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Best of 2020 Ford

Reviewing the 2020 Ford Lineup

Ford Bronco rendering from the Bronco6G Forum

The second largest U.S. car maker has caused a bit of a stir when they announced they’d be axing all of their passenger cars except the Mustang from the domestic market. This will see the likes of Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, and Taurus bow down after hundreds of thousands of sold units and many years on the market, and leave FoMoCo to focus on their crossover/SUV lineup and impending electrification process instead. MY 2020 will mark the beginning of this arduous process and we’ll focus on the 2020 Ford lineup further down. But first, let’s try and grasp the position the Blue Oval has found itself in.

The Dearborn company has made a healthy recovery across the world after the trying global financial crisis hit the auto industry in 2008. They’ve been marketing more than 6 million vehicles worldwide in every single year since 2013 and they haven’t shown any signs of stopping prior to 2018 when this figure finally fell below the 6 million mark. The peak for the given period of 6.65 million units was achieved in 2016 after which overall sales went down slightly to 6.6 million vehicles. This negative trend has, however, taken a full swing in 2018 when Ford’s global deliveries fell to around 5,982,000 units which might be one of the main reasons behind the aforementioned decision to ax the less profitable models from the U.S. market.

Speaking of the U.S. market, Ford has marketed a total of 2,464,041 vehicles here during 2017 and 2,381,635 units throughout 2018. These figures are down from the 2015 post-recession peak of 2,501,855 models. Considering how the Fiesta, Focus, Fusion, C-Max, and Taurus amounted to still significant 381,446 total sold units in 2018, their absence is sure to be felt after they finally bow down. However, their figures have dwindled considerably over the last few years, and Ford has had a contingency plan put in motion for a while now. It’s called the new Ranger and Bronco.

The returning duo should be more than enough to counteract the loss of the aforementioned quintet of passenger cars. Furthermore, the expected continual growth of the crossover and SUV segment should provide FoMoCo with a further sales boost by the time 2020 arrives and their $11 billion investment into the EV field starts bearing fruit. From that standpoint, the harsh decision to ax the more-or-less still popular passenger models is justified.

A more upmarket Ford counterpart can easily be obtained through the 2020 Lincoln lineup.

What’s Hot in the New 2020 Ford Lineup

07. 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500

With each passing month we’ve been collecting pieces of a jigsaw puzzle called the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. This puzzle is finally complete now as the most powerful factory Mustang ever built was finally presented on January 14, 2019, in Detroit and is available in select dealerships.

The “super snake” went on sale during Summer of 2019 with prices starting from $73,995 including mandatory destination but not gas guzzler fees. Needless to say, the GT500 doesn’t suffer from a lack of expensive options. The Carbon Fiber Track Package alone adds $18,500 to what’s already a steep price tag but it at least adds larger 20-inch carbon-fiber wheels, special Recaro seats, an adjustable rear wing, adjustable strut-top mounts, front splitter wickers, and a rear seat deletion. There’s also a Technology Package for additional $3,000 which adds power seats, a better sound system, and blind-spot monitors. All in all, the fully loaded Mustang Shelby GT500 will set you back a whopping $107,000.

A 5.2L V8 powerplant similar to that found under the GT350’s hood powers the range-topping Shelby Mustang as well. There’s one major difference between the engines, though (aside from the forced induction) as the GT500’s unit doesn’t use a flat-plane crank.

The hand-built aluminum-alloy powerplant uses a 2.65L roots-type supercharger which bolsters its power output to a whopping 760 horsepower and 625 pound-feet of twist. Although the top speed has been limited to 180 mph, the newest Shelby Mustang won’t have any trouble doing a quarter-mile in 10s. The powertrain itself is assembled at the Blue Oval’s engine plant in Romeo, Michigan where all previous high-performance engines stem from.

The “super snake” doesn’t come with a manual, but at least it gets a modern 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission borrowed from the Ford GT. The most powerful factory Mustang ever made has instantly become one of the best muscle cars 2020 has to offer.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500


06. 2020 Bronco

Back by popular demand, as the Dearborn company likes to state, the Bronco has finally returned after years of absence, rumors, and failed revivals. The all-new 2020 Ford Bronco is neither the compact spartan Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester competitor of old nor the full-size Chevy Blazer and Dodge Ramcharger fighter of the later years. Instead, it slots somewhere in between the two iconic versions of the SUV.

Built upon the platform of another recently returning model, the Ford Ranger, the Bronco should offer stern competition to the undisputed king of the off-road SUVs, the Jeep Wrangler. It’s also set to appear in both short and long wheelbase configurations (read two and four doors), and comes with removable top and doors.

The only thing left to ask for are solid axles and Dana has confirmed it’ll supply both the Ranger and Bronco with their latest components. Sadly, in Ranger’s case, this means independent front suspension and the Bronco might follow suit in that regard, too.

The forthcoming Bronco’s powertrain lineup is still unknown at this point, but it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine it’ll share most (if not all) of its engines with its mid-size pickup platform sibling. For now, this means that both vehicles will sport a 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder tied to a contemporary 10-speed auto as their sole powertrain choice. This setup is good enough for 270 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of rotational force.

It’s also not that hard to imagine that both models will also get an optional engine or two as time passes by. Whether the EcoBoost V6 or a turbo-diesel of some sort – or even both – it’s still too early to tell.

What’s more, it would seem that Ford is working with Getrag on a new 7-speed manual gearbox, but that collaboration almost certainly won’t bear fruit in time for Bronco’s arrival. Finally, the Bronco will also get a hybrid setup of some sort – most likely a mild one to begin with – but that too won’t come in time for model year 2020. Expect it to start from under $30,000 and work its way from there.

Before introducing the real deal, Ford will first reveal a “baby” Bronco which is basically a shorter version of the popular SUV.

Ford Bronco rendering from the Bronco6G Forum
Rendering from the Bronco6G Forum pictured

05. 2020 Ranger

The mid-size pickup truck market is in danger of becoming seriously drab once again after rising from years-long dreariness back in 2014. A couple of new models have come to the rescue, however. One is Jeep’s long-awaited Wrangler-based pickup truck called Gladiator while the other is the new Ford Ranger which has made a comeback to the U.S. market after getting the ax back in 2012.

The new Ranger is based on knowledge gained in the overseas markets but is still specifically built with domestic market in mind at the company’s Michigan assembly plant. It boasts a class-leading payload and towing capacities of 1,860 and 7,500 pounds respectively if fitted properly which should be intriguing even to the most die-hard GM, FCA, and Toyota buyers.

The mid-size truck is available in both the SuperCab and SuperCrew configurations with trim levels corresponding to that of the larger F-150. The entry-level models start from around $24,500 while working their way to the $32,500 mark in the top-grade Lariat package. New for 2020 is the FX2 package available exclusively on rear-wheel drive models, and intended for off-road enthusiasts. It adds off-road tires, an electronic-locking rear differential, and specially tuned suspension.

Only one engine powers the entire North American Ranger fleet. At least initially. A 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder delivers 270 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque in cooperation with a modern 10-speed automatic gearbox. Of course, both the rear and all-wheel drive configurations are available across the range.

2020 is expected to bring another, more potent powertrain to the lineup, but it still hasn’t arrived. An obvious choice would be the EcoBoost V6 which should further raise the Ranger’s towing capacity figures. This, however, can be classified as a speculation and nothing more at this particular time. Another interesting proposal is a possibility of the Ranger Raptor migrating from the land down under as well. For this, however, we might need to wait for the next-gen models to appear.

Like the F-150 Raptor, the smaller truck also comes with Fox suspension and BFGoodrich all-terrain tires. In Australia, it also sports a 3.2L turbo-diesel inline-five engine which needs replacing if the Ranger Raptor is to make it stateside.

Ford Ranger front 3/4 view


04. 2020 Explorer

The large mid-size crossover SUV hasn’t been properly updated since 2016 when it last received a mid-cycle facelift. Considering how the fifth-generation dates back to 2011, it’s evident why the Blue Oval has decided to finally treat it with an extensive overhaul for MY 2020.

The all-new sixth-generation Ford Explorer made its official debut at the 2019 Detroit auto show and became available in Spring of the same year. It’s based on the Lincoln Aviator with which it shares the CD6 platform, but blue oval, naturally, comes with a more affordable price tag. The entry-level SLT models start from $36,500, while the most lavish Platinum trim warrants more than $58,000. There’s also a special performance-oriented Ford Explorer ST which costs almost $55,000.

Although the next-gen models aren’t that different than their predecessors in terms of overall design language, they’re a huge improvement in pretty much every other segment. The new platform really came through by providing the three-row SUV with some exciting driving dynamics. As far as Explorer’s class allows, that is.

The 2020 Ford Explorer is available with no less than three different powertrains in four sets of tunes overall. Most people will get to choose between a 300-horsepower 2.3L EcoBoost 4-cylinder or a 318-horsepower 3.3L naturally aspirated V6 which integrates a mild-hybrid setup as well. Both engines are available in both rear and all-wheel drive configurations, and are paired with a contemporary 10-speed transmission.

A smaller number of buyers will go for the optional 3.0L twin-turbo V6 which is exclusive with the range-topping Platinum trim and the all-new Ford Explorer ST introduced to replace the outgoing Explorer Sport. While the twin-turbo engine generates already punchy 360 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque in its regular form, that didn’t stop Ford from uptuning it for the ST model where it makes 400 hp and 415 lb-ft.

The Ford Explorer ST also benefits from a stiffer sport suspension and boasts one rather dubious feature – it’s got a system that simulates sporty engine noise and delivers it straight into the cabin.

Ford Explorer ST

03. 2020 Expedition

The largest of Ford SUVs was fully redesigned for MY 2018 after running on the same platform for ten years. The large SUV didn’t incorporate any significant changes in 2019 and carries basically unchanged into 2020 as well. It does get the new under-range-topping King Ranch trim, and Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system bundled with Co-Pilot360 suite of electronic features is now standard across the range. The mentioned system bundles together adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, lane-keeping system, pre-collision assist, and others.

The fourth-generation of Ford’s full-size SUV is available in two different sizes – the regular Expedition with a 122.5-inch long wheelbase and the Expedition MAX with a wheelbase counting 131.6 inches. Both are bulky, heavy, spacious, and share everything from trim levels to drivetrain configurations between them.

The regular-wheelbase Expedition starts from $52,000, while the long-wheelbase Expedition MAX costs at least $55,000 in the base XLT trim. The range-topping Platinum models, on the other hand, cost either $73,000 or $76,000 respectively. This makes the body-on-frame Ford SUV more expensive than its GM rivals but still well-worthy of the investment if you’re in the market for such a capable people and cargo hauling SUV.

Every single Ford Expedition comes with a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 mill regardless of wheelbase or trim level. The engine is capable of making a healthy 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque across most of the range, but the top grade Platinum models do manage to squeeze additional 25 ponies and 10 lb-ft bringing the total output to a whopping 400 horsepower and 480 pound-feet.

Likewise, every single fourth-gen Expedition is paired with a 10-speed auto and a choice between a rear and four-wheel drive. The Expedition’s four-wheel drive system designed by BorgWarner sports no less than four distinctive selectable modes including a rear-wheel drive simulator, and uses a 2-speed transfer case.

Bear in mind that no amount of high-tech components will change the fact the Expedition drives like an extra large vehicle which it is. Then again, buyers in the market for one wouldn’t expect anything different.

Ford Expedition profile view


02. 2020 F-150 Hybrid

Like pretty much any vehicle ever made, the F Series trucks have pros and cons of their own. With the introduction of the all-new F-150 hybrid, one of the half-ton pickup’s shortcomings should be chalked off. Although no official info has been announced yet, the hybrid version of the full-size truck will definitely boast improved fuel economy figures.

At the moment, the base models return up to 22 miles to the gallon if paired with 2.7L EcoBoost or 3.3L naturally aspirated V6 engines, 21 mpg for a 3.5L EcoBoost, or up to 19 mpg combined if fitted with a 5.0L V8. The hybrid F-150 will be assembled exclusively in Dearborn where the Boston-based XL Hybrids’ kits will be fused with the freshly built conventional trucks.

Mind you, these early models won’t be a fully-fledged hybrids, but mild-hybrid units instead. In convenient fashion, the F-150’s hybrid powertrain will also be able to double as a mobile generator and provide electricity for tools to be used on remote sites.

Details about the XL Hybrids’ hybridization kits still haven’t been disclosed, but it’s come to our attention that they’ll be exclusively paired with the most powerful of F-150’s engines. A 5.0L V8 is, thus expected to provide even more than 395 ponies and 400 lb-ft of twist it makes in conventional form.

It remains to be seen whether the payload and towing rates will follow suit. It would also seem that all the initial hybrid F-150’s will be offered as rear-wheel-drive models. The XL Hybrids can provide both rear and all-wheel drive setups alongside kits for Ford’s smaller engines in no time, however. In that light, expect further hybridization of the F-150 lineup further down the road. Moreover, the Blue Oval’s full-size truck is expected to go fully electric somewhere around 2022, but that’s a story for another time.

Ford F-150 front 3/4 view


01. 2020 Escape

The compact Escape has become the Blue Oval’s bread and butter vehicle (not counting the F-150) now that its passenger cars have gotten the ax. In order to make the transition from sedan to crossover body style less painful to their loyal customers, FoMoCo has also decided to overhaul the small crossover for MY 2020.

The all-new fourth-generation 2020 Ford Escape is already available, having made its debut on April 2, 2019, and at the last moment at that. Sales have been sitting in place (a little over 300,000 units) for a few years now. Although this figure is more than respectable, it’s evident that the Escape has failed to take advantage of the recent small crossover and SUV sales surge and push that figure higher up.

The new model is longer and wider than its predecessor and also rides on a new platform that’s already underpinning the overseas Kuga and Lincoln Corsair. A more rigid platform bolstered with high-strength steel helps the new Escape record much better safety scores than the outgoing model which was based on the Focus compact. Moreover, the new models are up to 200 pounds lighter than their predecessors.

With the new platform in place, the 2020 Ford Escape is finally able to accommodate a hybrid setup – something it’s been lacking since the second-generation. Both the conventional and plug-in hybrid setups have made their comeback, and they utilize a 2.5L Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder paired with two electric motors and a battery pack – 1.1-kWh one in a conventional hybrid and 14.4-kWh one in a plug-in.

The conventional models, on the other hand, retain the current dynamic duo of engines consisting of 1.5L and 2.0L turbo fours. They’ve been rated at 180 horsepower and 250 horsepower respectively, which represents a slight bump in ratings over the outgoing models.

The gasoline-powered Ford Escape gets an 8-speed automatic transmission, whereas the hybrids will rely on eCVT’s. The entry-level models  start from $25,000, while the range-topping Titanium trim can be obtained for between $35,000 and $37,000 before extras, depending on a chosen model.

2020 Ford Escape

What’s Not in the New 2020 Ford Lineup

01. 2020 Edge

The mid-size crossover SUV’s sales have been growing steadily in recent years – especially around the recent mid-term facelift which also saw the introduction of the all-new Edge ST. However, the current-generation model dates back to late 2014 which means the 2020 Ford Edge might be the ultimate, or at the very least, penultimate second-generation model.

As such, the smallest of the three available mid-sized Ford crossovers and SUVs (including the Explorer and recently axed Flex) is probably not worthy of your consideration. The 2020 Edge basically carries over without any significant updates. After all, it did get more advanced safety features coupled with some exterior styling revisions for MY 2019. Only news for 2020 is an 8-inch touchscreen display with Sync 3 infotainment on all trim levels and a new color palette.

Prices, too, have remained in place as the basic Edge SE starts from just over $30,000. On the other hand, the range-topping Titanium and performance-oriented ST trims cost at least $38,000 and $43,500 respectively.

Not counting the new sporty ST, every single Ford Edge comes with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder mill capable of providing 250 horsepower. Paired with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and either a standard front or optional all-wheel drive, the SE, SEL, and Titanium trims are more than capable of keeping up with the opposition.

Instead of the outgoing naturally aspirated V6 engine, the Edge now offers a 2.7L twin-turbo V6 as an option. This engine delivers 335 horsepower, but can only be obtained via the somewhat expensive Edge ST. The Ford Edge ST is also exclusively available with an all-wheel-drive configuration. Although the Edge ST is a welcome refreshment, together with substantially updated conventional models, it’s evident that this is the end of the line for the mid-size crossover.

The next-gen models will arrive after MY 2020, and it might be better to wait and see what they’ll be bringing to the table.


Ford Edge front 3/4 view

Nikola Potrebić
About Nikola Potrebić

Despite driving a piece of junk, Nikola still manages to survive the harrowing experience called "A road trip in a Yugo," day in, day out. On the other hand, precious few things move him as muscle cars do. Especially those from the bygone golden era, which makes him wonder why wasn't he born a few decades earlier? Well, at least he's been given the opportunity to enjoy the likes of the Pontiak Aztek, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Fiat Multipla, and other lovely millennials, right? Come to think of it, I'll stick with my Yugo. Thank you very much!