Dodge Durango VS Ford Explorer
When you hunt for a midsize SUV with thrilling performance, a larger choice like the Dodge Durango or Ford Explorer might be the perfect fit. There are several notable differences between the two, so which should you choose? Let’s look at the essential features of both vehicles to see which one is better.
Durango vs. Explorer: Exterior and Trim Levels
The Dodge Durango is available in seven trim levels: SXT, GT, GT plus, RT, Citadel, RTPlus, and SRT 392. This five- or six-seat muscle SUV is designed to stand out with dramatic proportions, eye-catching lights, and high ground clearance. LED low/high-beam headlamps help illuminate whatever lies ahead. Signature-LED racetrack tail lamps are another flagship Dodge design element designed to keep you visible at night. The Dodge Durango has a confident, premium impression on the road, and drivers can enhance it with many available wheel designs, including magnificent 20-inch polished aluminum rims.
The latest Ford Explorer is divided into eight trim levels: Base, XLT, ST-Line, Timberline, Limited, ST, King Ranch, and Platinum. The standard Explorer Base trim gets external features like 18-inch aluminum wheels, automatic LED low-beam headlamps, a power liftgate, and a black exterior door handle. The highest trim level certainly gets fancy, adding satin aluminum finish body features. Whether the price is worth it for the Platinum depends on the driver, although Durango’s upper models certainly don’t hold back on luxuries either.
When comparing bodies between the Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer, the key differences are that Ford prioritizes plain, accessible vehicles and broader, shorter SUVs. The Durango, meanwhile, is narrower and a touch longer, making it more adaptable in tight parking lots. Comparing them by feature availability, many drivers decide the Durango has a more affordable trim with their desired features.
Durango vs. Explorer: Interior and Space
Each Durango SUV has an interior design motif that will appeal to different personalities. The performance-inspired cockpit puts the driver in complete control. You’ll be able to easily reach all driving and cabin setting rules, including the optional 10.1-inch touch-screen infotainment system.
Apart from diverse entertainment and connectivity features, the Durango also benefits from dozens of potential seating arrangements. Please make no mistake; Dodge likes their SUVs to be comfortable and adaptable. The 60/40 split-folding third-row bench seats quickly lower flat when needed. With every available seat folded down, the Durango has a maximum cargo space of 85.1 cubic feet. The 2022 Durango is also unique in that it has either six or seven seats, whereas prior models were limited to five or six.
The latest Explorer also carries the same maximum cargo volume: 85.1 cubic feet. It features seven seats across the board and has impressive headroom and legroom. It has many of the same features as the Durango, but if you don’t need a total seven seats, the Durango model might end up saving you money.
Durango vs. Explorer: Infotainment Features
The Ford Explorer’s infotainment system has an available 10.1-inch touch screen and a second-row center console. Without upgrading, drivers get an 8-inch touch screen with a Wi-Fi hot spot, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay standard.
The Dodge Durango base SXT and mid-level GT models have an 8.4-inch display. A 10.1-inch screen is optional on the GT and standard on the Citadel R/T. These screens run the most recent version of the Uconnect infotainment software, which provides impressive technology, apps, and smartphone integration.
Both of the Durango’s screens come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and include wireless device charging as well. An optional rear-seat entertainment system adds dual screens and provides HDMI and RCA ports to connect even more devices.
Durango vs. Explorer: Engine
The Durango is equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission and three engine options. The base engine is a 3.6-liter V-6 with 295 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. The other two available engines are a 5.7-liter V-8 with 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque, and a 6.4-liter V-8 with 475 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque.
The 2022 Ford Explorer has a 2.3-liter Ecoboost engine that produces up to 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque as standard equipment. If you’re willing to spend more on higher trims, like the King Ranch, Platinum, and ST, you can get a heavy-duty twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 Ecoboost engine that produces 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque standard. Whether you prefer to ride on the higher or lower ends of the horsepower scale, the Durango offers a broader diversity of power ratings.
Durango vs. Explorer: Performance
One of the biggest differences between the two SUVs is the Explorer’s focus on fuel economy, while the Durango offers superior engines that balance efficiency with road manners. The Durango offers a choice of drivetrains in all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive, whereas the Explorer’s drivetrains are four-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive. The Durango uses a top-level eight-speed automatic transmission in sync with either system, but all-wheel drive is a great choice for enhancing traction on slick roads and corners. The Durango also has a larger fuel tank at 24.6 gallons versus the Ford Explorer’s 20.2 gallons.
If you need to tow, the Durango has you covered. The Durango SRT 392 with its 6.4-liter Hemi V-8 engine, and R/T + Tow N’ Go package with the 5.7-liter V-8 engine in all-wheel drive, can both tow up to 8,700 pounds. The R/T and Citadel with 5.7-liter V-8 (RWD) can tow up to 7,400 pounds, while the AWD tows up to 7,200 pounds. SXT, SXT Plus, GT, and Citadel models with the 3.6-liter V-6 (AWD and RWD) can tow up to 6,200 pounds. The Explorer can tow up to 5,600 pounds when properly equipped, and base models are limited to 5,000 pounds.
When talking about full-size SUVs, the Dodge Durango and Ford Explorer are excellent competitors. There are some advantages to both, but if you want more towing capacity, more available horsepower, and a better driving experience, the Dodge Durango is the best option. Feel free to browse current Durango models at Meadowland of Carmel. We are eager to assist you in customizing, buying, and servicing your next new vehicle.