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2020 Ford Explorer: First Look

  • The 2020 Ford Explorer switches to all-new rear-wheel-drive unibody platform.
  • The SUV offers its broadest lineup ever including hybrid and ST models.
  • Ford’s Co-Pilot360 driver-assistance suite of safety features is standard.
  • Look for the new Explorer to go on sale summer 2019.

The 2020 Ford Explorer is the point vehicle in the brand’s sharpened focus on trucks and SUVs. For the 2020 model year, Ford gives its top-selling 3-row SUV a road-to-roof redo on an all-new rear-wheel-drive-based architecture shared with the upcoming 2020 Lincoln Aviator. With a longer wheelbase, shorter front overhang and faster roofline, Ford’s managed to make the new Explorer both more muscular and sleeker-looking. Rolling out an expanded lineup that now includes hybrid and ST performance models, Ford recently unveiled the 2020 Explorer in advance of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan.

What’s Under The Hood?

Ford’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder with an estimated 300 horsepower moves base, XLT and Limited. The 365-hp 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 powers Platinum models. Both turbocharged engines are linked to a 10-speed automatic transmission and can be configured with RWD or Ford’s on-demand Intelligent 4-wheel drive, the latter with a 7-mode Terrain Management System including Trail, Slippery, Sport, Tow/Haul, Normal, Deep Snow/Sand and a new Eco setting. Max towing capacity with the V6 rises to 5,600 pounds.

What Equipment Does It Have?

Among Explorer’s many standard features is a power liftgate, one-touch button for third-row access and a cargo bay that can carry 4-ft-wide plywood or drywall. There’s also a Safety Belt Monitor that shows the driver which vehicle occupants have their seatbelts buckled.

How About Tech?

FordPass Connect with 4G onboard Wi-Fi for up to 10 devices is standard, as is Sync 3, which brings Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Waze Navigation compatibility. There’s an 8-in infotainment touchscreen that can be upgraded to a free-standing 10.1-in portrait-format screen. Also standard is Ford Co-Pilot360, which adds auto emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, an automatic high-beam system plus a backup camera with a self-cleaning lens. Other available driver-assist technology includes intelligent adaptive cruise control with speed sign recognition and Active Park Assist 2.0 that not only steers the Explorer into a parking space, but also manages the throttle, gearshift and brakes — and can do the same leaving the parking space.

What Will It Cost?

Ford hasn’t released Explorer pricing yet but did say that the 2020 model will start out just $400 more than the outgoing version. That would put it just under $34,000 including destination charge.

When Is It Available?

The 2020 Ford Explorer goes on sale this Summer.

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