The 2020 Ford Explorer ST can reach 60 mph in a matter of 5.2 seconds, which is just one tenth of a second faster than the 1991 GMC Typhoon could be. How many of us would you think back in the dawn of the grunge decade that the highly infamous GMC would be a harbinger of the future? We would assume zero. At that time, Typhoon and his pickup brother, Siklon, were strange, anomalies outside the blue sky. But take a look now: The market is blocked by cranes with motorized, SUVs. The Explorer ST, like the Typhoon, is powered by a turbo V-6. Both are all-wheel-drive. And at the same time chrome and brightness in an attempt to look at least a little threatening. A note to Ford's communications staff who are undoubtedly less excited than us, equating their new heat with a nearly 30-year GM product: Don't worry; this part will end soon.
Explorer ST is not really like GMC Typhoon. On the one hand, Ford is not named after a storm capable of creating widespread disaster and death. He doesn't even get his own name, only his suffix: ST. And before we snoop on independent music stores to apply the attachment to this three-row SUV, let's just remember that the total amount of ST history in the US before Ford started slamming it on an SUV was just two cars: Focus The ST, which was a delightful effort, and the Fiesta ST, which, lived up to its name, was a party on wheels, a wave of waves, as valuable as drunkenness on Tuesday afternoon.
Also, compared to the Typhoon, the Explorer ST has twice as many doors, two more seats, two fewer drum brakes, six more forward gears, one less live axle, and wheels five inches larger. diameter. By our measurement, it will go another seven miles for every gallon of fuel consumed. And the cheeky Explorer ST will give you an ass massage (for front seat passengers only).
This silver ST is the first new Explorer that we've had the opportunity to take on the test track. But all 2020 Explorers take advantage of an all-new platform that drives the nice trick of growing just an inch longer while riding on a wheelbase that expands more than six inches. Just as impressive, the ST's well-equipped weight was 127 pounds lighter than the 2017 Explorer Platinum. It's still 4853 pounds thick, but we are trying to be encouraging here. And this weight is better distributed between the front and back than it was last; the new one carries just 51.3 percent of its front-axle drive, up from 54.9 in the last generation. This is partly because this Explorer has its engine mounted longitudinally, not transversely. Also, the base model is now rear-wheel drive instead of front-wheel drive. All STs are all-wheel-drive.
The new elevation of hair, tense muscles and a convex line on the roof give it a look that is sportier and more elegant than the outgoing model. Black 21-inch wheels contribute to the appearance of our ST. They are part of the $ 995 ST Street package, which also includes sliding brake brakes, front and rear; larger brake rotors; and high-temperature seals in the braking system. Instead, choose the $ 1595 high-performance package option and get the same enhancements plus more aggressive brake pads. And to drive true sports home, Ford has added a set of 2,500 summer tires to the Michelin Latitude Sport 3. All other researchers have come with it all season.
Compared to Platinum, ST rides on stiffer springs (10 percent more up front and 8 percent rear), stacked dampers, and thicker anti-roll bars. Ford also tweaked the electric steering assist system to provide a more gentle feel. A turbocharged 3-liter V-6, effectively the same engine used in some Lincoln models, delivers 400 horsepower and 415 lb-ft of torque. Platinum uses a 365hp version of the engine, while XLT Explorers make a 300hp 2.3-liter four-liter engine. Limited models use either a four-cylinder or a 318-hp hybrid engine based on a 3.3-liter V-6.
The ST's engine may be half a liter smaller than the old Explorer's option with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6. 6, but produces 35 more horsepower and 65 lb-ft of torque. Predictably, then the new vehicle is faster. And more importantly, it feels significantly faster on the road. Once the 10-speed automatic decides the optimum gear, this platform moves with surprising power. This transmission, which is the only one available in every new Explorer, occasionally dims, changing gears repeatedly when a change would be sufficient. We find that switching the drive mode to Sport helps relieve some of the transmission's indecisiveness and sharpens the throttle response just on that side of contact. Our only other power transmission is that the engine note is less a mechanical symphony than a moan. And Sport mode just amplifies that noise.
Tougher suspension and summer tires are delivered to the test track. ST stops at 70 mph at 161 feet. Most three-row SUVs take at least 10 feet to make. And the ST goes around our 300-foot skid pad with 0.86 g of side grip. This, of course, can drive three-row SUVs that carry all-season tires without being sporty – they tend to return numbers in the low to mid-0.80s – but we were expecting more from a large-sized vehicle summer tires mounted to a relatively rigid suspension.
On the road, the ride on the ST has not been disputed, but it cannot be denied that the sporting intentions of the car and its large wheels give it a heavy foot feel. Despite the tire grip, the starch in the suspension and the structure feeling solid, the Explorer ST is not as coordinated as we had hoped it would be. The brakes of our test car were more concealed and more effort was needed on our part to achieve smooth and permanent brakes than it had to take. The action of the steering wheel is heavy through the wheel with a thick rim, but it feels artificially so. There is not a single force that telegraphs the state of traction with the driver in the best sports machines. Combine this with a transmission that likes to let the engine rest at all times, requiring multiple replacements and turbos to get thrust, and the Explorer ST is not a natural car. Rather, it is a normal vehicle with extra grip and plenty of horsepower.
There is still much to enjoy about the overall redesign of this normal car. The interior of the previous Explorer was a scary affair. His high waistband made us feel like we were sitting in a giant jacket with a tub made of cheap black plastic panels. The new interior, while still completely black in this example, is a nice place to spend some time. The apparent quality of the material is at least on par with that of Explorer's main competitors. There are only a few pieces of dubious refinement, such as the center stack panel surrounding the climate control buttons. It is firm, hollow and unprocessed, which makes it feel cheap. Such a chunk would not be a rollout on the XLT, which starts at less than $ 40,000. But it's a little harder to swallow our test vehicle, which carries an MSRP of $ 62,010.
The smallest ST is well-equipped for its base price of $ 55,835, including delicacies such as automated parking, wireless charging pad, navigation system, automatic high-beam headlamps, rain sensors, steering wheel heaters and seats. front and second row, front seat ventilation, remote start, Wi-Fi hotspot and leather upholstery. The front seat massage, 10.1-inch center screen and 14-speaker audio system added $ 995. This portrait-oriented entertainment screen is useful, even if it stands proud of the dash, it looks noticeably like the mysterious black monoliths of 2001: A Space Odyssey. For another $ 1,695, our test vehicle comes with dual coverage. This is nice for brightening the interior, but it consumes more than two inches of precious headroom for second-row passengers, making it barely bearable for adults to sit there. In fact, with the light roof, the third-row headroom is slightly better than the second, which is great, except that Ford has achieved this in part by hitting the bottom cushion down the floor, putting the occupants in a position on your knees that they will resent. Loading space is sufficient, approximately midway between the capacity of the Mazda CX-9 at the small end and that of the Chevrolet Traverse at the large.
Perhaps the Platinum model, with most of the ST's power and none of its overt sporting intent, would appeal to us more. We may have become weakened in the three decades since Typhoon was launched, but we value the basic Explorer package more than we do the integration of its performance enhancements. Counterpoints
I take every opportunity to shake my fist while swallowing an SUV and Explorer ST – as impressive as it is – is an easy target. The extra weight and height that come with such a package are the enemies of productivity, obviously ST's core mission. So if Ford engineers were able to make this tall, nearly 5,000-pound family bus corner and accelerate it quickly, then imagine what they could do with this platform and drive if they had a lower and lighter body installed on the sedan from above she called it SHO Taurus. Of course, the Chevy SS was a flop, but Dodge Charger could really use a good cross-country rival. This is an alternative universe in which I would like to live. – Joey Caparella, Staff Editor
All expensive fords – including Lincoln – have the same problem: they just cost too much. Their prices are like ever more premium products than they are. Just look inside this thing. The solid, strangely grainy plastic that outlines most of the lower half of the interior not only looks as if it was pulled straight from the old Explorer, but also looks like a popcorn ceiling and is as attractive as asbestos. And I know what you're going to say: "But this one is based on a rear-wheel drive platform!" Of course, the inclusion is a little doughier and the front and rear axles roll at different speeds. And why does the front end look like someone hit it flat? Durango SRT, please. – Alexander Stoklosa, Staff Editor