2020 Ford Explorer vs 2011-2019: Differences compared side by side

The sixth-generation (U625) Ford Explorer doesn’t look that different to the fifth-generation (U502) facelift, but beyond the styling a lot has changed.

2020 Ford Explorer Platinum6th gen
U502 Ford Explorer facelift - Platinum5th gen
Design-wise the biggest difference is at the front, where the new 2020 Explorer has slimmer headlights and a non-rectangular grille.
2020 Ford Explorer Platinum6th gen
U502 Ford Explorer facelift - side5th gen
The rest of the styling is a gentle evolution of the fifth-generation car.
2020 Ford Explorer Limited6th gen
U502 Ford Explorer facelift - rear5th gen
Under the skin, the 2020 Explorer rides on a newly developed RWD/AWD platform shared with the Lincoln Aviator. The previous-generation model used the D4 FWD/AWD platform, which was based on the ancient Volvo P2 architecture from 1998.
2020 Ford Explorer Platinum6th gen
U502 Ford Explorer facelift - chrome grille5th gen
All 2020 models come with a 10-speed auto, whereas the fifth-generation model had a 6-speed unit. There are now three engine options: a 300hp (224kW) 2.3L turbo I4, a 318hp (237kW) 3.3L V6 hybrid, and a 365hp (272kW) or 400hp (298kW) 3L twin-turbo V6.
2020 Ford Explorer Interior6th gen
U502 Ford Explorer facelift - interior5th gen
The 2020 Explorer has a completely new dashboard design that's a little more organic, but obviously not to 1996 levels. Not only does it look more modern, but material quality should be better. The traditional gear lever is replaced by a rotary dial.
2020 Ford Explorer Platinum6th gen
2016 Explorer5th gen
Top-spec 2020 Explorers will have an unusual freestanding 10.1-inch portrait display. Lesser variants have a smaller, more traditional landscape unit. All have the latest Sync 3 infotainment system.
2020 Ford Explorer Platinum6th gen
U502 Ford Explorer facelift - front seats5th gen
The seats in the sixth-generation Explorer look gripper than those in previous model.
2020 Ford Explorer Interior6th gen
U502 Ford Explorer facelift - rear seats5th gen
Like the outgoing car, the 2020 Ford Explorer is 78.9 inches (2,000mm) wide. So it should offer plenty of width for all passengers sitting in the second row in models with a bench seat. Overall height has been reduced by half an inch (10mm).
2020 Ford Explorer Interior6th gen
U502 Ford Explorer facelift - trunk with seats folded down, max capacity 80.7 cubic feet (2285L)5th gen
The fifth-generation Explorer was hardly the most spacious SUV in its class, so second and third row passengers will truly appreciate the 2020 Explorer's increased length and wheelbase. Now with a 198.8-in (5,050mm) overall length and a 119.1-in (3,030mm) wheelbase, the 2020 Explorer is 1.1-in (28mm) longer, and has a 6.5-in (165mm) longer wheelbase.

2020 Ford Explorer



2016-2018 Ford Explorer




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explorerfifth generationfordsixth generationu502u625
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Comparison
Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Editor-at-large — Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]


2020 Ford Explorer vs 2011-2019: Differences compared side by side