2020 Ford Explorer, ST, Hybrid Make Their Debuts

Credit: North American International Auto Show
An all-new 2020 Ford Explorer arrives this summer and it plans to make an entrance with two all-new additions to the lineup: a hybrid and a performance-tuned ST. It will start from $400 more than the outgoing base model when it hits dealerships this summer.

2020 Ford Explorer

Ford debuted the 2020 model at this year’s North American International Auto Show. It marks a complete redesign of America’s all-time best-selling SUV. Redesigned from the ground up, Ford says its rear-wheel-drive architecture makes it more capable as well as roomier. The lineup includes XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST and Platinum models.


Explorer: The standard powertrain is a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine with all-new 10-speed transmission. You can opt for a 3.0-liter turbocharged EcoBoost V6 projected to produce 365-horsepower and 380 lb.-ft. of torque using 93-octane gas, making it the most powerful Explorer ever.

ST: The performance-tuned ST, the newest SUV from Ford Performance, comes with a specially tuned 3.0-liter EcoBoost® engine projected to make 400 horsepower and 415 lb.-ft. of torque. It features a Sport mode and reaches a targeted top track speed of 143 mph.

Hybrid: The Hybrid model has a 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain produces 318 combined system horsepower and is projected to return an EPA-estimated range of more than 500 miles between gas station fill-ups in the rear-wheel-drive model.
2020 Ford Explorer ST. Credit: Ford

All-Wheel Drive

The Explorer features intelligent four-wheel drive and an available new Terrain Management System that features seven easy-to-engage drive modes.


Vehicles equipped with a 3.0-liter EcoBoost can tow up to 5,600 pounds, a 12 percent increase over outgoing models with 3.5-liter EcoBoost. New models outfitted with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost and Class III Trailer Tow Package can tow up to 5,300 pounds, versus the current similarly equipped Explorer’s 3,000 pounds.
2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid. Credit: Ford

Standard Features

The all-new Explorer comes packed with more than a dozen new standard features for $400 more than the previous model. Standard features include a power liftgate, 8-inch digital touch screen with SYNC 3, FordPass ConnectTM Wi-Fi service for up to 10 devices and more.

But here’s the real wow moment. It’s when you see the available 10.1-inch portrait touch screen on the center stack. Navigation maps can fill the entire screen or split the space with audio information.

If you go with a Platinum models, you get a twin-panel moonroof, special leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The ST features a flat-bottomed, heated steering wheel embossed with an ST logo and unique floor mats. Leather sport bucket seats with micro-perforation, City Silver accent stitching and ST logo complete the sporty feel.

Park Assist and Reverse Brake Assist

The 2020 Explorer also introduces some new technology. Active Park Assist 2.0 will be available but come standard on the Platinum trim. It 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. .

Available reverse brake assist, also standard on Platinum, uses radar and ultrasonic sensors to detect an object in Explorer’s path, and can apply the brakes automatically to avoid an imminent collision when the vehicle is backing up at a low speed – such as when exiting a driveway.

Ford Co-Pilot360

Explorer comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360TM, Ford’s driver-assist technologies including:

  • Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, which includes Pedestrian Detection, Forward Collision Warning and 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

Other available Ford Co-Pilot360 technologies include Evasive Steering Assist, which provides steering support to help avoid a collision; and Post-Impact Braking provides braking after a collision to lessen injury and damage caused by a secondary crash event.
Credit: Ford
The screen uses capacitive glass similar to what you see on smartphones and tablets for a quicker, more responsive interaction with the updated SYNC 3 system. Standard SYNC 3’s gives drivers compatibility with available features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Waze navigation.

A wireless charging pad allows drivers to charge compatible mobile devices, and up to four USB ports, including new type-C outlets, charge next-generation mobile devices. Up to three 12-volt outlets and a 110-volt outlet are also available.

Sound System

Explorer offers an available 980-watt, 14-speaker B&O premium audio system. Access to SiriusXM satellite radio is standard and comes with new touch screen graphics and functionality – including a display of the day’s sports scores. HD Radio is standard on Limited and Platinum models.


Available PowerFold third-row seats and new E-Z entry second-row seats let drivers create a flat-floor cargo area that stretches out to offer 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space – wide enough to fit standard 4-foot building materials, depending on seating configuration. Accommodating families of all sizes, second-row seats feature a new mechanism that allows for easy entrance and exit to the third row using just one hand.

As far the hybrid goes, Ford says there is no need to worry about cargo space. Unlike previous hybrid vehicles, a specially designed liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery is built into the Explorer chassis below the second-row seats to preserve cargo and passenger space.


The all-new Explorer is manufactured at Chicago Assembly Plant. It’s due in showrooms this summer.

Photo Credit: Ford
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