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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lexus GX460 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Ford Explorer doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.
The GX460’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Explorer doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Lexus GX460 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 Ford Explorer doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.
The GX460 has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Explorer doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the GX460. But it costs extra on the Explorer.
Both the GX460 and the Explorer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.
The GX460 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-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 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.
Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the GX460 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Explorer. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Explorer ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The GX460’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Explorer’s (6 vs. 5 years).
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.
The GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8 produces 1 more horsepower (301 vs. 300) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (329 vs. 310) than the Explorer’s standard 2.3 turbo 4 cyl. The GX460’s 4.6 DOHC V8 produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (329 vs. 322) than the Explorer’s optional 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid.
The GX460 has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The GX460 has 2.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer V6 Turbo’s standard fuel tank (23 vs. 20.2 gallons).
The GX460’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the Explorer ST are solid, not vented.
The GX460 stops shorter than the Explorer:
60 to 0 MPH
For better traction, the GX460 has larger tires than the Explorer (265/60R18 vs. 255/65R18).
The GX460’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Explorer’s standard 65 series tires.
The Lexus GX460’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Explorer only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.
The GX460 has a standard full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Explorer, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.
The GX460 has active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Explorer doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.
The GX460 offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Explorer’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The GX460 Luxury has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GX460’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Explorer doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
For greater off-road capability the GX460 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Explorer (8.1 vs. 7.9 inches), allowing the GX460 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The GX460 is 6.7 inches shorter than the Explorer, making the GX460 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the GX460 is quieter than the Explorer ST 4WD (73 vs. 77 dB).
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the GX460’s middle row seats recline, and the GX460 Luxury’s third row seats also recline. The Explorer’s third row seats don’t recline.
The GX460’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Explorer’s (6500 vs. 3000 pounds).
The GX460 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Explorer uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Ford. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 70% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.
The GX460’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Explorer’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The GX460 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Explorer doesn’t offer headlight washers.
When the GX460 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Explorer’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
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