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2020 Ford Explorer | CarMax

The Ford Explorer offers an attractive mix of timeless style, roominess, comfort, and capable performance. It has been a companion on driveways and in highways since 1991 when it first launched. For the 2020 model year, Ford redesigned the Explorer, breathing new life into this iconic SUV with more passenger and cargo room, a long list of advanced technology features, as well as a hybrid variant.

While we currently do not have many 2020 Ford Explorers on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. If you love the 2020 model, you should also consider prior model years of the Ford Explorer with similar features. Below are average prices for prior model years of the Ford Explorer.1

  • 2015 - Average prices less than $23,0001
  • 2016 - Average prices less than $27,0001
  • 2017 - Average prices less than $28,5001
  • 2018 - Average prices less than $30,0001
  • 2019 - Average prices less than $35,0001

Here's what you'll learn in this 2020 Ford Explorer review:

Key Specs and Features

MPG:

  • The base model 2020 Ford Explorer with RWD, the 2.3L engine, and 10-speed automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg combined.2

Cargo Space:

  • Behind front row: 87.8 cubic feet
  • Behind second row: 47.9 cubic feet
  • Behind third row: 18.2 cubic feet

Towing Capacity:

  • 2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity is an estimated 5,300 lbs. with the 2.3L engine and 5,600 lbs. with the 3.0L engine.3

Seating Capacity:

  • The 2020 Ford Explorer can seat up to seven passengers.
  • BASE: Seats seven with standard second-row bench seat
  • XLT, Limited, Hybrid, ST, Platinum: Seats six with standard second-row captain's chairs; room for seven with available second-row bench seat

Engine Options:

  • Ford Explorer Base (fleet only), XLT, Limited: 2.3L EcoBoost® four-cylinder
  • Ford Explorer Hybrid: 3.3L hybrid V6
  • Ford Explorer ST, Platinum: 3.0L EcoBoost V6

Tech Features:

  • Available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot4
  • Eight-inch infotainment touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto via SYNC® 3
  • Co-Pilot360® driver-assist features including automatic high beams, blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and mitigation, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking
  • Available wireless charger (standard on Limited and Hybrid)
  • Available Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+® package, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, navigation system, and evasive-maneuvers feature

Rankings

The Ford Explorer has a strong sales history at CarMax. It has been featured in these ranking lists:

5 Reasons to Buy

1. Plentiful Passenger and Cargo Room.

The 2020 Ford Explorer offers an accommodating cabin that seats up to seven passengers. There's also plenty of cargo room: a total of 87.8 cubic feet, with 18.2 cubic feet behind the third row. This means you've got plenty of space to transport golf clubs, DIY supplies, and luggage for vacation.

2. Return to RWD.

Changes to the 2020 Ford Explorer include a return to a rear-wheel-drive layout, improving the driving and handling experience, as well as the Explorer's ability to tow. For the 2020 model, towing capacity is an estimated 5,300 lbs. with the 2.3L engine—this rises to an estimated 5,600 lbs. with the 3.0L engine, both when properly equipped.3 This will allow you to take a small boat or camper with you on all those adventures.

3. Abundance of Practical Technology.

The cabin of the 2020 Ford Explorer is not only spacious, but it's also fitted with some of the most advanced and practical features available. Standard features include an available 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect 10 devices, an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, and SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.4 Available technology includes a 10-inch touchscreen and a wireless charger (standard on Limited and Hybrid).

4. Hybrid and High-Performance ST Versions

Ford has expanded its Explorer lineup to include a limited hybrid model and a more powerful performance variant. The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid with RWD, 3.3L V6 engine, and 10-speed automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg combined.2 The 2020 Ford Explorer ST model adds more hp—for a total of 400 hp—from the 3.0L V6 engine, along with a sport-tuned suspension and exclusive interior highlights.

5. Plentiful Driver-Assistance Features on all Trims.

Ford includes a long list of driver-assistance technology for all 2020 Ford Explorers. As part of the Co-Pilot360 suite, all Explorers offer features such as a rear camera with a lens cleaner, automatic high beams, and a blind-spot monitor. Also included are lane-departure warning and mitigation, pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking. Optional driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control.


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What You Need to Know

2020 Ford Explorer: Available Trims

BASE: Available for fleet only. Standard features include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, a rearview camera, an eight-way power driver seat, an eight-inch touchscreen, USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Co-Pilot360, and more.

XLT: The XLT adds roof rails, keyless entry and ignition, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power driver lumbar, power passenger seat, and two USB ports for the second row.

LIMITED AND HYBRID: Features 20-inch wheels, a hands-free liftgate, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, power folding seats, a 110-volt power outlet, a 12-speaker audio system, and a wireless charging pad.

ST: Standard equipment includes a turbocharged 3.0L V6 engine making 400 hp, a sport-tuned suspension, sport styling cues, sport front seats, and automated parallel parking.

PLATINUM: Standard equipment includes adaptive headlights, two-piece sunroof, upgraded leather upholstery, and more.

2020 Ford Explorer: Available Colors

  • Agate Black Metallic
  • Atlas Blue Metallic
  • Blue Metallic
  • Iconic Silver Metallic
  • Magnetic Metallic
  • Oxford White
  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Rich Copper Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Silver Spruce Metallic
  • Star White Metallic Tri-Coat

2020 Ford Explorer: Interior

  • Cargo room behind the third row is 18.2 cubic feet; that grows to 87.8 cubic feet behind the first row when the second and third rows are folded down.
  • The 2020 Ford Explorer seats seven passengers in three rows, six with optional second-row captain's chairs.
  • Advanced interior technology features include an available wireless charging pad (standard on Limited and Hybrid), FordPass Connect™ Wi-Fi service for up to 10 devices, and SYNC® 3 system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Waze navigation.4

2020 Ford Explorer: Average CarMax Prices

The 2020 Ford Explorer is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Ford Explorer.1

  • 2015 - Average prices less than $23,0001
  • 2016 - Average prices less than $27,0001
  • 2017 - Average prices less than $28,5001
  • 2018 - Average prices less than $30,0001
  • 2019 - Average prices less than $35,0001

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2020 Ford Explorer, check out some previous model years of this vehicle with similar features.

RepairPal | CarMax

Safety and Reliability

The 2020 Ford Explorer is a newer model and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. You may also consider other used Ford Explorers with similar features. Below are RepairPal® reliability ratings for prior model years of the Ford Explorer.

  • Overall RepairPal Reliability Rating - 3.5/5
  • Average annual cost of unscheduled repairs and maintenance: $732.00

RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010–2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features. Learn more at www.carmax.com/repairpal-reliability.

NHTSA Safety Ratings - 2020 Ford Explorer

The 2020 Ford Explorer is currently not rated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Similar Vehicles

If you're interested in the 2020 Ford Explorer, you should also check out these similar vehicles from previous model years.

Ford Expedition

The Ford Expedition is a full-size SUV that seats seven passengers and offers a massive 172 cubic feet—20.9 cubic feet of which are behind the third row. The Ford Expedition was redesigned for the 2018 model year. Standard technology for the 2017–2019 model includes USB ports, a small LCD touchscreen, a rearview camera, and SYNC. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also available on the 2018–2019 Ford Expedition. The 20172019 Ford Expedition base engine is a 3.5L twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 375 hp. Expedition Platinum models are boosted to 400 hp. In addition to the above, Ford Expedition base model standard equipment for the 2017–2019 model years include:

  • 18-inch wheels
  • Parking sensors
  • LCD touchscreen
  • Rearview camera
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SYNC 3 are optional on the 2019 Ford Expedition.

Ford Escape

The 2018 Ford Escape is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV that offers 34 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 68 cubic feet with seats folded down. The 2019 model is the seventh of its generation, with a revised model expected for the 2020 model year. Standard technology in the 2018 model is limited to SYNC infotainment and a 4.2-inch center screen; available technology for 2019 includes Sync 3 infotainment with an eight-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (standard on the SE trim). Power-wise, the base engine is a 2.5L four-cylinder that makes 168 hp and is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Standard features for 2017–2019 models include:

  • 17-inch wheels
  • Cloth seats
  • Cruise control
  • Sync infotainment
  • 4.2-inch center screen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SYNC 3, and an eight-inch touchscreen all come standard on the 2019 Ford Escape SE trim.

Chevrolet Traverse

As a midsize three-row crossover, the Chevrolet Traverse is a spacious family ride that seats up to eight passengers. Cargo room is also plentiful, with 23 cubic feet behind the third row, and 98.2 cubic feet behind the front row. In terms of technology, the base Traverse L model trim offers a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Traverse is powered by a 3.6L V6 engine that makes 310 hp, mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard while all-wheel drive is optional. Standard features for the 2018 and 2019 base models include:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Cloth upholstery
  • Three-zone automatic climate control
  • Seven-inch touchscreen
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility

The Bottom Line

Since 1991, the Ford Explorer has won over the hearts and minds of SUV shoppers across the country. The 2020 Explorer continues the tradition, with significant changes to the previous generation. Those changes include more room, advanced technology inside the cabin, a rear-wheel-drive platform, and a hybrid version.

Looking to learn more? Check out these related sources:

1Based on prices on carmax.com from December 2019. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
2Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates for when vehicle sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov.
3Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
4Wi-Fi hotspots require a data plan to activate and may also require a compatible device. See the owner's manual or manufacturer website for more information.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.