The redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer, a midsize SUV, offers better protection in the driver-side small overlap front test than earlier models, but hasn’t improved enough to qualify for a 2019 safety award, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Crashworthiness ratings for the Explorer also apply to the all-new 2020 Lincoln Aviator. (see: Driving 2020 Explorer: Big Size and Complexity, Bigger Price)
In the driver-side small overlap test of the Explorer, “the structure held up well overall — an improvement over the severe intrusion seen in the Explorer prior to the redesign. However, in the test of the new model, there was enough intrusion into the outboard part of the footwell to elevate the risk of injury to the driver’s left leg, as indicated by measures taken from the dummy, resulting in an overall rating of acceptable,” said IIHS.
A good rating in the driver-side small overlap crash test is a requirement for both the 2019 Top Safety Pick and Top Safety Pick+ awards, so neither the Explorer nor Aviator is eligible.