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Base model shown as 2020 Base RWD
2020 Ford Explorer Base RWD - front view

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Ford Explorer is the best-selling SUV in the U.S.
  • Luxurious interior
  • Large suite of safety equipment
  • Can meet a variety of towing needs
  • Third-row seating
Pro Review

2020 Ford Explorer: Everything You Need to Know

About the Ford Explorer:

The 2020 Ford Explorer serves as the sixth generation of Ford’s best-selling mid-size sport utility vehicle. Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the 2020 Ford Explorer launched a brand new design and comes with a host of safety and convenience technology.

Those considering the all-new Explorer have several engine choices, which all use a 10-speed automatic transmission. Ford is offering a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine and a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 EcoBoost that comes in two power figures. A hybrid mated to a 3.3-liter V6 that’s projected to return 500 miles of range is also available.

Ford designed the 2020 Explorer with a technology and safety suite that rivals those in its class. The systems include Adaptive Cruise Control, Terrain Management, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Automatic Emergency Braking, Pre-Collision Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, and Ford’s new Ford Co-Pilot 360.

What’s New in the 2020 Ford Explorer?

The 2020 Ford Explorer represents a ground-up redesign. Not much carries over from the previous generation. Most notably, the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine will continue into the 2020 model year.

The 2020 Ford Explorer is available in six trims.

Ford Explorer: The standard engine is a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder and sends power to the rear wheels only. The base Explorer comes with Ford’s SYNC infotainment, which is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capable. Keyless entry, powered liftgate, 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment display, and Ford Co-Pilot 360 driver assists are also standard.

Ford Explorer XLT: The Explorer XLT receives all the base Explorer’s features. It adds LED lighting, 10-way powered driver's seat, four-way powered passenger seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 6.5-inch color LCD gauge cluster, roof rack side rails, and dual second-row USB chargers.

Ford Explorer Limited: The Explorer Limited builds on the XLT. The Limited adds: hands-free foot-activated liftgate, heavy-duty rear brake calipers, and 20-inch aluminum wheels. Inside, the Limited gets leather seating, heated second-row seats, third-row PowerFold seats, heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, 360-degree camera, Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist +, rain-sensing front wipers, 12-speaker B&O sound system, HD radio, and a wireless charging pad.

Ford Explorer Hybrid: The Explorer Hybrid gets all the Explorer Limited’s features, but uses the turbocharged hybrid 3.3-liter V6 with a projected 500-mile range. It adds Active Noise Cancellation, heavy duty brakes, a small spare tire, and Pedestrian Alert.

Ford Explorer ST: The new Ford Explorer ST is Ford’s first sporty full-size SUV and comes standard with all the Explorer Limited’s features. Notably, the ST is powered by a sport-tuned turbocharged 3.0-liter V6, sport-tuned suspension, black exterior accents, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels and Class III Trailer Tow Package. Inside, the ST adds a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, sport-bucket leather seats, sport-styled heated steering wheel, Active Park Assist 2.0, Reverse Brake Assist.

Ford Explorer Platinum: The Explorer Platinum builds on the ST’s features. It adds a 3.31 non-limited slip differential, LED tail lamps, Limited-only exterior accents and a dual-panel moonroof. The extras continue with remote-controlled front windows, leather-wrapped front console, wood Ash applique, perforated leather seats, adaptive headlights, power-folding side mirrors, and 20-inch bright machined aluminum wheels.

What Does the Ford Explorer Compete With?

The Ford Explorer competes with the following SUVs:

Ford has largely dominated the SUV market since the brand launched the Explorer in 1990. However, the current crop of rivals is the best in years. Shoppers have plenty to choose from in this category.

Exterior Design of the Ford Explorer

The sixth generation Explorer serves as the biggest departure from Ford’s traditional design. Overall, the new Ford Explorer is sleeker and more aggressive.

The front of the 2020 Ford Explorer features Ford’s new global design language—a style that you will see across the Ford brand. The machined-aluminum grille displays the Ford logo prominently. Sharp headlights wrap around from the grille to the side fenders. Underneath the headlights are twin daytime running lights that top the Explorer’s central air intake.

The 2020 Explorer’s sides are conservative. There is a subtle ripple to the body’s lines that gives the Explorer a soft, yet strong presence. The slanted third-row window is a holdover from the past generation’s design. At the back, the new Ford Explorer features a small roof-mounted spoiler and two exhaust exits.

Ford offers eight different wheel designs for the Explorer. Buyers can choose everything from a simple 18-inch painted wheel to a muscular 21-inch premium rim.

Interior Design of the Ford Explorer

While competitors are adding in as many bells and whistles inside their new SUVs, Ford has simplified and decluttered the 2020 Explorer’s interior.

The dash is a single digital unit that can be customzied to the driver’s preferences. The driver can choose to see the tachometer, odometer, speedometer, heading, music, and fuel capacity, among other things. The Explorer’s steering wheel features a number of buttons and commands to control the vehicle’s various systems and screen.

The dash is divided by a single large 10.1-inch digital infotainment display resembling an Apple iPad. The infotainment displays audio, phone, apps, and navigation controls. The system comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Below the single screen are the analog controls for the HVAC system, heated and ventilated seats, and window defrosters. The armrest holds a rotary transmission dial, as well as storage, two cup holders, and the Explorer’s electronic parking brake.

Seating options include powered, heated and ventilated front seats. In the back seats, Ford offers a 60/40 split, a 40/20/40 split, and twin rear captain’s chair options. The two bench options come with LATCH restraints for child seats. There’s also a third row that folds flat.

Inside th cabin, Ford’s new 2020 Explorer blurs the line between affordability and opulence incorporating luxury touches with easy-to-use functionality.

What Technology Comes With the 2020 Ford Explorer?

Buyers want new automobiles that are as smart as their cellphones. With that in mind, Ford’s packed the new 2020 Explorer with all the latest tech gadgets.

As standard, the Ford Explorer comes with a 10.1-inch infotainment display.

The system includes:

  • Ford SYNC 3
  • Bluetooth
  • 4G-LTE Wi-Fi
  • FordPass Connect Cellphone App Access
  • AM/FM/CD Audio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wireless Charging
  • Four USB Ports
  • Three 12-volt outlets, and a 110-volt outlet
  • Optional B&O 980-watt 14-speaker premium audio

What Kind of Safety Features Are in the Ford Explorer?

The Ford Explorer includes safety features such as:

  • LATCH Child safety restraints
  • Pre-Collision Assist
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Pedestrian Detection
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Dynamic Brake Support
  • Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane-Keeping System
  • Rearview camera with built-in lens cleaner
  • Auto headlamps with auto high-beams
  • Optional Ford Co-Pilot 360 which includes Evasive Steering Assist and Post-Impact Braking

What’s the 2020 Ford Explorer Like to Drive?

Ford hasn’t offered test drives of the new 2020 Explorer, yet, however, the previous 2019 Ford Explorer was an able, sturdy, yet plush SUV. With all the new technology, and the new chassis and engine options, we’re sure that the new Explorer will once again be one of the best-in-class options.

Should I Buy a 2020 Ford Explorer?

Though we haven’t driven the new 2020 Ford Explorer, the Ford Explorer serves as the gold standard of SUVs and is a great buy. We’d urge you to test drive one when they hit dealerships in the summer of 2019.

Should I Buy a Used Ford Explorer?

While we would advise you to purchase newer used models, as those will have more modern technology and safety systems. However, even older Explorers would be good daily commuters.

According to some well-known publications you should avoid purchasing a 2012 or a 2016 used Ford Explorer due to engine problems, rough idle, and HVAC problems.

How Much Does The Ford Explorer Cost?

The 2020 Ford Explorer will be available in the second quarter of 2019 and prices start at $36,675 for the Explorer XLT. The Limited jumps to $48,130 and the ST climbs even higher to $54,740. The tricked out Platinum starts at $58,250. All prices exclude destination charges of $1,095.

Pros and Cons of the 2020 Ford Explorer


  • New design
  • Performance offering should be fun
  • Spacious interior
  • Suite of safety and convenience technologies
  • Long list of available options and engines


  • Higher trim models edge luxury territory price tags
Model History

The History of the Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer was the first four-door SUV in the Ford’s lineup and was introduced in 1990. A dip in gasoline prices and Baby Boomer’s preference for SUVs made the Ford Explorer an extremely popular vehicle.

Most cars have long life-cycles, but due to Explorer demand, Ford has built six generations in just twenty years. Compare that to the Jeep Cherokee, which only has five generations since 1974.

Like all cars, the Ford Explorer has become larger, more spacious, more luxurious, and more powerful with each successive redesign, and the 2020 Explorer continues this trend.

Specs & Key Features of the 2020 Ford Explorer


Body Style
Sport Utility
2.3L EcoBoost I-4
300 hp
10-Speed Automatic w/SelectShift
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Rear Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Android Auto
  • Audio
  • Back Up Camera
  • Blind Spot Sensor
  • Bluetooth
  • Cruise Control
  • LCD Monitor
  • LED Lights
  • Lane Departure Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Monitors
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • Engine: 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 -inc: auto start-stop technology
  • Transmission: 10-Speed Automatic w/SelectShift -inc: Active Transmission Warm-Up (ATWU)
  • 3.58 Non-Limited-Slip Rear Axle Ratio
  • 50 State Emissions System Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) system is standard equipment for vehicles with the 3.3L Ti-VCT V6 engine.
  • Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
  • Rear-Wheel Drive
  • Engine Oil Cooler
  • Battery w/Run Down Protection
  • Towing Equipment -inc: Trailer Sway Control
  • Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
  • Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
  • Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
  • 19.2 Gal. Fuel Tank
  • Quasi-Dual Stainless Steel Exhaust
  • Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front And Rear Vented Discs, Brake Assist, Hill Hold Control and Electric Parking Brake
  • Wheels: 18" Painted Aluminum
  • Tires: P255/65R18 AS BSW -inc: mini spare
  • Steel Spare Wheel
  • Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
  • Clearcoat Paint
  • Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
  • Body-Colored Rear Bumper w/Black Rub Strip/Fascia Accent
  • Black Bodyside Cladding and Black Wheel Well Trim
  • Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
  • Black Door Handles
  • Black Power Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
  • Fixed Rear Window w/Fixed Interval Wiper, Heated Wiper Park and Defroster
  • Deep Tinted Glass
  • Speed Sensitive Variable Intermittent Wipers
  • Galvanized Steel/Aluminum Panels
  • Lip Spoiler
  • Black Grille
  • Power Liftgate Rear Cargo Access
  • Tailgate/Rear Door Lock Included w/Power Door Locks
  • Autolamp Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Led Low/High Beam Auto High-Beam Daytime Running Lights Preference Setting Headlamps w/Delay-Off
  • LED Brakelights
  • Radio: AM/FM Stereo -inc: MP3 capability, 6 speakers, speed-compensated volume and SiriusXM radio w/a 6 month prepaid subscription, Service is not available in Alaska and Hawaii SiriusXM audio and data services each require a subscription sold separately, or as a package, by Sirius XM radio inc. If you decide to continue service after your trial, the subscription plan you choose will automatically renew thereafter and you will be charged according to your chosen payment method at then-current rates. Fees and taxes apply. To cancel you must call SiriusXM at 1-866-635-2349. See SiriusXM customer agreement for complete terms at All fees and programming.
  • Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Aux Audio Input Jack and Steering Wheel Controls
  • Streaming Audio
  • Integrated Roof Antenna
  • SYNC 3 Communications & Entertainment System -inc: enhanced voice recognition, 8" LCD capacitive touchscreen in center stack w/swipe capability, AppLink, 911 Assist, Apple Car Play and Android Auto compatibility and 1 smart-charging multimedia USB port in the media hub,
  • Bluetooth Wireless Phone Connectivity
  • 2 LCD Monitors In The Front
  • Driver Seat
  • Passenger Seat
  • 35-30-35 Folding Bench Front Facing Manual Reclining Tumble Forward Cloth Rear Seat w/Manual Fore/Aft
  • Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
  • Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
  • Power Rear Windows and Fixed 3rd Row Windows
  • Fixed 50-50 Bench Cloth 3rd Row Seat Front, Manual Fold Into Floor and 2 Fixed Head Restraints
  • Front Cupholder
  • Rear Cupholder
  • Compass
  • Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
  • Voice Activated Dual Zone Front Automatic Air Conditioning
  • Rear HVAC w/Separate Controls
  • HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts, Auxiliary Rear Heater and Headliner/Pillar Ducts
  • Locking Glove Box
  • Driver Foot Rest
  • Interior Trim -inc: Piano Black Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look Door Panel Insert, Piano Black Console Insert and Chrome/Metal-Look Interior Accents
  • Full Cloth Headliner
  • Cloth Door Trim Insert
  • Cloth Captain's Chairs -inc: 8-way power driver's seat w/power recline, 4-way manual front passenger seat w/fore/aft and recline and 4-way manually adjustable driver and front passenger head restraints
  • Day-Night Rearview Mirror
  • Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination
  • Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 5 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Front And Rear Map Lights
  • Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
  • Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front And Rear Floor Mats
  • Carpet Floor Trim
  • Trunk/Hatch Auto-Latch
  • Cargo Area Concealed Storage
  • Cargo Space Lights
  • FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
  • FordPass Connect -inc: 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot connects up to 10 devices w/wireless data trial that begins upon AT&T activation and expires at the end of 3 months or when 3GB of data is used, whichever comes first, but cannot extend beyond the trial subscription period for remote features, To activate, go to, remotely start, lock and unlock vehicle, schedule specific times to remotely start vehicle, locate parked vehicle and check vehicle status (FordPass Connect, the Ford Pass App, and Complimentary Connected Services are required for remote features (see FordPass terms for details), Connected Service and features depend on compatible AT&T network availability, Evolving technology/cellular networks/vehicle capability may limit functionality and prevent operation of connected features, Connected services excludes Wi-Fi hotspot.), Note: Ford Telematics and data services prep included for fleet only: FordPass Connect 4G Wi-Fi modem provides data to support telematics and data services including but not limited to vehicle location, speed, idle time, fuel, vehicle diagnostics and maintenance alerts, Device enables telematics services through Ford or authorized providers, Activate at or call 833-FCS-Ford, (833-327-3673)
  • Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
  • Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver And Passenger 1-Touch Up/Down
  • Delayed Accessory Power
  • Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
  • Systems Monitor
  • Trip Computer
  • Outside Temp Gauge
  • Analog Display
  • Seats w/Cloth Back Material
  • Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
  • Front Center Armrest
  • 2 Seatback Storage Pockets
  • Securilock Anti-Theft Ignition (pats) Engine Immobilizer
  • 5 12V DC Power Outlets
  • Air Filtration
  • AdvanceTrac w/Roll Stability Control Electronic Stability Control (ESC) And Roll Stability Control (RSC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Reverse Sensing System Rear Parking Sensors
  • Ford Co-Pilot360 - Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) Blind Spot Sensor
  • Ford Co-Pilot360 - Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Lane Keeping Alert Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Keeping Alert Lane Departure Warning
  • Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Safety Canopy System Curtain 1st, 2nd And 3rd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag
  • Mykey System -inc: Top Speed Limiter, Audio Volume Limiter, Early Low Fuel Warning, Programmable Sound Chimes and Beltminder w/Audio Mute
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
  • Back-Up Camera w/Washer

Warranty Options for the 2020 Ford Explorer (4)










Roadside Assistance



Available Trims for the 2020 Ford Explorer (8)

Base RWD
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Base 4WD
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Limited RWD
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Limited 4WD
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Platinum 4WD
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Safety Ratings for the 2020 Ford Explorer

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2020 Ford Explorer Base RWD:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating