2020 Ford Explorer: The pros and cons

Wilbert Tan
·5-min read

Few cars have a name as apt as the Ford Explorer. Meant as a replacement to the two-door Ford Bronco, the Explorer is every bit the wily off-roader that people have come to expect from such a vehicle.

Ford updated the Explorer last year with very little fanfare. The 2019 Ford Explorer available locally, carrying over to 2020, advertises an immediately noticeable restyled front bumper and grille, imbued with a mesh design that gives the Explorer front more pizzazz. This facade is complemented by stylish L-shaped fog lamps that replace the bland C-shaped units found in the predecessor. The rest of the exterior styling cues only serve to elevate what’s up front.

https://media.ford.com/
https://media.ford.com/

Inside, the 2019 Explorer lies a dashboard stitched with leather inserts, giving the cabin a genuine plush feel. Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system is ever-present, complete Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, linking to a premium Sony sound system with 12 speakers. Other noteworthy features include powered front seats, rear seat entertainment, a dual panel moonroof, 180-degree camera, and the nifty terrain management system (TMS).

ford explorer
ford explorer

The fact that the Explorer is made by one of the most reliable names in off-road tech makes it a worthy vehicle to own for an outdoor-loving small family. It’s available in two trims: the Ford Explorer 3.5L V6 EcoBoost Sport AWD AT (PHP3,178,000) and Explorer 2.3L Limited EcoBoost AT (PHP2,798,000). We pick a part this midsize SUV’s pros and cons for your more informed car shopping decision.

Pros

1. Efficient EcoBoost engines

Both of the Explorer’s two trims are equipped with different versions of the EcoBoost engine under the hood—a 2.3-liter I-4 in the lower trim, and a 3.5-liter V6 in the top-ranging Sport AWD variant. Both are capable of delivering tons of torque—408Nm for the former, and a whopping 475Nm for the latter. Regardless of your choice, you are assured of a quiet, fuel efficient engine that delivers more brunt power than you’ll probably ever need. If it’s quick acceleration you ‘re looking for, these engines also won’t disappoint.

2. A beast of the urban and natural jungle

https://media.ford.com/
https://media.ford.com/

In the city and in mountains, the Explorer is at home in whatever environment you put it in. Both steering and handling deliver an impressive refinement, regardless of terrain. Precise and natural are two descriptive terms often associated with this three-row SUV, so whether in a cramped parking lot or on rough terrain, the Explorer will immediately make you feel more secure.

3. A quiet cabin

ford explorer
ford explorer

The quietness of the EcoBoost engine is aided by a well-insulated cabin that filters out noises from the undercarriage or the outside world. Rev up on the highway, and you’ll barely hear any wind noise, either. This focus on making the Explorer cabin as quiet as can be pays dividends when you’re stuck in noisy Metro traffic.

4. Top tier comfort

The cabin of the new Ford Explorer is packed with creature comforts that will make you thank the stars for buying this car. Throughout the entire interior, the seats are wide, well-bolstered, and well-cushioned, so there’s never an issue with lateral support. Even the armrests are upholstered in soft cushion, so your elbows will be just as comfy and cozy as your tush.

5. Ford Sync 3

Infotainment systems are a dime a dozen, but quality ones like Ford’s Sync 3 are a rarity. Leaving the spotted reputation of versions past, Ford Sync 3 behaves just as an infotainment should—fast, reliable, user-friendly, and intuitive, without distracting drivers of the task at hand. The display is simple and clean, with all the major functionalities—communication, entertainment, navigation, and climate—easy to locate and tweak.

Cons

1. Cramped third row

The elevated comfort of the three seating rows is quashed by the severely limited third row legroom. Don’t ever dare to put adults back there during lengthy trips, because you’re bound to hear complaints for the entire duration of your drive. There simply is not enough leg space for average-sized adults to feel truly relaxed and at ease during a ride.

2. Small cargo hold

The news only gets worse for the Explorer as you move towards the rear cabin. With just a little over 500 liters or cargo space behind the third row, the Explorer is desperately wanting in this aspect. If you want more storage, you can always fold the two rear rows. Otherwise, opt for more spacious midsize SUVs.

3. Narrow rear windshield view

ford explorer
ford explorer

If you haven’t noticed the trend already, much of the Explorer’s issues are focused at the rear. Although the slim design of the back windshield looks dashing, it hampers the driver’s view somewhat. Thankfully, the Explorer comes with plenty of driver assistance tools to help owners navigate heavy traffic and small parking spaces.

Yay or nay?

There’s no question the 2019 Ford Explorer has a lot to offer, so despite its shortcomings, the Ford Explorer does have some immensely attractive selling propositions. Drivers who want a rugged all-wheel performer will truly enjoy the Sport trim. Regardless of variant though, the new Ford Explorer is a sporty SUV that serves up a fine mix of power, performance, comfort while on the road.

Photo/s from Ford

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