2012 Ford Explorer vs. Its Competition

2012 Ford Explorer
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

The Explorer isn't the only crossover to roll over the SUV Rubicon.

Technically, the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee are crossovers, since they're intended mostly for on-road driving, though those fantastic vehicles have a bit more off-road prowess than today's Explorer does.

We can't figure out what happened to the Honda Pilot, which had been a top pick in the class, but now has less flexibility and a more plasticky interior, not to mention over-the-top SUV cues that look cartoonish for a Honda.

We like the GM crossover triplets, and the GMC Acadia may be our favorite of all: it's a little narrower than an Explorer, but the traditional ute looks are married to a fine V-6 drivetrain and on Denali models, a luxe interior.

2012 Ford Explorer2012 Ford ExplorerBrowse Used Listings2012 Dodge Durango2012 Dodge DurangoBrowse Used Listings2012 GMC Acadia Denali2012 GMC AcadiaBrowse Used Listings2012 Honda Pilot 2WD 4-door EX-L Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda PilotBrowse Used Listings2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT82012 Jeep Grand CherokeeBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.6
It's a rifle shot at the heart of the crossover market: the 2012 Ford Explorer gives any SUV loyalist a reason to leap off their very high horse.
8.4
Call it the anti-crossover: the Dodge Durango does SUV dirty work, but carries itself like a civilized family wagon.
8.2
The 2012 GMC Acadia: better for people than a big SUV, better looking than a minivan.
7.6
Don't let the macho-boxy look intimidate you; the Honda Pilot makes a lot of sense for large families—especially with improved mileage and a most tasteful front-end design for 2012.
8.6
The 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee only gets better this year with the addition of the SRT8's thundering HEMI V-8.
MSRP From    
$28,280$28,995$32,835$28,620$27,195
Gas Mileage    
17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 24 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas/Ethanol V6
EPA Class    
Sport Utility Vehicle - 2WD2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle2WD Sport Utility Vehicle
Style Name    
FWD 4-Door Base2WD 4-Door SXTFWD 4-Door SL2WD 4-Door LXRWD 4-Door Laredo Altitude
Drivetrain    
Front Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
77885
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/A4
Body Style    
Sport Utility VehicleSport Utility Vehicle4 Door4 Door Sport UtilitySport Utility Vehicle
Transmission    
Automatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomatic