The Ford Explorer is the best selling SUV of all time with nearly eight million of them sold to date and even today the model in showrooms right now remains the top selling three row SUV which is a bit surprising seeing that it originally launched way back in 2011.
But come later this year, the nameplate will lose its status as the gray beard of the class with the arrival of this, the 2020 Ford Explorer that sports new styling, tech, platform, and updated drive trains.
Beginning on the outside, the sixth-generation Explorer's design is best described as evolutionary.
There are some nice subtle changes like the [UNKNOWN] roofline, more sculpted profile surfaces Wider stance and shorter front overhangs for a bit more ground clearance and better approach angle when you venture off-road.
But overall, the exterior redo is on the underwhelming side and looks like it could of been seen on the road for a couple years already.
Changes inside are more apparent with new multi-contour seats and more spacious accommodations.
Thanks, in large part, to a longer wheel base that Ford says gives the new Explorer best in class first and second row hip room, and best in class second and third row headroom.
Cargo capacity is also at the top of the class, offering the ability to carry four by eight sheets of plywood for the first time.
Front heated and cooled, massaging seats, individual climate controls on all three rows and a bigger panoramic roof for other available interior niceties.
On the tech front an updated Sync 3 system with an 8 inch touch screen, wi-fi hotspot, apple car play and android auto capabilities are standard.
A 10.1 portrait touch screen interface is optional with the 14 speaker B&O audio Is set up.
Top platinum models also benefit from a standard 12.3 inch digital gauge cluster.
For safety for collision warning with automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist and rear cross traffic alert come on all Explorers.
While intelligent adaptive cruise control, reverse brake assist, and a 360 degree camera are offered at mid-level trims and up.
Everything rides on a new rear-wheel drive architecture shared with the Lincoln Aviator that Ford says makes the Explorer a little more rugged and capable While being on average 200 pounds lighter than the outgoing car.
Base power now comes from a 2.3 liter turbocharged four cylinder with 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
Meaning the old 3.5 liter V6 is no more.
That gets me into a ten speed automatic transmission, running power to the rear wheels, or all corners to an optional rear bias all wheel drive system with axle disconnect.
Towing capacity for the Four punches in at 5300 lbs.
But fuel economy numbers aren't available yet.
Ford is simply promising better effeciency and drive range than before.
Those looking for more oomph will look at the platinum model that packs a three-liter twin turbocharged V6 with 365 horses, a stout 380 feet of torque, all wheel drive, and 5600 pound tow capacity.
As for other potential drive train offerings, a hybrid Explorer wouldn't be far fetched, as one already has been confirmed in the new Interceptor.
The 2020 Ford Explorer will go on sale this summer with a $33,860 base price, representing a $400 increase over the 2019 model.
Besides the less than ground breaking exterior design, the new Explorer Has some drastic improvements with more space, tech, and promise of improved efficiency.
That likely will give it a good shot at defending it's best selling three row SUV title.