Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 Ford Explorer VS 2011 GMC Terrain Near Phoenix, AZ

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2011 Ford Explorer

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VS

2011 GMC Terrain

Safety Comparison

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The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited 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 Terrain doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The Explorer Limited offers an optional collision warning system, which detects an impending crash through forward mounted sensors and flashes a bright light and sounds a loud, distinctive tone to warn the driver to brake or maneuver immediately to avoid a collision. The system also pre-charges the brakes to begin deceleration more quickly. The Terrain doesn't offer a collision warning system.

The Explorer XLT/Limited’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Terrain doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Explorer XLT/Limited’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Terrain doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the Explorer and the Terrain have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

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The Explorer’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Terrain’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 74 percent more Ford dealers than there are GMC dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Explorer has a standard 175 amp alternator (200 amp - Explorer XLT/Limited). The Terrain’s standard 120 amp alternator and largest (V6) 150 amp alternator aren’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than GMC vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, GMC is ranked 17th.

Engine Comparison

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The Explorer’s optional 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 55 more horsepower (237 vs. 182) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (250 vs. 172) than the Terrain’s standard 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl. The Explorer’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (250 vs. 222) than the Terrain’s optional 3.0 DOHC V6. The Explorer’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 26 more horsepower (290 vs. 264) and 33 lbs.-ft. more torque (255 vs. 222) than the Terrain’s optional 3.0 DOHC V6.

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Explorer’s engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at lower RPM’s than the Terrain:

Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

5500 RPM

1750 RPM

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

6500 RPM

4000 RPM

Terrain 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

6700 RPM

4900 RPM

Terrain 3.0 DOHC V6

6950 RPM

5100 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Explorer 4WD V6 gets better fuel mileage than the Terrain 4x4 V6 (17 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/24 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 Terrain doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the Explorer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Terrain:

Explorer

Terrain

Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

11.9 inches

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the Terrain (245/65R17 vs. 225/65R17). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Terrain (255/50R20 vs. 235/55R18).

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Terrain’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 20 inch wheels. The Terrain’s largest wheels are only 19 inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Explorer has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Terrain’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 4.1 inches wider in the front and 4.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Terrain.

The Explorer’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54.1% to 45.9%) than the Terrain’s (58% to 42%). This gives the Explorer more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Explorer’s turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Terrain’s (39.5 feet vs. 40 feet). The Explorer’s turning circle is 3.1 feet tighter than the Terrain’s (39.5 feet vs. 42.6 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Terrain (7.6 vs. 6.9 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

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As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Explorer Limited 4WD is quieter than the Terrain SLE:

Explorer

Terrain

At idle

35 dB

38 dB

Full-Throttle

75 dB

76 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Explorer offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Terrain can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 52.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Terrain (151.7 vs. 99.6).

The Explorer has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 2.2 inches more front hip room, 5.6 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 5.4 inches more rear hip room and 5.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Terrain.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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

Explorer

Terrain

Third Seat Folded

43.8 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

31.6 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

80.7 cubic feet

63.9 cubic feet

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Explorer. The Terrain doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Explorer XLT/Limited’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control. The Terrain ’s driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

Intelligent Access standard on the Explorer Limited allows the driver to unlock the doors, 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 car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The GMC Terrain doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Terrain’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Explorer Limited’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The Explorer Limited’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The Terrain doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The Explorer’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Terrain doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Explorer and the Terrain offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Explorer has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Terrain doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Explorer’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Terrain doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Explorer Limited offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Terrain doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Explorer Limited has a 115 volt a/c outlet, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters which can break or get misplaced. The Terrain doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 Terrain doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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