2020 Ford Explorer vs. 2020 Chrysler Pacifica

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

Both the Explorer and Pacifica 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 Pacifica’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 Pacifica 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 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Pacifica doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

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 Pacifica doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the Pacifica have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available around view monitors.

Warranty

The Explorer’s 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Pacifica runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 26 percent more Ford dealers than there are Chrysler dealers, which makes it 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 Pacifica doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the van’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 Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Chrysler vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Ford 6 places higher in reliability than Chrysler.

Engine

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the Pacifica:

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.

Pacifica Hybrid 3.6 DOHC V6

260 HP

n/a

Pacifica 3.6 DOHC V6

287 HP

262 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer RWD 2.3 turbo gets better fuel mileage than the Pacifica V6 (21 city/28 hwy vs. 19 city/28 hwy).

The Explorer Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pacifica Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18 vs. 16.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Explorer 2.3-liter’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pacifica Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 16.5 gallons). The Explorer V6 Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 1.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pacifica’s standard fuel tank (20.2 vs. 19 gallons).

Transmission

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 Pacifica.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Explorer

Explorer ST

Explorer ST opt.

Pacifica

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

13 inches

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

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the Pacifica (255/65R18 vs. 235/65R17). The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pacifica (275/45R21 vs. 245/50R20).

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 Pacifica’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Pacifica. The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Pacifica.

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 Pacifica doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Chassis

The Explorer is 5 inches shorter than the Pacifica, making the Explorer easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Explorer has .6 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more rear headroom and .2 inches more third row headroom than the Pacifica.

Cargo Capacity

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

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Chrysler Pacifica is limited to 3600 pounds. The Explorer offers up to a 5600 lbs. towing capacity.

While the Pacifica Hybrid is not recommended to tow, any Explorer can tow a minimum of 3000 pounds.

Servicing Ease

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

Ergonomics

The Explorer’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Pacifica’s standard power windows’ front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

On a hot day the Explorer’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Pacifica can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 Pacifica doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Explorer Platinum has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Pacifica doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Ford Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Pacifica doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

The Ford Explorer outsold the Chrysler Pacifica by over two to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos