2018 Ford Explorer vs. Competition

March 5th, 2018 by

2018 Ford Explorer vs. Dodge Durango

Performance and Exterior Features

Basically, the Dodge Durango has the same external features in 2018 that the model had in 2011. For this reason alone, the Ford Explorer has an advantage of modern stylistic features.

The Explorer has switched to a unibody construction. The Durango is larger, heavier, and has options including V8 engines. This allows the Durango to have the potential for a greater towing capacity (up to 8600 pounds – best in class) and faster acceleration statistics. However, this comes at a cost of lower gas mileage (see table below).

The acceleration of the Explorer is not lacking, it is simply less than the Durango. As for towing capacity, the turbocharged V6 Explorer can manage a 5000-pound load – usually sufficient for most family vehicle needs. Finally, the Explorer has a flex-fuel option, which the Durango does not. The warranties on both models are very similar.

Comparing Details

Height Length Width Ground Clearance Wheelbase
Explorer 71 in. 198 in 79 in               7.8 in 112.8 in
Durango 71.9 in 201.2 in 70.9 in               8.1 in 119.8 in


Comfort, Styling, and Interior

The Durango has been described by critics as loud when not in cruising mode, and it is noted to have decreased comfort in the third row. The Explorer has suffered no such criticism. It is, in fact, noted to be especially comfortable and easy to drive. Another description of the 7100 pound Durango is “large and lumbering”. The steering on the Durango has been described as ‘truckish’, by some.

The difference in wheelbase and circling diameter explains the difference in models (see table above). The 6160-pound Explorer has been described as quiet and comfortable by its critics. Comparing rear seat dimensions suggests the third-row seating in the Explorer is, in fact, more comfortable than third-row seating in the Durango:

Comparing Rear Seat Dimensions

Headroom Hip Room Leg Room Mileage
Explorer 40.6 in. 56.8 in. 39.5 in. 19/27
Durango 39.8 in. 42.8 in. 38.6 in. 14/22

Both vehicles have the capacity to seat seven. Both have a large number of comfort features that are standard on many models. Both feature all-wheel-drive options, and various automatic transmissions. Some Durango models lack Bluetooth streaming audio.

Safety Features

There are definite differences in the safety features of the 2018 Ford Explorer versus the 2018 Dodge Durango. The Explorer includes collision warning with brake support, lane keeping, hill descent control, and blind spot sensing with a camera and cross-traffic alerts, at least in most models. One model does lack a reverse sensing feature.

The Durango has a forward collision alert system, lane departure warnings and blind spot monitoring (with camera options).

The advantages of the Explorer seem to be more active, rather than passive, features. As roads grow more occupied over time, the more active features would seem preferable.

2018 Ford Explorer vs. Jeep Grand Cherokee

It is time to gear up and get in the game, because here comes the new 2018 Ford Explorer that had been designed to help you play hard and go far beyond the roads most traveled.

The 2018 Ford Explorer is destined to outclass and outperform its rival the Jeep Grand Cherokee in more ways than one, with its redesigned exterior and refined interior that boasts genuine comfort and style. Built with our modern active lifestyles in mind, it provides an interior space for kids and soccer moms, the dog, camping gear, and sports equipment, along with just about all that you require when on the road to adventure.  The Explorer has a presence, a look that’s far more than skin-deep, and a feel of remarkable detail and accessibility all at your fingertips. It demands the ultimate in attention.

It’s high-grade leather and bucket seats stand out far above the Jeep Grand Cherokee, along with its satin-chrome finish. If that was not sweet enough, this is Standard on Limited, Sport, and Platinum. With seating for up to seven, the power folding third-row seat folds flat with one touch of a button if more cargo room is needed.


The 3.5L EcoBoost, 3.5L Ti-VCT V6 or 2.3L EcoBoost of the Ford Explorer deliver horsepower and torque and can optimize performance across low, mid and high ranges of power bands to match any driving conditions. With an MPG of up to 19 city and 27 if on the highway, it is fuel and economically efficient. Gears can quickly be changed with wheel-mounted paddle shifters and the six-speed Selectshift automatic transmission.

Be it rain, snow, sleet or hail, or grass, rest assured you’ll be ready due to the Terrain Management System that allows you to choose from four different settings depending on the road or path that you are traveling on. It also comes with a quad-tipped exhaust, AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, and the trailer sway control brakes and adjusts engine power to maintain trailer control even when towing large loads.


Whether you are in need of directions, or to connect your smartphone, or change your SiriusXM radio station, SYNC 3 allows you to do so without losing focus on the road. Once equipped with the Safe and Smart Package that includes rain-sensing wipers, auto high beam headlamps, cross-traffic BLIS alert system for blind spots, a lane-keeping system to prevent vehicle drifting, and an adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning brake support system, you’ll never know how you were ever able to get along without them.

FordPass is also an ingenious way to conquer the roads. You can use FordPass on your smartphone to track your vehicle’s location, open and close the locks, check the status, including fuel levels, or schedule times to remotely start your Ford Explorer to be ready for takeoff whenever you are. FordPass allows you to reserve and find parking, and pay ahead of time. Compare fuel prices along your route, receive vehicle info and schedule service, and get easy access to a user-friendly Ford Guide.

Ford equips you with a 180-degree camera that helps you see around corners, down alleys, and even when you’re pulling out of parking spots, a side sensor to allow you to always be aware of your surroundings, Park Out assistance that allows you to get out of tight spaces and effectively parallel park, along with an Enhanced Active Park which utilizes ultrasonic sensors to aid you with perpendicular parking.

Once again the Ford Explorer has outsmarted and outperformed the Jeep Grand Cherokee, with beauty that is breathtaking and performance that places it at the top of the list, rendering it an easy 10/10 rating.

2018 Ford Explorer vs. 2018 Honda Pilot

Engine and Drivetrain

The 2018 Ford Explorer excels in engine performance due to its 3.5L engine with a double overhead cam, allowing for the option of an impressive power of 365 horsepower at 5,500 RPM, versus the Honda Pilot’s 3.5L single overhead cam engine which performs at 280 hp at 6,000 RPM. The Ford Explorer also offers a more aggressive torque of up to 350 lb-ft of power at 3,500 RPM, versus the Pilot’s 262 lb-ft at 4,700 RPM for its higher-end series.

While they both have 6-speed engines, the Ford Explorer offers the added control of a 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. The Ford Explorer also has the added convenience of having shift controls on the steering wheel along with the cruise and audio controls, providing for the additional safety of not needing to take your hands off the wheel to shift gears.

Comfort and Convenience

Although the Ford Explorer has slightly more cabin room, with the Explorer having 171.3 cu.ft. versus the Pilot’s 168.2 cu.ft., the real difference between the two is what the Explorer offers in its media and audio experience.

You can really enjoy your media experience in the Ford Explorer surround audio, which has a 12-speaker audio system with 395-watt stereo output, versus the Pilot’s 7-speaker 225-watt system.

Although they both offer satellite radio, the Explorer comes with six months of service included. The Explorer also includes options for a USB connection and a memory card slot to allow you to use your own media in the system. The Ford Explorer also includes Wi-Fi internet connectivity which is becoming essential in today’s digital world.

As far as comfort goes, both vehicles have leather interiors with a driver seat that has an 8-way adjustable seat with height adjustment. The Explorer also includes the same option for the passenger seat, as well as a cooled driver’s seat while the Pilot’s passenger seat includes a 4-way adjustable seat with no height adjustment.


The Explorer also comes out ahead on safety. While both the Ford Explorer and the Honda Pilot have an option for a backup camera, The Explorer also offers the added safety of options for front and rear parking sensors as well as front and rearview cameras. Both have ventilated front brakes as standard. The Ford Explorer also includes ventilated rear disc brakes standard as well. Both models include front middle and third-row head airbags, and dual front and side-mounted airbags, but the Explorer offers head protection chambers with the dual front airbags. The Ford Explorer also includes the added safety of airbag deployment notification.

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