The 2020 Explorer has landed and there are a lot of changes as Ford enters the 6th generation of production on this American Icon. A complete redesign from top to bottom, inside and out make the 2020 a completely different animal from its predecessor. Without further ado, let’s Explore! Without question, the 2020 Explorer exudes style with noticeable changes right off the bat, from its stance with a slightly longer wheelbase at 198.9 inches and a new more chiseled look with more angular lines that make the SUV look more muscular and wider. There are new headlights and taillights and a new grille design that includes Ford’s signature blacked-out mesh on the ST. The ST features blacked-out trim while the Platinum features chromed out trim and grille. The roofline looks sleeker and the overall stance with its wide rear hips makes this new Explorer really look like a rear-wheel-drive based machine that is now once again is.
There are also new wheel options with 20 inches standard on the limited and up trims and optional 21-inch wheels on the ST and Platinum. As we move to the interior the redesign has also made its way inside with similar lines and angles that carry over from the exterior. First and foremost the biggest noticeable change is the new 10.1-inch tablet-style SYNC 3 screen front and center.
This layout allows for split top and bottom view that spread out the information in an easier to read view. The new tech doesn’t end there however as the dash gets a new look too with its 12.3-inch customizable cluster that comes standard on the ST and Platinum that lets you configure the look and function of your gauges and even changes when placing the vehicle into sport and tow/haul modes. The climate controls are easy to read and reach under the SYNC 3 screen and there are buttons for your heated and cooled seats on the higher trims. The front seats even feature active motion massage capability when equipped. The rear seats also are heated as well. In the second row, there are either bench or captain’s chair options and the captain’s chairs feature a power tilt/manual slide option to access the third row.
The third row features plenty of headroom and cup holders on both sides. There is no shortage of cup holders in the new explorer with a combination of bottle/cup holders in the doors and in the consoles for a total of 12 spaces. The second-row seats tilt, recline and slide for ultimate comfort and there are integrated sun shades in the doors to keep the interior cool. But if you want to let the sun shine in the available panoramic vista roof allows light to shine on all 3 rows. There is loads of tech in the 2020 explorer to be expected and as a carryover from the last generation there are different drive modes you can place the Explorer into however they have expanded a bit to include Normal, Eco, Sport and Tow Haul modes to the left on the dial and driving conditions modes to the right with slippery, trial, and deep snow and sand. Also down on the center console are your active park assist buttons, the auto-start stop button off switch, and hill descent control.
You also get keyless entry with a push-button start next to your SYNC 3 screen and the ST and Platinum comes equipped with a 360-degree reverse camera and a 180-degree front-facing camera. There is a wireless charging pad that right beneath the center storage bin, but for times you need your phone handy in front of the cup holders is a cell phone pocket that keeps your phone upright. And if you need to charge your phone with a cord there are USB and USB C hookups in the front center console storage along with a 12 volt and the second row gets both USB and USB C hookups with a 110-volt port. The available B&O sound system features up to 14 speakers and keeps the whole vehicle rocking, but for further entertainment value, you can add the available dual-headrest rear entertainment system on the XLT, Limited, ST, and Platinum. For storage, there are 3 bins in the back to tuck away items and when you need additional space the 3rd row can be power folded down by the push of a button and there is an additional 12-volt power port in the back as well.
The Explorer gives you a total of 87 cubic feet behind the first row when all passenger rows are folded down. The hands-free liftgate can be opened and closed with just a swipe of your foot under the bumper. As previously mentioned the new 2020 Explorer returns to a rear-wheel-drive layout and receives new engines as well. The standard engine is a 4 cylinder 2.3L EcoBoost. But in the Platinum, you get a new 3.0L V6 EcoBoost with 365 HP and the ST the same engine power output is boosted to 400hp and 415lb.-ft. of torque. You can also outfit your Explorer with a 3.3L V6 Hybrid engine and all of them are mated to Ford’s 10-speed transmission which provides excellent acceleration and power throughout the band. Towing numbers are up with the new layout maxing out at 5600lbs. when equipped with the 3.0L. Building on the advance trac with roll stability the standard trailer sway control helps maintain trailer control by adjusting the brakes and engine power. As for driving feel he AWD variants feel very rear-wheel-drive biased which is good and results in a much more planted feel in the corners handling much better than the previous generation.
For additional safety, the 2020 Explorer is outfitted with Ford’s CO-Pilot 360 suite of safety features including the BLIS system with trailer coverage, the previously mentioned rearview cameras, the lane-keeping system, auto emergency braking, and auto high beam headlights. If you step up to the Co-Pilot 360 assist + package you get intelligent adaptive cruise control with lane-centering and speed sign recognition, evasive steering assist, and the voice-activated nav & Sirius traffic and travel link. The 2020 Ford Explorer sets the bar extremely high for the competition, not only in comfort, but capability, technology, power, and looks. The new Explorer has it all. To check it out for yourself you have to stop by our lot at Richmond Ford where we are driven by you! Please like, comment, and subscribe.