With the Ford Explorer being redesigned for the 2020 model year, it seems like a good time to take a look at the full lineup of Ford SUVs and see what else Ford is up to. The Explorer’s four-decade run atop the automotive best-seller list notwithstanding, what else can we expect to find in Ford’s lineup? You might be surprised at how many options there are to choose from. And while the Ford Explorer might get more attention than the subcompact EcoSport, say, there are a lot of similarities in build quality, features, and tech. So let’s see how the rest of Ford’s lineup stacks up to the iconic Explorer, and if you might even be able to find more value among the rest of Ford’s SUVs.
Ford has been making family- and utility-minded vehicles for some time now, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the Ford Escape. The 2020 Ford Escape is all-new for the 2020 model year and features more 2nd-row passenger space, a completely retuned suspension, and four engine options. There is no other compact SUV on the market as exciting as the Escape. With the redesign also comes hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants, so there is something for every family with the Escape. And for family’s looking for the latest in safety and driver-assistance features, Ford’s Co-Pilot360 is now standard across all trims.
Aside from the many engine options, equally as exciting is the presence of second-row sliding seats. You don’t expect a compact SUV to have this much versatility. But the spacious interior and innovative use of space of the Escape provides the functionality you would expect from a midsize SUV. The second-row seats slide and recline to provide more legroom and comfort for rear passengers. There are even supportive seat cushions to make this compact SUV perfect for road trips.
Ford’s excellent suite of safety and driver-assist features is another reason to consider the all-new Escape. No matter which trim you choose, Ford’s Co-Pilot360 is standard. Included in this suite is post-collision braking, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. Ford has clearly placed a lot of emphasis on keeping people safe on the road, and your family will certainly appreciate this. Available features also include adaptive cruise control and lane-centering, an evasive-steering assist, and parking assist.
And, of course, the powertrains are too good not to mention. Standard is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost inline-3 with 181 hp and 190 lb-ft of torque. This engine returns 27/33 MPG (city/highway). Not bad for standard. The next engine is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline-4 with an exceptional 250 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, and an impressive fuel efficiency rating of 23/31 MPG (city/highway). This engine is available only as all-wheel drive and in SEL and Titanium models, and it is one of the best engines you’ll find anywhere, with its rare combination of power and efficiency. Hybrid options include a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4 with 200 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque (while getting 44/37 MPG). The other hybrid option is a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle inline-4 (PHEV) with 221 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque.
The Ford Explorer might be one of the most popular SUVs off all-time, and the recent generation will only strengthen its popularity. With more standard safety features, a roomier interior, and better fuel efficiency, the sixth-generation Ford Explorer certainly lives up to its iconic past. There is also an all-new hybrid option with excellent power and efficiency to go along with three other engine options, so you will have no problem finding an engine that matches your lifestyle. Whether you need to tow or haul kids to soccer practice, the Ford Explorer will dazzle you at every turn.
The first thing you might notice is the 10.1-inch vertically oriented touchscreen. This is the largest touchscreen offered in an Explorer and can display multiple functions at once. It also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Another exciting feature is the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. This comes standard on the ST and Platinum trims and replaces the standard instrument cluster. It is customizable and even includes a “calm” setting that displays only essential information to reduce driver distraction.
Engine options for the Explorer are some of the best in the segment and reason enough to consider an Explorer over any other midsize SUV. Standard is 2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4 with 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. With this much power, you’ll be surprised to learn it still gets excellent fuel efficiency with 21 MPG city, 28 MPG highway. You’ll find this engine as standard for the Base, XLT, and Limited trims. The Platinum trim brings a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. Even with the increase in power and towing ability, this engine still returns 24 MPG on the highway. The ST trim sees a sporty 400 hp version of the same engine with the same fuel efficiency and an increase in torque (415 lb-ft). And the 3.3-liter, V6 hybrid engine offers an impressive 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque while returning 27/29 MPG (city/highway). This engine has an estimated range of 500 miles, so you will not often be stopping to refill.
This is the full-size SUV designed for the modern family: soccer practice, carpool, road trips. The newest generation, which started with the 2018 model year, has brought home consistent best-buy awards, and it’s clear why: excellent towing and hauling capabilities with its 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 engine, and excellent fuel efficiency. This is the kind of fuel efficiency you would expect from a midsize-crossover SUV, so you’ll be able to use your Expedition accordingly—as a daily driver or family hauler—while not having to worry about spending all your free time at the gas station.
With new independent rear suspension, the ride is as smooth as a car-like SUV; only this one can seat eight passengers, is incredibly spacious, and can tow up to 9,300 pounds. Ford Co-Pilot360 is now standard for all trims, including forward-collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assistance, and automatic high beams. With so many family-friendly features, it’s easy to see why the Expedition is being recognized for its tremendous value.
At the other end of the spectrum is Ford’s entry into the subcompact crossover SUV segment. This is a fun SUV to drive and offers neat features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and FordPass Connect, which includes a Wi-Fi hotspot as well as the ability to start and locate your EcoSport via a smartphone remotely. An 8-inch touchscreen is also available as well as a 2.0-liter inline-4 with all-wheel drive. This engine has a 2,000-pound tow rating—not bad for a subcompact. And it starts at just $21,580.
2020 Ford Edge
The Ford Edge also deserves mention here as it is a 5-seat midsize-crossover SUV that is well-equipped and spacious. But there’s a lot more to the edge than that: it can be had with a 2.7-liter twin-turbocharged V6 with 335 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. That’s a lot of power for a midsize SUV. Add standard features such as Wi-Fi for up to ten devices, satellite radio, remote start/lock/unlock, rain-sensing wipers, and keyless entry/ignition, and you have an SUV with tremendous value.
With a great option in every segment, it’s easy to see why Ford SUVs should be at the top of your list as you start your search for the perfect SUV. Whether you are looking for the perfect family SUV, or the perfect SUV for your next road trip, it’s hard to look beyond Ford’s state-of-the-art tech and exciting features.
So Which One is the Best?
All of the Ford SUVs offer something unique. And each person’s lifestyle is unique. That being said, only you know which Ford SUV is the best for you. They are all great, but which one is great for your life?