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The Ford Explorer line up
The 2020 Ford Explorer is a three-row midsize SUV with seating for seven, or six if you opt for the second-row captain's chairs. The base model is well-equipped and comes with a solid number of safety and convenience features for a wallet-friendly price. The XLT costs a bit more but comes with more comfort features that buyers will appreciate.
Next up is the Limited, which adds leather and most of the XLT's optional extras. A Limited Hybrid is also available. Finally, the ST adds a high-output V6 and performance upgrades, and the luxurious Platinum comes with (almost) all the bells and whistles the Explorer offers.
The base, XLT and Limited models are all powered by a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine (300 horsepower, 310 lb-ft of torque). Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. A 10-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board.
Standard equipment for the base Explorer includes 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, a driver information display, an eight-way power driver's seat, a 40/20/40-split second-row seat, and a 50/50-split third-row seat.
You also get a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, an 8-inch touchscreen, two USB ports, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio.
The Explorer also comes with Ford's Co-Pilot360 suite of safety features, which includes automatic high beams, a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and mitigation, and pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking. There's also a feature that applies the brakes following a collision to reduce the effects of a secondary collision.
Higher Trim Levels
The XLT further adds roof rails, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, sound-reducing front side windows, an upgraded driver information screen, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with wheel-mounted paddle shifters, two-way power driver lumbar adjustment, a power passenger seat with height adjustment, and two additional USB ports for the second row.
There are several notable equipment packages available for the XLT. The 202A package adds silver-painted elements at the bottom of the bumpers, LED foglights, remote engine start, simulated-leather upholstery, and an eight-way power passenger seat (with power lumbar adjustment).
If additional driver aids sound good to you, specify the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ package, which adds adaptive cruise control, improved lane keeping assist and a navigation system. It also includes a feature that assists the driver in performing evasive maneuvers when the car in front is slowing or stopped. And for drivers who live in climes with frigid winters, the Cold Weather package adds a windshield wiper de-icer, heated front and second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel.
Both the Limited and the Limited Hybrid include the above features. The Limited continues to have the four-cylinder engine, but the Limited Hybrid has a 3.3-liter V6 mated to a hybrid powertrain (318 hp combined).
Upgrades & Technology
Upgrades for these trims include 20-inch wheels, upgraded rear brakes, automatic wipers, front parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, a hands-free liftgate, ambient interior lighting, driver-seat memory functions, a power-adjustable steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ventilated front seats, leather upholstery, power-assisted folding and heated second-row seats, and power-folding third-row seats.
You also get second-row sunshades, a 110-volt household-style power outlet, a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system with HD radio, a 360-degree parking camera and a wireless charging pad. The Limited's available 310A package includes 20-inch wheels and an active noise cancellation system.
The ST Trim Level
The high-octane ST unleashes the fury with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 (400 hp, 415 lb-ft), 20-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. It also adds special styling cues, the Trailer Tow package (optional on XLT and Limited models), an auto-dimming exterior mirror on the driver side, a digital instrument panel, sport front seats, automated parallel and perpendicular parking, and reverse automatic emergency braking.
The ST can also be equipped with the ST Street Pack and ST Track Pack. Both have 21-inch wheels, red-painted calipers and upgraded brakes.
At the top of the Explorer hierarchy is the luxe Platinum. It has the same engine as the ST but with a lower power output (365 hp, 380 lb-ft). You also get adaptive headlights, unique taillights, a two-piece sunroof (optional on the XLT and the Limited), leather-wrapped interior trim, and upgraded leather upholstery.
The Premium Technology package is available for ST and Platinum models, adding massaging front seats, a 10.1-inch touchscreen and a 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.