Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 Ford Explorer Is Safer Than You Think

The 2020 Ford Explorer is making significant changes to be a better SUV for this model year. The most notable upgrades that have been made so far include safety updates, so you can trust in the Ford Explorer to protect yourself and passengers. 

The 2020 Ford Explorer is a top safety pick 

Initially, the 2020 Ford Explorer wasn’t a very safe option. According to AutoBlog, it only achieved an acceptable performance rating for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) driver’s side small overlap crash test. The testing agency found the risk of injury to the driver’s left foot because of the footwell’s intrusion. 

2020 Ford Explorer Platinum parked in snow
2020 Ford Explorer Platinum | Ford

This was a problem because to achieve the coveted Top Safety Pick+ award. The vehicle has to achieve a ‘Good’ performance rating in all six of the IIHS crash tests.

Plus, all headlight options available must earn an Acceptable or better rating. The automatic collision avoidance systems must also earn a Superior or Advanced rating when tested against pedestrians and other vehicles. 

How did the 2020 Ford Explorer get safer? 

To make the 2020 Ford Explorer safer, Ford modified the front subframe design in a running change made to the Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator models built after May 20th. The change was made to both vehicles as the Explorer used the Aviator’s platform. 

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Once the redesigned Ford Explorer was re-tested, it earned a Good rating in the driver’s small-overlap test. It also received a Superior rating in both tests for the standard collision avoidance system.

Those ratings, combined with earning an Acceptable rating for both headlight systems, helped the 2020 Ford Explorer become an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. 

2021 Ford Explorer safety features 

You can get started in the 2020 Ford Explorer for about $32,765, and it comes with a lot of features. It includes roll stability control, a seat belt reminder for all three rows, a front passenger and driver knee airbag, a safety canopy system, an SOS post-crash alert system, and traction control. It also comes with lane-keeping assistance and driver alert. 

Ford Explorer Hybrid parked in sand
Ford Explorer Hybrid | Ford

The safety canopy system is located in the roof side rail behind the headliner. It deploys side curtain airbags doward and outwards toward the side windows to protect passengers’ heads in window seats. 

Also, the Ford Co-Pilot 360 system comes standard. This package includes pre-collision assistance with automatic emergency braking, automatic high beam headlamps, blind-spot detection, rear-cross traffic alert, and a rearview camera. 

It includes adaptive cruise control too, which helps you maintain your speed and the following distance by automatically adjusting your settings based on the vehicle in front of you. Some systems include controlled steering to help you stay in the center of your lane too. 

But this is not a self-driving or autonomous driving system. You still have to drive your vehicle. Also, the evasive steering assist doesn’t automatically control your steering. It only provides additional steering support for an evasive maneuver if needed. 

The new 2020 Ford Explorer SUV is revealed at Ford Field on January 9, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan
The 2020 Ford Explorer | Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

For more control, you get trailer-sway control, the terrain management system, and hill descent control. The terrain management system has seven driving modes to help you tackle and challenge. The driving modes include normal, trail deep snow, sand, slippery, sport, tow/haul, and a new eco mode. The base model comes in rear-wheel-drive, but you can add 4×4.