Six Generations of the Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer has been around for almost 30 years. In that time, the SUV segment has evolved in ways no one could’ve dreamed of. Through it all, the Explorer has remained one of the segment’s backbones, a pillar from which the SUV world has stood on for close to three decades. The Explorer’s life reads like a Hollywood script, too. It started off with a bang, establishing itself as one of the most popular SUVs on the market. That success lasted for more than a decade before the Explorer lost its way as other SUVs arrived. Sales eventually cratered, leaving Ford desperate to recapture the magic the Explorer had when it became the breakout hit of the early ’90s. The return to form eventually took place as the SUV segment in the U.S. exploded. With the Explorer now entrenched as one of the most popular SUVs in the market, Ford’s banking on the sixth-generation model to keep that momentum. Whether it does so or not remains to be seen, but the all-new Explorer appears fully equipped to take on that challenge.
Adapting to customer needs and trying to achieve efficiency levels proposed by the governing bodies, manufacturers had to shift whole production systems to accommodate their factories for efficient SUV and crossover production. However, the tough body-on-frame design of traditional SUVs simply did not cut it anymore. SUVs became too heavy, too ungainly, and too expensive to maintain. Then, some automakers started to experiment with unibody construction for their SUV-looking cars. Soon, what was a misfit became the norm and today with crossovers being the only way forward. Even the famous off-road specialists like Jeep and Land Rover had to make changes and some famed names from history sacrificed all that made them famous in the first place.
2020 Ford Explorer Vs 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
As the best selling SUV in history, the Ford Explorer gained an almost religiously devoted customer base that has kept the legend of the Explorer alive for three decades. However, another SUV, not necessarily placed to fight a direct fight against the Explorer, has a following that’s almost as strong - the Jeep Grand Cherokee. As the new Ford Explorer flashed its body at the NAIAS and attracts customers with its numerous benefits compared to basically any other similar SUV in the segment, I wondered if there’s any incentive to still choose the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee over the new 2020 Ford Explorer. The current Jeep Grand Cherokee has its roots planted in the year 2011 when it came to be. Of course, eight years on the market have left some marks on its skin. It isn’t as advanced, as aerodynamic, nor as convenient as some of its competitors. Yet, despite its aged appearance, the Grand Cherokee is like a really robust SUV geared more towards off-road and toughness than it is towards family values and convenience. That is actually the main character difference between the two.
The biggest physical difference, on the other hand, is the fact that the 2020 Ford Explorer is a three row SUV. The 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee is a two row SUV. Only the next generation of the Grand Cherokee (to be revealed in a year or two), will have two different layouts - it will be offered with two or three rows. Yet, regardless of their main differences, the 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the 2020 Ford Explorer are roughly similarly priced.
Ford has completely redesigned the Explorer for the 2020 model year in the quest to surpass its many talented and popular rivals. One of those rivals is the third-gen Honda Pilot that has been around in its current form since 2016 and recently facelifted for the 2019 model year. Both models are popular, but now that the new Ford is out, is a mere facelift enough to keep the Honda up to date and competitive?
The latest Explorer changes the previous model’s formula a bit through the fact that its platform is now rear-wheel-drive biased. It is also lighter than before, offers better performance, better fuel economy, and Ford is even going to make a hot ST version of it. Honda’s Pilot refresh brought with it more aggressive exterior styling, new tech (especially on the safety front, with the full Honda Sensing suite), but no new engines - only one non-turbo V-6 is offered.
2020 Ford Explorer vs 2019 Dodge Durango
The Ford Explorer remains one of the most popular SUVs in America, but the previous-generation model had one thing going against it: age. It entered the market in 2011, and while a 2018 facelift injected some life back to the SUV, it was only a matter of time before Ford ultimately replaced it with a next-generation model. Well, that time has come. The sixth-generation Ford Explorer made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show, and it didn’t take long for the SUV to serve notice to its rivals. The Explorer is back, baby, and it’s back with a vengeance. That should serve as a warning to Dodge and its Durango SUV. Just like the Explorer is to Ford, the Durango is one of Dodge’s biggest moneymakers. Unlike the Explorer, the current version of the Durango is toiling on the back-end of its generational cycle. The next-generation Durango is coming, but there’s no specific timetable on when it’s poised to arrive. So as the all-new Ford Explorer flexes its muscles in the segment, the current Durango has to resist the Explorer rush, at least until the cavalry arrives. Is it up to the task against the all-new Ford SUV? Let’s find out.
2020 Ford Explorer vs 2019 Mazda CX-9
The sleek 2019 Mazda CX-9 SUV is one of the least-obvious rivals of the 2020 sixth-generation Explorer. The two models share nothing in terms of exterior design, and this affects the cabin as well. The Mazda is also only available with only one engine and one transmission, and you can only get it with either FWD or AWD. There’re a lot of options if you’re in the market for a three-row SUV and Ford should take into consideration all of its rivals if it wants to keep topping the sales charts with the latest Explorer. Sure, the Mazda CX-9 isn’t for the same kind of person as the Ford but, size wise, they play ball in the same league so here’s how the two stack up against one another.
2019 Ford Explorer vs 2020 Ford Explorer
First introduced in 1990, the Ford Explorer quickly became a sales success and evolved into America’s all-time best-selling SUV. In January 2019, Ford launched the sixth-generation model to replace the ageing, eight-year-old, fifth-gen SUV with a more capable, comfortable, sportier, and roomier vehicle. Is the new Explorer a massive departure from its predecessor? Does it have more and better tech? Is Ford offering more powerful engines with enhanced fuel economy? Find out all about that in the new vs. old Explorer comparison below.
2020 Ford Explorer vs 2019 Chevy Traverse
The Ford Mustang vs. Chevrolet Camaro battle may be the most iconic rivalry among Detroit-based automakers, but it has fallen behind the SUV wars in recent years. Both Ford and Chevy are playing hard on the crossover market, and the midsize war just got a lot more interesting now that the Traverse has a brand-new Explorer to take on.
While the Explorer has been around since 1990, the Traverse was born rather recently, in 2008. But despite being only 11 years old as of 2019, the nameplate enjoys great success. It’s not as successful as the Explorer, America’s best-selling SUV, but it definitely has what it takes to give the Ford a run for its money. How do these SUVs compare? Find out in the comparison below.
9 Little Known Facts About the 2020 Ford Explorer
The debut of the new 2020 Ford Explorer is definitely one of the most expected vehicle debuts of this year. It happened. President and CEO of Ford, Jim Hackett and Executive Vice President Jim Farley, presented the new car in Detroit in casual attire. Visually similar to its predecessor, the sixth generation Ford Explorer goes back to its roots with a rear wheel drive platform, longitudinal engine layout, and far more athletic appearance than ever before.
I compiled a list of little-known facts about the new 2020 Ford Explorer that just shows how dedicated Ford engineers and designers have been with the creation of the most advanced Ford Explorer of all time.
2020 Ford Explorer vs 2019 GMC Acadia: How They Compare
The new, redesigned, Ford Explorer is here, and Ford touts it as an "adventure enabler." It’s got more room on the inside, more gizmos, and it can tow a heavier payload than before. But, as the mid-size crossover SUV segment gets busier and busier, the Explorer must execute to perfection in all areas to remain at the top of the pile. One of its competitors will be GMC’s Acadia.
Ford launched the new, sixth-generation, Explorer at an event at Ford Field in Detroit on Wednesday. The automaker says its focus has been on the customer 100%, trying to see what are the areas that the customers are most displeased with and then eliminating these "pain points." The result, Ford says, is a "reinvented" Explorer. Let’s see how well it stacks up against the soon-to-be 3-year-old GMC Acadia.
10 Best 3-Row SUVs of 2018
SUVs rose to popularity in the early 2000s, with customers being drawn to their large cabins, higher ride height, and perceived safety. The fact that automakers scored bigger profit margins from them also contributed to the surge. Starting in 2015, sales of SUVs started dominating the auto industry, and carmakers began building them in all shapes and sizes. But, while you can buy everything from compacts to full-size vehicles with taller ride height, three-row SUVs are limited to only midsize and large SUVs.
It’s obviously a matter of practicality here. And, while most haulers aren’t exactly practical, three-row vehicles retain one of the most important features of original SUVs: the ability to carry more than five people. With minivans almost extinct, the three-row SUV is arguably the most practical of its kind. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at the ten best three-row SUVs you can buy today and compare what they offer in terms of features, power, and third-row practicality.