Ford says the SUV’s new rear-wheel-drive platform, which is closely related to the 2020 Lincoln Aviator’s platform, has enabled the Explorer to adopt a more athletic appearance and the best interior dimensions for passengers of any Explorer to date. The automaker describes the new three-row’s styling as “beautifully sporty,” and says a more steeply sloped roofline and shorter front overhang heavily lends to the vehicle’s overall appearance.
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Under the hood is Ford’s now familiar 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is rated at 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. A 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 is available as well and is good for 365 hp and a meaty 380 lb-ft of torque. Both engines will be paired with Ford’s 10-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available.
All-wheel drive models will also feature a Terrain Management System with seven drive modes including normal, sport, trail, tow/haul, eco, deep snow and sand modes. Rear-wheel drive models, meanwhile, will feature six standard modes: normal, sport, trail, slippery, tow/haul, and eco.
RWD Explorers will be able to tow more than AWD models, with a max towing capacity of 5,600 pounds when equipped with the 3.0-liter V6. The max towing capacity of RWD 2.3-liter models is 5,300 lbs when equipped with the optional Class III Trailer Tow Package, Ford says.
The interior puts practicality first with 123 cubic liters of stowage space, new EZ entry second-row seats and an available power folding third-row. With the rear seats folded flat, the Explorer offers up 87.8 cubic feet of cargo space – up from around 81 cubic feet in the outgoing model.
Standard interior tech includes an 8-inch digital Sync 3 display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and FordPass Connect onboard wi-fi. Options include a portrait layout 10.1-inch center stack display screen and a 12.3.-inch digital dash display.
Also standard is the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of driver-assist technologies which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, a blind spot information system, rear cross traffic alert and a rearview camera, among more.
The rather short list of optional driver-assist tech includes evasive steering assist and post-impact braking.
The 2020 Ford Explorer lineup will consist of base, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST and Platinum models, Ford says. It has yet to provide full details on the hybrid and ST models, so stay tuned for more information on this new three-row, including pricing, as it becomes available.
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