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2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Type:

What’s new

  • The Ford Explorer is fully redesigned for 2020
  • Part of the sixth Explorer generation introduced for 2020

Pros & Cons

  • Sharp steering and stable handling for a SUV
  • Pleasing acceleration from the hybrid powertrain
  • Lots of cargo space
  • Hybrid model limited to a single upper-level trim
  • Elevated noise from wind and hybrid system
  • Lackluster second- and third-row interior space
  • Interior materials could be better
MSRP Range
$52,280 - $54,475
MSRP Starting at
$52,280
Edmunds Suggested Price as low as
$57,220
Edmunds Suggests You Pay
$57,220

Save as much as $1,500
2 incentive offers available
Select your model:
Save as much as $1,500
2 incentive offers available
MSRP Range
$52,280 - $54,475
MSRP Starting at
$52,280
Edmunds Suggested Price as low as
$57,220
Edmunds Suggests You Pay
$57,220

Save as much as $1,500
2 incentive offers available
Select your model:
Save as much as $1,500
2 incentive offers available


2020 Ford Explorer Review

The 2020 Ford Explorer is fully redesigned. Conceptually, it's pretty similar to previous Explorer models. This is a midsize three-row SUV that can handle just about any task you throw at it, whether it be hauling around your family or towing a medium-size trailer. But the 2020 model brings some notable changes. Besides the subtle styling updates, you'll find improved handling abilities, new safety features, a roomier interior and new engines. The latter includes the Explorer Hybrid, which promises both quick acceleration and higher-than-average fuel economy.
Edmunds’ Expert Rating
Rated for you by America’s best test team

Our verdict

7.4 / 10
Like the regular Explorer, the Ford Explorer Hybrid offers great handling, good looks and snappy acceleration. It's available in rear- or all-wheel drive, which is unusual but appreciated. But it also shares regular Explorer weaknesses such as average rear passenger and cargo space and lackluster interior materials. The hybrid powertrain isn't always smooth, and Ford's Limited trim-only marketing strategy makes the Explorer Hybrid frighteningly expensive.

How does it drive?

8.0
The Explorer Hybrid feels eager and balanced. Much of this stems from a chassis that combines the dynamic benefits of a rear-wheel-drive foundation, an advanced four-wheel independent suspension, and lightweight unit-body construction. Its all-wheel-drive system can deliver power continuously in challenging conditions, something that can't be said of other AWD hybrids.

The engine holds up its end of the bargain when it comes to power, and it is a smooth highway cruiser. The trouble is that this hybrid powertrain doesn't feel as well sorted as it should. Acceleration isn't as smooth or predictable as what you get from other hybrids, such as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Clumsy is too strong a word, but the Explorer Hybrid's system could certainly use more polish.

How comfortable is it?

6.5
The Explorer Hybrid rides similarly to other Explorer variations. If anything, it's actually a little smoother. We also like the Limited's front seats (so long as you avoid the massaging ones). But the middle- and third-row cushions feel flat and less accommodating.

We also found ourselves constantly monkeying with the automatic climate control system to maintain comfort, which shouldn't be necessary. There's more wind noise than there should be too, and it's the sort that stands out because of its gusty and localized nature. As for the hybrid system itself, it emits enough clunks, clicks, sighs and whirs than it should.

How’s the interior?

7.5
The front seat space is abundant and the driving position is nicely adjustable. It's generally easy to see out, too, thanks to the adequate glass area and good-size mirrors. But middle-row knee room and legroom aren't up to the standard set by others in the class, and the third row is unlikely to impress adults who are taller than average. Getting into the back can be clumsy in tight quarters if the doors can't be opened past the first detent because space is tight between the large door-map pockets and the prominent rear wheel arches.

How’s the tech?

8.0
The Explorer Hybrid only comes in the Limited grade. As such, it comes not only with the 8-inch touchscreen, Sync 3 infotainment, and Apple Carplay and Android Auto smartphone integration that all Explorers have but also with built-in navigation and a strong-sounding B&O premium audio system. Avoid the optional 10.1-inch vertical touchscreen because its skinnier proportions cause the displays for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and the rearview camera to shrink too much.

You'll get a full complement of standard driving safety aids, including a forward collision warning system that can automatically brake for you if you don't react in time. It all works well, but the alerts for these various systems sound overly similar and the lane-centering system may falsely accuse you of taking your hands off the wheel.

How’s the storage?

8.0
The Explorer Hybrid's cargo hold is generous with any number of seats folded down. It's a bit tighter than some other SUVs with the third-row seats up, but you can still fit three, maybe four, rollerboard suitcases back there. There's a good amount of small-item storage up front for your odds and ends, and child seats are easy to install in the middle row.

The Explorer is especially well suited to towing, and the 5,000-pound maximum tow rating is quite good for a hybrid SUV. The optional Trailer Tow package comes with just about everything you'll need, including an easily accessed receiver hitch, four- and seven-pin wiring, full support for an add-on electric trailer brake controller, a tow/haul transmission mode, and an enhanced blind-spot monitoring system that covers the length of the trailer.

How economical is it?

6.0
The all-wheel-drive version of the hybrid is rated at 25 mpg combined (23 city/26 highway), which is only 2 mpg higher than a regular Explorer Limited with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. Our test vehicle fell slightly short of that mark with an average of 23.3 mpg over 610 miles of mixed driving.

The AWD version of the Highlander Hybrid is better off at 28 mpg combined (29 city/27 highway). You can get a 28 mpg combined estimate with the rear-wheel-drive Ford Explorer Hybrid.

Is it a good value?

6.0
It's hard to pitch the Ford Explorer Hybrid as a good value. Available only in the Limited trim, it costs a lot more than it should. What's more, the build quality and interior materials don't live up to what you should expect for the price. To put this in perspective, a Lexus RX 450h L AWD hybrid costs less. This hybrid doesn't deliver anything like a sizable fuel economy benefit either, especially if you purchase the all-wheel-drive model.

Wildcard

7.5
Looks like the Explorer you already know, only better. As a hybrid, it's a particularly stealthy choice because it absolutely looks no different from any other Explorer. That's a good thing because this new Explorer has a strong stance and sleek proportions that suggest motion.

For the most part, this is no hollow promise because the driving experience exceeds that of any previous Explorer. It's quick, it has poise and balance, and it likes to be hustled through corners. This is the one to get if your daily drive includes mountain roads or interesting corners. The hybrid isn't quite as refined as its non-hybrid brethren when driven around town, but it still satisfies beyond city limits.

Which Explorer does Edmunds recommend?

Unlike the regular model, Ford has restricted the Explorer Hybrid exclusively to the upper-tier Limited Hybrid trim. The Explorer Limited Hybrid comes well equipped with features such as leather seating, a 12-speaker sound system, keyless entry, and a suite of advanced driver safety aids. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available for those who want it.

2020 Ford Explorer models

The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid is available in a single trim level: Limited Hybrid. All Explorer Hybrids come with a V6 engine and a hybrid system (318 total horsepower) paired to a 10-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

The Limited Hybrid comes fairly well equipped with standard features that include:

  • Full leather seating
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • A hands-free liftgate
  • LED lighting
  • A 12-speaker B&O sound system

You also get Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite of driver aids that includes:

  • Traffic-adaptive cruise control
  • A lane keeping and centering system
  • Speed sign recognition
  • An automatic emergency evasive steering-assist system

Significant options for the Explorer Hybrid include:

  • A panoramic sunroof
  • A tow package
  • A rear-seat entertainment system

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2020 Ford Explorer.

5 star reviews: 46%
4 star reviews: 20%
3 star reviews: 9%
2 star reviews: 15%
1 star reviews: 10%
Average user rating: 3.8 stars based on 59 total reviews

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    2020 Ford Explorer videos

    Ford Explorer vs. Kia Telluride vs. Hyundai Palisade -- 2020 Midsize SUV Comparison Test

    Ford Explorer vs. Kia Telluride vs. Hyundai Palisade -- 2020 Midsize SUV Comparison Test

    DAN EDMUNDS: Midsize three row SUVs provide lots of utility at a reasonable price-- usually between $30,000 and $50,000, if you don't go nuts with options. They're perfect for a growing family and a stylish alternative to the minivan, which doesn't offer all wheel drive in most cases. You can expect lots of advanced safety features, along with capable acceleration. JONATHAN ELFALAN: The KIA Telluride is our number one ranked midsize three row SUV, recently beating out our previous favorite, the Honda Pilot. KURT NIEBUHR: Now we have the new Hyundai Palisade and the all new Ford Explorer. We wanted to include a Honda Pilot in this comparison test, but Honda declined. JONATHAN ELFALAN: We put these SUVs through our rigorous and standardized testing and evaluation process to find out which of these three you'd have at the top of your shopping list. DAN EDMUNDS: But before we get started, remember to visit edmonds.com next time you're ready to research a new car, truck, or SUV. And for more videos like this one, click Subscribe. JONATHAN ELFALAN: One of the most important aspects of any midsize three row SUV worth it's sheet metal is interior space. And we've crawled through all three of these cabins pretty extensively. What did you guys think? KURT NIEBUHR: I thought, when we're talking about the front rows on these things, any size driver is going to be able to sit in them. There's plenty of leg room, headroom, shoulder room. That's not the issue. It's when you get into the second row. That's when things-- DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah there are definitely some differences back there. All of them have slide and recline middle row seats. It's interesting that the Ford comes standard in most cases with captain's chairs and a bench is optional, whereas on the Hyundai KIA, it's the other way around. But with a seat all the way back-- I'm 6' 2, so I notice it more-- there's just kind of like a little less leg room in the Explorer. I felt like my knees are a little closer to the front seat back. And I can sit behind myself, technically, if I set the driver's seat to my liking. But in the other two, I just have lots of room and the seats have better cushioning, too. JONATHAN ELFALAN: It's probably a good time to mention car seats. So I tried installing car seats in all three of the cars. As far as the seat anchors, I found that the Ford had anchors that are slightly more visible, which made it easier to find and click in, whereas with the Telluride and the Palisade, the anchors were a bit more recessed. But when it came to installing the seat base, all three were relatively easy. But having a larger, rear facing car seat, I found that there were significantly more space in the Telluride and Palisade than there was in the Explorer, where I could barely fit a hand in between the driver's seat and the car seat when it suggested for myself. I'm about 5' 9, so it wasn't an issue. But I think drivers that are 6 foot and taller might have an issue with that. KURT NIEBUHR: Speaking of size issues, these are three row SUVs, but that extra row is not really meant for someone like you. But it was still kind of eye opening to get in the back of these. I'm about 6 feet tall, so I'm kind of at the limit as to what you can reasonably expect a vehicle this size to accommodate. But here we also saw two of the vehicles have enough room for people like me. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Third row seats are usually meant for children. But I feel like the Telluride and the Palisade did an exceptionally good job in making it actually pretty comfortable for adults. Now, in terms of access to the third row-- again, the Telluride and Palisade have similar ways of getting back there. There's a release button you press. And they actually have two-- there's one on the shoulder, and one on the bottom, which makes it easier for kids to access. And when you push that button, the seat slides forward and you can just climb in. DAN EDMUNDS: One thing I noticed about the Ford is if somebody wanted to get in the third row, but it was folded down flat, that you couldn't do it from the door. You'd have to go around to the hatch, open the hatch, and use the buttons there to power the third row up and then go around and get in. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the KIA having manual fold seats, and the Palisade having power fold seats, it didn't matter. You could put the third row seat up from either the rear passenger door or the trunk. KURT NIEBUHR: Now, once we actually sat in those back m it was also more comfortable, I felt, in the Hyundai and the KIA. There was just that much more room, not only for our bodies, but it was a better place to sit. The Hyundai and the KIA-- both had a cup holder, they had USB power jacks back there. And the Ford, on the left hand side, had an armrest. But your side-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: That's right. It was really strange, Ford having some sort of asymmetrical arrangement. I went to go put my arm on the armrest and found it sitting in a bin instead, which was very uncomfortable. KURT NIEBUHR: Speaking of bins, that kind of leads us back up to the front row. And each of these vehicles has a different way of handling small items storage. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, the last car I was in was the Explorer and I really liked the way they've used the space there. It's got a rotary shifter. I think all three of these handle the shifter differently and the Ford is in a nice rotary knob. It's really easy to figure out. But what it means is doesn't take up much space. So there's room for a nice big bin in front of it that you can close, and that's where the USB port is. There's a couple of cup holders alongside the shifter and a little slot where you can stand up your phone, so you can still use the cup holders you don't have to put your phone in a cup holder, which is nice. Yeah and there's a little place where you can lean a phone up against a wireless charging pad right behind that. And then there's the center console, which isn't too huge. But since you've got the one in the front, that's not bad. And then the door pockets are big and the glove box is big. And even the rear seat has big door pockets. The center console in the Ford Explorer is non-existent, it's more of a tray on the floor. They say that so you can hop into the back row between the captain's chairs. OK, but it is just a tray on the floor. But still, it's a pretty good setup. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I found that the Palisade also made good use of that storage space up front. It also has a shift by wire, gear selector up front. So you don't have this mechanical mechanism taking up a lot of space. DAN EDMUNDS: Push buttons, though. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Push buttons-- yeah I know. I mean we can argue that point. I think some people might like it, some people not. But I think the fact is, it saves space up front. KURT NIEBUHR: As big as that space is, I think within a month or two, that's going to turn into like a junk drawer in somebody's house. I think you're going to throw hair clips in there, like cell phone cable, sunglasses, car keys are going to get lost because it's got a little charging pad slot that actually disappears underneath the shifter. And I didn't run into a time when I couldn't find my car keys. And they'd actually slid inside there. And I had to go fishing around for it. But I think normal life is just going to pile a bunch of stuff inside that bin. Yeah, the KIA does have a more old school shifter. I kind of like that better. It has less space, less actual volume. But I think the KIA uses it better. I think you've got cup holders that hold cups well. You've got a place to put your phone. You've got not as much space, but I think it just utilizes the space and it has better. And if you open up the center console bin, you can put a roll of paper towels in there vertically. I don't know why you would ever want to do that, but-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: You know you can. KURT NIEBUHR: Yes. JONATHAN ELFALAN: It's just kind of cool. KURT NIEBUHR: Exactly. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I know it doesn't have quite as much space as the other two, but I didn't find myself wanting for extra space. So even though I didn't have as much space, like you said, I think it makes good use of the space it does have. And I also think it looks kind of the nicest. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, sure. KURT NIEBUHR: I think as long as you're still sitting in the front seats of these vehicles, we can talk about climate control because each of these SUVs handles it in their own way. The KIA has got three vents across the center, tons of airflow. I was always comfortable. The Hyundai Palisade has two. And the Explorer also has two. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, but the Explorer is a little different because they've got that screen in the middle and the vents are off to the side. And so that it doesn't really have the airflow down the middle of the car. It's like right on your hand. So I didn't really like that so much. But the other thing that was almost a little more annoying was I just never could quite be comfortable without always fussing with the temperature. It's not really very good at just picking a temperature and setting it and forgetting. JONATHAN ELFALAN: One thing that I did like about the Explorer was how effective the seat ventilation and heat were. I mean, noticeably better than both the KIA and the Hyundai. I think that's maybe enough to compensate for its lack of climate control. DAN EDMUNDS: But this is a great way to talk about an SUVs interior. But they're about carrying cargo and doing some work. So we should talk about utility. All three of these, when you have the rear seats folded down and the middle is in use, they all have about the same amount of space. But things start to get different when you put up the third row to put people in it. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah we actually tried loading all three of these with carry on luggage. And what we found is that we could fit five regulation size carry on luggages in the back of both the Telluride and the Palisade and just hit the hatch button and have the hatch close all by itself. DAN EDMUNDS: Five is good. You could go pick somebody up from the airport and have the kids along. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Right. When it came to the Explorer, and we did the same sort of method with having an automated hatch close on its own, we can only fit three. Now we were able to fit four kind of laying down and squishing it a little bit. But depends on how much you care about your luggage. If you're cool with that, then four will fit in the back of the Explorer. KURT NIEBUHR: All three of these also have their own way of folding that third row. The Hyundai Palisade and the Ford Explorer, they're power, the KIA they're manual. I actually prefer a manual folding seat. It's quick and easy. I'm tall enough, and my arms are long enough where I can just reach in and grab the strap and then the seat folds flat. But something to keep in mind is that if the weather isn't that great outside, if you don't live in sunny Southern California, to reach in and grab that handle to raise the seats, you're going to lean over a muddy bumper or a wet bumper, or a bumper covered in snow and your clothes are going to get ruined. DAN EDMUNDS: Right, and if you're not very tall, you might have a little bit more trouble reaching in and pulling the strap up. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, I agree. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I also liked the speed and ease of which those KIA seats folded. But I will have to say, I was holding my baby girl and trying to put the seat down, and you actually need to use two hands to both raise and lower that seat. So when you grab the strap, you need to pull it back and hold it in place when you release it. DAN EDMUNDS: You just dropped your child. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Exactly. Having the power release, other than the convenience of it, still serves some use in real world situations. DAN EDMUNDS: The other thing is getting into the hatch of all these vehicles. They all have a cool, hands free way to open the hatch. But they're not quite the same. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the Ford, you have to do this kicking motion. And I think you tried it a few times. How did you find that? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, you have to stand on one foot and swipe your other foot underneath it. And there's a certain spot it wants you to be at. If you don't get it right, you look kind of silly. But getting to your point earlier about ice and snow, if this was winter and it was icy, standing there on one foot trying to get the door to behave, I don't know-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: While holding shopping bags or your child trying to do that it's kind of awkward. Whereas with the KIA and the Hyundai, they have this smart tailgate where you just have to stand in back of the tailgate, it beeps to let you know that something's happening. And then the tailgate just opens, which I think is a brilliant solution. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, when I first walked up and tried that on the Hyundai Palisade, I swiped my foot and the hatch opened. And I only later found out that no, it can sense where the key is and then it beeps, and then it opens. You can just walk up like you guys both said, you can walk up with your arms full and just wait. You might look a little weird and people might look at you and think that you've lost your keys. But you just wait and that's it. JONATHAN ELFALAN: But it's also not a perfect solution because there are times where I was standing in my driveway talking to my neighbor and I'm behind the Telluride and all of a sudden it starts beeping. And you're just like, oh wait, I don't want it to open. DAN EDMUNDS: I guess if you stood back there and then started talking, got interrupted by a dog walker coming by-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah, but it's also nice to know that you can turn that feature off if you don't like it. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So other than hauling things inside, SUVs are generally more capable at towing things than other types of vehicles. But since I don't have any real experience in this, maybe our resident tow expert can shed some light. DAN EDMUNDS: Sure, and you know there's some big differences here because the Ford, in its two wheel drive form, is rear drive. It was front drive in the last generation but they changed back to rear drive. The Hyundai and KIA are both front drive machines at heart. So really, that's an advantage for Ford because you want your tongue weight to be pressing down on the drive wheels. And you get that with a Ford. And that's part of the reason why I can tell a little bit more. It's maximum tow rating is about 5,600 pounds. And they have four engines and even the hybrid can tow 5,000. The thing about the Ford that is also good is that the hitch is right there where you can see it, the connector for the four and seven pin wiring is right there. Seven pin wiring means it'll support electric trailer brakes. You have to add your own trailer brake controller, but that's a plug and play operation using a pigtail that comes in the glove box. So kudos to Ford for that. But the Hyundai and KIA, they're no slouch either. They can tow 5,000 pounds. And what's good about them is you can get load leveling rear shocks with those. In the case of the Telluride, it comes when you get the hitch. In the case of the Palisade, it's something that comes when you get the 20 inch wheels. So it works even if you're not towing if you got three rows of people in there. And 5,000 pounds is a nice solid number. And the one thing that the Ford has over both of them is that it's got a tow haul mode. And that changes the shift points and just makes it a nice drive when you're towing a trailer. KURT NIEBUHR: So that rear drive platform has more benefits than just being able to do power slides in an SUV. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, I think so. But that's a good one. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Speaking of power slides, let's talk about performance. DAN EDMUNDS: Finally. KURT NIEBUHR: So that Ford is [BLEEP] fast. All right. That Ford is really fast. And we actually had two of the available four engines come in. We had platinum with a three leader twin turbo V6. And we had a limited with a 2.3 liter turbo charge four cylinder. And they were both quicker than the KIA and Hyundai. DAN EDMUNDS: The four cylinder, the 2.3 liter four, got to 60 miles an hour in seven seconds. And the V6, the 3 liter V6, did in 5.8 seconds. So as you say, that's fairly fast. KURT NIEBUHR: Just what you want out of three row SUV. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I don't think anything else in this segment even comes close to that three liter. I mean, they've put their stamp on that. And that's not the only thing that Ford does well. It actually handles, quite surprisingly well. I think you said it at the track where this is more like a tall wagon than a midsize three row SUV. But that said, the Hyundai and KIA aren't slouches in a straight line. I think 7 and 1/2 seconds to 60. Considering these things are primarily people movers, I think we could call those both adequate. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, sure. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Now, in terms of handling, I felt like the Telluride and Palisade also weren't bad. They're not going to feel like a vehicle that you can go out and you'd want to attack a back road in. But at the same time, they handled themselves pretty well. DAN EDMUNDS: The Ford Explorer would be a little bit more enjoyable to drive. It's just really nice on a winding road. Steering loads up nice in corners. And it just has nice balance and composure. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So performance is kind of a fun thing to talk about, but it's not all about performance, especially with these types of vehicles. So driveability-- I think with the Ford and its new 10 speed automatic transmission, I found that it wasn't quite as smooth as I would have wanted it to be if I was driving this thing every day. Like the performance, it's got it. It's got it. But it seems like it's tuned a little too aggressively, would you say? DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, it feels really eager. You really feel the boost, not so much the eco. And it really wants to go. And that shows in our mpg results. The Hyundai and the KIA are both rated at 21 miles per gallon combined. And the 2.3 liter Ford is rated at 23. And so it should be two better based on similar driving. But what we saw is that everything got 21 miles per gallon. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the Ford, the way that it's tuned, you want to almost dig into that boost, which is going to cost you mpgs. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, that eagerness in the Ford, where it's always on and it feels like it's always ready, also was kind of found in the ride too. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah you bring up a good point with comfort. So with the Ford, I found that it had good primary ride but not good secondary ride. And what I mean by that is that it was able to handle the big stuff really well. But some of the finer undulations in the road really came through and it made the ride feel a little busy, following every little detail of the road surface, which I didn't feel in the Telluride or the Palisade. Now, those suspensions are by no means perfect. But I felt like they absorbed a lot more of that secondary jitteryness better. DAN EDMUNDS: I think they were a little more consistent across a wider range of road surfaces. JONATHAN ELFALAN: All of these SUVs can be had with all wheel drive. And all of our test cars came with all wheel drive. These systems aren't necessarily geared for any hardcore off-road. It's more inclement weather. But that said, we did spend a little bit of time with these things off road. And by we, I mean Dan. So Dan, what do you think? DAN EDMUNDS: Inclement weather is the main reason for having all wheel drive, here. But they can do a little bit more than that. We had a little off road course, we could take them on. The Hyundai and KIA both have a four wheel drive lock button, which doesn't necessarily lock the center differential, but it makes sure that the front and rear axle have equal amounts of torque. It's not waiting for slip to engage an axle, it's just making it be engaged all the time. The Ford has something similar, but it's kind of buried into a setting that they call trail. And then there's another one for sand and deep snow. So you have a couple of different settings there. They all have about the same level of articulation. None of them really hiked the wheel any further off the ground than any of the others. But ultimately, if we all took all three of these out someplace, it's not like one of them was going to be holding up the other two. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Pretty equally capable. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, but it's going to be you know dirt roads, not the Rubicon trail. JONATHAN ELFALAN: OK, moving on to technology. All these SUVs were equipped with some pretty advanced driving aids, like adaptive cruise control. They had lane keep assists. They had blind spot monitoring. And all worked fairly well, I think pretty even in that field. But I think what grabs people's attention even more today is the infotainment systems and smartphone integration. What do you guys think about those? KURT NIEBUHR: Unsurprisingly, the Hyundai and KIA systems were basically the exact same. Has its own Font. Yeah, shocker. But also, both of them were the same size. As 10.25 inches for both, It's the traditional landscape layout. DAN EDMUNDS: Widescreen landscape, really nice. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, but Ford had a better idea. DAN EDMUNDS: The one that everybody talks about is the 10.1 inch portrait oriented screen that's right in the middle. It looks like an iPad sitting there. And we like the portrait oriented screen at around 1500, but this one is quite a bit narrower. And so when you run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, the screen is kind of small, the useful part. The bottom half doesn't really have anything going on, either. So I like the lower level eight inch screen, which is landscape oriented. And you get a little tray underneath it, which I like. I mean I can actually put my phone right in there. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Now, what is that thing about having CarPlay plugged in and using the native nav. DAN EDMUNDS: As soon as you plug-in your phone, it wants you to use the navigation system through Apple CarPlay, and the native nav winks out. And it's like, no, I need to be in both environments at once. The Ford isn't really very happy doing that, whereas the Hyundai and KIA are just fine. JONATHAN ELFALAN: But I will say this-- the benefit of that larger vertical screen on the board is that if you're using the native navigation system, and you like to run in the direction of travel, you do have a long runway to see what's coming up. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, yeah. JONATHAN ELFALAN: You can see a lot of streets. DAN EDMUNDS: You know, the one thing we haven't talked about yet is probably the most important thing, is price. So how much do these things cost? KURT NIEBUHR: Well, that's a tough question to answer. All of these things have a pretty broad price range. And I think it depends on what you want as far as options go. You can buy all three of these vehicles in a base two wheel drive configuration. That Palisade starts at 32,645, the Telluride at 32,785, and the Explorer XLT starts at 37,870. Now, there is a more basic Explorer than the XLT but that's probably just for fleet sales. But if you can find one of those, that's going to start at 33,860. All the ones we drove are highly optioned all wheel drive versions. The Palisade limited stickered at 47,605, the Telluride SX at 46,860 and they Explore Platinum at, get this, 61,330. Now 61k is pretty steep, and most people probably won't pay that much for an Explorer. So we brought in a limited with a four cylinder engine to see if that would help its case. No, that stickered at 53,120. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I mean, that just goes to show you where the Telluride and the Palisade are at. Like, I don't think you could get those things above 50 if you threw everything at it. Yet, they had the same number of features as the Ford, and, in some ways, felt better built. Like, I think the interior quality of both those cabins were really nice, the materials that they use, everything felt solidly screwed together. So KIA and Hyundai are providing a real value at this price point. And I think they've set a new benchmark for this class in that sense. So with the Ford, I mean, that's a hefty price tag. So what are we getting? DAN EDMUNDS: Where the money is in the Ford, I think, is in the rear drive layout. They've got some really cool forged aluminum control arms underneath there. There's the 10 speed automatic four engines with turbocharger. So there's a lot of money in the engineering. But it's not the kind of thing that you're going to see each and every day. It does lead to sharper handling and a couple of other things. But as far as just commuting to the store or whatever, you're not going to necessarily see it. So it's kind of like a case of, you don't quite get what you pay for. KURT NIEBUHR: So we talked about a lot of stuff. We tallied up all the scores. And one of these vehicles comes out in first place. But that means one of these vehicles comes out in last place. JONATHAN ELFALAN: This is the best Explorer that Ford has ever built. And I think it could be an attractive option if you're going to be doing a lot of towing. And if you live up in the mountains, you could be driving a lot of mountain roads. But fact of the matter is, the benchmark has been moved. And the KIA and Hyundai are really, really good SUVs. KURT NIEBUHR: Both of those vehicles don't really have any flaws. They do everything that they're supposed to do-- they're smooth or quiet, they're comfortable, they carry people. Also, in a lot of comfort, they can still tow. My preference, though, would lean toward the KIA. I think it has a richer interior. And I think it fits in with the brand. I know that styling is very subjective and it always will be. But the KIA is instantly recognizable as a KIA. And I think the Palisade doesn't seem to fit in with other Hyundais. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, I'm totally with you there. I like to Telluride because it's got its own personality. People stop me at gas stations and they wondered what it was. One of them thought it was Land Rover. And I don't see that exactly, but I do see that it looks really unique. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So it sounds like we decided. Explorer, Palisade, Telluride. The Telluride remains our top pick in this segment against some pretty formidable competition. It received an impressive score of 8.4 out of 10 overall, which is to say we really like this thing. But let us know what you think down in the comments. Be sure to hit subscribe if you want to see more great content just like this and see you next time.

    We think the Kia Telluride is the best midsize SUV on sale today, but the Ford Explorer and the Hyundai Palisade would like to say otherwise. We brought the three of them together and put them through our expert and exhaustive rating process and then sat down to talk it out. Will the Telluride remain the leader, or will the stylish Palisade or all-new Explorer take the top spot?


    Features & Specs

    Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV features & specs
    Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV
    3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A
    MSRP$52,280
    MPG N/A city / N/A hwy
    SeatingSeats 6
    Transmission10-speed shiftable automatic
    HorsepowerN/A
    See all for sale
    Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD features & specs
    Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD
    3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A
    MSRP$54,475
    MPG N/A city / N/A hwy
    SeatingSeats 6
    Transmission10-speed shiftable automatic
    HorsepowerN/A
    See all for sale
    See all 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid features & specs

    Safety

    Our experts’ favorite Explorer safety features:

    Lane Keeping System
    Alerts the driver as the Explorer starts to drift out of its lane. Also applies pressure to the wheel to guide the car back into the lane.
    Post-Impact Braking
    Applies the brakes after a collision to reduce the effects of a secondary crash.
    Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control
    Maintains the distance between the Explorer and the car in front. Also includes a system that keeps the Explorer centered in the lane.
    NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

    The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

    Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Side Crash RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Side Barrier RatingRating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
    Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
    RolloverRating
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.7%

    Ford Explorer vs. the competition

    Ford Explorer vs. Honda Pilot

    The Honda Pilot is one of the roomiest, quietest and most comfortable vehicles in the segment. It doesn't offer a choice of multiple engines like the Explorer, but its standard 3.5-liter V6 is both powerful and fuel-efficient. The Pilot's drawbacks are minor and shouldn't discourage shoppers. To learn more about the Pilot of this generation, read Edmunds' long-term road test of a 2016 Honda Pilot Elite.

    Compare Ford Explorer & Honda Pilot features

    Ford Explorer vs. Chevrolet Traverse

    The Chevrolet Traverse is another good choice. It boasts a tremendously spacious cabin and plenty of storage room. Even better, the supportive seats and pleasant ride offer all-day comfort. But the compromised outward visibility and low-quality interior materials prevent it from being a top-ranked competitor

    Compare Ford Explorer & Chevrolet Traverse features

    Ford Explorer vs. Dodge Durango

    The Dodge Durango feels old because it is. This three-row crossover dates back to 2011 and exhibits qualities the segment has moved past — namely, heavy steering and ponderous handling. But Dodge's largest SUV does have some highlights, including several V8 engine choices, enviable tow ratings and an adult-friendly third row.

    Compare Ford Explorer & Dodge Durango features
    FAQ
    Is the Ford Explorer a good car?
    The Edmunds experts tested the 2020 Explorer both on the road and at the track, giving it a 7.4 out of 10. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Explorer has 18.2 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Ford Explorer. Learn more
    What's new in the 2020 Ford Explorer?

    According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2020 Ford Explorer:

    • The Ford Explorer is fully redesigned for 2020
    • Part of the sixth Explorer generation introduced for 2020
    Learn more
    Is the Ford Explorer reliable?
    To determine whether the Ford Explorer is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Explorer. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Explorer's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
    Is the 2020 Ford Explorer a good car?
    There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2020 Ford Explorer is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2020 Explorer and gave it a 7.4 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2020 Explorer is a good car for you. Learn more
    How much should I pay for a 2020 Ford Explorer?

    The least-expensive 2020 Ford Explorer is the 2020 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $52,280.

    Other versions include:

    • Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) which starts at $52,280
    • Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) which starts at $54,475
    Learn more
    What are the different models of Ford Explorer?
    If you're interested in the Ford Explorer, the next question is, which Explorer model is right for you? Explorer variants include Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A), and Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A). For a full list of Explorer models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

    More about the 2020 Ford Explorer

    2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Overview

    The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid is offered in the following styles: Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A), and Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A).

    What do people think of the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid?

    Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2020 Explorer Hybrid 3.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2020 Explorer Hybrid.

    Edmunds Expert Reviews

    Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2020 Explorer Hybrid featuring deep dives into trim levels including Limited Hybrid, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

    Read our full review of the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid here.
    Our Review Process

    This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

    We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

    What's a good price for a New 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid?
    2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A)

    The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $55,720. The average price paid for a new 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) is trending $1,500 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

    Edmunds members save an average of $1,500 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $54,220.

    The average savings for the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) is 2.7% below the MSRP.

    Available Inventory:

    We are showing 3 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited Hybrid 4dr SUV AWD (3.3L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid 10A) vehicle(s) available in the Ashburn area.

    Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on new cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

    Which 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrids are available in my area?

    2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Listings and Inventory

    There are currently 7 new 2020 [object Object] Explorer Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $56,880 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of used car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap used cars for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $5,306 on a new, used or CPO 2020 [object Object] Explorer Hybrid available from a dealership near you.

    Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2020 [object Object] Explorer Hybrid for sale near you.

    Can't find a new 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Explorer Hybrid you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

    Find a new Ford Explorer Hybrid for sale - 4 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $12,182.

    Find a new Ford for sale - 10 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $25,298.

    Why trust Edmunds?

    Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid and all available trim types: Limited Hybrid, Limited Hybrid. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.

    Should I lease or buy a 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid?

    Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

    Check out Ford lease specials