2020 Hyundai Palisade vs. 2019 Ford Explorer

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Palisade are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Explorer doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Palisade has standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Explorer offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Palisade Limited has a standard Multi-view Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Explorer only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The Palisade’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 Explorer doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Palisade and the Explorer 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, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Palisade comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Explorer’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Palisade 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Explorer. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Explorer ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Palisade’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Explorer’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fifth.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 8 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

The Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 11 more horsepower (291 vs. 280) than the Explorer’s optional 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. The Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 1 more horsepower (291 vs. 290) and 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 255) than the Explorer’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Palisade gets better fuel mileage than the Explorer:

MPG

Palisade

FWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

Explorer

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

16 city/22 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Palisade uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Explorer Sport/Platinum requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Hyundai Palisade, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Explorer.

Suspension and Handling

The Palisade offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Explorer doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Palisade’s wheelbase is 1.4 inches longer than on the Explorer (114.2 inches vs. 112.8 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Palisade’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the Explorer Base/XLT/Limited’s (38.7 feet vs. 38.9 feet). The Palisade’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Explorer Sport’s (38.7 feet vs. 40 feet).

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

Chassis

The Hyundai Palisade may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 500 pounds less than the Ford Explorer.

Passenger Space

The Palisade has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Explorer can only carry up to 7.

The Palisade has 1.2 inches more front legroom, .8 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, .9 inches more rear hip room, 3 inches more third row hip room and 4.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Explorer.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Palisade’s middle and third row seats recline. The Explorer’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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

Palisade

Explorer

Third Seat Folded

45.8 cubic feet

43.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

86.4 cubic feet

81.7 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Palisade easier. The Palisade’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.6 inches, while the Explorer’s liftover is 31.1 inches.

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

Palisade

Explorer

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

20.8”/49”/82.5”

19.7”/49”/79.8”

Max Width

53.7”

48”

Min Width

43.4”

40”

Height

30.5”

45.5”

Towing

The Palisade’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Explorer’s (5000 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Palisade Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Explorer doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Optional air-conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Palisade’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Explorer doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

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

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