There is a slight catch, however.
Ford made a bold decision over a year ago to wipe out its entire traditional car lineup in North America, save for the Mustang. The new approach is to instead focus on what sells best: trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and Mustangs. At the same time, Ford is rapidly working on various new technologies, including new EVs, autonomous driving, and other mobility solutions. That costs money and cutting cars saves money. It's that simple. Today's SUVs, however, must also be very fuel-efficient, hence the reason for the all-new 2020 Explorer Hybrid's existence.
The Blue Oval has just announced the official EPA fuel economy figures for its long-running SUV, specifically the Hybrid. The Explorer Hybrid Limited with standard rear-wheel-drive has an EPA-estimated range of 27/29/28 mpg city/highway/combined.
Opting for 4WD lowers those numbers to 23/26/25 mpg city/highway/combined. Not bad, and here's something even more impressive: the Explorer Hybrid Limited also has an EPA-estimated range of over 500 miles between gas station stops. The catch? This is the RWD model only.
The 4WD version's range is also darn decent, dropping only 50 miles between fill-ups. What's more, the Explorer Hybrid carries out its SUV duties with ease. For example, it has a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, a figure Ford points out is more than 1,500 pounds more than the 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
Impressively, the Explorer Hybrid's towing capacity matches that of a properly equipped 2019 Explorer with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6. If fuel economy is your main priority when deciding which new Explorer to purchase, take note of this: the Hybrid RWD beats out both the 2.3- and 3.0-liter EcoBoost variants with RWD and 4WD, making it the most fuel-efficient trim of the entire 2020 Ford Explorer lineup. Even the Hybrid 4WD is slightly surpassed by the 2.3-liter RWD and 4WD in only highway mileage, by 2 and 1 mpg, respectively.