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2020 Ford Explorer. Photo: Ford

This week I'm driving the 2020 Ford Explorer, which looks similar to the previous generation, but is fundamentally different, because it is now on a rear-wheel-drive platform.

Why it matters: The Explorer has been around for 30 years, but for the last eight years, it's been on a front-wheel-drive platform, similar to other mid-sized crossovers. Now it's back to its RWD roots. (All-wheel-drive is also available.)

What else is new: The vertical 10.1-inch touchscreen is hard to miss in the top-of-the-line Platinum version I'm driving. It looks out of place to me and doesn't seem very driver-oriented, but the buttons are big and so is the text, making it easy to use.

  • Standard driver-assistance features include forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, lane keeping assist, and lane departure warning.
  • Higher-priced models offer adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, a 360° camera and rear-parking assistance, among other features.
  • One cool feature: Ford uses animations in the settings menu to show the driver exactly what each system does in a clear, concise way.

Fuel economy: With the base 2.3-liter engine, the Explorer gets an EPA rating of 21 mpg city, 28 highway, 24 combined.

  • The thirstier Explorer Platinum I'm driving has a 3.0-liter V-6, and gets an estimated 18/24/20 mpg.
  • A hybrid is available too, which will get 27/29/28 mpg in rear-wheel-drive, and go over 500 miles between fill-ups,

The bottom line: Starting at $33,860, the Explorer has always been a family favorite, but it can get pretty pricey. My AWD Platinum costs $61,330.

Go deeper

8 mins ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

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