even know what you’re up to, just a attention seeker looking for an argument. Keep going, you keep taking L’s a lot. XD

        • Bullitt2605

          I will put my 17 Explorer Sport up against anything you claim to own in it’s price range and many above it’s price range for that matter. That being said I am not sold on the looks of the 2020, it looks to much like everything else out there.

          • EL CHAPO

            The explorer sport is the most uncomfortable and reliable junk of an SUV ever. Do you americans realized that your american brands are nothing but lies and giving you people into your deathbed? SMH, keep believing in lies.

          • Bullitt2605

            Whats that sound??? Oh it’s your Mom calling you, time to leave the basement for dinner.

          • EL CHAPO

            Try again libtard. Your comeback is as weak as your presence.

        • Bullitt2605

          2017 Highlander 215.775 2017 Explorer 271.131

          • EL CHAPO

            2018 is relevant, but nice try american.

          • Bullitt2605

            Last I checked 2018 wasn’t over but here you go TH 221 Explorer 231 through Nov.

          • EL CHAPO

            is @brn your second account or your boyfriend? And yes 2018 relevant you salty american.

      • EL CHAPO

        And aren’t you doing the same thing here too? You’re full of hypocrisy. GTFO of my comments, you troll.

        • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

          Welcome to the Internet, kid.

          Fact checking is a real thing.

          • EL CHAPO

            -has been living under the rock since day one.

            I understand that you support unreliable junk. But it’s still a junk car at the end of the day liberal.

    • MarketAndChurch

      The Highlander might come close to beating this but the Explorer will probably have enough features to stay competitive and on top.

      • EL CHAPO

        Lets see when this explorer goes on sales

        • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

          I see you upvoted yourself again.

          You’ve got the IQ of the caveman that you’re using as your avatar.

          • EL CHAPO

            3 response and me upvoting my own comments? LMFAO looks like i triggered a little boy on here.

          • brn

            If he doesn’t upvote himself, who will?

  • ErnieB

    Disappointed and I love ford.. wtf is that tacked on screen doing there.. it’s like an after thought.. just not good imo..

  • futures

    that’s a yikes from me dog

  • Honda NSX-R

    I don’t think the pictures of the interior do it any justice

  • TheBelltower

    There’s a lot going on there. Not exactly easy on the eyes.

  • BYOP (PAD).

  • Liam

    Damn ford designing Hyundai interiors better than Hyundai itself….highly disappointed

    • hey ! …you’re not wrong.

  • SteersUright

    Outside looking kind cool but the interior looks a bit of a mess.

    • still is a bit too much inspired by Land Rover to me from the side and back, but at least it’s not just a bad copy now.

  • Craig

    Dull as dishwater.

  • The dash is a bit of a mess, not that Ford is known for making amazing interiors, but the strange thing is… This lloks like the interior of a smaller car. Or the driver is really large and tall.

  • Harry_Wild

    Dial rotary for drive selector looks strange. Center stack looks cheap, third world design.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      Really though? Rang Rover and Jaguar have been using the rotary for over a decade, now all of a sudden it looks strange? I am not a fan of it, but I think you are being a bit harsh.
      I think the overall design looks good. Does well combining wood, leather, metal and plastic, even if all are ‘faux’.
      It will sell well.

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