Greene Ford Compares 2017 Ford Explorer VS 2017 Lexus RX Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2017 Ford Explorer

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VS

2017 Lexus RX

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 RX Series doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the Explorer and the RX Series 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, 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

There are almost 20 times as many Ford dealers as there are Lexus 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 RX Series doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the RX Series:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

280 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

RX 350 3.5 DOHC V6

295 HP

268 lbs.-ft.

RX 450h 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid

308 HP

n/a

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Explorer uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended on Explorer Sport/Platinum for maximum performance). The RX 450h requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Explorer has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 RX Series 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 RX Series:

 

Explorer

RX Series

Front Rotors

13.85 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

13.3 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the RX Series (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (255/50R20 vs. 235/65R18).

The Explorer Base/XLT’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The Explorer’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the RX Series (112.8 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than on the RX Series.

The Explorer’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (55.1% to 44.9%) than the RX Series’ (57% to 43%). This gives the Explorer more stable handling and braking.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .80 G’s, while the RX 350 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 RX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Explorer has 2 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front hip room, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom, .7 inches more rear hip room and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

 

Explorer

RX Series

Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

18.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

81.7 cubic feet

56.3 cubic feet

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/Platinum’s exterior keypad. The RX Series doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry 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 RX Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT/Sport)’s optional Enhanced 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 RX Series 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 RX Series because typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the RX Series, including $165 less for a water pump, $304 less for an alternator, $354 less for a starter, $71 less for fuel injection and $808 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Explorer outsold the Lexus RX Series by over two to one during the 2016 model year.

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