2020 Ford Explorer First Look
2020 Ford Explorer First Look By Auto Critic Steve Hammes
The signs were there. When Lincoln revealed their new 3-row Aviator built upon a rear-wheel-drive platform it was a lock that the next generation Ford Explorer would follow suit.
And indeed, it has. By aligning the 10-speed transmission with the EcoBoost engine’s output shaft, this rear-wheel-drive-based Explorer has specific performance, towing and design benefits over its front-drive-based predecessor.
Ford says this Explorer is roomier in all 3 rows, and more capable, comfortable and sportier.
Families will benefit from myriad places to stow personal items, a new E-Z entry 2nd row seat that can be operated with one hand, a wide, flat load floor that can carry 4’ building materials, redesigned anchor points for easier child seat installation throughout the rear, available PowerFold 3rd row seats, and available 2nd row window sunshades.
Explorer Base, XLT and Limited models run with a reinvigorated 2.3-liter turbo-4 punching above its weight at 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. And awaiting Platinum buyers is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing a robust 365 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, accommodating 5,600 pounds towing.
All-wheel drive is standard on this range-topping model with a front axle disconnect feature to preserve fuel economy which will help because this motor runs on premium grade.
Up to seven selectable drive modes are available to tailor the drive experience to road, weather and terrain conditions on demand.
On the tech front, the Explorer introduces available Active Park Assist 2.0 which allows the driver to park in a parallel or perpendicular spot with a touch of a button without having to work the steering wheel, gear shifter, gas pedal or brake pedal.
And the cabin features an available 10.1-inch touch screen mounted in portrait configuration on the center stack.
Fuel economy and pricing will be announced closer to the Explorer’s summer on-sale date.