North Georgia Ford Compares 2018 Ford Explorer VS 2018 Chevrolet Equinox Near Calhoun, GA

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2018 Ford Explorer

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2018 Chevrolet Equinox

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 Chevrolet Equinox doesn’t offer height-adjustable front 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 Equinox doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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, 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 Ford Explorer weighs 616 to 1574 pounds more than the Chevrolet Equinox. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

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.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Chevrolet vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chevrolet is ranked 6th.

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 1.6 turbo diesel 4 cyl.

137 HP

240 lbs.-ft.

Equinox 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

170 HP

203 lbs.-ft.

Equinox 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

252 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Explorer turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Chevrolet Equinox 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.:




Zero to 60 MPH

8.2 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

84.5 MPH

81.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Explorer has 3.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox FWD’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Explorer has 3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Equinox AWD/Diesel’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 15.6 gallons).

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:



Equinox 1.5T/Diesel

Equinox 2.0T

Front Rotors

13.85 inches

11.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

11.3 inches

11.3 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 Equinox are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Equinox:





70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

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. 235/50R19).

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.

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 19-inch wheels optional on the Equinox Premier.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Explorer flat and controlled during cornering. The Equinox’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the Equinox (112.8 inches vs. 107.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 4.8 inches wider in the front and 4.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Equinox.

The Explorer’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.1% to 44.9%) than the Equinox’s (56.7% to 43.3%). This gives the Explorer more stable handling and braking.

The Explorer Sport 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the Equinox LT AWD pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

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




At idle

37 dB

43 dB


73 dB

73 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Explorer has 48.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Equinox (151.5 vs. 103.2).

The Explorer has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2 inches more front legroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 4.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom, 5.1 inches more rear hip room and 5.5 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


29.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

81.7 cubic feet

63.5 cubic feet

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




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



Max Width



Min Width






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

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 front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

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.

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/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

The Explorer will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Explorer will retain 48.52% to 53.39% of its original price after five years, while the Equinox only retains 44.23% to 46.77%.

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 $137 less for front brake pads and $184 less for a fuel pump.

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