Jones Ford Casa Grande Compares 2010 Ford Explorer VS 2010 Honda Pilot Near Casa Grande, AZ

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2010 Ford Explorer

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2010 Honda Pilot

Safety Comparison

The Explorer offers optional SYNC, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Pilot doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the Explorer and the Pilot have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Honda doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Pilot.

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Explorer’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The Ford Explorer’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Pilot’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

The camshafts in the Explorer’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Pilot’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that eventually needs to be replaced. If the Pilot’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The Explorer V8 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 Pilot doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer’s optional 4.6 SOHC V8 produces 42 more horsepower (292 vs. 250) and 62 lbs.-ft. more torque (315 vs. 253) than the Pilot’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Explorer V8 is faster than the Honda Pilot:



Zero to 30 MPH

3 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.3 sec

9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

6.1 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

85 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the Explorer’s engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the Pilot:


Explorer 4.0 SOHC V6

3700 RPM

Explorer 4.6 SOHC V8

4000 RPM

Pilot 3.5 SOHC V6

4800 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Explorer has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Pilot (22.5 vs. 21 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Explorer has a standard capless 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 that causes pollution. The Pilot doesn’t offer a capless fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Explorer stops shorter than the Pilot:



70 to 0 MPH

194 feet

198 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Explorer’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Pilot (255/50R20 vs. 245/65R17).

The Explorer’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Pilot’s 65 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Pilot’s largest wheels are only 17 inches.

The Explorer has a standard full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Pilot, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the Pilot (113.7 inches vs. 109.2 inches).

For better maneuverability, the Explorer’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the Pilot’s (36.8 feet vs. 38.6 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Pilot (8.3 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Explorer Eddie Bauer 4x4 is quieter than the Pilot EX-L 4WD:




73 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

66 dB

74 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 1 inch more front legroom and 2.8 inches more third row legroom than the Pilot.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Explorer’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Pilot doesn’t offer power folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The Pilot doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Explorer (except XLT)’s optional easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Pilot doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Explorer and the Pilot have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Explorer is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Pilot prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the available exterior keypad. The Pilot doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Explorer’s 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 Pilot’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Explorer has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Pilot LX doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

The Explorer’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Pilot’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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