North Georgia Ford Compares 2017 Ford Explorer VS 2017 Acura MDX Near Ellijay, GA

Responsive image

2017 Ford Explorer

Responsive image
VS

2017 Acura MDX

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The MDX doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the Explorer and the MDX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Acura MDX:

 

Explorer

MDX

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

214 lbs.

244 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

52 G’s

Hip Force

713 lbs.

757 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the MDX’s (5 vs. 4 years).

There are over 14 times as many Ford dealers as there are Acura dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Explorer has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The MDX doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 24th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer’s optional 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 43 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 267) than the MDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The Explorer Sport/Platinum’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 75 more horsepower (365 vs. 290) and 83 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 267) than the MDX’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Explorer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the MDX:

 

Explorer

MDX

Front Rotors

13.85 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

13 inches

The Explorer’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the MDX are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops much shorter than the MDX:

 

Explorer

MDX

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the MDX (255/50R20 vs. 245/60R18).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the MDX (112.8 inches vs. 111 inches).

The Explorer’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.1% to 44.9%) than the MDX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the Explorer more stable handling and braking.

The Explorer Sport 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the MDX SH-AWD pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the MDX (7.8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Explorer uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The MDX doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Explorer Sport 4WD is quieter than the MDX SH-AWD (73 vs. 76 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 18.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MDX (151.5 vs. 132.7).

The Explorer has 3.3 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room, 2.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.2 inches more third row headroom, 5.2 inches more third row legroom and .1 inches more third row hip room than the MDX.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the MDX.

 

Explorer

MDX

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

15.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet

43.4 cubic feet

The Explorer has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The MDX doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Explorer Sport/Platinum’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The MDX doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Explorer’s cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MDX doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Explorer and the MDX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Explorer is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The MDX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum’s exterior keypad. The MDX doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its extra cost AcuraLink can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Explorer has standard extendable sun visors. The MDX doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT/Sport)’s optional Enhanced Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The MDX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Explorer owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Explorer with a number “5” insurance rate while the MDX is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the MDX because it costs $333 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the MDX, including $4 less for front brake pads, $145 less for a starter and $458 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Explorer outsold the Acura MDX by almost five to one during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.