Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2014 Ford Explorer VS 2014 Dodge Durango Near Peoria, AZ

Responsive image

2014 Ford Explorer

Responsive image

2014 Dodge Durango

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Durango doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Explorer Limited’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Durango doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Explorer’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Durango doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the Durango have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Dodge Durango:




5 Stars

4 Stars



4 Stars

4 Stars



5 Stars

5 Stars




Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Compression

31 lbs.

123 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Dodge Durango:



Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

.8 inches

1 inches

Abdominal Force

135 G’s

185 G’s

Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

35 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Instrumented handling tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and analysis of its dimensions indicate that the Explorer, with its four-star roll-over rating, is 3.8% to 5.9% less likely to roll over than the Durango, which received a three-star rating.

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Durango runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 33 percent more Ford dealers than there are Dodge dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the Explorer have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the 5.7 V8 in the Durango.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Explorer has larger alternators than the Durango:



Standard Alternator

175 amps

160 amps

Optional Alternator

200 amps

180 amps

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2013 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 13th in reliability. With 63 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 31st.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer Sport’s 3.5 turbo V6 produces 5 more horsepower (365 vs. 360) than the Durango’s optional 5.7 V8.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer 2.0 ECOBoost gets better fuel mileage than the Durango with its standard engine RWD (20 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/25 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer Sport 4WD gets better fuel mileage than the Durango 4x4 V8 (16 city/22 hwy vs. 14 city/22 hwy).

The Explorer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Durango doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Explorer’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Durango are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Durango:



70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

142 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

160 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Explorer flat and controlled during cornering. The Durango’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 3.1 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Durango.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .77 G’s, while the Durango Limited pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Durango Limited 4x4 (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.8 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Explorer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 500 pounds less than the Dodge Durango.

The Explorer is 4.1 inches shorter than the Durango, making the Explorer easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 10.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Durango (151.7 vs. 140.9).

The Explorer has 1.5 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front legroom, .3 inches more front hip room, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom, .7 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.7 inches more third row legroom and .4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Durango.

The Explorer offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The Durango doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the Durango.



Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

17.2 cubic feet

The Explorer has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Durango doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Explorer Limited’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Durango doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s exterior keypad. The Durango doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

Intelligent Access standard on the Explorer Limited/Sport allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Dodge Durango doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

Optional SYNC AppLink for the Explorer allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including playing internet radio stations and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Durango doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Explorer Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Durango doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Explorer owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Explorer will cost $490 less than the Durango over a five-year period.

The Explorer will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Explorer will retain 48.1% to 51.24% of its original price after five years, while the Durango only retains 43.08% to 47.04%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the Durango because it costs $364 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the Durango, including $61 less for front brake pads, $15 less for a starter, $81 less for fuel injection and $223 less for a fuel pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Explorer will be $2046 to $4553 less than for the Dodge Durango.

Recommendations Comparison

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Explorer as the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. The Durango has never been chosen.

The Ford Explorer outsold the Dodge Durango by over three to one during 2013.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.