2013 Ford Explorer vs. Its Competition

2013 Ford Explorer Sport
Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director

If you're cross-shopping crossovers, the bulk of them don't even pretend to cater to the more adventurous drivers.

Of those, we like the GM crossover triplets best, 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.

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.

When the need for something more rugged arises, 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.

Either one's an excellent pick, but the Jeep's only a five-seater, while the Durango comes with a third-row bench.

2013 Ford Explorer Sport2013 Ford ExplorerBrowse Used Listings2013 Dodge Durango2013 Dodge DurangoBrowse Used Listings2013 GMC Acadia SLT2013 GMC AcadiaBrowse Used Listings2013 Honda Pilot 2WD 4-door EX-L Front Exterior View2013 Honda PilotBrowse Used Listings2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT82013 Jeep Grand CherokeeBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.8
The Ford Explorer trades some trail-riding and towing for on-road driving lessons, and comes out fluent.
8.4
A composed family hauler most of the time, the 2013 Dodge Durango isn't afraid of getting its hands dirty when it needs to.
8.2
The 2013 GMC Acadia's chiseled, rugged look masks a family-friendly cabin and smooth street performance.
7.6
The 2013 Honda Pilot looks tough and truck-like from the outside, yet inside it's one of the better family haulers.
8.4
The 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee blurs the SUV-crossover line expertly; better transmissions are at the top of the wish list.
MSRP From    
$29,100$29,795$34,050$29,520$27,695
Gas Mileage    
16 MPG City / 24 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 SLE w/SLE-12WD 4-Door LXRWD 4-Door Laredo
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 DoorSport UtilitySport Utility
Transmission    
Automatic w/manual shiftAutomaticAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic