Trucks & SUVs

The 2020 Ford Explorer Can’t Even Beat the 2020 Dodge Durango

You know when you hear the words, “can’t even” the next words will be said with a sneer, or at best, will drip with disappointment. That is the case when comparing the 2020 Ford Explorer and the 2020 Dodge Durango. Ford has a very loyal repeat customer base. But do the expert opinions of the 2020 Explorer validate that devotion?

Check out the 2020 Ford Explorer

U.S. News and World Reports scored the current model Explorer. It received an overall score of 7.4. The breakdown looks like this:

Critics’ Rating: 7.5
Performance: 7.2
Interior: 6.8
Safety: 9.5
Reliability: 3/5 from J.D. Power

2020 is a redesign year, ushering in the new three-row seating. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard with the impressive infotainment system.

It’s no wonder it received a 9.5 on safety, as not only are all safety features standard, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration test results are all four and five stars, per Consumer Reports. Combined with a roomy cabin and plenty of cargo space, this SUV has some strong selling points.

Unfortunately, that’s not the end of the story. The 2020 Ford Explorer is pricey compared to its class peers. Even the base model comes in at approximately $5,000 more than its most expensive competitor, the Mazda CX-9. When you look at the mediocre interior and reliability ratings, that price point doesn’t look too attractive.

Get to know the 2020 Dodge Durango

The 2020 Durango received a better score than the Explorer with an overall total of 8.1. The details are:

Critics’ Rating: 8.5
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 8.3
Safety: 8.5
Reliability: 4/5 from J.D. Power

A cushy ride with seating for eight makes this SUV a dream for road trips, a real selling point for big families. There are only minor changes in 2020, although the Durango R/T does have a new suede trim package that elevates the interior. The reliability prediction is very good, also a bonus when you are planning to invest money in a new vehicle. While the base engine acceleration is good enough, the Hemi V8 will set your heart aflutter. 

The low points of the 2020 Dodge Durango include lackluster fuel economy, unimpressive handling, and less cargo space. On top of that, the safety ratings aren’t as good as the Explorer. 

So, which is the better choice?

To review, the Explorer has generous standard safety and tech features, lots of cabin and cargo space, and a choice of powerful engines. The Durango has comfortable seating, easy to use infotainment features, and an impressive optional V8 engine. The Ford base model MSRP is $32,765, with an expected mpg of 21 overall, with 14 in the city and 29 on the highway. The Dodge Durango base MSRP is $30,795, with an mpg of 18 overall, 12 in the city, and 25 on the highway.  

The Kelley Blue Book experts clearly favor the Ford Explorer, even though there are currently several recalls on the 2020 model. However, the consumers disagree, rating the Explorer at 4.3 out of a possible 5 compared to the Durango’s 4.7. Though the critics’ reviews are inconsistent, the consumers seem to speak loud and clear.

Despite the better safety ratings, better gas mileage, more standard safety features, and confident handling in turns, the Ford is a little disappointing. The Durango has a usable and roomy third row, good predicted reliability, and, most of all, a better base price. Even with solid reviews and strong customer loyalty, the Ford just can’t quite hold a candle to the Dodge. According to USN, the Dodge edges out the Ford in this comparison. 

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