North Georgia Ford Compares 2018 Ford Explorer VS 2018 Volkswagen Atlas Near Jasper, GA

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2018 Ford Explorer

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VS

2018 Volkswagen Atlas

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 Atlas doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the Explorer and the Atlas have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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.

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Volkswagen doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Atlas.

There are almost 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Volkswagen 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 Atlas 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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 10th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 19th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 4 places higher in reliability than Volkswagen.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the Atlas:

 

Horsepower

Torque

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.

Atlas 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

235 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Atlas 3.6 DOHC V6

276 HP

266 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Explorer Sport/Platinum is faster than the Volkswagen Atlas V6:

 

Explorer

Atlas

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.9 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

7.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

15.8 sec

20.2 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

8.2 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.4 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.6 sec

16 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

96 MPH

89 MPH

Top Speed

123 MPH

116 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 Atlas 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 Atlas:

 

Explorer

Atlas

Front Rotors

13.85 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

12.2 inches

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Atlas:

 

Explorer

Atlas

 

70 to 0 MPH

166 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

123 feet

139 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

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

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .80 G’s, while the Atlas SEL 4Motion pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

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 Atlas doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Explorer Sport 4WD is quieter than the Atlas SEL Premium 4Motion:

 

Explorer

Atlas

At idle

37 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

76 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Atlas.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

 

Explorer

Atlas

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

20.6 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 Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer (except Base/XLT)’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Atlas doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

On a hot day the Explorer’s driver can lower the front windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Atlas can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Atlas doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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 Atlas’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Explorer has a standard rear variable intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Explorer has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Atlas has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

The Explorer’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Volkswagen only offers heated mirrors on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

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 Atlas offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Explorer outsold the Volkswagen Atlas by almost 10 to one during 2017.

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