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While Kia managed to get two SUVs listed on CARFAX’s list of 16 Best 3-Row Midsize SUVs of 2020, the Ford Explorer came in first place. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at why CARFAX was so impressed with the 2020 Ford Explorer. We’ll also provide a general overview of the Explorer.

Why the Ford Explorer beat the Kia Telluride

The 2020 Ford Explorer was given a complete redesign, something that may have helped increase sales even though it’s considered expensive by some. It underwent the most extensive redesigns in decades, which had many Ford fans excited. The Explorer had to compete against some outstanding rivals but still made it at the top of CARFAX’s list.

It offers a lineup of peppy engines, starting with a 300 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This entry-level four-cylinder is more powerful than the average midsize SUV.

The 2021 Kia Telluride only offers a V6 that is 291 hp. The 2020 Explorer also offers two twin-turbocharged V6 and a hybrid variant. This gives the Explorer the nod in terms of towing capacity. It also helps that it provides buyers with some great standard comfort and safety features.

The Explorer provides plenty of breathing room with its three rows of seating and exceptional outward visibility. Its polished ride and nimble handling give the current Explorer a notable superiority over the previous model.

What the Ford Explorer offers as standard

A Ford Explorer on display at an auto show
A Ford Explorer on display | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

According to Car and Driver, the 2020 Explorer comes in five trim levels: base, XLT, Limited, ST, and Platinum.

Some standard equipment offered by the Explorer includes 4G LTE Wi-Fi with connections for up to 10 devices, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot warning, automatic headlamps, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, pre-collision warning, and automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

Another great standard feature is the FordPass Connect application, which allows the driver to lock, unlock, and start the car using a smartphone.

The standard turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four comes with a new 10-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or all-wheel drive.

A few other important available tech features worthy of mention include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, four USB ports (including type c), wireless device charging ports, and a trio of 12-volt outlets. It also features a 110-volt outlet as well.

What the other trim levels offer

The 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. This replaces the previous generation’s 3.5-liter. However, the 3.0-liter produces the same 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. T

hat is an increase of 30 lb-ft of torque once offered by the previous V6 engine. It’s also mated with a 10-speed automatic with an increased towing capacity of 5,600 lbs as compared to 5,000 lbs. Then there is the powerful ST trim model that offers a a 3.0-liter V6 that produces 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque.

The Explorer even offers a hybrid powertrain, which is less about power and more focused on fuel economy. Nevertheless, at 318 horsepower combined with a 3.3-liter V-6 engine and some sort of electric motor, it does offer a bit more power than the base turbo-four.

Ford hasn’t shared with anyone what type of electric motor it’s using in the hybrid Explorer models, but we do know it’s a lithium-ion battery pack that is mounted underneath the second row of seats.


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