Enjoy the Silence: 2020 Ford Explorer Delivers Quietest Cabin Yet

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2020 Ford Explorer Limited

Ford employs new noise reduction technology to create a superior driving experience. 

The all-new 2020 Ford Explorer was designed with a special new goal. The Explorer is now offering the quietest interior ever. Using a first-for-Ford breakthrough, noise is kept out of the cabin, giving passengers a more relaxing ride.

“We’ve spent a lot of time learning about what our Explorer customers want and love in their SUV,” said Craig Patterson, Ford SUV marketing manager. “And near the top of the list is a comfortable vehicle they can enjoy with their loved ones. Whether it’s taking the family up north for the weekend or taking a date to the movies on Saturday night, a quieter interior allows them to better connect with those who are along for the journey.”

The 2020 Explorer achieves this by using three sound-reduction features: A first-for-Ford dual-wall dashboard, acoustic glass, and Active Noise Control.

2020 Ford Explorer Limited Dual Wall Dashboard

Dual-Wall Dashboard

The new dual-wall dashboard is designed reduce engine noise caused by vibrations that can manifest in a humming sensation. Separating the engine compartment from the passenger cabin are two walls, one of which is made of sheet-molded composite material, with an air gap in between. The dual-wall dashboard, which significantly lessens the engine sounds, mimics a semi-anechoic chamber similar to those used in noise, vibration, and harshness testing at Ford’s driving dynamics lab.

Parker Lewis, Ford noise, vibration and harshness engineering manager, says keeping the cabin quiet with the dual-wall dashboard is similar to the technology used to keep drinks hot or cold.

“This innovation is very similar in theory to an insulated thermos or mug,” says Lewis. “The multiple layers of a mug keep unwanted ambient temperatures out, while the multiple layers of this dual-wall dashboard keep unwanted noise out of the vehicle cabin.”

2020 Ford Explorer Limited

Acoustic Glass 

Another important aspect in noise reduction is the Explorer’s windshield and front side windows. They have not just one layer of glass, but two. These layers are separated by a sheet of clear plastic, creating layers that serve as a buffer between the interior and the outside world.

This acoustic glass keeps noise out, but Ford also wanted to identify just how noise gets in in the first place.

Active Noise Control

Active Noise Control  is another valuable feature. Currently, Active Noise Control is only available on the Explorer Limited Hybrid. The system uses strategically placed microphones throughout the cabin to listen for and pick up on unwanted frequencies that contribute to noise conditions. Once these are detected, the system cancels them out by producing opposing sound waves that come through the audio system speakers.

“Think of it as thunder on a stormy night,” says Lewis. “These sound waves bounce around us in a contained area, then the vehicle’s audio system speakers negate the thunder, essentially silencing the environment.”

Ford Explorer interior

The dual-wall dashboard and acoustic glass work together to insulate passengers from unwanted sounds. And Active Noise Control is a third layer of defense should they make it in at all, giving the all-new Explorer an impressively quieter interior.

The 2020 Ford Explorer is not only quieter, but also has lighter, leaner, and stronger construction, the broadest model lineup ever, a more powerful and efficient EcoBoost engine, and smart and innovative new technology.

2020 Ford Explorer Limited

“We obsessed on what Explorer customers need and want, and it was easier because not only did we have years of data by being the most popular SUV of all time, but we also are those customers,” said Bill Gubing, Explorer chief engineer. “When we want to get away with our families to enjoy some downtime, we know Explorer can take us there. When you’re on that journey, you want to be in an environment that reflects the quality and promise of the exterior design.”

While we love the sound of a raging diesel engine, sometimes you just want a ride with a more chill experience. And it seems these new innovations are sure to deliver.

The 2020 Ford Explorer will be available this summer.

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S.J. Bryan is an editor with Ford Truck Enthusiasts and regular contributor to F-150 Online and Harley-Davidson Forums, among other auto sites.

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