Jones Ford Verde Valley Compares 2001 Ford Explorer Sport VS 2001 BMW X5 Near Camp Verde, AZ

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2001 Ford Explorer Sport

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2001 BMW X5

Safety Comparison

Both the Explorer and the X5 have standard driver and passenger side airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four wheel antilock brakes, available front seat side-impact airbags, head airbags and all wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 12 times as many Ford dealers as there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Ford Explorer’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the X5’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer’s engines produce their peak torque and horsepower at much lower RPM’s to make crawling over steep obstacles, moving loads and towing easier and less stressful to the engine, transmission and drivetrain:



Explorer 4dr 4.0 SOHC V6

5250 RPM

3250 RPM

Explorer 4dr 5.0 V8

4200 RPM

3300 RPM

X5 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl.

5900 RPM

3500 RPM

X5 4.4 DOHC V8

5400 RPM

3600 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Ford Explorer gets better fuel mileage than the X5:





16 city/19 hwy

15 city/20 hwy


14 city/19 hwy

13 city/17 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Explorer uses 87 octane gasoline. The X5 requires premium, which can cost 25 to 50 cents more per gallon.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better maneuverability the Explorer 4dr’s turning circle is 2.4 feet tighter than the X5’s (37.3 vs. 39.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Explorer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 750 pounds less than the BMW X5.

The Explorer is 3.5 inches narrower than the X5, making the Explorer easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

As tested by Open Road, the interior of the Explorer XLT 4dr 4x4 is quieter than the X5 4.4i:



At idle

44 dB

48 dB

70 MPH Cruising

71 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer 4dr has standard seating for 6 passengers; the X5 can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 6.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the X5 (104 vs. 97.6).

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer 4dr has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the X5 with its rear seat up (41.4 vs. 16.1 cubic feet). The Explorer 4dr has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the X5 with its rear seat folded (79.8 vs. 54.4 cubic feet).

The Explorer’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The X5’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The X5 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

To lock it, the door handles on the X5 must be held while closing the door. On the Explorer you just lock the door and close it, which makes it easier to lock up, especially when your hands are full.

The Explorer has optional an automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The X5 doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

To improve comfort and visibility, the Explorer has standard secondary sun visors that block glare from two directions simultaneously. The X5 doesn’t offer any similar feature.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Explorer owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Explorer will cost $4104 to $5151 less than the X5 over a five year period.

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