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2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited Test Drive

“2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited RWD”
Iconic SUV Adds Efficiency to Adventure Readiness

OVERVIEW

Ford’s now iconic Explorer was one of the first SUVs to come to market nearly 30 years ago, and since its debut, millions have been sold. A new Platinum Edition was added to the lineup in celebration of the Explorer’s 25th Anniversary. Always adventure ready, the Blue Oval team is now adding a 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited model to increase efficiency.

POWER SOURCE

The Ford Explorer is still a four door, five passengers SUV, but goes Hybrid with a gasoline-electric combination powertrain for 2020 with the appearance of the committed hybrid model. The Explorer Hybrid generates 318 horsepower with the mild manners of a 3.3-liter Hybrid naturally aspirated V-6 with gasoline direct injection V6 engine and an electric motor built into a 10-speed automatic transmission. The torque rating is 322. Rear-wheel-drive will be the standard drive configuration with all-wheel-drive available as an option.

A liquefied-cooled lithium-ion battery pack is positioned beneath the second-row seat, and Ford ensures that the pack has no effect on the Explorer’s passenger or cargo space, providing the same cubic feet of available cargo space as its non-hybrid Explorer.
EPA data is not yet available, although Ford indicates that the rear-wheel-drive Explorer Hybrid’s efficiency is sufficient to cover more than 500 miles depending upon terrain and driving style.

BOLD ATHLETIC EXTERIOR DESIGN

Visually the new 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum continues to display a rugged persona, but with a more sophisticated about it. Exterior styling cues include the grille and LED headlamps in an elevated position, a closed-off roof rack with channels that direct water off the vehicle and an upper roof rear spoiler lip that enhances aerodynamics. Other features include a dual-panel moonroof, premium silver-painted front and rear skid plate panels, and 20-inch, hand polished 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels. The exhaust is integrated and is designed to reduce the appearance of soot collecting at the rear of the vehicle. Engineers designed a shield inside the chrome bezel of the exhaust that prevents soot from collecting around the outlets. Door handles, the roof rack, mirror caps and rear appliqué are executed in a Satin chrome finish. A composite polymer lower surround serves as protection for the vehicles lower extremities.

While the new Explorer Hybrid varies from its four-cylinder stablemate beneath the hood, the two models showcase essentially the same exterior styling. A small “hybrid” badge serves as the only key differentiation.

CABIN AMBIENCE

Interior design includes a high-mounted, wrapped and stitched door armrest; genuine buttons that replace touch-sense buttons on the infotainment system and refined detailing and high quality materials are employed throughout. A brushed-aluminum Ford oval is centered on the steering wheel. The instrument cluster features a large 10-inch digital display supported with analog displays – also a first for a Ford-brand vehicle. Goodies such as leather seating surfaces, heated rear seats, power front seats, a premium audio system, and a convenient wireless charging pad.

AS TESTED

My test 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid which comes exclusively in the upper level Limited trim, was finished outside in Atlas Blue metallic and inside in Ebony tones. It came in the rear wheel drive configuration and a console mounted rotary knob gear selector. The base price was set at $52,280 with the as tested price coming to $55,665 after adding the destination and handling charge.

The Ford Explorer Hybrid Limited is loaded with river assist technology, connectivity and infotainment features.

PERFORMANCE

In terms of performance, the new Ford Hybrid’s 3.3-liter Hybrid V6 engine delivers power on par with many V8s, and the 10-speed automatic transmission is velvety smooth.

FINAL TAKE

Bottom line, this latest Explorer Hybrid Limited is definitely a wise choice for those seeking adventure with the added efficiency provided by the electric motor. It is quieter in normal driving scenarios with no excessive vibration and throttle response feels totally normal, as does the braking.

The Explorer Hybrid claims a 5,000-pound towing capacity and it makes more torque at lower revs than the base Explorer’s 2.3-literfour-cylinder engine.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2020 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid RWD

Base Price: $52,280.
Price as Tested: $55,665.

Engine Type and Size: 3.3-liter Hybrid naturally aspirated V-6 with gasoline direct injection and electric motor.

Combined power rating……
Horsepower (bhp): 318
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 322

Transmission: 10-speed modular hybrid.

Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / RWD with Terrain Management System

Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with 32 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link independent with22 mm stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted, gas pressurized hydraulic four wheel discs with ABS and ESC.

Tires: Michelin Primacy A/S 255/55 R20 mounted on hand polished 5-“V”-spoke alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 119.1 inches
Length Overall: 198.8 inches
Width: 89.3 inches – w/mirrors
Height: 69.9 inches
Approach Angle: 21 degrees
Departure Angle: 21 degrees
Ramp Breakover angle: 17.1 degrees
Minumum running
Ground Clearance: 7.9 inches
Curb Weight: 4,345 lbs.
Turning Circle: Not given
Fuel Capacity: 17.9 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: Data not available
Drag Coefficient: Not listed
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

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Published on: February 10, 2020

Filled Under: Automotive Content Experience, Automotive Reviews, Cars, Ford, Hybrid, SUV

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