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A close up of a blue 2020 Ford Explorer's grille is shown.

The All-New 2020 Ford Explorer: A New Redesign for a New Decade

Ford Motor Company enters the new decade with a full lineup of Ford SUVs ready to help its customers take on the new challenges ahead. Ford is currently producing five SUVs, which range from the compact Ecosport with an MSRP of $19,995, the small SUV Escape with an MSRP of $24,885, to the midsize Edge with an MSRP of $31,100, all the way to the full-size Expedition with an MSRP of $52,810. However, the flag ship of the Ford SUV fleet continues to be the Ford Explorer. Ford has been making Explorers since 1991, and the new model promises to be the best one ever. This three-row, midsize SUV has been fully redesigned for the 2020 model year. The 2020 Ford Explorer features new styling and layout to maximize space and make the vehicle more aerodynamic.

In addition, Ford has equipped the 2020 Explorer with many of the latest features to improve safety and convenience. With four different models to choose from, there are plenty of choices for drivers who need a vehicle that can accommodate up to seven passengers and want an SUV that is dependable, versatile, and fun to drive.

Four Trim Levels to Choose From

The 2020 Ford Explorer comes in four different trim levels, each with features that differentiate it from the other levels. The base model is the Explorer XLT, with an MSRP of $36,675. This is a rear-wheel drive SUV, as is the next model up, the Explorer Limited, with an MSRP of $48,130. The Limited adds leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, front and rear scuff plates, ambient lighting, and a Bang & Olufsen sound system. Both the XLT and Limited can be purchased with intelligent four-wheel drive as an upgrade. The sporty Explorer ST is four-wheel drive, and seats up to six passengers. The ST has an MSRP of $55,025, and features unique sport-tuned front and rear independent suspension, a special heated sport style steering wheel, and a specialized interior. The top-of-the-line is the Explorer Platinum, with an MSRP of $58,535. Like the ST, it is four-wheel drive. However, it can seat up to seven passengers, has special illuminated scuff plates, a twin-panel moonroof, tri-diamond perforated leather seats with accent stitching, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters.

A blue 2020 Ford Explorer, which is a favorite among Ford SUVs, is towing a boat out of a lake with trees in the distance.

Three Engine Options to Explore

Ford offers the 2020 Explorer with three different engines. The Explorer XLT and Limited feature a 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 engine with auto stop/start. This feature will automatically stop the engine at a traffic light or other traffic stoppage, and then restart it when you take your foot off the brake. This will help in conserving fuel. As a result, the 2020 Ford Explorer with this engine is rated to have a fuel economy of 21 miles per gallon in city driving, 28 miles per gallon in highway driving, and 24 miles per gallon combined. The 2.3-liter engine uses its four cylinders to efficiently produce up to 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

The 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum is equipped with a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine that can produce up to 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The Explorer ST adds a turbo to this engine, allowing it to produce up to 400 horsepower and 410 lb-ft of torque. Even with all this power, the 3.0-liter V6 is actually quite fuel efficient. Drivers should receive an estimated 18 miles per gallon in the city, 24 miles per gallon on the highway, and 20 miles per gallon combined.

Ford also offers a 3.3-liter hybrid engine for the Explorer if you are concerned about the environment or just want to get better mileage. This has been rated to provide between 450 and 500 miles range, with estimated fuel economy of 27 miles per gallon in the city, 29 miles per gallon on the highway, and 28 miles per gallon combined.

Drivers should enjoy the handling of the new Ford Explorer as well. It features a 10-speed automatic transmission on all engines across all trims, giving you more control when driving in different conditions. Also, the Explorer has a turning radius of a tight 19.6 feet on its 114.1 inch wheelbase. Front and rear tracks measure 66.9 inches, giving plenty of grip for control on the road.

Trailering and Cargo

Unlike most SUVs, the Ford Explorer has been designed to provide you with the ability to tow and transport a great deal of cargo. The Explorer has been rated to provide between 5,000 and 5,600 pounds of maximum towing capacity, depending on the engine. Furthermore, there is room for up to 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the second and third rows of seats folded down. There is still 47.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row of seats, and an acceptable 18.2 cubic feet of space at all times behind the third row of seats.

Plenty of Passenger Room

The black leather third row seating of a 2020 Ford Explorer is shown.

The 2020 Ford Explorer may be the roomiest three-row midsize SUV in its class. There is a full 152.7 cubic feet of passenger space as a result of the redesign for 2020. The vehicle has a 2/2/3 layout, with the first and second row passengers in captain style seats. The first row has 40.7 inches of headroom, 43 inches of legroom, 61.8 inches of shoulder room, and 59.2 inches of hip room. Second row passengers will also get a spacious 40.5 inches of headroom, 39 inches of legroom, 61.9 inches of shoulder room, and 59.1 inches of hip room. While the third row is often given short shrift in three-row SUVs, the engineers at Ford have not forgotten the three passengers who will be sitting in the Explorer’s third row. Third row passengers will enjoy a roomy 38.9 inches of headroom, 32.2 inches of legroom, 54.6 inches of shoulder room, and 40.9 inches of hip room. With this much space, and the luxurious appointments of the Explorer, your passengers may not want to leave the vehicle when you reach your destination.

Infotainment and Safety Features

All 2020 Ford Explorers come equipped with Ford’s Sync3 system with FordPass Connect. This is one of the top infotainment systems in the automotive industry, marrying an excellent sound system with exceptional connectivity. The base model XLT features an AM/FM, MP3-compatible sound system with six speakers. The Limited, ST, and Platinum upgrades this to a state-of-the art B&O sound system from Bang & Olufsen, one of the leading firms in the audio industry. FordPass Connect turns your Explorer into a mobile 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

SiriusXM Satellite Radio, dual second-row smart charging USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, and either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto come standard on all 2020 Ford Explorers. Finally, the Limited, ST, and Platinum have a standard voice-activated navigation system, which is an optional item on the XLT.

With respect to safety, Ford Motor Company has upped the standards on the 2020 Ford Expedition. Each Expedition features AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, an airbag system, SOS Post-Crash Alert System, traction control, trailer sway control, rearview camera with washer, a reverse sensing system, and a Lane Keeping System. This system includes such “smart” features as lane-keeping assist, lane-keeping alert, and driver alert. Most other manufacturers limit this type of system to higher trim levels or only offer it as a premium option.

The Explorer ST and Platinum add a number of additional safety features as standard that are optional on the XLT and Limited. These include Hill Descent Control and a Terrain Management System. These will help you better handle your Explorer in different conditions, especially if you plan to go off-roading.

The 2020 Ford Explorer represents the latest and greatest version of this venerable SUV legend. Whichever trim level you choose, whatever engine you decide on, your 2020 Ford Explorer will make you equipped to handle the roads in the coming decade.