A silver 2020 Ford Explorer is shown from the front an angle on a dirt trail.

Used Ford Explorer? Good as New

When you think of a new car, do you think of brand-new, fresh from the factory? Or do you mean new to you? The unfortunate reality is that being the first owner of a vehicle is a luxury…and technically a myth! Due to logistics and test drives, never before owned vehicles in dealerships typically have a few miles on them. Being the first owner also has its own share of headaches, as sometimes a vehicle may have factory errors that have not been addressed and fixed. This means that looking for a used Ford Explorer for sale might not be as disadvantageous as you might think.

Ultimately, what makes an SUV a good purchase is how reliable the vehicle is, regardless of the mileage on the odometer or the number of previous owners. Many times, a used model from a reliable manufacturer will outlast a new car from a less dependable brand. When it comes to both Ford and the sixth-generation Explorer, they are the embodiment of mileage not meaning a thing. Due to their reliability, used Ford Explorers make for a good choice when shopping for your next SUV.

A red 2020 Ford Explorer is shown from the front at an angle after leaving a dealer that advertised having a used Ford Explorer for sale.

The Sixth-Generation Explorer

The sixth-generation Ford Explorer launched for the 2020 model year, and not too much has changed since. This makes them a prime target to consider when looking at used models. Their age lowers the price tag, making them more affordable than the newer models, but they still have all the modern features you desire. We will be focusing on the 2020 models today. However, most of this information also applies to the 2021 and 2022 models.

Price is always a good place to start when looking for used vehicles; this is one advantage they have over new cars. You can find a used 2020 Explorer starting at around $25,000 for the base-trim two-wheel drive models. Despite being the base trim, these models are filled with much-appreciated standard features, including driver-assist technology, a power liftgate, tri-zone automatic climate control, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Features such as the automatic climate control and eight-way adjustable seats are typically factory options and are not free. However, with the sixth-generation Explorer, they are free of charge.

Another way in which the sixth-generation Ford Explorer has shown its reliability is through its safety ratings. The IIHS has named every model year of the sixth-generation Explorer a Top Safety Pick+, the highest rating awarded by this independent agency. The NHTSA agrees, giving the 2020 Explorer a perfect Five-Star Overall Safety Rating, with additional five-star ratings for frontal and side impacts. While nobody would like to think about crashes, it is reassuring to know that in the case of one, the Ford Explorer will protect you better than most other choices.

Reliable Performance

Part of what makes a good used vehicle is its reliability. One of the benefits of buying a new car is that you don’t have to worry about the condition it is in. When looking for a used Ford Explorer, you don’t have to worry about purchasing a vehicle that is on the brink of death. The standard 2.3 EcoBoost Turbo I-4 engine, which is found in multiple Ford models from the Mustang to the Bronco, is one of the most reliable engines on the market. With over a decade’s worth of revision and enhancement spanning multiple types of cars, this engine is revered for its longevity. There is a reason Ford reuses this same engine on other models and types. There are no major issues that plague it, only adding to its reliability.

The high quality of the 2.3L EcoBoost is also found in the sixth-generation Explorer’s other two engine options: the 3.0L EcoBoost Turbo V6 and the 3.3L V6 Hybrid. Each of these variants is a solid choice and, with proper maintenance, can easily pass 200,000 miles. It really takes away the guesswork sometimes needed when evaluating a used car.

Power and Efficiency for Any Task

Often, what makes a vehicle a good product is its ability to meet the demands of its customers. This is a particularly strong suit of the Ford Explorer, as its specs give the Explorer the capability it needs in order to fulfill whatever demands may come its way. The standard 2.3L EcoBoost engine is small but powerful. Producing 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque ensures that the Explorer feels sporty and agile behind the wheel. Even more impressively, for a four-cylinder engine, it also has the capacity to tow up to 5,300 lbs! That means the Ford Explorer has the capability to tow another Explorer with a couple hundred pounds to spare.

One of the benefits of a smaller engine is they get superior fuel economy. Rated for 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway with rear-wheel drive, the 2020 Ford Explorer gets above-average fuel economy for a vehicle of its size. With the way gas prices are currently, finding ways to save money while commuting is a necessity! For those who want an SUV that goes easy on gas, Ford has an alternative.

While on the topic of fuel economy, the Explorer is also beneficial for the environment! Don’t forget that! The 3.3L V6 Hybrid should be considered by those who plan on using their Explorer in inner cities. It is actually a little more powerful than the base 2.7L Turbo I-4, coming at 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. However, its fuel economy is the main focus. With a fuel efficiency of 27 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway with rear-wheel drive, the Hybrid has the best fuel economy of all the 2020 Explorer engine options. City driving has the worst exhaust output, and it is also where engines waste the most amount of fuel. Thanks to Ford’s hybrid technology, the 3.3 V6 Hybrid eliminates these issues, thus producing a three-row SUV that is almost as fuel efficient in the city as on the highway.

The third engine option is also the strongest. The 3.0L EcoBoost Turbo V6 is recommended for those who want big performance out of their Explorer. For 2020 and 2021, it came with 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque in most models but offered 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque in the Explorer ST. For the 2022 model year, this engine was upgraded to offer the higher output across the board. This power can be felt behind the wheel as it drastically improves performance. Along with having the highest number of horses under the hood, the Turbo V6 also has the highest towing capacity. With up to 5,600 lbs of hauling potential, it allows for this SUV to transport heavy materials, as well as another full-sized vehicle.

A red 2021 Ford Explorer ST is shown from the front at an angle.

Reliable New or Used

The sixth-generation Ford Explorer makes for a reliable vehicle, new or used. High safety ratings and positive test crash scores ensure that the Explorer will not let you down, even in the worst of scenarios, making it a great choice for families that need an affordable three-row SUV. Additionally, its engine options set precedents for performance and dependability as they are known for not having many issues and running for thousands of miles with no issues. On top of that, all three of the Explorer’s engines produce more than enough power to meet the demands of most drivers. Whether you need to seat a whole family and then some or tow a car in a tough situation, the Ford Explorer has you covered.