Jones Ford Verde Valley Compares 2007 Ford Explorer VS 2007 Honda Pilot Near Verde Valley, AZ

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2007 Ford Explorer

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2007 Honda Pilot

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Ford Explorer are height adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Honda Pilot doesn’t offer height adjustable middle seat belts.

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

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Honda doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Pilot.

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Honda 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 Pilot’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The camshafts in the Explorer’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Pilot’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt, which eventually needs to be replaced. If the Pilot’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The Explorer V8 has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Pilot doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer’s standard 4.0 SOHC V6 produces 14 lbs.-ft. more torque (254 vs. 240) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6. The Explorer’s optional 4.6 SOHC V8 produces 48 more horsepower (292 vs. 244) and 60 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 240) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Explorer V8 is faster than the Honda Pilot:



Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

9.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

17.3 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Explorer has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pilot (22.5 vs. 20.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



Front Rotors

12 inches

11.8 inches

The Explorer’s brakes have 117% more swept area (the area covered by the brake pads) than the Pilot (427 vs. 197 square inches), so the Explorer has more braking power available.

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Pilot:



70 to 0 MPH

194 feet

205 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pilot (245/65R17 vs. 235/70R16).

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 65 series profile (height to width ratio), which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pilot’s 70 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Pilot’s largest wheels are only 16 inches.

The Explorer has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Pilot, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 7.4 inches longer than on the Pilot (113.7 vs. 106.3 inches).

The Explorer Eddie Bauer 4x4 goes through Motor Trend’s slalom faster than the Pilot EX 4x4 (57.4 vs. 57.22 MPH).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 1 inch more front legroom and 4.7 inches more third row legroom than the Pilot.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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



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



Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Pilot doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Explorer disables the starter while the engine is running. The Pilot’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Explorer offers a power adjustable foot pedal set. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining pedal contact. The Pilot doesn’t offer adjustable foot pedals.

When two different drivers share the Explorer (except XLT), the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and foot pedal distance. The Pilot doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Explorer (except XLT)’s optional 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 Pilot doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Explorer and the Pilot have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Explorer is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Pilot prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Pilot’s power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Explorer’s standard power locks automatically lock the doors when the transmission is engaged. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

The Explorer’s 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 Pilot’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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

The Explorer has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Pilot LX doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

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 Pilot doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Explorer’s standard steering wheel mounted cruise control on/off switch is conveniently located with the rest of the cruise controls. The Pilot’s cruise control must be turned on with a hard to find switch on the dashboard.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Explorer is less expensive to operate than the Pilot because typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the Pilot, including $148 less for a water pump, $78 less for an alternator, $247 less for a starter, $24 less for fuel injection and $5 less for a power steering pump.

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