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2020 Ford Explorer Hybrid RWD gets 28-mpg combined rating

The SUV can cruise for over 500 miles on a single tank.

Ford's 2020 Explorer Hybrid has received official EPA fuel efficiency estimates.

Not surprisingly, the rear-wheel-drive variant leads the pack with city/highway/combined ratings of 27/29/28 mpg. Ford says the RWD edition can cruise for more than 500 miles on a single tank of fuel.

The four-wheel-drive edition steps down to 23/26/25 mpg, with a total range of over 450 miles between fill-ups.

The 3.3-liter hybrid powertrain is capable of hauling up to 5,000 pounds, matching the non-hybrid Explorer with a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. Ford points out that the 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid can only tow 3,500 pounds.

The 2019 Highlander Hybrid has better EPA ratings of 30/28/29 mpg in its all-whee-drive configuration -- topping both the 4WD and RWD Explorer -- and can cruise for 499 miles with a smaller fuel tank. Toyota has doubled down on efficiency for the 2020-model-year Highlander Hybrid, trading horsepower in favor of an EPA-estimated 34-mpg combined rating, presumably for the 2WD edition. Ford is apparently targeting customers who want a bit more fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance and hauling capability expected from an SUV.

Other automakers, namely Volkswagen and General Motors, are dropping hybrids from their product roadmaps, predicting that customers interested in electrified powertrains will soon gravitate toward pure electric EVs.

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