2022 Ford Explorer vs Dodge Durango
Midsize three-row SUVs are incredibly popular with growing families. Versatility is a major part of the appeal here. Not only can a three-row SUV bring along seven or eight people, but it can also haul quite a bit of gear when needed and sometimes handle light off-roading. The 2022 Ford Explorer and the 2022 Dodge Durango are enticing options in this segment of the market.
The Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango are both long-standing mainstays in the SUV segment, with the former having recently entered its sixth generation while still offering a brand new ST-Line trim. Meanwhile, to updated their third gen model first introduced back in 2011; this year sees an upgrade that now includes standard third row seating for those needing extra space. For comparison's sake these two vehicles can be compared side by side using our guide - helping potential buyers make informed decisions on which of these SUVs is right for them.
With the new 2022 Explorer, drivers will have a range of engines to choose from. To start off with some power-packed features, all models come standard with a turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder engine that delivers 300 horsepower and 310 lb·ft torque for an impressive ride experience - paired seamlessly with its 10-speed automatic transmission you can explore more terrain than ever before! All trims also offer available AWD capabilities as well so nothing is standing in your way while out on adventures.
For those looking for something truly extraordinary though check out the ST trim level featuring Turbocharged 3.0L V6 powerhouse delivering 400hp & 415lb ft along with sport tuned suspension offering unparalleled performance perfect for even most daring explorers.
For drivers who crave power, the 2022 Dodge Durango offers a range of engine options. The standard 3.6L V-6 produces 295 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft torque, while the R/T trim level is upgraded to 5.7L V8 with 360 Horsepower and 390 lb.-ft of torque for an impressive performance in any driving condition available with rear or all-wheel drive provided by 8 speed automatic transmission. The highest offering from this lineup comes as 6.4 L V8 that pushes 475 horsepower & 470lb ft - giving you maximum control on roads.
The Explorer gets above-average fuel economy for the class, with the base model getting 21mpg in the city and 28mpg on the highway. The V6 is also respectable, giving the Explorer 18mpg city and 26mpg highway. With all-wheel drive, this drops down to 18mpg city and 24mpg highway.
Unfortunately, the Durango is not as efficient with its base engine. It gets 19mpg in the city and 26mpg on the highway. Opting for all-wheel drive will mean these numbers drop to 18mpg city and 25mpg highway. The 5.7L V8 is estimated to get 14mpg city and 22mpg highway. Even less impressive is the 6.2L V8, which gets 13mpg city and 19mpg highway.
The Ford Explorer can tow up to 5,600 pounds when properly equipped. This is around average, but nowhere near what the new Durango can handle. Models with the V6 engine can handle up to 6,200 pounds, while those with the 5.7L V8 can bring along up to 7,400 pounds. Adding the towing package to the 5.7L V8 or choosing the 6.4L V8 will mean having a towing capacity of 8,700 pounds. This is a best-in-class number.
With a three-year/36,000 mile limited warranty and an extended five-year or 60,000 mile powertrain warranty, both of these dependable midsize SUVs offer peace of mind. But if you're looking for reassurance that they will remain reliable over time - J.D Power can help inform your decision with their independent score evaluations; where each vehicle scored 81 out of 100 on the "Good" scale.
The 2022 Ford Explorer provides a comfortable, smooth drive. While it may struggle on rougher roads, automakers have engineered the ST model with an upgraded suspension to give buyers that extra bit of road grip and engagement they're after. On the other hand, those opting for the Durango would be best served staying off city streets; its wide turning radius can make parking and cornering somewhat difficult while jittery rides are common when driving at lower speeds than highway speed limits allow.
Neither the Explorer nor the Durango is a class leader when it comes to cargo space. There are 18.2 cubic feet behind the third row of the Explorer, while the Durango offers just 17.2 cubic feet. Behind the second row, the Explorer has 47.9 cubic feet, and the Durango has 43.3 cubic feet. The maximum cargo capacity for the Explorer is 87.8 cubic feet, while the Durango tops out at 85.1 cubic feet.
There are seats for up to seven people in both the Durango and the Explorer. Either of these SUVs can swap out their second-row bench seat for two captain's chairs instead, effectively reducing the seating capacity to six. There is plenty of headroom in all three rows of the Explorer, but the back two rows are a bit cramped when it comes to legroom. The third row is particularly uncomfortable for adults, due to how low it sits.
The Durango has more space to spread out in. There is plenty of headroom and legroom, particularly in the first two rows. Although the third row may be tight for adults long-term, it provides more space than most of its competitors.
Infotainment systems are similar for these two SUVs. The standard touchscreen for the Explorer is 8-inches, while the Durango shows off an 8.4-inch touchscreen instead. They both have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all trim levels. The Explorer comes standard with satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and two USB ports. The Durango does not have those first two features, but it does give buyers four USB ports standard.
Both of these SUVs have a 10.1-inch touchscreen on their available equipment list. The Explorer offers a 12-speaker or 14-speaker sound system from Bang & Olufsen. As for the Durango, it can be upgraded to a 19-speaker Harman Kardon premium setup. Rear-seat entertainment systems are available for both of these family-oriented vehicles as well.
The Explorer and Durango offer luxurious features to elevate the driving experience. Both feature cloth upholstery as standard, with top trim models upgrading to leather for increased comfort. Tri-zone automatic climate control comes on all trims of both vehicles, while power-adjustable driver's seats are a bonus in the Explorer. It may have aged interior components but you'll still enjoy plenty of soft touch surfaces inside the ever elegant Durango cabin.
After rigorous testing, the 2022 Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango have achieved a glowing "Good" rating from the esteemed Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Explorers stands out with advanced safety features like blind spot monitoring as standard equipment - in stark contrast to its competitor's lower-tier offerings – making it an excellent choice for those focused on safety first.
The 2022 Explorer boasts advanced safety features such as rear parking sensors and a MyKey system - allowing parents to maintain control of their teen's driving habits. With the GT Plus trim level, drivers can enjoy modern luxury with added optional driver-assist technologies like adaptive cruise control for an even safer ride. Select models also feature front parking sensors along with automatic high beams for brighter nighttime visibility without ever having to lift a finger.
The all-new Explorer comes with an array of driver assist technologies at the ST-Line trim level, such as a surround view camera system for extra visibility and evasive steering assist to help avoid collisions. Enjoy greater safety features like rear automatic braking on King Ranch or Platinum trims - which also include automated parking assistance.
Which Has the Best Value?
The 2022 Durango offers a powerful engine, but comes with an appropriately high price tag. While the entry-level Explorer is priced at $33,245 and its top trim level begins around $53,610 - both considered competitive in their class -the equivalent trims of the Durango come in more expensively starting at $35,475 for base models and upwards to almost double that cost for peak performance.
When it comes to calculating the total cost of ownership for a vehicle, drivers should consider more than just purchasing price. A comparison between two entry-level models – the Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango – over five years reveals some important insights: when driven 15,000 miles per year (the national average), fuel costs will be $13,570 for an Explorer vs. $15,500 with a Durango; repairs are close at around 840 dollars versus 750 dollars respectively; finally maintenance expenses add up to 4k or 3.6k depending on vehicle selection - making an informed purchase decision is key.
A large part of the true cost-to-own estimate is depreciation. The 2022 Dodge Durango is estimated to lose $13,000 in value over the course of five years. Meanwhile, the 2022 Ford Explorer will lose $12,700. As a result, resale or trade-in value is not a good deciding factor between these two SUVs.
Which is Better?
Jumping into the 2022 model year, Ford and Dodge have made tremendous strides in efficiency, power, practicality and comfort. The Explorer boasts a more efficient engine plus additional driver aids to enrich your ride experience - not forgetting its increased cargo space for those long family trips. Meanwhile the Durango takes it up another notch with an even comfier cabin interior while bestowing excellent towing capacity that outstrips all rivals; it's obvious why families are turning their attention towards this auto giant.
When shopping for a family-friendly SUV, the 2022 Ford Explorer and Dodge Durango are both excellent choices. Both models boast impressive strengths while also offering some important tradeoffs that buyers should consider before making their purchase decision. For example, families who may need towing prowess or more comfortable rear seating will lean towards the latter option; conversely those seeking just general features of convenience from an all-around reliable vehicle may prefer the former's offerings.
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