North Georgia Ford Compares 2021 Ford Explorer VS 2021 Cadillac XT5 Near Ellijay, GA

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2021 Ford Explorer

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VS

2021 Cadillac XT5

Safety Comparison

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Both the Explorer and XT5 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Explorer has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The XT5’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Ford Explorer has standard driver and front passenger side knee airbags mounted low on the dashboard. These airbags helps prevent the driver and front passenger from sliding under their seatbelts or the main frontal airbags; this keeps them better positioned during a collision for maximum protection. Knee airbags also help keep the legs from striking the dashboard, preventing knee and leg injuries in the case of a serious frontal collision. The XT5 doesn’t offer a front passenger side knee airbag.

The Explorer has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The XT5 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Explorer 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The XT5 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Explorer has a standard blind spot warning system which uses sensors to alert the driver to objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. Only the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport offers a blind spot warning system.

To help make backing out of a parking space safer, the Explorer has a standard cross-path warning system, which uses sensors in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. Only the XT5 Premium Luxury/Sport has a cross-path warning system.

The Explorer’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The XT5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the XT5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its standard headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Explorer its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2020, a rating granted to only 39 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The XT5 last would have qualified as only a standard “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty Comparison

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There are over 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Cadillac dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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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 XT5 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’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

Engine Comparison

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The Explorer has more powerful engines than the XT5:

Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.3 turbo 4-cylinder

300 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid

318 HP

322 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Platinum 3.0 turbo V6

365 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Explorer ST 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

415 lbs.-ft.

XT5 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

237 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XT5 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

271 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Explorer turbo 4 cyl. is faster than the Cadillac XT5 V6:

Explorer

XT5

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.2 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.2 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Explorer gets better fuel mileage than the XT5:

MPG

Explorer

2WD

3.3 V6 Hybrid

27 city/29 hwy

AWD

3.3 V6 Hybrid

23 city/26 hwy

XT5

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/27 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Explorer Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XT5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Explorer ST’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XT5:

Explorer ST

XT5

Front Rotors

14.3 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.4 inches

The Explorer stops much shorter than the XT5:

Explorer

XT5

70 to 0 MPH

161 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

128 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the XT5 (255/65R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XT5 (275/45R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XT5’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 21-inch wheels. The XT5’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the Explorer can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The XT5 doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Explorer’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The XT5 doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 6.6 inches longer than on the XT5 (119.1 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the XT5.

The Explorer’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the XT5’s (58.2% to 41.8%). This gives the Explorer more stable handling and braking.

The Explorer ST 4WD handles at .86 G’s, while the XT5 AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Explorer ST 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the XT5 AWD (26.4 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .65 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the XT5 (7.9 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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The Explorer Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The XT5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Explorer XLT 4WD is quieter than the XT5 AWD:

Explorer

XT5

At idle

40 dB

44 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

77 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

68 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Explorer has standard seating for 7 passengers; the XT5 can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 48.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the XT5 (152.7 vs. 104.5).

The Explorer has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front legroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom, 4.3 inches more rear hip room and 5.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the XT5.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the XT5.

Explorer

XT5

Third Seat Folded

47.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

30.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87.8 cubic feet

63 cubic feet

The Explorer’s cargo area is larger than the XT5’s in every dimension:

Explorer

XT5

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

20.8”/49.8”/83.9”

n.a./41.5”/75”

Max Width

59”

51”

Min Width

48.1”

41.6”

Height

33.7”

30”

Ergonomics Comparison

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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/ST/Platinum’s exterior PIN entry system. The XT5 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN 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.

The Explorer Hybrid has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent fuel theft and vandalism, such as sugar in the tank. The XT5 doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 XT5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Explorer’s headlights were rated “Good” to “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the XT5’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

The XT5’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Explorer Platinum’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Explorer to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The XT5 doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The Explorer ST/Platinum offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the XT5.

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 XT5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages Comparison

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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 50.8% to 57.27% of its original price after five years, while the XT5 only retains 38.6% to 39.93%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the XT5 because it costs $346 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the XT5, including $32 less for a water pump, $117 less for a muffler, $50 less for front brake pads, $193 less for a starter, $229 less for fuel injection, $27 less for front struts and $207 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Explorer will be $3622 to $13473 less than for the Cadillac XT5.

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