2020 Ford Explorer Titanium. Boldt and Better

Overview

2020 Ford Explorer 3.0L V6 Titanium

2020 Ford Explorer 3.0L V6 Titanium

The 2020 Ford Explorer Titanium is the top model of the new Explorer. Ford’s iconic 3-row SUV entered its 6th generation with the current model.

The market is significantly different today than 30 years ago when Ford introduced its midsize SUV as for the 1991 model year. By then, Ford offered the Explorer in two body options: A 3-door as the de facto successor of the Bronco II and a 5-door wagon. The second version was also the first 4-door SUV Ford produced. By then, SUV’s were not a mainstream category of vehicles.

Today, the market is invaded by SUV’s and CUV’s of all sizes. Ford has focused more than ever on this segment of the market and eventually turned to a truck and SUV specialist eliminating cars (except the Mustang) from its product range at least in North America. FoMoCo as we know today has an all-encompassing portfolio of SUVs, CUVs, and trucks to compete at every segment of the market.

Explorer is still a vital product for Ford even at times of a multitude of choices across the categories. Explorer is a vehicle that people can drive as their daily car in the city and for long distances, tow their boats or horses (maximum towing capacity is 2,540 kg), and perform some serious off-road duties. All these capabilities make Explorer a multi-purpose vehicle. I forgot to mention that it is a 7-seater, even if not very ideal for long distances.

Engine and powertrain

Our tester, the 2020 Ford Explorer Titanium is the top version of the model range. Ford offers the new Explorer in four trims:

XLT, Limited, ST, and Platinum. The prices start at C$ 40,466 for the base model, XLT: The starting price for Platinum is C$ 58,643

The 3.0L, V6 twin-turbo engine does the job

The power source for the Platinum model (also for ST) is a 3.0L V6 twin-turbo Ecoboost engine with 365 horsepower and 380 lb-ft of torque. The fuel-efficient, turbo-boosted six-cylinder engines gradually replaced the thirstier 8-cylinder engines in the last decade or so. The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic, which is used also in F-150. The new platform is designed mainly in RWD configuration with the front axle kicking in whenever is necessary. In the USA, you can have an RWD model. In Canada, unsurprisingly, AWD is standard.

The corner-turning headlight unit smooths out the otherwise angular design

Interior

We loved the digital and customizable instrument panel. However, something looked weird with the drive mode indicator. As you turn the knob for the mode selection clockwise, the indicator on the dashboard moves counterclockwise or vice versa. This may be not so important for some folks, we noted this feature as a potential improvement.

The vertically placed infotainment system with the 10.1″ capacitive touchscreen is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Yet the Synch system is sometimes slow and froze entirely at one of our trips for several seconds. The screen is ergonomically placed and easy to read. One small issue may be worth mentioning for future improvements. The view of the rearview camera is a bit too small in this vertical setup. One advantage of the vertical screen is that you can split the screen for Android Auto and vehicle controls.

The 980 Watt strong Bang & Olufsen sound system with 14 speakers is one of the nicest features of the Titanium trim. Also with good sound insulation, this was a great audio experience throughout our test week.

The twin-panel moonroof brings tons of light into the cabin. But, the colour combination of the leather seats requires a getting-used with black and brown upholstery. I think that this is not to everyone’s taste.

The interior with the dashboard is ergonomically designed. Materials in the lower sections and fittings require some improvement

The middle seats are comfortable and offer sufficient legroom. The colour combination may not be to everyone’s taste

Driving impressions

The 2020 Ford Explorer Titanium shares this platform and powertrain with the Lincoln Aviator, its more expensive and luxurious corporate cousin. While the more luxurious Aviator has air suspension, the Explorer remained traditional.

Our week with this range-topping Ford Explorer Titanium left a nice impression. The current model drives well and feels compacter than its actual size. Steering input is responsive at all drive modes, the body roll is less remarkable than the previous generation we tested earlier.

According to the window sticker data, the fuel economy figures are as follows: (L/100km) 13.3 city/9.8 hwy/11.8 combined.

During our one-week test drive with mixed-use, we came up with an average of 14.3 liters, thus significantly higher than the combined figure. As we always state, these figures may and do deviate from the actual data and thus should be used for comparative purposes only.

You can also read our reviews for 2019 and 2018 Ford Explorer Platinum from the links below:

2019 model year:

https://www.autoandroad.com/2019/09/2019-ford-explorer-platinum/

2018 model year

https://www.autoandroad.com/?s=2018+explorer

Conclusion

For long-time fans of the SUV, the new generation is familiar and unmistakeably Explorer

When Ford introduced the first Explorer 30 years ago, the automotive landscape was significantly different from today. An SUV was almost a rarity compared to sedans and wagons. Today, the market is dominated more and more by SUV’s, CUV’s and other “non-sedans” The Explorer has a bunch of competitors. Our tester is priced as C$68,699 including freight and PDI. This price includes options worth C$2,250.

A visit to a familiar place. At the Oakville Assembly Plant in Oakville, ON. Ford’s only Canadian production site assembles Ford Edge and Lincoln Nautilus, its corporate cousin

It is up to the preferences of the potential buyer if the fully loaded 2020 Ford Explorer Titanium is acceptable from the price point of view. Objectively speaking, you can find models that offer a lower price for their top trims.

For more detailed and most up-to-date information, please visit http://www.ford.ca

Article by Varol McKars

Photos by Burak McKars