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Ford Explorer Outduels Honda Pilot in Power, Cargo, Features

September 8, 2017

Ford Motor Co. has released a new video that offers a head-to-head comparison of the 2017 Ford Explorer and a class competitor, the 2017 Honda Pilot. The Explorer comes out ahead with a number of class-exclusive features. Further analysis finds the Pilot falling short in choice of engines, maximum horsepower, cargo-hold capacity and more.

Among the features available only on the Explorer are Enhanced Active Park Assist for parallel and perpendicular parking, a hands-free, foot-activated, height-adjustable liftgate, and Ford’s PowerFold third-row seat. The 50/50 split bench folds flat with the push of a button, creating a level load floor.

With all seats in place, the Explorer boasts 21 cubic feet of space in the rear cargo hatch. The Honda Pilot has only 16.5 cubic feet of space behind the third-row bench, less than one cubic foot more than the Accord sedan (15.8). The Explorer also outclasses the Pilot in first- and second-row headroom and in legroom across all three rows.

Ford offers a range of features designed to improve safety and performance. In addition to Enhanced Active Park Assist, the Explorer boasts adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warning with brake assist, an available Blind Spot Information System, available Intelligent 4WD System with Hill Descent Control, and available driver-activated Lane-Keeping System. 

The Explorer also comes with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system. SYNC 3’s intuitive, responsive, voice-activated infotainment system comes with a five-year trial subscription to SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link. This advanced navigation technology includes voice-guided turn-by-turn directions and detailed traffic, weather and sports updates, gas station locations and prices, and even movie showtimes.

Under the hood, the Explorer beats the Pilot in engine choices as well as output. The Pilot’s only available powerplant is a 280-horspepower 3.5-liter V6. The Explorer offers a choice of three engines: a 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, a 280-horsepower 2.3-liter turbocharged I-4, and a 365-horsepower, 3.5-liter turbocharged V6.

As the best-selling SUV in America over the past 27 years, the Explorer has an enviable legacy to uphold. But Ford’s engineers will continue to drive innovation in a highly competitive segment.

“In the 1990s, SUVs defined the unstoppable American spirit, and once again, we’re seeing a utility boom take hold with a whole new generation of customers,” said Mark LaNeve, Ford vice president, U.S. marketing, sales and service. “Two sets of consumers — millennials and baby boomers — are driving this growth, and Ford will be ready with a full portfolio of SUVs to meet their needs.”


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