The Explorer is offered in base, XLT, Limited, ST and Platinum models, but no matter the model, it comes with three well-designed rows of seating and room for up to seven (the second row comes with two bucket seats for adults). While the third row is kid-sized, it's easier to fold than those on just about any other model, thanks to the simple, single-button power-folding system. Parents will also note that LATCH fasteners for child seats are included in the second-row outboard positions. Both the second and third rows flip forward, giving a cavernous amount of cargo space.
The base 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine makes a healthy 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, with fuel economy at a class leading 19 mpg city and 27 mpg highway and a 5000-lb tow capacity this engine is real workhorse. A beefier 3.0L Ecoboost V6 is available on Platinum trimmed vehicles producing 365 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque, with tow ratings all the way up to a 5600-lb maximum when properly equipped and an even more powerful ST model making 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque.
The available Intelligent 4-wheel-drive system in the Explorer is available with all engines, and it is designed with the urban driving done by most Explorer owners in mind. The system includes a Terrain Management system that recalibrates itself for snow, sand or mud when needed. With 4-wheel drive, there's also Hill Descent Control, to help maintain composure on steep, slippery slopes.
Standard equipment on the Explorer is more extensive than what's found in most mainstream-brand vehicles. Cruise control, a media hub system, four 12-volt power points, cap less fuel-filling and the MyKey control/monitoring feature are all standard on the base model, while optional or standard goodies on the upper XLT or Limited trims include dual-zone climate control; remote start; power-folding, heated side-view mirrors; reverse sensing; ambient lighting, adjustable pedals, a 360 degree camera system, push-button start and a 110-volt AC outlet.
The top-of-the-line Platinum trim includes 21-inch premium aluminum wheels, quilted leather seating, optional Multi-contour Seats with Active Motion, a 10.1-inch LCD Capacitive portrait touchscreen and a 980- watt B&O sound system with 14 speakers.
MyFord Touch combines a host of vehicle, information and entertainment functions in an interface that appears a bit like that of iPads or other tablet computers. The system works together with Ford's Sync interface to interact seamlessly -- and with voice commands -- with media players, smartphones and music on USB sticks.
All Explorers include both Roll Stability Control and Curve Control sophisticated stability control systems. Safety Canopy side-curtain airbags also cover all three rows and an SOS Post-Crash System helps alert authorities if the airbags deploy. Safety-related tech features on the Explorer include available Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist, adaptive cruise control with a collision warning system that includes brake support as well as a Blind Spot Information System with cross-traffic alert.
Excellent Ride Quality
World-class Safety Features
EcoBoost Engine: Trailering Capabilities
The Ford Explorer returns for 2020 with its most extensive changes in nearly a decade. Replacing the outgoing 3.5L V6 is a new more powerful and capable 3.0L Ecoboost V6 making 365 horsepower all based on a newly optional rear-wheel-drive platform. Coupled together with a new 10-speed automatic transmission that allows for better gas mileage and towing capacity, the new Explorer platform is set to impress. A new ST model takes this added powerplant to greater levels producing a whopping 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque through a unique sport tuned ST chassis. The Explorer's newly minted silhouette features an athletic stance with sculpted angular lines, and a revamped front grille. Inside a comfortable and spacious interior with improved cargo capacity plays host to a plethora of smart technologies and smart design to make every drive more enjoyable.
The Ford Explorer has been rated one of the safest utility vehicles at any size or price; it's the first vehicle in the world to offer rear inflatable seatbelts. Curve control -- a more advanced version of electronic stability control -- is also a Ford exclusive. Ford's MyKey system helps parents manage the teen drivers in the family.
The Explorer also stands out for being one of the "greenest" choices available. Ford claims best-in-class gas mileage for non-hybrids and notes that the Explorer EcoBoost will go 20 percent farther on a gallon of gas than the Honda Pilot.