Which Explorer is Right for You?

Brown 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum SUV parked in an open area with a light snow dusting on the ground

The Ford Explorer is one of the best SUVs on the road, but with so many great options available from Ford, how do you know which model is right for you? There are several different trims to choose from when looking at the Explorer, like there are with a lot of other Ford SUVs, and each one really has its own style and personality. While some of them simply build on lower trims, there are also a couple of options that are truly unique.

Keeping track of all of your options and choosing the right one can feel overwhelming, but don’t worry – we’re here to help. Let’s take a look at the different trims available for the 2020 Ford Explorer to see what each one has to offer. By taking them one piece at a time in this way, we can detangle all of your options and really simplify your choices. Then, we’ll consider the big picture and see if we can get some clear answers on which Ford Explorer is right for you.

The 2020 Ford Explorer

Let’s start off by looking at what the 2020 Ford Explorer has to offer in general, regardless of which trim or optional package you look at. The standard Explorer has seating for up to 7 people, with rear-wheel drive, a 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 engine that comes paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and a power liftgate. It includes an 8-inch infotainment display, a 6-speaker sound system, and an 8-way power driver’s seat.

You also get a number of great safety features standard, including multiple airbags, AdvanceTrac with curve control, and a tire pressure monitoring system. There is 18.2 cu.ft. of storage space behind the third row of seats, 47.9 cu.ft. behind the second row, and 87.8 cu.ft. behind the front row of seats, with more than 152 cu.ft. of total passenger room. All-in-all, the Explorer is a great choice, but the right one for you depends on exactly what you need.

2020 Ford Explorer – XLT

The first upgraded trim for the Explorer, the XLT, features a 10-way power driver’s seat and 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, second-row captain’s chairs, and a 6-inch driver productivity screen in the instrument cluster. It has cloth seating, a pair of second-row USB ports, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It comes with 18-inch wheels, standard, but 20-inch wheels are available, as is a twin-panel moonroof.

If the standard features of the 2020 Ford Explorer are good for what you need, but you would like a bit more comfort and convenience, then the XLT is a great choice among Ford SUVs.

2020 Ford Explorer – Limited


Up from the XLT is the Limited, which features first-row ventilated and heated seats, with a 10-way power adjustable front passenger seat, and second-row heated seats. The Limited has ambient interior lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a hands-free foot-activated power liftgate. There are leather details throughout the interior, including trim on the front and second-row seats, as well as a heated steering wheel.

The Limited also includes Ford Co-Pilot360 Technology, which includes safety features like evasive steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The Limited features voice-activated Navigation, plus a 12-speaker B&O sound system. While additional features like a twin-panel moonroof are available options, the Explorer Limited is a great choice among Ford SUVs if you want excellent comfort, technology, and safety features.

2020 Ford Explorer – Limited Hybrid

One of two brand-new options for the 2020 Ford Explorer is the Limited Hybrid trim, which gives you all of the same interior features as the Limited, with an advanced hybrid engine. This is a 3.3L V6 hybrid engine that gives you an estimated 500 miles of range on a single tank. It doesn’t sacrifice power, however, offering up to 5,000 lbs of towing capacity when properly configured.
The Limited Hybrid is a great choice if you like everything about the standard Limited and want a hybrid engine. You pretty much can’t beat this fuel economy among Ford SUVs, and the freedom that a hybrid model affords you is fantastic.

2020 Ford Explorer – ST

The second all-new option for the 2020 Ford Explorer is the ST, which is a performance-focused model designed to give you a thrilling and powerful driving experience. With the ST, you get a 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine, which has been tuned by engineers at Ford Performance to deliver up to 400 hp and up to 415 lb-ft of torque. This engine is amazing and truly turns the Explorer ST into a driving experience unlike anything else you’ll find among Ford SUVs.

The ST also has a sport-tuned suspension and an Intelligent 4WD with a Terrain Management System, which lets you fully explore a wide range of terrains and road conditions. The ST features additional safety features beyond the Limited, including active park assist and reverse brake assist. It has a 12-inch digital instrument display, leather trimmed seating with unique ST emblems, and a sport-style steering wheel with paddle shifters. If you want a performance SUV, then the Explorer ST is a great choice.

2020 Ford Explorer – Platinum


Finally, we come to the 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum, which represents the pinnacle of this particular model. The Platinum features a 3.0L V6 engine like the ST, but it is tuned to deliver slightly less power: up to 365 hp and up to 380 lb-ft of torque. While that comes in under what the ST has to offer, it still represents a tremendous level of performance for the 2020 Ford Explorer. The Platinum has adaptive headlamps, a satin-aluminum grille, and available 21-inch wheels. Ash wood details and leather touches throughout the interior gives the Platinum a truly luxurious and sophisticated feel, with a leather-wrapped instrument-panel-top and similar details throughout.

You get power-folding, heated side mirrors with the Explorer Platinum, along with remote-control first-row windows, and a twin-panel moonroof included. A 14-speaker B&O sound system with a 10-inch infotainment display is available for the Platinum, though not standard. The Platinum should be your choice if you’re looking for the most luxurious and stylish ride among Explorer trims.

So, What’s the Answer?

Ultimately, the right 2020 Ford Explorer for you is going to depend on what you want and need, and how it can best fit into your life. Your budget will likely dictate your decision to some degree, as there is quite a range of prices available here: the base starts at $32,765, the Explorer XLT at about $36,000, and the Limited at around $48,000, while the Platinum starts off at more than $58,000. So you will likely need to consider your financing options and what you can afford while looking at your choices.

If you want the ultimate in luxury, then the Platinum is a great choice. For unparalleled performance with the Ford Explorer, then the all-new ST is the way to go, while the Limited Hybrid gives you unbeatable fuel economy. It all just depends on what you want. Here at DePaula Ford in Albany, NY, we work hard to help you consider all of your options and work together with you to figure out the right choice. Come visit us today to learn more about the full lineup of Ford SUVs, and we will make sure you drive away in the perfect one.