The Ford Explorer is fully redesigned for 2020, and as part of the redesign, Explorer now offers the Limited Hybrid that packs a punch and delivers a commanding performance. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is another contender in the hybrid class. Let’s look at both.
The Explorer Hybrid is exclusive to the upper Limited Hybrid trim. With this upper trim, the Explorer is well equipped with luxury features such as leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, LED lighting, and a hand-free liftgate. Optional upgrades include a panoramic sunroof and a tow package. The Explorer Hybrid seats six people, offering plenty of room and support. The third-row seat can fold flat for convenient storage at the touch of a button. It gives you plenty of cargo space, with 18.2 cubic feet of space behind the third-row seats and 87.8 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded down.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid is redesigned for the 2020 model year. It offers a quality interior and seating for up to eight people, with an available seven-seat layout. Seating is comfortable in the first- and second-row, but the third row is cramped and has an awkward seating position. Cloth upholstery is standard and synthetic leather upholstery, genuine leather upholstery, heated ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are available. The Highlander Hybrid has 16 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third-row seats and a total of 84.3 cubic feet with the second- and third-row seats folded down. A power liftgate is standard, and a hands-free power liftgate is available.
Safety and Technology
The Explorer Limited Hybrid edition comes with some impressive tech and safety features. It comes standard with a 12-speaker B&O sound system, the easy-to-use SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, four USB ports, navigation, a Wi-Fi hot spot, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You will have confidence on the road with Ford’s CoPilot 360 suite of driver aids including traffic-adaptive cruise control, a lane keeping and centering system, speed sign recognition, and an automatic emergency evasive steering-assist system.
The Highlander Hybrid has standard features that include an infotainment system with an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, satellite radio, six speakers, and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Its standard safety features include a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking.
All Explorer Hybrids come with a V6 engine and a hybrid system that produces 318 horsepower. It is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission and a 35-kilowatt electric motor with a 1.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. It delivers both quick acceleration and higher-than-average fuel economy. This hybrid estimates over 450 miles per trip when equipped with available intelligent 4WD. With RWD, it can deliver an estimated range of more than 500 miles per tank of gas - that works out to just under 28 mpg. When properly equipped, the Explorer Hybrid can tow up to 5,000 pounds without feeling overworked. Its off-road performance is capable of traversing different surfaces and inclines, and hills aren’t a challenge. It can even wade through more than a foot of water. For this Limited edition, the starting price is just under $53,000.
The Highlander Hybrid gets a new 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 60 less horsepower than previous years. It also combines two electric motors to produce a combined 243 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is available. When properly equipped, the Highlander Hybrid can tow up to 3,5000 pounds, less towing capabilities than the non-hybrid Highlander. It rides smoothly on rough payment, but it feels a bit cumbersome around turns and doesn’t have a lot of passing power on the highway. It gets an estimated 36/35 mpg city and highway. The Highlander Hybrid’s starting price is $38,200 and range to $50,200 for the fully loaded Platinum model.
The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid features an upscale interior with lots of space to haul families and gear. It’s power and performance on and off the road make this hybrid a clear choice. Come take a ride at Brighton Ford.