If you have been searching for three-row SUVs at new car dealerships near you, then you have probably seen the 2020 Ford Explorer advertised. On the surface, this vehicle may appear to be just another large crossover SUV, but in reality, it is a one-of-a-kind vehicle that deserves careful consideration. While any three-row SUV is expected to offer plenty of space and amenities, the Ford Explorer stands out from the crowd. And you should buy a 2020 Ford Explorer because of its rear-wheel-drive platform, as well as its performance and hybrid powertrain options. Further, it comes packed with all of Ford’s most modern technologies. But for those who still need some convincing that they should buy a 2020 Ford Explorer, keep reading for a breakdown of the five most significant benefits of owning this new SUV.
#1 A History of Success
First hitting dealerships for the 1991 model year, the original Ford Explorer was the replacement for the iconic Ford Bronco. With more comfort, greater efficiency, and two more doors for easier access, the 1991 Ford Explorer was an instant success and helped create the modern SUV market. While originally based on the Ford Ranger pick-up, the Ford Explorer soon gained its own unique platform and was one of the first SUVs available with a four-corner independent suspension. These features gave the Ford Explorer far superior ride quality and handling when compared to its competitors and were subsequently copied by nearly every SUV model produced.
Still, in this long record of cutting edge ideas, every change could not be successful, and the fifth generation is often seen as having gone too far. Introduced for the 2011 model year, this generation made the transition from a rear-wheel drive body-on-frame traditional SUV to a front-wheel drive unibody crossover SUV and even dropped the longstanding V8 engine option for a turbocharged V6. However, while the fifth generation Ford Explorer remained a highly capable vehicle, Ford learned from this misstep. And the brand new sixth-generation Ford Explorer, introduced for 2020, marks the return of rear-wheel drive and introduces new features of its own that will again move the entire SUV market forward. Building on this history of success, the Ford Explorers that you see sitting at nearby new car dealerships are far more than just another SUV.
#2 Rear Wheel Drive Power
Today, almost every SUV on the market uses a front-wheel drive platform. This is because front-wheel drive is cheaper to build and slightly more efficient than rear-wheel drive. However, simple physics means that when it comes to putting down power, rear-wheel drive will always have the advantage. While an adequately tuned all-wheel drive system can mitigate the disadvantages of front-wheel drive, even the most sophisticated computers will never be able to make a front-wheel drive platform perform the same as a rear-wheel drive platform. That is why the new 2020 Ford Explorer marks the model’s return to a true rear-wheel drive system.
With this change, the 2020 Ford Explorer has improved performance both on the road and off the road. Now able to tow up to 5,600 pounds, the new Ford Explorer is more versatile than ever before and can even replace light trucks in some situations. And in addition to boosting the capabilities of the standard Ford Explorer, the use of a rear-wheel drive platform has allowed Ford to offer an all-new sport trim that can go toe-to-toe with far more expensive high-performance SUVs from the premium brands.
#3 Exceptional Performance
While the large V8 engines that powered older generations of the Ford Explorer are still a thing of the past, that does not mean that the newest generation lacks power. Equipped with one of Ford’s excellent EcoBoost turbocharged engines, even the base model 2020 Ford Explorer comes standard with 300 hp. This is actually more than any of the old V8s ever produced, and even over a quick test drive at your local car dealership, this vehicle will likely surprise you with its responsiveness.
The Platinum trim of the 2020 Ford Escape even boasts a larger twin-turbo V6 EcoBoost engine producing no less than 365 horsepower. However, if you desire an all-American high-performance SUV, then the brand-new Ford Explorer ST is the option for you. Powered by an upgraded version of the same V6 EcoBoost that is found in the Platinum trim, the ST trim has an incredible 400 hp and can hit 60 miles per hour in just a hair over 5 seconds. And with its seriously upgraded suspension, larger brakes, and available factory summer tires, the Ford Explorer ST is capable of far more than simply going fast in a straight line. Even the steering in this variant has been upgraded to provide the weight expected of a true performance vehicle.
#4 Hybrid Efficiency
On the other hand, if you are seeking to cut back on your gasoline usage, then the 2020 Ford Explorer has you covered here as well. For a vehicle of its size and power, even the base model is remarkably efficient with its 24 MPG combined fuel economy rating. But for maximum efficiency, the available hybrid powertrain is the clear choice. This setup pairs a non-turbocharged V6 engine with a 35-kilowatt electric motor and a 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, giving the Ford Explorer hybrid an exceptional fuel economy of 28 MPG combined.
While there are certainly more efficient vehicles out there, how many of them are comfortable three-row SUVs with rear-wheel drive? And as icing on the cake, the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid is actually slightly more powerful than the base model. When combined, its gasoline engine and electric motor generate no less than 318 hp and offer a little more low-end torque to boot. In fact, the hybrid powertrain even has a 5,000-pound tow rating, allowing it to pull light trailers easily. All in all, the new Ford Explorer hybrid is a shining example of how efficient no longer needs to mean underperforming.
#5 21st Century Technology
While the sixth-generation Ford Explorer is a mechanically outstanding vehicle, it is also packed with modern technologies. Equipped with the Sync 3 infotainment system, FordPass Connect mobile app, and CoPilot 360 driver assistance technologies, the 2020 Ford Explorer is a true 21st-century vehicle. The Sync 3 system supports modern features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, Amazon Alexa voice commands, and even the Waze crowdsourced navigation app. And with the 2020 Ford Explorer’s available 10.1-inch central touchscreen, all of these features are easier to access than ever before. Meanwhile, FordPass Connect allows you to monitor and even control your vehicle from a mobile device, including supervising its 4G LTE wireless hotspot that can simultaneously provide connectivity for up to ten devices.
Finally, the CoPilot 360 suite of advanced active safety features includes lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control, blindspot warnings, and both front and rear automatic emergency braking, making the new Ford Explorer among the safest and most convenient vehicles on the road. However, you might just need to attend a class at your nearest Ford dealership to get the most out of all this technology. Trust us, it is worth it!