• Welcome to SVTPerformance!

2020 Ford Explorer ST | Finally, a Real Performance SUV from Ford

Discussion in 'Front Page Articles' started by SID297, Feb 26, 2020.

  1. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    49,684
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    2020 Ford Explorer ST | Finally, a Real Performance SUV from Ford

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_025.jpg

    I know that title may be a bit harsh, but if you read our review of the somewhat lackluster 2019 Edge ST you’ll understand its meaning. That version of the Edge was marketed as the first SUV from Ford Performance. Other than the nice styling, that car was a let-down. Ford really needed to do something special to redeem their efforts to produce a true performance SUV. Enter the 2020 Ford Explorer ST.

    Check out our video review:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrSOoh-D4VU

    Let me get this out of the way right up front. I was extremely excited to see that the newest version of the venerable Ford Explorer was returning to a Rear-Wheel-Drive based architecture. In my humble opinion, RWD is simply superior from a driving dynamics standpoint than a FWD design. For the ST model, the Ford Performance engineers took advantage of this drivetrain change and produced what I consider the first real performance SUV from Ford.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_026.jpg

    The new Explorer's styling makes it look much wider than the outgoing model. We especially like the headlights.

    So how good is the Explorer ST? I wish I could give to a complete answer, but sadly I didn’t get as much time with ExST as I would have liked. However, even with minimal seat time you can instantly tell that the drivetrain is really dialed in. The 3.0L EcoBoost V6, first introduced in the Lincoln Continental, is a very potent little engine. With twin turbos supplying 400HP and 415lb-ft of torque to the excellent 10R80 automatic transmission and AWD system you’re left 4,700 pound family truckster than can make the 0-60 sprint in the low 5.0 second range. Add a little tuning and those power numbers can increase dramatically. We’ve seen sub-4 second 0-60 times and the ¼ mile knocked out in the low 12s. Mix it up with some ethanol blended fuels and you have companies like Livernois Motorsport throwing down over 450HP and 525lbft to the wheels. That’ll get your attention.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_039.jpg

    For you guys hoping to see a Coyote under the hood of an Explorer eventually, it looks like it might be a tight squeeze.

    Ford Performance also worked over the suspension tuning. They managed to make this heavy truck feel sporty, but not at the expense of ride quality. The AWD system and decent factory tires provide ample grip. In fact, you’ll probably find that the limits are much higher than you would expect from a 3-row SUV. I’d go so far as to say that is the overall theme of the performance aspects of Explorer ST, surpassing your expectations. And that theme extends to the braking system as well, which a can bring all that fast steel to a stop in a respectably short distance.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_048.jpg

    The Explorer's suspension is more aluminum intensive than previous models.
    Ford has been steadily improving the interiors of their new cars for years, and the new generation of Explorers is no exception. The materials choices are very nice, and the quality is nicer than the previous model. Front and center is a large vertically mounted touch-screen. It acts as the control center for the navigation, entertainment, and climate control systems. The black leather seats are supportive and comfortable, and the heated steering wheel is a welcome addition during a polar vortex. Second row passengers are treated to heated reclining captain’s chairs, and power points to charge your devices can be found throughout the cabin. If you like a sun roof in your ride, Ford has you covered there with a massive panoramic unit. If you haven’t sat in a new Ford lately, check out the new Explorer. I think you’ll like it.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_022.jpg

    The interior is much better than earlier Fords. There's still room for improvement, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

    As for the styling, this is another area where Ford got it right. The new Explorer has a much larger and refined presence that the old one. The ST adds the expected blacked out wheel and grill, while also carrying on the tradition of minimal chrome accents. It certainly carries the ST styling DNA that we’ve become familiar with in the Focus and now greatly missed Fiesta ST models. The Explorer ST looks properly aggressive without veering into over-the-top territory. This is a vehicle that knows its intended purpose and audience.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_005.jpg

    This center mount vertical screen is possibly one of the worst touch screen integrations I've seen in any vehicle. Most of the apps make very poor use of the massive amount of available screen real estate.
    And, as in the case of out tester, when you’re spending just north of $59,000 you expect a quality product. Ford again delivers there. The fit and finish of our truck was as good as any I have seen from the Blue Oval. While some new Fords have some features that appear to have been cheapened by the bean counters, the Explorer ST seems to have avoided much of their wraith. You get excellent LED lighting, a quality stereo, super performance, snappy styling, and premium level fit-and-finish. The Explorer engineering and design team should be proud. They’ve put together a new Ex-Truck that should solidify Ford’s place as the leader in the SUV market for years to come. And the team at Ford Performance just added the cherry to the sundae with the ST model. Get out and try one for yourself.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_006.jpg

    The full digital cluster is very nice, but the image does lag when changing modes.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_007.jpg

    The console controls are logically laid out and have a fairly quality build. I especially like the inductive charging pad behind the drive mode buttons.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_035.jpg

    The body and chassis structure make use of large amount of aluminum, such as this rather strong looking extruded brace.

    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_069.jpg

    The 2020 Explorer ST cuts a strong stance from any angle.


    -SID297
     
    jrgoffin likes this.
  2. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    49,684
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_005.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_006.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_007.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_008.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_009.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_010.jpg 2020_Explorer_XLT_Sport_003.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_001.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_002.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_003.jpg
     
  3. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    49,684
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_020.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_011.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_012.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_013.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_014.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_015.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_016.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_017.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_018.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_019.jpg
     
    jrgoffin likes this.
  4. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    49,684
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_031.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_022.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_023.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_024.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_025.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_026.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_027.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_028.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_029.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_030.jpg
     
    jrgoffin likes this.
  5. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    49,684
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_041.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_032.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_033.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_034.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_035.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_036.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_037.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_038.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_039.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_040.jpg
     
    jrgoffin likes this.
  6. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    49,684
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_047.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_048.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_049.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_050.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_051.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_042.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_043.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_044.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_045.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_046.jpg
     
    jrgoffin likes this.
  7. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    49,684
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_062.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_052.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_053.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_054.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_055.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_056.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_057.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_058.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_059.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_060.jpg
     
    jrgoffin likes this.
  8. SID297

    SID297 OWNER/ADMIN Staff Member Administrator

    Messages:
    49,684
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    Location:
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Explorer_ST_Press_Car_067.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_068.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_069.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_070.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_071.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_072.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_063.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_064.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_065.jpg Explorer_ST_Press_Car_066.jpg
     
    jrgoffin likes this.
  9. Blk04L

    Blk04L . . . Premium Member Established Member

    Messages:
    8,902
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    South Florida
    It's a nice truck. I was wanting to wait for it to test drive but the wife was sold on the Expedition and her last Explorer ended on a bad note.

    But for roughly the same MSRP as the expedition(we bought) I prefer the Explorer ST.
     
  10. 03cobra#694

    03cobra#694 Want to play a game? Staff Member Super Moderator

    Messages:
    50,893
    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    SW FL.
    Interesting exhaust tips.
     
    me32 and xblitzkriegx like this.
  11. Bensin

    Bensin Member Established Member

    Messages:
    41
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2019
    Location:
    Europe
    Euro diesel tips that identify as gasoline exhaust tips.
     
    me32 and xblitzkriegx like this.
  12. oldstv

    oldstv Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

    Messages:
    1,779
    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Location:
    thomasville ga
    Exhaust tips look like they were cut with a hole saw.
     
  13. IA Shelby

    IA Shelby Well-Known Member Established Member

    Messages:
    2,819
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Location:
    Iowa
    That center touch screen alone is a deal killer for me. That looks absolutely horrible and out of place. Looks like they are trying to copy Tesla and failing.
     
  14. Corbic

    Corbic Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

    Messages:
    4,353
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2015
    Location:
    Midwestern Hell
    Where the **** is the engine?

    What the hell, it has turn down exhaust with fake tips?

    That LCD is beyond stupid.

    For $55k... I'd rather save $10k for a Durango R/T or pay the extra $8k for a Durango SRT.


    Honestly, just save up the extra pennies for a G63 and be done with it.
     
  15. BigPoppa

    BigPoppa Wut? Established Member

    Messages:
    1,806
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Location:
    Your mom
    Grey buttons on a grey background is horrible UI design on the touchscreen. The colors don't contrast enough for quick glances. Many drivers will most likely find this difficult to use at first until they memorize button location.
     
  16. mariusvt

    mariusvt Active Member Established Member

    Messages:
    203
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    Location:
    PA
    It's nit picking but now that I've seen them the fake tips really bother me.
     
    Corbic and xblitzkriegx like this.
  17. gimmie11s

    gimmie11s Well-Known Member Established Member

    Messages:
    11,134
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    so cal
    This thing would smack around a Durngo RT with ease.... SRT.. different story.

    Guy down the street bought a new Explorer ST and MSRP was $58k!!!

    Sweet trucks, but damn...
     
    me32 likes this.
  18. Corbic

    Corbic Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

    Messages:
    4,353
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2015
    Location:
    Midwestern Hell
    Cool thing is you can get $5-8k off a Durango with ease, so that SRT is priced right along side the ST.


    As for the R/T, I look at it the same way I see the 5.7 Challengers and Chargers.

    Not particularly fast, but quick. The main incentive is just a great sounding V8 that does extremely well on fuel economy and has enough starting grunt to move from stop lights and in traffic. It also doesn't have to wide out like the V6 for highway merging.

    So yeah, not fast like a St... But also $10-15k less, nicer interior and IMHO a better looking exterior.

    Then again, just save up for a G63.
     
    hand-filer and gimmie11s like this.
  19. gimmie11s

    gimmie11s Well-Known Member Established Member

    Messages:
    11,134
    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Location:
    so cal
    All true
     
  20. T56LS102

    T56LS102 Active Member Established Member

    Messages:
    211
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2012
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I picked one up a couple weeks ago, the screen is not that bad, I got use to it. If you get a good enough discount it is actually a pretty good bang for buck! I ended up getting mine for 48k (plus tax and Lic.)
    -Also, it tows extremely well for its size! 20200222_094728.jpg
     
    WIST2013GT and me32 like this.

Share This Page