Consumer Reports Recommends Avoiding the 2020 Ford Explorer

Think twice about buying the 2020 Ford Explorer as Consumer Reports suggest avoiding it for other three-row alternatives. Check out why consumer reports lists the Ford Explorer as a popular SUV option to avoid. 

Consumer Reports suggests avoiding the 2020 Ford Explorer 

According to Consumer Reports, you can do better than the 2020 Ford Explorer. The Ford Explorer is listed as a popular option because it sells pretty well, although it has a few issues despite being a popular SUV. 

A silver 2020 Ford Explorer on a country road.
2020 Ford Explorer | Ford

The 2020 Ford Explorer has a low predicted reliability rating based on extensive survey data combined with technical knowledge provided by the CR experts. CR gave the 2020 Ford Explorer a 2 out 5 for its predicted reliability rating.

This is because it has already had 7 recalls issued by the NHTSA. Plus, predicted reliability ratings are based on how well a vehicle has performed in the past.

Based on reliability history from 2000 to 2019, the Ford Explorer has faced potential trouble spots ranging from engine and transmission problems to issues with the electrical system. 

Also, based on the Consumer Reports road test, the 2020 Ford Explorer is ranked #14 out of 24 for midsize SUVs. It’s a middle of the pack option that was found to have only an average fuel economy and rough shifts with the transmission. The ride felt stiff and less compliant compared to rivals too.

2020 Ford Explorer towing boat
2020 Ford Explorer | Ford

On a positive note, Consumer Reports discovered that the 2020 Ford Explorer has agile handling, and the new cabin is quiet and spacious. It also comes with standard safety features such as forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, etc. Pricing for the 2020 Ford Explorer ranges from $32,765 to $58,250. 

CR recommends getting the 2020 Kia Telluride instead 

The 2020 Kia Telluride is another popular three-row SUV to consider. Consumer Reports recommends it over the Ford Explorer because it has a much higher predicted reliability rating. They gave the Kia Telluride a score of 4 out 5 5 for predicted reliability. 

2021 Telluride Nightfall Edition Black driving by an office building
2021 Telluride Nightfall Edition Black | Kia

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Also, the Kia Telluride only has two recalls from the NHTSA and performed well on the road test with a score of 92 out of 100. The 2020 Kia Telluride is ranked in first place for midsize SUVs out of 24 options too. 

The Kia Telluride has a similar fuel economy to the Ford Explorer and costs between $31,890 to $43,790. Based on the Consumer Reports road test, the Kia Telluride has a smooth ride, quiet interior, and has tons of standard safety features. However, Consumer Reports recommends passing on the Kia Telluride because it has more body roll than rivals. 

CR also recommends the Mazda CX-9. 

If the 2020 Kia Telluride isn’t your cup of tea, Consumer Reports also recommends the 2020 Mazda CX-9 over the Ford Explorer. It scored a 5 out of 5 for its predicted reliability rating and is #4 on the best midsize SUVs list. 

Mazda's CX-9 from the 2016 model year
| Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Mazda CX-9 still isn’t great on gas and costs between $33,890 to $46,215. It’s praised for having a quiet cabin, smooth ride, excellent handling, and an abundance of standard safety features. But it should be avoided due to limited rear visibility and its lack of space.