North Georgia Ford Compares 2017 Ford Explorer VS 2017 Chevrolet Equinox Near Calhoun, GA

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2017 Ford Explorer

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2017 Chevrolet Equinox

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 Equinox doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum has standard Reverse Sensing System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Equinox doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Both the Explorer and the Equinox 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 and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Chevrolet Equinox:





5 Stars

4 Stars




5 Stars

4 Stars

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

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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Chevrolet Equinox:





Front Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Movement

.9 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

159 G’s

180 G’s

Hip Force

214 lbs.

547 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

36 G’s

48 G’s


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

56 G’s

63 G’s

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

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Equinox’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

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 Equinox 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 has more powerful engines than the Equinox:




Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

280 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

290 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Equinox 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

182 HP

172 lbs.-ft.

Equinox 3.6 DOHC V6

301 HP

272 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6 is faster than the Chevrolet Equinox 4 cyl.:




Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

8.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10 sec

15.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.8 sec

28.4 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

9.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

4.5 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.4 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

82 MPH

Top Speed

123 MPH

115 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 Equinox doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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




Front Rotors

13.85 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

11.9 inches

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Equinox:





70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

185 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the Equinox (245/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Equinox (255/50R20 vs. 235/55R18).

The Explorer Base/XLT’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Equinox’s standard 65 series tires. The Explorer’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Equinox’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer Base/XLT has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Equinox. The Explorer’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the Equinox.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Equinox’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 4.1 inches wider in the front and 4.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Equinox.

The Explorer Sport 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the Equinox Premier AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Explorer Base/XLT/Limited’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Equinox’s (38.9 feet vs. 40 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Equinox (7.8 vs. 6.9 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 Equinox doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Explorer Sport 4WD is quieter than the Equinox Premier AWD:




At idle

37 dB

44 dB


73 dB

77 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Explorer has 51.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Equinox (151.5 vs. 99.7).

The Explorer has .5 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more front legroom, 2.7 inches more front hip room, 5.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 5.7 inches more rear hip room and 5.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Equinox.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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




Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


31.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

81.7 cubic feet

63.7 cubic feet

The Explorer’s cargo area is larger than the Equinox’s in almost every dimension:




Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)



Min Width






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 Equinox doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Explorer. The Equinox doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

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 Equinox 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 Explorer’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Equinox’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

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 Equinox doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Intelligent Access standard on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport/Platinum allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Equinox doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Equinox’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Explorer’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Explorer (except Base/XLT/Sport) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Equinox doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Explorer offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Equinox offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the Explorer and the Equinox offer available heated front seats. The Explorer also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Equinox.

Optional air conditioned seats in the Explorer (except Base/XLT) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in Summer. The Equinox doesn’t offer air conditioned seats.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Explorer’s optional (except Base) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Equinox doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Explorer (except Base)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Equinox doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Explorer and the Equinox offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Explorer has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Equinox doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Explorer’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Equinox doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Explorer (except Base/XLT) offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Equinox doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 Equinox doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 Equinox doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the Equinox because it costs $369 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Explorer than the Equinox, including $138 less for front brake pads and $184 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Explorer outsold the Chevrolet Equinox by 10222 units during the 2016 model year.

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