Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Ford Explorer VS 2015 Volvo XC70 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Ford Explorer

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2015 Volvo XC70

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 XC70 doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

To help make backing safer, the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’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 XC70 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Explorer offers optional SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The XC70 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Explorer and the XC70 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The Ford Explorer weighs 420 to 1088 pounds more than the Volvo XC70. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty Comparison

Ford’s powertrain warranty covers the Explorer 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Volvo covers the XC70. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the XC70 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Explorer’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the XC70’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 11 times as many Ford dealers as there are Volvo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 17th in reliability. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 21st.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the XC70:



Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

290 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

XC70 3.2 DOHC 6 cyl.

240 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

XC70 T5 Drive-E 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XC70 T6 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

300 HP

325 lbs.-ft.

XC70 T6 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

325 HP

354 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Explorer V6 is faster than the XC70 3.2 DOHC 6 cyl.:



Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

8.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.7 MPH

87.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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 XC70 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Explorer’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XC70:



Front Rotors

12.8 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

11.9 inches

The Explorer’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the XC70 are solid, not vented.

The Explorer stops shorter than the XC70:



60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the XC70 (245/60R18 vs. 235/50R18). The Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XC70 (255/50R20 vs. 235/50R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the XC70. The Explorer’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels optional on the XC70.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The XC70’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Explorer has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The XC70 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the XC70 (112.6 inches vs. 110.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 3.5 inches wider in the front and 4.8 inches wider in the rear than on the XC70.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .81 G’s, while the XC70 AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.1 seconds quicker than the XC70 AWD (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the XC70 can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 53.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the XC70 (151.7 vs. 98).

The Explorer has 2.6 inches more front headroom, 1.2 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front hip room, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.9 inches more rear headroom, 5.2 inches more rear legroom, 1.6 inches more rear hip room and 4.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the XC70.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Explorer’s middle row seats recline. The XC70’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the XC70.



Third Seat Folded

43.8 cubic feet


Third Seat Removed


33.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

80.7 cubic feet

72.1 cubic feet

The Explorer’s cargo area is larger than the XC70’s in almost every dimension:



Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)






Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Explorer Limited/Sport’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The XC70 doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer Limited’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The XC70 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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 XC70 doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Explorer has standard extendable sun visors. The XC70 doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Explorer Limited/Sport’s optional air conditioned front seats cool the driver and front passenger and help take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The XC70 doesn’t offer air conditioned front seats.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT) offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The XC70 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 XC70 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Explorer as the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. The XC70 has never been chosen.

The Ford Explorer outsold the Volvo XC70 by almost thirty-two to one during the 2014 model year.

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