Greene Ford Compares 2013 Ford Explorer VS 2013 Dodge Durango Near Cumming, GA

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2013 Ford Explorer

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2013 Dodge Durango

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited 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 Durango doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Explorer Limited’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Durango doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Explorer’s optional 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 Durango doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Explorer (except Base) offers optional SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Durango doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Explorer and the Durango have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

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 Dodge Durango:





4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Compression

8 lbs.

18 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

417/662 lbs.

837/556 lbs.



4 Stars

3 Stars




Chest Compression

.5 inches

.9 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Compression

53 lbs.

186 lbs.

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, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Dodge Durango:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

135 G’s

185 G’s

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

35 G’s

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

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the Explorer, with its four-star roll-over rating, is 3.8% to 5.9% less likely to roll over than the Durango, which received a three-star rating.

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. Dodge doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Durango.

The Explorer’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Durango runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 33 percent more Ford dealers than there are Dodge dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Explorer have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Explorer has larger alternators than the Durango:



Standard Alternator



Optional Alternator



J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 27th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 29th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 59 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 31st.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Explorer V6 is faster than the Dodge Durango V6:



Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

8.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.3 sec

23.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.9 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

87 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Explorer’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Durango:


Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

1750 RPM

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

4000 RPM

Explorer Sport 3.5 turbo V6

1500 RPM

Durango 3.6 DOHC V6

4800 RPM

Durango SXT Rallye 3.6 DOHC V6

4800 RPM

Durango 5.7 V8

4250 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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




2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

20 city/28 hwy


3.5 V6/Auto

17 city/24 hwy

16 city/23 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto


14 city/20 hwy



3.5 V6/Auto

17 city/23 hwy

16 city/23 hwy

3.6 V6/Auto

3.5 turbo V6/Auto

16 city/22 hwy

13 city/20 hwy


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 Durango doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Explorer’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Durango are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Durango:



70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the Durango Crew pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Durango Crew 4x4 (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Explorer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 550 pounds less than the Dodge Durango.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 10.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Durango (151.7 vs. 140.9).

The Explorer has 1.5 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom, .7 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.7 inches more third row legroom and .4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Durango.

The Explorer offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The Durango doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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



Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

17.2 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 Durango doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Explorer Limited’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Durango doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

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’s exterior keypad. The Durango doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

Optional SYNC for the Explorer (not available Base) allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Durango doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Explorer Limited’s optional 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 Durango doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Explorer owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Explorer will cost $255 less than the Durango over a five-year period.

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 38.06% to 41.21% of its original price after five years, while the Durango only retains 29.1% to 31.47%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Explorer will be $2132 to $7866 less than for the Dodge Durango.

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