Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2017 Ford Explorer VS 2017 Lincoln MKT Near Phoenix, AZ

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2017 Ford Explorer

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2017 Lincoln MKT

Safety Comparison

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Explorer 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The MKT doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Ford Explorer has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The MKT doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

Both the Explorer and the MKT have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, collision warning systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Lincoln dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Explorer Sport/Platinum 3.5 turbo V6 is faster than the Lincoln MKT twin turbo V6:




Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

6.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer gets better fuel mileage than the MKT:







2.3 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

19 city/27 hwy




3.5 V6/Auto

17 city/24 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

3.7 V6/Auto


3.5 turbo V6/Auto

16 city/22 hwy

15 city/21 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the MKT (245/60R18 vs. 235/55R19).

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the MKT.

The Explorer Sport 4WD handles at .83 G’s, while the MKT AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the MKT (27.7 seconds @ .63 average G’s vs. 28.7 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Explorer Base/XLT/Limited’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the MKT AWD’s (38.9 feet vs. 41.5 feet). The Explorer Sport’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the MKT’s (40 feet vs. 42.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Explorer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 250 pounds less than the Lincoln MKT.

The Explorer is 9.3 inches shorter than the MKT, making the Explorer easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The front grille of the Explorer uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The MKT doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the MKT (151.5 vs. 142.3).

The Explorer has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear hip room, 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 4.3 inches more third row headroom, .3 inches more third row legroom, .1 inches more third row hip room and 1.7 inches more third row shoulder room than the MKT.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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




Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

17.9 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.9 cubic feet

39.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

81.7 cubic feet

75.9 cubic feet

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Explorer’s cargo door can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The MKT doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its cargo door, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

Standard 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 MKT doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Explorer outsold the Lincoln MKT by over 58 to one during the 2016 model year.

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