Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Two 2020 Ford Explorers, red and grey, are stopped at a red light on a busy city street.

2020 Ford Explorer

In the past, Ford took the top spot in the world of SUVs. Not only did previous Ford Explorers have great 4WD traction for tough terrain, but it also had interior versatility and comfort. But with car companies turning up the heat in the SUV market, will the 2020 Ford Explorer stack up and take the reins of the SUV market? With new engines, upgraded looks, and excellent passenger accommodations, it seems like the new Ford Explorer is going to be a hit. 

So, if you’re looking to pick-up your kids from school, take the family cross country, or are looking for a smooth, safe, and practical SUV, then the all-new Explorer may be the best fit for you. Who knows, maybe you’ll stop by the dealership? But first, let’s breakdown the new features of the 2020 Ford Explorer and compare it to the previous model year. 


Let’s face it, when looking for a car that needs to haul your family, safety is the number one importance. You have precious cargo, so you want to make sure that you do whatever you can to protect them on the road. Ford has really stepped it up this year when it comes to safety so that you can have peace of mind on the road. The base XLT trim comes with a ton of safety features, so even if you don’t get an upgraded trim, the XLT still has great safety. Let’s look at some of these features.

  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control

No matter what you do or where you live, if you drive, eventually you will come across rough terrain. This especially applies if you live in a colder climate. We can’t control the weather – we can only prepare for it. So when looking for a car, we want one that can be at the ready for whatever is thrown at it. AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control enables the vehicle’s computer to help you maintain control on ice, gravel, or in the rain.

  • Belt-Minder

Yes, I know, your going to deny it, but sometimes we forget to put our seatbelt on. Most cars notify you when your seatbelts are unbuckled to remind you to put it on. Ford went a step further and made this available to not only the driver and the front-seat passenger, but also those all the way back in the third row!

  • LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tether Anchors for Children)

We can’t forget about our newborns, can we? Ford went past the traditional buckles for the car seat and added the LATCH system. This system allows the child seats to be more firmly attached and secured, available in both the second- and third-row seating.

  • New Location for Airbags

A red 2020 Ford Explorer is driving on a snow road through a wooded area.

In the 2019 Ford Explorer, we saw the overhead airbags, now called the Safety Canopy System. The new Ford Explorer not only has this system, but also adds front passenger knee airbags. They add a nice soft cushion in-between our knees and the instrument panel in the event of an accident.

Clearly, the 2020 Ford Explorer has some decent safety specs. While we can all agree that these features give us peace of mind on the road and hold great importance, they might not make us overly excited about a new car. If you have a large family, or you commute every day, interior amenities and passenger seating are also very important. Let’s review what you get on the inside of this car.


A car can have everything, style, safety, and power, but if it doesn’t have a roomy and comfortable interior, it’ll be a pain to drive. As we’ve seen in recent years, Ford has put some great, convenient, and fun interior features in the Explorer. This year is no different. Unfortunately, there are just too many features to mention here, so let’s discuss the highlights.

  • FordPassConnect

We’ve all come across that problem at some time. We ran out of cellular data on our phones. With the FordPass Connect, passengers of your vehicle can sync up to an in-vehicle 4G LTE WI-FI hotspot! You can connect up to 10 devices at once, having access from up to fifty feet outside the vehicle. Perfect for outdoor activities.

  • FordPass

As cars grow with technology, our phones – the tool we always have on us – can control parts of our vehicle. This means that wherever we go, we have access to our car. Ford introduced the FordPass app back in 2016, with features like lock/unlock, start/stop, and checking fuel and fluid levels. But as the app developed, the features got better and better. You can locate your vehicle from your phone, check service history, and get access to roadside assistance all with this powerful app. The new Ford Explorer has access to this useful feature.

  • SYNC 3 with Apple Carplay, Android Auto, and Alexa

It’s clear that consumers love being able to plug into their cars. It takes our eyes off the road while also giving us access to important information from our phone. Just like last year’s model, the touchscreen has compatibility with many of the new phone’s operating systems. It allows you to use voice-activated commands to find directions to your favorite restaurants, change songs, and read your messages all with your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.

  • B&O Sound System with 14 Speakers

Enjoy your ride with the B&O system on the Premium Technology Package. This 14-speaker, 980-watt system by Bang and Olufsen is built for those times you want to rock out while driving. Instead of settling, upgrade and enjoy. This premium upgrade is only available on the ST and Titanium trims.

  • Cargo space

The 2019 Ford Explorer had a ton of cargo space, coming in at around 81 cubic feet. This year Ford outdid themselves and added another 6 cubic feet. Now everyone can fit comfortably, while carrying all the gear the family needs in the back.

The 2020 Ford Explorer has everything you and your passengers will need for those long trips or the short drive to school or work. But what about the way the car gets you from A to B? What are the drivetrain and power outputs like? Let’s dive in!

The front black leather interior of the 2020 Ford Explorer.

 Power Options

The 2019 model year had a great engine line-up, which included the 2.3 EcoBoost and the 3.5 Ti-VCT V6 engines. Now, while these engines are very respectful and powerful, Ford pushed the limits of their new engine line-up. This year there are three engines to choose from, and two of them are brand-new to the Explorer. There is the 2.3 EcoBoost I4, 3.0 EcoBoost V6, and 3.3L Hybrid V6 engines. There are some awesome features with these engine options. 

  • 2.3L EcoBoost Engine

Many people think that if you’re getting a full-sized SUV, the only engine option is a V6. But Ford is making it abundant that their little inline 4-cylinder, turbocharged engine, is clearly a contender. The numbers are clear, 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. It makes 20 more horsepower than last year’s model, enabling the 4-cylinder to tow up to 5,300 pounds! This proves that an engine that saves on gas doesn’t always have to compromise on power.

  • 3.0L EcoBoost V6

Last year we saw the 3.5L V6 engine, and it was great. Plenty of power and torque. This year though, the ST trim level blows that out of the water. Coming in at 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque, this is a true power machine. With intelligent 4WD and a 5,600 lbs towing capacity, the Explorer ST can really handle whatever is thrown at it. 

  • 3.3L Hybrid Engine

Ford is once again showing that there is no need for a big, gas-guzzling engine in a full-sized SUV. They took a 3.3L V6 engine and mated it up with an electric motor. This pushes out a decent 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. With a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs, it is an awesome alternative for the traditional gas engine.

The 2020 Ford Explorer has a great line-up of engines this year, and we think you’ll be impressed. Now with the new rear-wheel-drive standard on some trims and the intelligent 4WD on others, there is something for everyone. There are a ton of additional features that come on the Ford Explorer, but the only way to truly experience these is to visit the dealership. Who knows, you may fall in love.

What’s next?

With car companies putting out new cars with amazing features, there is no need to compromise. The Ford Explorer has very little sticking points and many great features that are sure to impress. With a new engine line-up, incredible safety, and a roomy interior with updated technology, there is something for the whole family. What you do next is up to you, but hopefully, this shows that the 2020 Ford Explorer is an SUV that is worth checking out. 

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