Is The 2020 Ford Explorer As Good As The Figures Suggest?

The 2020 Ford Explorer reinvented itself for this generation, with a modern but familiar shape dressing its new rear-drive underpinnings and powertrains.

The new platform also comes with a longer wheelbase, which not only improves the handling and weight distribution but also benefits the available room inside the cabin. Most variants of the new Ford Explorer will feature a pair of captain’s chairs on the middle row but a traditional bench seat is also available.

Customers will be offered no less than four powertrain options with the new Explorer; base models come with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder unit, producing 300hp (304PS) and 310lb-ft (420Nm) of torque.

Also Read: 2020 Ford Explorer Debuts With Less Weight And New RWD Platform

Next up we get a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 that’s good enough for 365hp (370PS) and 380lb-ft (514Nm) of torque but go for the sporty ST version and you’ll get 400hp and 415lb-ft (562Nm) of torque from the same engine.

Perhaps the highlight of the range is the new Explorer Hybrid, which combines a naturally aspirated 3.3-liter V6 engine with an electric motor for a combined 318hp. Ford hasn’t released the full technical details and official mpg figures but it claims that the Hybrid will be capable of travelling more than 500 miles (804km) on a single tank of fuel.

All variants come with a ten-speed automatic transmission as standard. The range includes the base Explorer, the XLT, the Limited, the Hybrid, the ST and the most luxurious Platinum model.

Edmunds had a go in the new 2020 Explorer, giving us the first feedback on Ford’s best-selling and ever-popular SUV model.



  • Rocket

    RWD with little or no compromise to interior space? That’s what you call a win-win. Throw in the 4 powertrain options, and I’m going to predict a smash hit.

    • Stephen G

      Except for the driving in the snow thing. Probably hurt sales in northern states.

      • Rocket

        Most needing to drive in the snow will opt for AWD, as they do with the current FWD-based Explorer.

        • Stephen G

          I’ve read studies that showed AWD makes little difference over FWD. These studies focused on the activation of electronic self controlled systems. Mostly there as (false) piece of mind for driver. I have only driven FWD on a daily basis and have never found the need for AWD (or 4WD). For me it’s not worth the added expense of upfront cost, extra maintenance, added repair potential and sacrifice in fuel economy. FWD and good tires is all you need.

      • Althea Later

        It’s at least 18 gallons.

        • Stephen G

          Boooo..less than 27mpg for a hybrid.

    • Alduin

      They somehow managed to reduce the roof line and visibility. They did compromise on utility and visibility.

      • Rocket

        The specs and the reviews both say otherwise.

        • Alduin

          Judging by the pictures you can easily see the differences between this new one and the current one.

  • mick

    No USB in third row for any of the trims? That’s an oversight that will need to be corrected pretty quickly. That means there is only one usb and one usb-c for the entire second and third row. I can already hear the screaming.

  • Rocket

    All trims are available with mechanical AWD.

  • Hot Twink

    With the new Explorer’s (U625) switch to longitudinal rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive versions see the return of a BorgWarner transfer case. It is available on all trim versions.

    The transfer case has a driveline-chain and multi-disc clutchpack. Depending on the terrian mode selected, the clutchpack will lock for a 50:50 torque split.

    The previous transverse front-wheel drive Explorer (U502) could not use a transfer case. Instead, all-wheel drive versions had to use a PTO and RDM setup.

  • BlackPegasus

    If this were a contest based solely on beauty and desirability, the Kia Telluride would be the hot SUV right now. That thing looks rugged and sexy. The Explorer looks a bit derivative imo.

    • brn

      It’s subjective, so you’re allowed to have an opinion quite a bit different than mine.

    • Jawohl

      Kia? Lol


        This ford will be left behind in the sales of the new highlander

        • Jawohl

          How surprising!

  • Alduin

    Ford Exploders have always been garbage. My mom owned a brand new 2001 Eddy Bauer and the transmission took a crap at 70,000. Ford makes a good F150-250 but their Cars and SUV’s are crap. Ford also reduced the practicality of the interior of the new exploder by making it shorter and smaller.

    • Matt

      2001… 18 years ago? I’m not sure that’s relevant to the 2020 model.

      • Alduin

        Yes it’s relevant. Ford still uses a crappy dual clutch automatic. Seen the failure rates in the Focus?

    • ErnieB

      Sorry to disagree here.. fords are not made like they used to, and I mean it as a compliment.

      • Alduin

        Fords are still built like sh|t.

        • ErnieB

          Compared to Honda and Toyota of which I have owned multiple.. I’d still take the modern ford. I owned a 2014 Ford Fusion that was as good if not better than an accord I owned.. sorry. Your reasoning is sh/t. I also owned a Honda Accord V6.. I’d still take the 4cyl mustang any day of the week.

          • Alduin

            Ford fusion has had issues but the last gen was fairly reliable. The current model is decent i’m sure but meh.

  • Cobrajet

    Still has the cheap looking tailamps.

  • Still is too much inspired by Ranger Rover design. It seems since Ford sold Volvo, Aston Martin and Land Rover they can’t stop taking design clues from them. Wich is a shame, when they owned Jag, Aston, Volvo along side Lincoln I admired them for not making boring look alike cars like GM did. Now it seems outside of the F150, GT, Mustang… they just take what exist and change dip it in Ford Sauce.


    Ford has a lot of fixing to do

  • metric

    RWD is standard on the Hybrid, 4WD is a $2195 option. This info is available on Ford’s website.

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