Here it is – our first look at the sixth-generation Explorer.
The 2020 Ford Explorer has been revealed ahead of its Detroit Auto Show Debut next week, and there’s lots to unpack with the new SUV.
A new rear-wheel drive platform underpins the 2020 Explorer which gets fresh styling, an interior overhaul and some exciting powertrain options.
Engine options begin with a 2.3-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, standard on the base, XLT and Limited models. A 3.0L EcoBoost V6 comes standard on the top-trim Platinum model.
The small 2.3 makes 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, while the V6 EcoBoost puts out 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque.
Now it’s important to mention this: a hot new ST model along with an eco-friendly hybrid are going to be available, each with a unique powertrain, but details on those models will come to light next Monday, Jan. 14 at 9am. Come back to TFL to learn all about them, live from the Detroit Auto Show floor.
We do know one thing about the hybrid though. Ford released that the Explorer Police Interceptor Hybrid is expected to get 24 MPG combined, probably close to what the rating will be for the passenger vehicle. Other fuel economy figures are unknown at this time.
A Terrain Management system has been added to the Explorer, fitting the SUV with seven different drive modes, though the deep sand/snow mode is only available on all-wheel drive models. Rear-drive Explorers get just six drive modes.
Entering the backseat has been made easier too thanks first of all to a large step right inside the rear doors, along with a button on the shoulder of the second-row which automatically folds the seat and pushes it forward. The rear seats are also power fold and can be concealed in the floor when not in use, revealing 87.8 cubic feet of space when tucked away.
How about the interior?
The new Explorer’s interior dimensions stay nearly the same, with the third row actually losing a small amount of legroom. The second row offers 39-inches of legroom, while the third row has 32.2 inches.
Interior dimensions haven’t grown inside, but the Explorer’s screens certainly have. Looking at the dash, you’ll see an all-new standard eight-inch touchscreen, but more expensive models can be fit with a huge 10.1-inch touchscreen tacked onto the center stack in a Portrait configuration. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be used with the Explorer’s SYNC 3 infotainment system.
Directly in front of the driver there is also a new screen, a 12.3-inch digital cluster which offers all the important information. Lesser models will still have traditional gauges and a smaller screen.
More standard technology
A 4G Wi-Fi hotspot comes standard now on every Explorer, allowing up to 10 devices to connect to it at once. And to keep those devices charged, a wireless charging pad directly in front of the middle console is built in. Four USB ports are featured in the Explorer, two of which are USB-C.
There is plenty of other technology offered on the Explorer as well, such as Active Part Assist 2.0. Though auto parking isn’t new from Ford, this system is entirely hands, and feet, free. You simply line up the Explorer for either a perpendicular or parallel park and it will do all of the work for you, even shifting gears if necessary.
Adaptive Cruise Control with speed sign recognition is also part of the package, along with Ford Co-Pilot360, a suite of driver assistance features that includes pre-collision with automatic braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, a backup camera with a built-in lens cleaner and auto headlamps.
18-inch wheels come standard, but seven different designs are available, as each trim and model gets special wheel and grille trearments. The Platinum model gets satin aluminum inserts on the door handles, lower bodyside cladding, roof-rack side rails and that unique grille.
Lastly, tow capacity has been improved with the new model, regardless of engine. Maximum towing is pegged at 5,600 pounds with the 3.0L EcoBoost, while models with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost will be able to pull just slightly less, coming in with a 5300 pound rating.
A huge twin-panel moonroof is also standard on Platinum models.
Check out Ford’s live reveal below:
Prices coming soon
Pricing has not yet been divulged by Ford, other than saying that the standard Explorer will cost just $400 more than the outgoing model, representing a modest increase in price for a lot of new features.
The 2020 Ford Explorer will be built at the Chicago Assembly Plant and you can expect to see them in showrooms this summer.