Ford Explorer vs SUV Competition

2018 Ford Explorer SUV for sale near Elyria, OH

Battle of the three-row SUVS: The Ford Explorer goes up against the competition

At Mike Bass Ford we've got a great selection of Ford Explorer SUVS to choose from. This award-winning model has been on the road for decades and is perfect for drivers who need seats and/or cargo space.

Below we've compared the Explorer to other three-row rivals-  the Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia, Dodge Durango, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot - to show you why our model is the one you'll want to take home to your driveway. 

2018 Ford Explorer2018 GMC Acadia


The Ford Explorer vs. The GMC Acadia

  • If cargo options are important then you'll appreciate the Explorer. It has more cargo space behind the third, second, and first row than the GMC Acadia.
  • The Acadia can tow up to 4,000 pounds when properly equipped, but that number pales in comparison to the 5,000 pounds of max towing on the Explorer!
  • The Explorer has a 5-Star crash rating from the NHTSA on both the AWD and FWD models. The GMC scored 4-Stars on the FWD and 5-Stars on the AWD.
  • Comfortable and spacious seating for seven is standard on the Explorer. Seven-passenger seating is only optional with the Acadia, so while you get an extra seat it'll be quite snug.

2018 Ford Explorer2018 Chevy Traverse


The Ford Explorer vs. The Chevy Traverse

  • Parking is a breeze with the Explorer, as it's about 6-inches shorter than the Traverse.
  • Advanced safety features are nice, but you cannot overlook the basics. The shoulder portion of the seat belt is height-adjustable on the Explorer, which makes for a better fit and adds more protection. You cannot adjust this on the Traverse.
  • Certain engines and trims on the Explorer can go from 0-30 mph and 0-60 mph faster than the Traverse. This is helpful for driving downtown or on the highway.
  • Both the Traverse and Explorer have 5-Star ratings from the NHTSA.

2018 Ford Explorer2018 Dodge Durango


The Ford Explorer vs. The Dodge Durango

  • Looks are subjective, but we believe the Explorer cuts a more sophisticated automotive figure than the Dodge Durango that's a little more aggressive.
  • The Explorer is about three inches shorter than the Durango, making it easier to park our SUV in that perfect parking spot.
  • Both models have available Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ but the Explorer also has FordPass™ capabilities so you can stay connected to your SUV via your smartphone. You cannot do that with the Durango.
  • The Explorer has a 5-Star NHTSA safety rating compared to the Durango's 4-Star rating. As of June 2018, the NHTSA has given the Durango two recalls, whereas the Explorer has zero recalls from the testing agency.

2018 Ford Explorer2018 Toyota Highlander


The Ford Explorer vs. The Toyota Highlander

  • With all rows up on the Highlander you have a small amount of cargo space out back. With the Explorer you'll have significantly more room for gear and/or grocery bags.
  • Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ is available on Explorer's with SYNC®3. On the Highlander you only get Toyota's Entune infotainment system.
  • The Highlander's 2.7L base engine is known for being sluggish. The only other option is a 3.5L V6. The Explorer has three engines and the 3.5L EcoBoost V6 is 70 more horses under the hood than the stronger Highlander engine.
  • If you're in a place where you don't want to lose your keys - like the beach, heading out on a hike, or going for a run - you can leave them safely locked in the Explorer thanks to the SecuriCode™ keypad. The Highlander doesn't have that option.

2018 Ford Explorer2018 Honda Pilot


The Ford Explorer vs. The Honda Pilot

  • The Explorer can tow up to 5,000 pounds with the towing package. That number is far superior to the Pilot's 3,500-pound towing max.
  • If you have all rows up or need to max out your cargo-hauling capabilities, you'll have more space to work with on the Explorer. The only place the Pilot has more space is when you have the third row down.
  • You get more engine options (three, to be exact) with the Explorer, and we think variety is important. The Pilot only has a one engine, and while it has a little more torque than the Explorer's base engine it has significantly less horsepower.
  • The Explorer boasts more style, in our humble opinions. The exterior is sophisticated, there are additional appearance packages, and shoppers have several leather options which include standard, one with Miko® inserts, leather with bright contrast stitching, and premium leather. The Pilot has a puffier look, no appearance packages, and just two leather options.

Why buy a three-row SUV?

The biggest demographic we see coming into our location to buy an Explorer are families. They might be big ones who need to use all seven seats or it could be families who just have two or three kids, but they help by carpooling their kid's classmates and teammates around town, and thus appreciate having the extra seats.  Style is also important to them, which is why they choose the Explorer over a minivan. Lastly, it's car they can buy and continue to enjoy owning, even if the kids have gotten their licenses or have flown the coop.

Of course, we get plenty of single or dual-income-no-kids shoppers who desire a ride that is more spacious than the popular Ford Escape. These shoppers often have the third-row down and really take advantage of the 43.8 cubic feet of cargo space that's available to them! They also love that they can grow into the Explorer if gear-heavy activities (or family size) changes. 

The Ford Explorer has a lot of three-row SUVS it's competing against, and we of admit that some vehicles may win out in engine performance, cargo space, or standard amenities. Keep in mind that the Explorer has a great reputation, a big price range that appeals to shoppers on a budgets and shoppers that want to go all in, and package options so you can really customize your vehicle so it fits your needs to a T and has everything you want and nothing you don't desire.

Click here to see our Ford Explorer inventory!



Ready to Experience the Three-Row Ford Explorer for Yourself?

After shopping our inventory, fill out our online finance application. It's fast and easy, secure, and it'll save you time at the dealership.

Not quite ready for that step? No worries! Instead, visit our finance center page, fill out our contact form, and provide a time frame of when you hope to buy or lease a Ford Explorer.  Afterward, a representative will reach out to talk next steps, depending on your ideal time frame which could be up to two years away.

We also want to remind shoppers that we work with everyone, from people with high credit scores, to young professionals with little credit history, to people who are getting their score back on their feet. No matter the circumstance, we'll work hard to find you a price and auto loan that fits your budget. If you have poor credit, check out our Special Financing Solutions page. We know having a vehicle is important for not only getting to work, but also for being able to enjoy life and feeling you have the freedom to move about.

Our goal is to get you into a Ford Explorer that puts a huge smile on your face and to make the financing process in as stress-free as possible. If you're ready to take the next steps, start filling out forms and stop in for a test drive. We look forward to meeting you!

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