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2020 Ford Explorer Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2020 Ford Explorer?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

Are You Considering a 2020 Ford Explorer? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are an extremely popular choice for many drivers. They offer more interior cargo and seating space than a sedan, they handle well in adverse road and weather conditions, and their large size make drivers feel safer. With most major car companies offering different versions of SUVs, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which one to purchase. If you are looking for a midsize SUV, the new 2020 Ford Explorer should definitely be at the top of your list. It's one of Ford Motor Company's most long standing staples, and it comes with a reliable and consistent track record. The 2020 Explorer has quite a few improvements from previous years, and it offers a lot of updates and impressive features. We'll break down all of the reasons that it is an attractive choice, and we'll also give you a few reasons why you may want to consider something different.

What's New For 2020?

With the 2020 Ford Explorer, drivers can choose between two EcoBoost engines. The base, XLT, and Limited models have a 2.3-liter turbocharged engine, and the Platinum model has a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine. It has more towing capacity, and it has returned to a rear-wheel-drive layout.

There is new driver assist technology, and with the new Terrain Management System, drivers can choose up to seven drive modes based on weather and road conditions. The 2020 Explorer also comes standard with Ford CoPilot360, which offers a collection of impressive technological features. It has undergone a completely redesign, and Ford has even managed to increase the amount of interior space.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2020 Ford Explorer – The Pros

1.The All-Inclusive Ford Co-Pilot360

Ford has created a package of advanced driver assistance systems that come standard with all trim levels. Included in this package are a lane keeping system that alerts you when you are drifting into another lane of traffic, a rear view camera, and automatic emergency braking. These amazing features give drivers a boost of confidence, knowing that their vehicle is well-equipped to effectively prevent collisions and accidents.

2. Active Park Assist 2.0 Will Change Your Parking Experience Forever

Can you imagine being able to get into a parking space easier with the touch of a button? If you purchase a 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum, you will no longer have to imagine. Active Park Assist 2.0 comes standard on this trim level, and with it, drivers are able to navigate even the tightest of parking spaces with ease. All you have to do is push a button, and the system will find an appropriate parking space and alert you when it is time to stop and put the vehicle in neutral. Once this happens, you hold the Active Park Assist button down and the Explorer will maneuver itself into the space! This system will also help you get out of tight spaces without damaging your vehicle or someone else's.

3. Comfortable and Flexible Interior Space

Not only does the 2020 Ford Explorer have newly expanded seating space for 7, it also manages to have ample cargo space of 87.8 cubic feet. The second row of the SUV includes 2 captain seats, and the third row includes a 3-seat bench, all of which can be folded to create more cargo space when you need to transport extra items. There is also the E-Z Entry second row seating feature, which enables passengers to get in and out of the rear seating with the touch of a button.

In terms of passenger comfort, all trim levels come standard with an air filtration system, tri-zone electronic temperature control, and rear auxiliary climate control.

4. The New Limited Hybrid Option

The 2020 overhaul of the Ford Explorer brought with it the new Limited Hybrid model with 3.3L Hybrid Powertrain, and it is so impressive that it deserves some individual spotlight. If you are specifically looking for a hybrid SUV, you will be pleased with this one. It is the only hybrid in its class that can tow 5,000 pounds, and it is just as agile on off-road terrain. According to EPA estimates, you can drive this SUV 500 miles before having to stop for gas.

5. This SUV Has Style

Much of the redesign of the 2020 Ford Explorer focused on the interior, and it definitely shows. This is a vehicle that you will be happy to drive around in, especially because of the lush materials, strategically placed buttons and overall welcoming and comfortable feel of the cabin. Drivers have the option of upgrading to tri-Diamond perforated leather seats, as well as a twin panel moonroof that offers a stunning view of the sky above.

The most noticeable change on the exterior of the 2020 Ford Explorer is the new grill, which is reminiscent of a sports car. The angles and roof line on the exterior are extremely pronounced, and the headlights with LED lighting combine to give it a very eye catching and attractive look. With tasteful chrome accents throughout, this is a vehicle that stands out in the parking lot.

6. Cutting Edge Technology

This SUV is bursting with all types of technology features. With Sync 3, drivers can enjoy voice activated technology, and also connect their vehicle with their smartphones through Apple CarPlay or AndroidAuto. Sync 3 also makes the Ford + Alexa app possible, which gives access to voice navigation, traffic information, and even Amazon Prime shopping. The 8-inch responsive infotainment touchscreen comes standard, and drivers can opt to upgrade to a 10.1-inch screen that functions very much like a smart phone. Other amenities like a wireless charging pad, 12-volt and 110-volt outlets, and a sophisticated Bang & Olufsen 14-speaker premium audio system, all combine to make the 2020 Explorer a state-of-the-art vehicle.

7. The Terrain Management System Provides Versatility

Have you ever wanted to adjust your vehicle based on the condition of the road? If so, then you'll be very happy with the 2020 Ford Explorer's available Terrain Management System that come standard on the ST and Platinum models. This system manipulates torque, throttle and stability control, and allows you to make easy and quick shifts when needed. With it, you get to choose between four different settings that include Normal, Mud/Ruts, Sand, or Grass/Gravel/Snow.

8. Enhanced Capability

You will be able to tackle any road in the 2020 Ford Explorer. It comes with the all new Rear Wheel Drive, which makes for a sportier design, better on-and-off road capability, and 600 more pounds of tow capacity when properly equipped. The already mentioned Terrain Management System, paired with the new 10-speed transmission, gives drivers a noticeable enhanced driving experience. This transmission enables smoother transitions and enhanced acceleration, especially when compared to the 6-speed transmission of previous models.

9. The Convenience of FordPass Connect

FordPass Connect is a standard feature with all trim levels of the 2020 Ford Explorer. Once the driver downloads the app and connects it to their vehicle, they can start or unlock it remotely, check mileage and fuel levels, and even schedule the SUV to start automatically. There is also a Vehicle Locator feature that saves the location of your SUV as soon as you turn it off. On top of all these things, FordPass also equips the Explorer with 4G LTE Wi-Fi that can support up to 10 devices. This type of convenience is hard to pass up.

10. A Long List of Standard Safety and Security Features

All trim levels of the 2020 Ford Explorer offer standard safety and security features. Included in these features is the AdvanceTrac® with Roll Stability Control™, which is an electronic stability system that gives the vehicle better control on slippery or challenging surfaces. There is also the Belt-Minder® system, which offers an additional level of reminders to fasten seatbelts, and the SOS Post-Crash Alert System™, which calls for help in the event of a collision. The battery saver feature, perimeter alarm, and SecuriLock® Passive Anti-Theft System offer additional assistance with safety and security.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2020 Ford Explorer – The Cons

1. Many of the Best Features Do Not Come Standard

While the 2020 Ford Explorer offers an extensive list of awesome features, many of them do not come standard, and require purchasing an upgraded model. The base model is priced fairly reasonably, but the extra costs increase considerably with each trim level. Some may find this to be cost prohibitive, and all of the extras could be a budget breaker.

2. Third Row Seating May Feel A Bit Cramped

It is great that the 2020 Explorer has the E-Z Entry second row seating feature that makes it much easier to get into third row seating, but once back there, older kids and adults may find their leg comfort compromised because of how low the seats are.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition

The 2020 Ford Explorer's main competitors are the Honda Pilot, the Dodge Durango and the Subaru Ascent. The Explorer tops all 3 of these SUVs in the areas of cargo space, horsepower, and torque. It is the only competitor with a 10-speed transmission, with the others having between 6 and 8 speed transmissions. It also tops the field in the area of fuel efficiency.

While all-wheel drive comes standard with the Suburu Ascent, it is an optional upgrade with the other three models. Despite this deficit, the Explorer is more expensive than the Ascent. In terms of towing capacity, the Dodge Durango beats the competition by being able to tow up to 7,400 pounds. The Explorer comes in at a distant second with its towing capacity of 5,600 pounds.


It is clear that a great deal of effort has been put into improving the 2020 Ford Explorer. The stellar performance, enhanced technology, and interior comfort combine to make it a very impressive offering. There may be a few drawbacks, but overall, purchasing this vehicle would be a solid choice.

Previous Ford Explorer Buying Guides:

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