2020 Ford Explorer vs. Its Competition

2020 Ford Explorer ST  -  First Drive  -  Portland OR, June 2019
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The 2020 Ford Explorer is a much stronger rival versus a wide range of three-row crossover SUVs.

The Toyota Highlander is the only other model in this size class to offer a hybrid version, although the Highlander Hybrid is oriented more for efficiency whereas the Explorer Hybrid is positioned to maintain towing and off-road ability.

The Explorer is a little larger and a lot more powerful than the Honda Pilot and Subaru Ascent, two of our favorites for their excellent utility and value; although both of these models offer a more usable third row.

The Dodge Durango, like the Explorer, rides on a rear-drive platform and has more traditional SUV utility than its competitors.

And finally, the new Kia Telluride is a compelling alternative, with loads of interior space and a standout exterior design.

Likewise, the Hyundai Palisade is priced competitively while aiming for more of a luxury focus than the rest of this competitive set.

2020 Ford Explorer ST  -  First Drive  -  Portland OR, June 20192020 Ford Explorer
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2020 Toyota Highlander XLE2020 Toyota Highlander
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Quick Specs
The 2020 Ford Explorer rediscovers its capable, outdoorsy side without becoming trucklike in any other respect.
The 2020 Chevy Traverse is a three-row family mainstay with plentiful interior space.
The 2020 Honda Pilot is a three-row family crossover at the top of its class.
There’s substance to the 2020 Kia Telluride’s style.
The 2020 Subaru Ascent is nearly as rational a family hauler as a minivan.
The 2020 Toyota Highlander puts practicality above all else, but handling and styling make worthwhile cameos.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Gas V6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded H-4Regular Unleaded V-6
EPA Class     
Standard SUV 2WDSport Utility VehiclesSmall SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WDStandard SUV 4WDSmall SUV 2WD
Style Name     
Base RWDFWD 4-Door LLX 2WDLX FWD8-PassengerL FWD (GS)
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Automatic w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODCVT w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Chevrolet Traverse2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Honda Pilot2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Kia Telluride2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Subaru Ascent2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Toyota Highlander