Ford chose to show off the 2020 Explorer this week, and the big news is that its three-row crossover went rear-wheel drive again. Ford says it plans to provide both an ST version and a cross, but the bottom model can get a 2.3-liter turbo-four and a 10-speed automatic transmission. And if 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque isn’t enough for you, the top-of-the-line version gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 that cranks out 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque. The new rear-drive platform and all-turbocharged engine lineup sound promising, but how can the brand new Explorer’s design compare to the last one?

At the start, the Explorer arguably has a smoother look than before. You can tell it’s wider compared to the last-gen Explorer was, but the shape of the headlights is less aggressive. In reality, from some angles, it even appears like it’s smiling at you.

From the medial side, though, it’s a different story. The profiles of both SUVs look similar in the beginning glance, but look closer, and you’ll notice the brand new Explorer includes a much sportier design. From the short front overhang to the gently sloping roofline, the styling includes a much leaner, more athletic look. That sportier vibe carries over to the rear. Although you can see lots of similarities between both, we prefer the brand new Explorer’s updated rear end.

Inside, Ford got rid of the sea of plastic that has been the middle console, and generally speaking, we such as the more premium-looking cabin. But one design choice is probably going to be extremely controversial. Rather than integrating the infotainment display into the dash, there’s now an enormous vertically oriented screen that sticks straight out from the center stack. It’ll probably be easy to read, with ab muscles top percentage of the screen being nearer to eye level, but customers who don’t like tablet-like displays are very not going to like this.

So far as pricing goes, Ford says the bottom model will simply be $400 higher priced than the existing Explorer. Assuming the destination charge stays the same, that means the 2020 Explorer will begin just under $34,000. Don’t be surprised, however, if some of the very most expensive models are priced well above $50,000 when new Explorers start showing up on dealer lots this summer.


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