2018 Ford Explorer vs. Its Competition

2018 Ford Explorer image
Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director

The Ford Explorer's main competition is probably the GM trio of the Buick Enclave/GMC Acadia/Chevy Traverse, which are being replaced across their brand lineups.

The Acadia came first, and it pairs a downsized body with leaner engines, less pleasant cabins, and somewhat stiff handling.

The Enclave appears late in the 2018 model year, while the Traverse goes on sale in a few months.

The Explorer posts up directly against the Dodge Durango, another affordable three-row crossover SUV that still offers V-8 power and some Mercedes roots hidden well by its Toyota-esque shape.

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is more off-road ready than the Explorer, and it has gorgeous and pricey models that now top off with Hellcat V-8 power.

The Honda Pilot is our pick for moderately expensive three-row utility: it’s safe, has flexible seats in its vast interior, and draws power from a big V-6, though its infotainment system is meh and its handling sometimes feels wobbly.

2018 Ford Explorer image2018 Ford Explorer
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2018 Buick Enclave image2018 Buick Enclave
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2018 Dodge Durango image2018 Dodge Durango
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2018 GMC Acadia image2018 GMC Acadia
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2018 Honda Pilot image2018 Honda Pilot
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2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee image2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Quick Specs
The 2018 Ford Explorer has pulled off a graceful transition from clumsy off-roader to genteel family wagon.
The 2018 Buick Enclave hones its appeal with beautiful style, much-improved handling, and no-nonsense technology.
The 2018 Dodge Durango prioritizes fun over practicality, but we’re fine with that.
The 2018 GMC Acadia is a solid, if not stand-out choice among mid-size crossovers with seating for up to seven.
The 2018 Honda Pilot ranks among the very best three-row crossover SUVs; it’s all about the packaging.
Only poor crash test scores keep the Grand Cherokee down, as this talented family hauler offers luxury and utility and buyers can choose off-road capability, track talent, or even more luxury.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
16 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy11 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy
Regular Unleaded V-6Gas V6Regular Unleaded V-6Gas I4Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6
EPA Class     
Standard SUV 2WD2WD Sport Utility VehicleN/A2WD Sport Utility VehicleSmall SUV 2WDStandard SUV 2WD
Style Name     
Base FWDFWD 4-DoorSXT RWDFWD 4-Door SLLX 2WDAltitude 4x2 *Ltd Avail*
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport Utility VehicleSport Utility4 DoorSport UtilitySport Utility
Automatic w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2018 Ford Explorer vs. 2018 Buick Enclave2018 Ford Explorer vs. 2018 Dodge Durango2018 Ford Explorer vs. 2018 GMC Acadia2018 Ford Explorer vs. 2018 Honda Pilot2018 Ford Explorer vs. 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee