North Georgia Ford Compares 2017 Ford Explorer VS 2017 BMW X5 Near Ellijay, GA

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2017 Ford Explorer

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2017 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Explorer are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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 X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

To help make backing safer, the Explorer (except Base)’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Explorer and the X5 xDrive40e have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all-wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and front and rear parking sensors.

Warranty Comparison

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Explorer 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X5 xDrive40e. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X5 xDrive40e ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 11 times as many Ford dealers as there are BMW 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 X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer Sport/Platinum’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 57 more horsepower (365 vs. 308) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 332) than the X5 xDrive40e’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6 is faster than the BMW X5 xDrive40e:



X5 xDrive40e

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10 sec

10.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.8 sec

16.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

95 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Explorer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Explorer has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the X5 xDrive40e, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than on the X5 xDrive40e.

The Explorer Sport 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the X5 xDrive40e 4dr Sport Utility pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Explorer Base/XLT/Limited’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the X5 xDrive40e’s (38.9 feet vs. 41.7 feet). The Explorer Sport’s turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the X5 xDrive40e’s (40 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Explorer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 750 pounds less than the BMW X5 xDrive40e.

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 X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Explorer Sport 4WD is quieter than the X5 xDrive40e 4dr Sport Utility (37 vs. 41 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the X5 xDrive40e can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 46.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X5 xDrive40e (151.5 vs. 105.2).

The Explorer has .9 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front shoulder room, 1.8 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the X5 xDrive40e.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the X5 xDrive40e.



X5 xDrive40e

Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


34.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

81.7 cubic feet

72.5 cubic feet

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 X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The Explorer’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5 xDrive40e’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

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 X5 xDrive40e 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

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 X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its BMW Assist can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The X5 xDrive40e doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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