After several years of steadily compounding issues, the 2020 Ford Explorer has been released with a number of new features, including a revamped platform, convenient rear-wheel drive, and an easy to use infotainment system. According to Car and Driver, the upgraded 2020 Explorer displays noticeable improvement over previous models with better handling and enhanced technology. Fortunately for Apple fans, the 2020 Ford Explorer is also compatible with Apple CarPlay.
Apple CarPlay allows Apple users to customize their driving experience by using voice commands or the Explorer’s built-in controls to make calls, send text messages, check voicemail, update their calendar, and even search for directions online. The Explorer’s upgraded infotainment system helps to facilitate the use of online searches and maps, so drivers can navigate easily without taking their eyes off the road. In addition, the user can connect to their Apple Music to stream podcasts or music without the distraction of a handheld device.
According to Consumer Reports, the Explorer’s touchscreen is extremely user-friendly and one of the best on the market, with large buttons, clear resolution, and logically arrayed menus. In addition, the infotainment screen offers concise visual instructions on how to use and adjust each of the advanced safety features, which is a definite benefit from a safety perspective.
Enhanced safety technology
In spite of the Explorer’s troubled past with numerous recalls, transmission issues, and a more recent emissions lawsuit, Ford has put their best foot forward when it comes to functional safety technology in the 2020 model. The Explorer failed to receive top marks for safety from the IIHS; however, the Explorer has proven to be a relatively safe vehicle, with a wide range of high tech features available at all trim levels.
Some of the more notable standard safety technology on the 2020 Explorer includes warnings for forward collision, blind spot, rear cross-traffic, and lane departures, a rear view camera with pedestrian detection, and automatic emergency braking systems for both highway and city driving. In a market where advanced safety features are often reserved for higher trims, it is refreshing to find a vehicle that offers high-quality safety technology on even the lowest-priced models.
Improvement over previous years
In spite of mixed reviews, the 2020 Explorer offers significant improvement when compared to earlier models. The interior space is comparable to prior years, although Consumer Reports was unimpressed with the interior materials, calling them “plasticky” and unsuited for use in higher trims, for which users would pay luxury prices of $50k or more. CR did concede that the interior was perfectly acceptable for standard trims in the lower $30k – $40k price range.
Reviewers found the transmission to be clunky, particularly in the lower gears, but that maneuverability was better than prior years and very good when compared to other vehicles of the same size. Large pillars and small windows significantly reduce visibility, which can be a real problem with a vehicle of this size; however, enhanced sensors and rearview cameras go some way toward mitigating the issue.
Despite the fact that reviewers found the 2020 Explorer’s ride to be jolting and uncomfortable, Car and Driver indicated that it the new rear-drive chassis significantly improved the feel and maneuverability. Whereas the earlier models were awkward and clumsy, C&D puts the latest Explorer in the top three of its class for handling.
Competitive modern technology
Overall, the improvements to the 2020 Explorer show that Ford is making a solid investment in modern technology to boost their competitive edge in the tight SUV market. With their enhanced standard safety feature technology and superior infotainment center with Apple CarPlay, the Explorer is certainly making a good showing.