2019 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Hyundai Palisade

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer 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 Palisade doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

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

Both the Explorer and the Palisade 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, daytime running lights, 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

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

Reliability

The Explorer 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 Palisade doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Explorer third among midsize SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Palisade isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The Explorer’s optional 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. produces 48 lbs.-ft. more torque (310 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6. The Explorer Sport/Platinum’s standard 3.5 turbo V6 produces 74 more horsepower (365 vs. 291) and 88 lbs.-ft. more torque (350 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer 2.3 EcoBoost FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Palisade FWD (19 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/26 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 Palisade doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Explorer

Palisade

Front Rotors

13.85 inches

13.4 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

12 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 Palisade are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels

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

Suspension and Handling

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 Palisade doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

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 Palisade doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The Explorer has .7 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, .2 inches more rear shoulder room and 1.9 inches more third row legroom than the Palisade.

Cargo Capacity

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

Explorer

Palisade

Behind Third Seat

21 cubic feet

18 cubic feet

The Explorer has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Palisade doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Ergonomics

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 Palisade SE/SEL’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Explorer offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Palisade offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Explorer (except Base/XLT/Sport)’s optional Enhanced 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 Palisade doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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