2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Cadillac XT5

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

Both the Explorer and XT5 have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Explorer has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The XT5’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Explorer has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The XT5 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Explorer’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The XT5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the XT5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

Warranty

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There are over 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Cadillac dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 XT5 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’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 20 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 10 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

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The Explorer has more powerful engines than the XT5:

Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid

318 HP

322 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Platinum 3.0 turbo V6

365 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Explorer ST 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

415 lbs.-ft.

XT5 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

237 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

XT5 3.6 DOHC V6

310 HP

271 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

Regenerative brakes improve the Explorer Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The XT5 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Explorer, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a nine-speed automatic is available for the XT5.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Explorer ST’s brake rotors are larger than those on the XT5:

Explorer ST

Explorer ST opt.

XT5

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

12.4 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the XT5 (255/65R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the XT5 (275/45R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XT5’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer ST/Platinum offers optional 21-inch wheels. The XT5’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the Explorer can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The XT5 doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 6.6 inches longer than on the XT5 (119.1 inches vs. 112.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 2.1 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the XT5.

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the XT5 (7.9 vs. 7.8 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Explorer Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The XT5 doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Explorer has standard seating for 7 passengers; the XT5 can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 48.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the XT5 (152.7 vs. 104.5).

The Explorer has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front legroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room, 3.5 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom, 4.3 inches more rear hip room and 5.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the XT5.

Cargo Capacity

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The Explorer’s cargo area provides more volume than the XT5.

Explorer

XT5

Third Seat Folded

47.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

30.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87.8 cubic feet

63 cubic feet

Towing

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Explorer’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the XT5’s (3000 vs. 1000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Cadillac XT5 is only 3500 pounds. The Explorer offers up to a 5600 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Explorer is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XT5. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer’s exterior PIN entry system. The XT5 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its OnStar® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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 XT5’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The XT5’s cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Explorer Platinum’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum has a 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 XT5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/11/17

The Ford Explorer outsold the Cadillac XT5 by over four to one during 2018.

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