2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity. How best it can tow?

2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity chart.

The Ford Explorer was not only built for our adventurous spirit but named for its travelers in right, so it’s only fitting vehicle. The 2020 Ford Explorer is America’s best-selling SUV, as one of the most popular SUVs on the market, Explorer redefines style and comfort. The Explorer proves itself with features like seating for seven, ample cargo space, and an impressive towing capacity when properly equipped. In this article let’s take a look at the trim, engine options, and the 2020 Ford Explorer’s towing capacity in detail.

2020 Ford Explorer trim levels2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity
Ford Explorer Base3,000 – 5,300 lbs.
Ford Explorer XLT3,000 – 5,300 lbs.
Ford Explorer Limited3,000 – 5,300 lbs.
Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid3,000 – 5,000 lbs.
Ford Explorer ST3,000 – 5,600 lbs.
Ford Explorer Platinum3,000 – 5,600 lbs.
The above-shown numbers are subject to change and are for reference purposes only.
Towing trailers beyond the maximum recommended gross trailer weight exceeds the limit of your vehicle and could result in engine damage, transmission damage, structural damage, loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover, and personal injury. Do not exceed the GVWR or the GAWR specified on the certification label.
2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity

2020 Ford Explorer Engine Specs

Ford Explorer with four powerful engine options is a powerful more refined, and all-around performer. The powertrain provides better fuel economy and instantaneous power on demand. The 10-speed transmission delivers better performance and acceleration, allowing for smooth shifting and operation even while towing.

  • 2.3L Ecoboost I-4: The versatility of Explorer is matched by the 16-valve DOHC design features a twin-scroll turbocharger, cast-aluminum pistons, and an over-boost function that lifts output on every gear change. Plus, more horsepower, more towing capacity, and better fuel economy. With a towing capacity of 5,300 pounds when properly equipped.
  • 3.3L V6 Hybrid: The 3.3L V6 Ti-VCT engine and torque converter, a powerful electric motor within the 10-speed transmission provide the electric drive. The Explorer Hybrid RWD has an EPA-estimated range of over 500 miles per tank with total combined system torque, it can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
  • 3.0L Ecoboost V6: Twin turbocharging and direct-injection technology help the 3.0L EcoBoost V6 generate nearly quick power on demand. It has a towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.
  • Enhanced 3.0L Ecoboost V6: Tuned to deliver the best V6 horsepower and torque, the enhanced 3.0L EcoBoost V6 is a powerful engine that gives you commanding performance. When properly equipped it can tow up to 5,600 pounds.
Engine2.3-liter EcoBoost I-43.0-liter EcoBoost V6Enhanced 3.0-liter EcoBoost V63.3-liter Hybrid
Horsepower300 hp365 hp400 hp318 hp combined
Torque310 lb.-ft.380 lb.-ft.415 lb.-ft.322 lb.-ft.
Displacement140 cu. in.180.4 cu. in180.4 cu. in204 cu. in.
Bore and stroke87.55mm x 94mm85.4mm x 86.0mm85.4mm x 86.0 mm90.41mm x 86.7mm
Compression ratio10.0:19.5:19.5:112.0:1
Note: Specific states require electric trailer brakes for trailers over a specified weight. Be certain to review state regulations for this determined weight. The maximum trailer weights listed could be limited to this specified weight, as the vehicle’s electrical system may not include the wiring connector needed to activate electric trailer brakes.

2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity without Trailer tow package

Your vehicle can tow a trailer provided the maximum trailer weight is less than or equal to the maximum trailer weight listed for your vehicle configuration on the following chart:

EngineAxle RatioGCWRDriveMaximum Trailer Weight (lbs.)
2.3L GTDI3.587,700
3.0L GTDI3.31/3.588,0004WD3,000
3.3L PF/DI3.588,0002WD
3.3L PF/Di HEV3.58

2020 Ford Explorer Class III Trailer Tow Package

When properly equipped with Class III Trailer Tow Package for maximum towing capabilities. It is available with 2.3L EcoBoost and 3.3L hybrid engines, but it comes standard with the 3.0L EcoBoost engine. Maximum towing varies based on cargo, vehicle configuration, accessories, and the number of passengers. Towing a trailer places an extra load on your vehicle’s engine, transmission, axle, brakes, tires, and suspension. Inspect these components periodically during, and after, any towing operation.

  • Class III trailer hitch receiver. (Note: Hitch receivers do not include a hitch ball or ball mounting. You are responsible for obtaining the proper hitch ball, ball mounting, and other appropriate equipment to tow both the trailer and its cargo load.)
  • 7-/4-pin wiring harness.
  • Engine Oil Cooler.
  • BLIS® with Trailer Coverage, and Cargo Management System.
Maximum towing capabilities are for properly equipped vehicles with required equipment and a 150-lb. driver and passenger and vary based on cargo, vehicle configuration, accessories, option content and number of passengers. See label on door jamb for carrying capacity of a specific vehicle. For additional information, see your vehicle owner's manual.

2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity with Trailer tow package

EngineAxle RatioGCWRDriveMaximum Trailer Weight (lbs.)
2.3L GTDI3.5810,000
3.0L GTDI3.31/3.5810,8004WD5,600
3.3L PF/DI3.5810,6002WD
3.3L PF/Di HEV3.58
Explorer does not offer factory-installed towing equipment for this application; only available as a dealer accessory. Do not exceed the trailer weight for your vehicle configuration listed in the chart above.
Be sure to take into consideration the trailer's frontal area. Do not exceed 20 ft² (1.86 m²) if your vehicle can tow a class I trailer, or 55 ft² (5.11 m²) if your vehicle can tow a class III trailer weighing more than 5,000 lbs.

2020 Ford Explorer trims

The 2020 Ford Explorer lineup features a hybrid SUV that is also capable of hauling large loads while still maintaining strong fuel economy returns. Available in six trim levels Base, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST, and Platinum. Let’s find out more about all the details of the maximum towing potential of each of the trim levels of the 2020 Explorer lineup below.

2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity

2020 Ford Explorer Base towing capacity

The 2020 Ford Explorer Base trim seats up to 7 passengers in a sophisticated style. In RWD or available 4WD with 6 Selectable Drive Modes, Ford Co-Pilot360, and Side-Wind Stabilization help increase your driving confidence. The highlighted features are the 2.3L EcoBoost® I-4 engine, P255/65R18 all-season BSW tires, FordPass Connect, AM/FM stereo with 6 speakers, 8-way power driver seat with manual lumbar & 4-way manual front-passenger seat, 2nd-row 40/20/40 split fold-flat seat with E-Z Entry & recline, 12V powerpoints, and power side view mirrors. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is between 3,000 to 5,300 pounds.

2020 Ford Explorer XLT towing capacity

The 2020 Ford Explorer XLT includes all the standard features of the Base trim with Versatile seating and distinctive options that define the adaptability. The highlighted features are Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+, E-Z Entry 2nd-row captain’s chairs feature a handy step-over center console between them and dual smart-charging USB ports. The standards like a leather-wrapped steering wheel and step pads in the 2nd row allow you easier access to the roof to add cargo if necessary. With an available twin-panel moonroof, available 20″ polished aluminum wheels, or available high-end synthetic ActiveX seating material. The maximum towing capacity, when equipped properly, is between 3,000 to 5,300 pounds.

2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity

2020 Ford Explorer Limited towing capacity

The 2020 Ford Explorer Limited is engineered for convenience and includes all the standard features of the XLT trim. With E-Z Entry 2nd-row captain’s chairs with power-assist fold feature to help make access to the 3rd row effortless. To easily load packages in its cargo area, a foot-activated liftgate is hands-free. Navigate tight spots easily by looking at the 360-Degree Camera with Split-View Display. Charge your mobile phone, cord-free, with the convenient wireless charging pad. 2nd-row sunblinds help keep children in the shade, while heated outboard seats help keep them comfortable. A B&O premium sound system features 12 high-performance speakers. The maximum towing capacity, when equipped properly, is between 3,000 to 5,300 pounds.

2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity

2020 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid towing capacity

The 2020 Ford Explorer Limited Hybrid has an EPA-estimated range of over 500 miles per tank and includes all the standard features of the Limited trim. The Hybrid RWD leather-trimmed, heated and ventilated front seats. Active noise control helps keep your environment serene by using strategically placed microphones throughout the cabin to detect unwanted frequencies, then pumping opposing sound waves through the audio system to cancel them out. The towing capacity of 5,000 pounds when equipped properly gives you the power to bring your toys along for the ride. Available off-road capability, Heavy-duty front & rear brake calipers, Liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery, and Pedestrian Alert Sounder.

2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity

2020 Ford Explorer ST towing capacity

The 2020 Ford Explorer ST trim highlighted features are the Enhanced 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine, Sport-tuned suspension, Power-folding, power, heated side view mirrors with auto fold, LED turn signal indicators, ST projection lamps, Sport-style steering wheel with ST logo & paddle shifters, 12.3″ digital instrument cluster, High-gloss black ST grille with red ST logo; blackout treatment on headlamps and taillamps; high-gloss black “EXPLORER” hood lettering, front & rear skid-plate elements, bodyside cladding inserts, body-color door handles with high-gloss black inserts; and chrome quad exhaust tip. The maximum towing capacity, when equipped properly, is between 3,000 to 5,600 pounds.

2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity

2020 Ford Explorer Platinum towing capacity

The 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum is all about luxury the top variant in the lineup. Satin-aluminum accents brighten the exterior. Inside, door-trim inserts, door, and front-console armrests, plus the instrument panel top are all leather-wrapped. Luxury leather-trimmed seats with Tri-Diamond perforated inserts feature accent stitching and Platinum logo embroidery on the seat backs. Add the Premium Technology Package for a stunning 10.1″ portrait touchscreen, multi-contour front seats with Active Motion, and a 980-watt, 14-speaker B&O Sound System. The maximum towing capacity when equipped properly is between 3,000 to 5,600 pounds.

2020 Ford Explorer Towing Features

  • Rear-wheel drive: It also improves driving capabilities and towing capacity by 600 pounds compared to previous models.
  • Towing and Trailer Sway Control: It increases control when towing heavy loads by automatically braking and adjusting engine power to ensure trailer control and stability.
  • Tow/Haul: Use whenever towing or hauling, this mode enhances performance when transporting heavy cargo.
  • Sidewind Stabilization: This program counteracts strong winds, keeping you in control rather than having to fight the wind.
  • Intelligent 4WD with Terrain Management System: Switch between Normal, Mud/Rut, Sand, or Grass/Gravel/Snow modes for ultimate control on Joliet roads.
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control: AdvanceTrac with RSC monitors yaw and roll rates using gyroscopic sensors, and helps retain control in the event of wheel slip, understeer, or oversteer. It also includes Curve Control, which slows down the speed during tight cornering. 
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2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity


The system applies the brakes to the individual wheels and reduces engine torque to aid vehicle stability. If the trailer begins to sway, the stability control warning lamp flashes and a message appears in the information display. Slow your vehicle down, pull safely to the side of the road and check for the correct load distribution. Turning off trailer sway control increases the risk of loss of vehicle control, serious injury, or death.

Note: This feature does not prevent trailer sway, but reduces it when it begins. This feature cannot stop all trailers from swaying. In some cases, if your vehicle speed is too high, the system may turn on multiple times, gradually reducing your vehicle speed.
2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity

FORD CO-PILOT360™ Technology

The 2020 Ford Explorer has more available driver-assist features standard and available are designed to help you feel confident in driving your vehicle.

FORD CO-PILOT360 (Standard on every 2020 Explorer)

  • Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking: By scanning the road ahead, this feature can alert you to potential collisions with vehicles or pedestrians detected in your path. If an impact is imminent and you don’t take action, brakes can apply automatically. It’s designed to only activate when needed.
  • BLIS® with Cross-Traffic Alert: Changing lanes requires your full attention. BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) can help by alerting you to vehicles detected in your blind spots. Cross-Traffic Alert helps by detecting and alerting you to traffic behind your vehicle as you’re slowly backing up.
  • Lane-Keeping System: If you drift out of your lane, it directs you with steering wheel torque to return, and can also alert you through vibration pulses. Lane-Keeping System can help during a moment of distraction.
  • Auto High-Beam Headlamps: They can detect poor lighting and switch them on for you. They can also sense oncoming headlamps and dim automatically for other drivers.
  • Rear View Camera: It helps by providing a great view of what’s behind your vehicle. It also helps when you’re lining up a trailer. A washer helps keep the camera free of debris (like dirt or snow), helping you navigate Reverse clearly and with more confidence.

FORD CO-PILOT360 ASSIST+ (Standard on Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST, and Platinum Optional on XLT)

  • Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control: This cruise control system helps you keep pace and can slow down or stop your vehicle if the traffic ahead has slowed or stopped. Lane Centering helps keep Explorer between the lines, while new Speed Sign Recognition can “read” posted speed limit signs and adjust the set speed to those limits.
  • Evasive Steering Assist: To help avoid a potential collision, it can provide extra assistance to help you quickly steer around the vehicle.
  • Active Park Assist 2.0: Active Park Assist 2.0 makes it easy to park time after time even in tight parallel or reverse perpendicular spots. Park Out Assist with side-sensing capability can help you confidently navigate out of a spot when someone’s parked too close to Standard on ST and Platinum.
  • 360-DEGREE Camera: The 360-Degree Camera with Split-View Display lets you see around Explorer, from every side. Very helpful while centering in a parking spot or while navigating a tight section of trail. Standard on Limited, ST, and Platinum.
  • Reverse Brake Assist: It automatically applies the brakes to prevent a potential collision. Standard on ST and Platinum.
2020 Ford Explorer towing capacity

2020 Ford Explorer towing guide

  • Do not tow a trailer until you drive your vehicle at least 1000 miles. Also, do not drive faster than 70 mph.
  • See the instructions included with towing accessories for the proper installation and adjustment specifications.
  • Service your vehicle more frequently if you tow a trailer. See your scheduled maintenance information.
  • Check your hitch, electrical connections, and trailer wheel lug nuts thoroughly after you have traveled 50 miles.
  • When stopped in blocked or heavy traffic during hot weather, place the gearshift in position P to aid engine and transmission cooling and to help air conditioning performance.
  • Turn off the speed control with heavy loads or in hilly terrain. The speed control may turn off automatically when you are towing on long, steep grades.
  • Shift to a lower gear when driving down a long or steep hill. Do not apply the brakes continuously, as they may overheat and become less effective.
  • Use the Grade Assist or Tow/Haul feature when towing. These provide engine braking and help eliminate excessive transmission shifting for optimum fuel economy and transmission cooling.
  • Allow more distance for stopping with a trailer attached. Anticipate stops and brake gradually.
Reminder: Ford Explorer does not offer factory-installed towing equipment for this application; only available as a dealer accessory. Do not exceed the trailer weight for your vehicle configuration listed in the chart above. Maximum weights shown are for properly equipped vehicles with required equipment and a 150-lb. driver. Weight of additional options, equipment, passengers and cargo must be deducted from this weight. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What can a 2020 Ford Explorer tow?

The 2020 Ford Explorer is a capable and power-defined large SUV in the Ford model with plenty of towing power. With a towing capacity of up to 5,600 pounds when properly equipped Explorer will get you and your belongings where you need to go with ease. It has advanced technology designed to provide convenient operation and enhance your driving experience with greater ride comfort. With abundant cargo space and enough power to tow a boat or camper will make a great family vehicle.

How much can a 2020 Ford Explorer pull with a tow package?

The 2020 Ford Explorer as America’s best-selling three-row SUV for over 25 years, promises unparalleled performance. The Trailer Towing Package enables drivers to easily and properly connect all trailer lights and is recommended for all Ford vehicles that are used for towing. The towing package includes a Class III frame-mounted hitch, an engine oil cooler, a seven-wire harness, and four/seven-pin trailer connectors. When equipped properly it can tow up to 5,600 pounds.

How much will a 2020 Ford Explorer tow?

The 2020 Ford Explorer is equipped with premium engine options for ultimate performance. The Explorer is also available in rear-wheel drive or 4×4 with six trims that include the base model, XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST, and Platinum. Each trim level offers impressive capabilities for on and off-road adventures. Whether you are hauling equipment, trust in the reliability, towing capacity, and performance of this SUV. Depending upon the trim level you choose, this powerful SUV can tow up to 5,600 pounds when adding the class III trailer tow package. Even without the towing package, drivers will find the towing capacity which is 3,000 pounds.

2020 Ford Explorer towing video
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Aaron Bennett is an accomplished author and a true aficionado when it comes to pickup trucks. With an unwavering passion for all things automotive, Aaron has dedicated his life to exploring the world of pickups and sharing his expertise with others. As the proud owner of several powerful machines, he has spent countless hours behind the wheel, navigating rugged terrains and conquering highways with unrivaled enthusiasm.

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