Ford Authority

2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid Fuel Economy Published

A while back the folks over at got their hands on the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid and took the SUV on a road trip to calculate its fuel economy. We were quite unimpressed by the roughly 24 mpg that the Explorer Hybrid scored. We mentioned at the time that the EPA had yet to test and give official numbers for fuel economy, so we had to wait and see how the ride compared to others in its segment.

The official fuel economy numbers are now in, and they are still unimpressive. The EPA has rated the 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid AWD at 23 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. The 2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid RWD is a bit better at 27 mpg city, 29 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined. None of those numbers is particularly impressive.

explorer hybrid

Two of its closest competitors are the Acura MDX Hybrid AWD, which scored 26 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined. One of the most popular vehicles in the segment is the Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD, that SUV was rated for 29 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 28 mpg combined.

To compare, the official EPA numbers for the 2020 Ford Explorer all-wheel-drive with the turbo 2.3-liter four-cylinder are 20 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. The rear-wheel-drive 2020 Explorer with the four-cylinder gets 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 24 mpg combined.

With the Explorer Hybrid offering little fuel savings compared to the standard version of the Explorer, the ride may be a hard sell for dealers. Sadly for Ford in the fuel economy segment, the Toyota Highlander is set to be replaced next year, and it’s expected to get a new four-cylinder that will destroy the 2020 Explorer in fuel economy with up 34 mpg.

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Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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  1. Mr Miyagi

    Hybrids and EV’s are for pantywaists.

    1. Andrew Christian

      Tell that to a Tesla Model S P100D that smokes 99% of ICEs. I don’t see why everyone is so afraid of progress being made with EVs.

      EV technology has come so far in the last decade alone, they are literally outperforming most ICEs in every metric. The next thing to tackle is battery density and even the range won’t be a valid excuse.

      I drive a loud high HP V8, but there’s nothing wrong with progress.

      1. Mr Miyagi

        Musk is failing by the day. Go drive around for a charging place and waste gobs of time at it, I’ll take my 30 seconds and fill up at the pump.

  2. Adithya Ramachandran

    The 2.3 Ecoboost with a modified tune should have been paired with the electric motor. That setup would have provided similar power, but higher MPG and similar tow ratings.

    1. J Ingram

      My thought is that they’re waiting for someone else to try the 4-cylinder, family hybrid SUV thing before they plop one in themselves. The only other automaker to try this was Nissan in the Pathfinder Hybrid, and that was a total disappointment. Otherwise, I agree that the 2.3 EcoBoost seems like a worthy candidate.

      1. Frederick Baker

        Love my CMAX Energi, I bought gas today it has been one year from the last time i bought gas. Im waiting for the 20-20 Escape, plug in hybrid. I only buy American cars!

  3. Raymond Ramirez

    This hybrid Explorer has a V6 engine that is too big for economy drivers. The correct hybrid version should have the four cylinder engine mated with the electric motor. This how the past Escape and C-Max, and present Fusion Hybrids do it, and get over 44 MPG. My 2014 Fusion Hybrid gives me over 40 MPG every day, and on one trip it reached 54 MPG. The new Escape Hybrid has the correct combination.

    So I have to wait until Ford builds a better hybrid SUV, or for GM to built theirs. No imports for me, ever!

    1. Adithya Ramachandran

      The 2020 Escape uses Toyota’s eCVT model, and is similar to the Prius. It won’t tow any loads, but is great for MPG. The Explorer uses Ford’s brand new MHT transmission and is mapped more for towing performance. I think smaller engines like a 2.0T or 2.3T would give better MPG, but you wont match the mpg of an eCVT with a MHT.

  4. sabasigh

    Isn’t the Hybrid Explorer the only one available for Police Use?


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