Greene Ford Compares 2014 Ford Explorer VS 2014 Chevrolet Equinox Near Cumming, GA

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2014 Ford Explorer

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2014 Chevrolet Equinox

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport 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.

To help make backing safer, the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Equinox doesn’t offer a cross-path 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 Equinox doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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 Chevrolet Equinox:




5 Stars

4 Stars



5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.4 inches

Neck Injury Risk



Neck Stress

159 lbs.

195 lbs.

Neck Compression

31 lbs.

209 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 and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Chevrolet Equinox:



Front Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Chest Movement

.8 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

135 G’s

180 G’s

Hip Force

295 lbs.

547 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

48 G’s

Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

53 G’s

63 G’s

Hip Force

676 lbs.

684 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Equinox’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Explorer has a standard 175-amp alternator (200-amp - Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport). The Equinox’s standard 120-amp alternator and largest (V6) 155-amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Explorer has a 540-amp battery. The Equinox only offers a standard 525-amp battery.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the Equinox:



Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

290 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Equinox 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

182 HP

172 lbs.-ft.

Equinox 3.6 DOHC V6

301 HP

272 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer 4WD with its standard V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Equinox AWD V6 (17 city/23 hwy vs. 16 city/23 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 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:



Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

11.9 inches

The Explorer stops shorter than the Equinox:



60 to 0 MPH

135 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

154 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the Equinox (245/65R17 vs. 225/65R17). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Equinox (255/50R20 vs. 235/55R18).

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Equinox’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Equinox’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 4.1 inches wider in the front and 4.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Equinox.

For better maneuverability, the Explorer 4WD’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Equinox’s (38.9 feet vs. 40 feet). The Explorer Sport’s turning circle is 2.8 feet tighter than the Equinox w/19" wheels’ (39.8 feet vs. 42.6 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Equinox (7.6 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Explorer has 52 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Equinox (151.7 vs. 99.7).

The Explorer has .5 inches more front headroom, 2.7 inches more front hip room, 5.5 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 5.6 inches more rear hip room and 5.7 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

43.8 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


31.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

80.7 cubic feet

63.7 cubic feet

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



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



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 standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Equinox’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches.

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 Equinox doesn’t offer an exterior keypad 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.

Intelligent Access standard on the Explorer Limited/Sport allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Equinox doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

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 Limited’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Explorer Limited detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Equinox doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Explorer and the Equinox offer available heated front seats. The Explorer Limited also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Equinox.

The Explorer Limited/Sport’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Equinox doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The Explorer (except Base)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Equinox doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Explorer and the Equinox offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Explorer has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Equinox doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Explorer’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Equinox doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Explorer Limited/Sport 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) offers an optional 115 volt a/c outlet in the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters which can break or get misplaced. The Equinox doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 Equinox doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the Equinox because it costs $287 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the Equinox, including $143 less for front brake pads, $275 less for fuel injection and $359 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Strategic Vision rates overall owner satisfaction with vehicle quality. With a Total Quality Index of 858, Strategic Vision rated the Ford Explorer 8 points higher than the Chevrolet Equinox for 2012.

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Explorer as the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. The Equinox has never been chosen.

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