2018 Ford Explorer

Starting Price: $33,135 | Price yours

Above Average: Stylish interior, large options list, rugged look

Below Average: Off-road capability, third row space

Consensus: The best-selling 3-row vehicle in the country


2018 GMC Acadia

Starting Price: $30,015 | Price yours

Above Average: Customizability, tech

Below Average: Versatility, roominess

Consensus: A smaller SUV that can use more power


The Ford Explorer boasts a great safety package and has multiple engine and trim options. Another feature is the enhanced active park assist that allows the Explorer to practically park itself and pull out of a tricky parallel parking spot. The GMC Acadia’s trim proportions and lighter weight make for an enjoyable drive. GM’s Continuously Variable Ride Control further improves the handling and comfort. The latest driver-assist and infotainment technology can also be found on the Acadia.

Ford Explorer Advantages

It has a Safe and Smart safety technology package with Adaptive Cruise, Cross Traffic Alert and Active Park Assist that parks and unparks the Explorer by itself. It also boasts higher towing capacity.

GMC Acadia Advantages

Lighter weight makes for a smooth ride. Five-, 6-, or 7-passenger option. Infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.


Both vehicles offer all-wheel drive. Built-in Wi-Fi is on board as well as a handsfree liftgate. Both are practical SUVs without being too flashy.

Final Recommendation

Different seating configurations can affect the capabilities of the already underpowered Acadia. The reliable 3-row Explorer is larger and can handle essentially anything you put it through just as well as -- if not better than -- the Acadia.

  2018 Ford Explorer 2018 GMC Acadia
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 3.5-liter V6 3.6-liter V6
Horsepower 290 hp @ 6,500 rpm 310 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque 255 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 271 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-spd Automatic, 6-spd
Fuel Economy 20 mpg (17 city/24 hwy) 23 mpg (21 city/25 hwy)
Also Available 2.3L I4, 3.5L twin-turbo V6 2.5L I4
Warranty 3 years or 36,000 miles 3 years or 36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 7 passengers 7 passengers
Wheelbase 112.6 inches 112.5 inches
Overall Length 198.3 inches 193.6 inches
Width 90.2 inches 75.4 inches
Height 70.0 inches 66.0 inches
Turning Diameter 38.9 feet 38.7 feet
Headroom, Front 41.4 inches 40.3 inches
Headroom, 2nd row 40.6 inches 39.6 inches
Headroom, 3rd row 37.8 inches 37.2 inches
Legroom, Front 42.9 inches 41.0 inches
Legroom, 2nd row 39.5 inches 39.7 inches
Legroom, 3rd row 33.3 inches 31.1 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 61.5 inches 59.4 inches
Shoulder Room, 2nd row 61.0 inches 58.7 inches
Shoulder Room, 3rd row 50.8 inches 54.3 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 151.7 cu. ft. 143.8 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 81.7 cu. ft. 79.0 cu. ft.
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