Spotted: 2020 Ford Explorer ST

Last Sunday I drove over to Dahl Ford in Davenport. One of the owner’s collector cars, a 1959 Fairlane 500 Galaxie Town Sedan, was being sold off to make room for-you guessed it-more vintage cars.

I found the unmistakable pink and black ’59 immediately! More on that car later, by the way, don’t worry.

But as is my wont, I wandered around the dealership for a while after, to see if there was anything else interesting. And in so doing, saw my first 2020 Explorer.

SUVs and crossovers aren’t really a huge interest to me, but as the ’20 Explorer shares its platform with the upcoming 2020 Lincoln Aviator, I strolled over for a look.

Not bad. And since the earlier Explorer had been around since 2011 (and even earlier, with a different body and called the Freestyle/Taurus X-funny how a station wagon sold better when it was given an SUV name, eh?), a new one was due.

This one was an ST, and as blacked out as you can get, with color-keyed paint, wheels and interior. I’m kind of wondering how robust the A/C is with that heat-sink color combo! But I digress.

As crossovers/Mini-Me SUVs go, it’s pretty attractive, though I’d prefer something in a medium blue metallic with beige interior and silver or chrome-plated wheels. But I’m certain the blacked-out ST will be popular once these start arriving en masse at Ford dealers.

So, has anyone else seen one out in the wild yet? At any rate, I’m sure K V will be able to let me try one out once they get several in stock.

I’m even more curious to check out it’s flossier Lincoln cousin when they start appearing at Strieter. Until then, keep calm and Brougham on!

27 Replies to “Spotted: 2020 Ford Explorer ST”

  1. AvatarJohn C.

    Given how different they are, diching the 90s Volvo platform for a modern rear drive, it sure doesn’t look much different. That Aztec next to it gives the answer why. Women are the intended buyers, and they are just not into cars enough to be challenged with something different. Remember when the first Caddy SRX was rear drive and wagonny and bombed. Getting on the cheap platform and looking like everyone else righted the ship, of car fools.

    Reply
  2. AvatarMrGreenMan

    We can dream: Lower it a little, convert that rear end into a trunk (losing the third row of seats), and call it a Taurus.

    Reply
    • AvatarCompaq Deskpro

      I’m dreaming of the Continental with matte black plastic grille and trim, steel rims, grey interior, cloth seats, rubber floor, 3.7L V6, no screens or champagne coolers. Call it Interceptor. Sell it for base Fusion money (should cost the same to make?), bang for your buck big sedan for taxis cops and cheapo Dodge buyers like myself. (It will never happen.)

      I applaud Ford for the don’t fix what ain’t broken redesign. RWD and heavy weight are what keeps the Grand Cherokee plausibly an “SUV” as opposed to a thinly disguised minivan like the Honda Pilot, and the new Explorer meets those criteria.

      Reply
  3. AvatarFelis Concolor

    I’m just happy the Flex lives on as I had hoped for: moved upmarket (Lincoln) and turned into a luxury platform (Aviator).

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth

      The problem is that the Aviator doesn’t have ANYTHING LIKE the amount of space in my MKT.

      The only way for me to maintain my MKT’s functionality after 2019, when said MKT leaves dealerships, would be for me to go all the way to the Navigator, with the attendant cost and consumption increase.

      Reply
      • AvatarFelis Concolor

        Bummer on the size restrictions; it appears I’ll be keeping my force-fed Flex for many more years.

        While I do enjoy piloting the big boats, I just can’t see myself ever enjoying a Navigator. I’m still pining for a shot at a loaded, overseas market B-Max despite its poor showing in Europe. I know it’s perilous, but perhaps a non-salvage number can disguise an import’s continental origins.

        I recall sending you SJWAL, but did you ever get a chance to read the followup SJWADD? There will be a 3rd in that series eventually, but not before Corporate Cancer and Sea of Skulls ship.

        Reply
    • AvatarRande Bell

      I think the ‘Coral’ ’59 Ford is simply called a Galaxie Town Sedan, based on the roof design. There was also a Fairlane 500 Town Sedan. The only time I remember Ford being confused about what to call a ’59 model was the Skyliner(retractable), with Fairlane 500 script on the rear body panel, but Galaxie script on both quarter panels.

      Reply
      • Tom KlockauTom Klockau Post author

        Well, it had an unmistakable “Fairlane 500” logo in the middle of the trunk lid. Perhaps one built early in the model year. I’ll find out when I start the research for a future post on this car, at any rate.

        Reply
        • Avatarrandebell

          Tom,
          I got the model names for 1959 from the Ray Miller book, ‘The Nifty Fifties Fords’, and as I posted, what you found for script on this car sounds like what happened with the Skyliner, both appeared on the car. The Galaxie was a mid-model-year add to the lineup, and it’s distinguished by a Thunderbird-like rear roof profile. Both scripts on this model-interesting that.

          Reply
  4. Avatarrambo furum

    Performance badged minivans make no sense to me. I feel the same as this I do on Motorsport badges on their minivans. It always makes me think of Jack’s quip about whatever Audi performance cute-ute it was, something like “my wife chooses my car for me, but she let me have a supercharger.”

    These things are houses divided against themselves. But I guess it is what Ford’s ST division has to work with given the “no cars except Mustangs” business decision.

    Reply
  5. AvatarCompaq Deskpro

    Response to Jack’s article, related because this is a competitor.

    GM blew it again. What would be so hard about putting towering that nice wooden dashboard (it doesn’t look all interesting in pictures to be honest), LED tail lights, and lots of chrome on an Enclave? It must be cheaper than slightly extending the wheelbase of the smaller size. I think they are trying to protect the Escalade, because the Traverse and Enclave give you the interior space and luxury of the big truck SUV’s while being a lot smaller and less ponderous. Well, that’s fine, but if they screw up the next Escalade and give it dull styling and lame powertrains and make it smaller of all things, then Cadillac is done. If the world takes efficiency seriously again and GM rely on the crossover and truck wave, then they are screwed.

    Reply
  6. AvatarHarry

    GM got me with the original SRX, kinda SUV, kinda tall wagon-y with v8 up front. GM lost with me the original SRX, blown transfer case(s), untraceable rattle in the panoramic sunroof, several hundred dollars to change a front turn signal light. The absolute worst offense was the tailgate release cable broke on a road trip. I read that they doubled the cable in later production vehicles. That el cheapo tailgate release on a loaded Cadillac turned me off to GM forever. I eventually replaced it with an Audi Allroad 6mt, which wasn’t as great as I expected, and an XC70 T6, which while a bit boring has exceeded every expectation.

    I don’t like the new XC90, I have given up on actual wagons, so there might be an Explorer in my future.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      You might try the new Corolla hatchback. If tailgate release cables matter more to you than V8s Toyota builds something just for you. “Oh what a feeling!”

      Reply
      • AvatarCompaq Deskpro

        The Corolla hatchback has one big problem I only observed in person, never heard anyone report it, the hatchback space isn’t all that good. The trunk floor is unusually high, the seats are right up in the back, and the opening is small. The CH-R, while styled like a hungry hippo, has a lot more room. I’d rather have a Honda Fit or Focus or Fiesta, all cars with a low load floor and a high roof.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          You are correct. C/D tested 5 circa 25k 6 speed hatchbacks this month. Of course the Civic won. The Corolla had the smallest cargo hold, 5 cubic feet less than Golf with seats up, 12 less with them folded. The Corolla came in last overall. In my opinion, the Golf was the best in that group that included no American cars. C/D didn’t like this years smaller turbo 1.4, but it fixed the persistent fault of Golfs over the last 15 or so years, poor mileage.

          Reply
      • AvatarTexn

        Yeah, who doesn’t want something as simple as a cable to work correctly. Or have a tailgate that works and get a V8. Lexus can provide you with both. On fully boxed frames.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          I have never doubted that our Japanese friends were the undisputed leaders when it comes to tailgate releases. Since that is all that matters to Harry, it is why I recommended a Corolla hatchback, which by the way can be had with a 6mt, like his V8 less ill fated Audi. Why would any sensible person spend three times as much for a Lexus that leads in nothing not shared with the Corolla?

          Reply
          • AvatarHarry

            A reliable tailgate mechanism is a necessary, but not by itself sufficient, condition for the purchase of a vehicle.

            Strangely I had the third tailgate kerfuffle of my driving career yesterday. A baffling number of flies were swarming the cabin of my wife’s Mini Cooper. Someone in my family had lodged a packet of butter under the driver’s seat which then leaked into the carpet and turned rancid. A complete removal of the interior was needed to get to all of the spots maggots were hatching under the seat, so I disconnected the battery to disable the side-impact airbags. When I went around back to access the rear compartment through the hatch I couldn’t get it open! Electric release! Like a moron I reconnected the battery so I could pop it open, triggering an airbag warning light that needs a dealer tool to reset.

            Know what doesn’t need battery power to open? A proper tailgate latch.

            Corolla here I come!

  7. AvatarTexn

    Why would any sensible person spend three times as much for a Cadillac that leads in nothing not shared with a (defunct) Cruze?

    Because, they can. I’m not a sensible person and I prefer what our Japanese friends can produce over your Michigan friends.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      My Michigan friends are all now out of work because the living wages for their labor were taken from them in order to send to Japan, no not for politics for better tailgate releases we are told. Now it is the Japanese turn as their factories close in favor of their Korean and Chinese friends and former subjects. Somehow their tailgate releases aren’t saving them. Baffling

      Reply
      • AvatarCompaq Deskpro

        My town is named after a guy who is noted for ripping off textile technology from the British. After exclusively hiring women so they be could paid less, cloth production was outsourced to southern slave plantations. I don’t think Japan is to blame or the last. Maybe South America is next?

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn C.

          Slavery was terrible, beyond the personal misery but as an economic system. The sugar caine plantations fell apart all over the world as soon as slavery ended. The blacks in my opinion to their credit would not work for the token pay offered. In places like Guyana and Fiji, large numbers of Indians then called coolies were brought in to replace them but got off the field as soon as their initial contract expired. This changed the ethnic makeup of the places leading to endless strife. It is really better to just pay a little more for things like sugar, textiles, and yes automobiles and not dirty yourself. Ethiopia has recently welcomed textile mills from H&M and Calvin Klein. The workers make $30 a month. This beat Bangladesh that pays $35 a month and was the previous cost leader. Europe has special trade provisions to allow in untarriffed goods from these very poor countries to give them a leg up. Who are they really giving a leg up?

          Reply
  8. AvatarTexn

    Your Michigan friends are out of work because they chose to work for corrupt companies and unions, and make piss poor products. They sound like libtard millennials, always blaming their problems on someone else.

    There are other jobs in other areas, but I live in a state that people continue to “migrate” to in search of new opportunities. I buy American, I just avoid union made whenever possible. No matter where a company is located, the shareholders (worldwide) are whom profits.

    Reply
    • AvatarJohn C.

      Yes they deserve it because the companies and the unions were bad. There was a generation in America for which the establishment was bad because they didn’t like the war machines and ghetto scenes and resented the Cleaver style suburb life created for them. Why not stick it to the man by sending our 48 payments to the country our fathers fought and whose people sure do look a lot like who the sellouts and chumps among us are fighting in Vietnam. We can get used to their little tin cans, I am sure regimented, fresh from calisthenics Japanese workers are better than the blacks that replaced the immigrants on the American assembly line. We can’t have them get ahead on their own labor and getting away from the poverty pimps we have in mind for them. Gosh, have you seen those clever little hatch releases!

      Now having done that, we can get tickets to that festival in California where all the cool people go. On Saturday night, there is a big fire where they literally burn “The Man”. I can’t wait!

      Well they did it, the man is so burnt that GM is being shipped to China piece by peace by a woman. Women will sell you out fast and hard no mater the generation.

      Reply
  9. AvatarTexn

    Screw California, also fully of liberal idiocy. Like I said, I buy US made and avoid unions. Every worker has a better option, it’s their choice to take it. Every consumer has an option, it’s their choice what is better.

    If I wanted Korean or Chinese, I’m sure GM would suit me just fine. Too bad I don’t fall in line with your close minded ideology, you don’t get to control where people spend their money. GM, and even Ford, burnt their bridges with me, after I burnt my money with them, more than enough.

    Maybe if GM made a decent trunk release, Jimmy Hoffa would have been around longer. 🙂

    Reply

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