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Ford Explorer vs. Volkswagen Atlas

When comparing the Ford Explorer to the Volkswagen Atlas, the Ford Explorer has the advantage in the areas of typical lower range of pricing for one- to five-year-old used cars, overall quality score and base engine power. The Volkswagen Atlas has the advantage in the areas of new vehicle base pricing and interior volume. Based on this comparison of the Ford Explorer versus the Volkswagen Atlas, the Ford Explorer is a better car than the Volkswagen Atlas.

Ford Explorer versus Volkswagen Atlas Pricing

A one- to five-year-old used Ford Explorer ranges from $25,524 to $40,893 while a used Volkswagen Atlas from the same model year range is priced between $27,235 to $41,000. For a new model, the Ford Explorer's price is between $39,880 and $61,047, with the Volkswagen Atlas priced between $37,663 and $54,449.

Ford Explorer versus Volkswagen Atlas Quality Rating

The iSeeCars Overall Quality rating for the Ford Explorer is 8.5 out of 10 while the Volkswagen Atlas' quality rating is 7.6 out of 10. This results in the Ford Explorer being ranked 5 out of 25 Best Midsize SUVs and the Volkswagen Atlas being ranked 15 out of 25. Out of 61 Best Crossover SUVs, the Ford Explorer is ranked 61 and the Volkswagen Atlas is ranked 33. The Ford Explorer is also ranked 7 out of 31 Best SUVs with 3 Rows while the Volkswagen Atlas is ranked 20 out of 31.

Engine Power and Fuel Efficiency Comparison

For engine performance, the Ford Explorer’s base engine makes 300 horsepower, and the Volkswagen Atlas base engine makes 235 horsepower.

Passenger Space Comparison

While both models are crossover/midsize SUVs, the Volkswagen Atlas has the advantage of offering more front head room and trunk space. The Ford Explorer has the advantage in the areas of front shoulder room, front leg room, rear head room, rear shoulder room and rear leg room.

Hauling, Towing, and Off-Road Capabilities Comparison

The Ford Explorer has the advantage of offering higher ground clearance and payload capacity than the Volkswagen Atlas.

Safety Ratings Comparison

When comparing crash test ratings from NHTSA, both the Ford Explorer and the Volkswagen Atlas have the same average safety rating of 5 out of 5 Stars. When comparing IIHS evaluations, the Ford Explorer has the advantage with a Top Safety Pick+ award.

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2023 Ford Explorer

2023 Volkswagen Atlas

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$39,880 - $61,047

Used Asking Price:

$25,524 - $40,893

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

46.2%

Pricing

New Asking Price:

$37,663 - $54,449

Used Asking Price:

$27,235 - $41,000

5-Year Depreciation (lower is better):

46.4%

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

8.5 / 10

Reliability:

8.4 / 10

Retained Value:

7.1 / 10

Safety:

10.0 / 10

iSeeCars Scores & Rankings

Overall Score:

7.6 / 10

Reliability:

5.7 / 10

Retained Value:

7.1 / 10

Safety:

10.0 / 10

iSeeCars Rankings

4 / 25
5 / 31
5 / 25
5 / 15
6 / 61
6 / 25
7 / 61
7 / 61
7 / 31
7 / 28
7 / 25
7 / 21
9 / 31
13 / 31
43 / 61

iSeeCars Rankings

7 / 25
8 / 31
12 / 25
14 / 61
15 / 31
15 / 25
16 / 25
20 / 31
22 / 31
33 / 61
37 / 61
48 / 61

Summary Review

The Ford Explorer is one of the defining vehicles of its segment. This three-row SUV is big, tough, and versatile. Ford redesigned its Explorer for 2020, switching it back to a rear-wheel-drive-based vehicle with a more rugged foundation.

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Summary Review

Not yet available

Pros and Cons

  • Passenger Space
  • Advanced 4X4 all-wheel-drive system available
  • Class-leading engines on many trims, including a hybrid

  • Older models lack some basic advanced safety systems common for their model years
  • No 8-passenger seating option for 2021

Pros and Cons

Not yet available

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Body Styles

SUV

Available Drivetrain Options

Flex Fuel, Gasoline

Available Drivetrain Options

Gasoline

Trim Levels

Base, Limited, ST-Line, ST, Platinum, King Ranch, Police Interceptor Utility, XLT, Timberline

Trim Levels

SEL 4Motion, V6 SEL 4Motion, SE, V6 SEL Premium R-Line 4Motion, SE 4Motion, V6 SE 4Motion, V6 SE, V6 SEL R-Line Black 4Motion

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

3 years / 36000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

5 years / 60000 miles

Warranty Information

Warranty, Bumper-to-Bumper:

4 years / 50000 miles

Warranty, Powertrain

4 years / 50000 miles

Warranty, Roadside Assistance:

3 years / 36000 miles

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

5 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

TOP SAFETY PICK +

Safety Ratings

NHTSA Safety Rating (last 5 year average):

5 out of 5 Stars

IIHS Safety Rating:

Not yet available

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

300 hp @ 5500 rpm

Torque:

310 foot-lbs @ 3500 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.069 hp per pound

Towing Capacity:

Not yet available

Base Drivetrain Specifications

Horsepower:

235 hp @ 5400 rpm

Torque:

258 foot-lbs @ 1600 rpm

Power-to-Weight Ratio (higher is better):

0.055 hp per pound

Towing Capacity:

Not yet available

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2.3 liters

Engine Configuration:

Inline

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Automatic

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

RWD / AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

Not yet available

Range (city/hwy):

Not yet available

Recommended Fuel Type:

Not yet available

Engine Specifications

Engine Size:

2 liters

Engine Configuration:

Inline

Number of Cylinders:

4

Transmission:

Automatic

Standard/Optional Drivetrain Type:

FWD / AWD

EPA Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined MPG):

21 / 25 / 23

Range (city/hwy):

391 / 465 miles

Recommended Fuel Type:

Regular Unleaded

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

Available

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Standard

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Available

Heated Seats:

Available

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

Available

Leather Upholstery:

Available

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Standard/Optional Features

Apple CarPlay:

Standard

Android Auto:

Standard

Wireless Smartphone Charging:

Available

Keyless Entry:

Standard

Keyless Ignition:

Standard

Adaptive Cruise Control:

Available

Heated Seats:

Standard

Cooled/Ventilated Seats:

Available

Leather Upholstery:

Standard

Navigation System:

Available

Sunroof/Moonroof:

Available

Heated Steering Wheel:

Available

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Standard

Lane Keeping Assist:

Standard

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Standard

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Standard

360-Degree Camera:

Available

Rear Seat Reminder:

N/A

Driver Attention Monitoring:

N/A

Safety Equipment

Forward Collision Warning:

Standard

Pedestrian Detection:

Standard

Lane Departure Warning:

Available

Lane Keeping Assist:

Available

Blind Spot Monitoring:

Standard

Rear Cross-Traffic Alert:

Standard

360-Degree Camera:

Available

Rear Seat Reminder:

N/A

Driver Attention Monitoring:

N/A

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

40.7 inches

Front Leg Room:

43 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

61.8 inches

Rear Head Room:

40.5 inches

Rear Leg Room:

39 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

61.9 inches

Cargo Space:

18.2 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

87.8 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

170.9 cubic feet

Interior Dimensions

Front Head Room:

41.3 inches

Front Leg Room:

41.7 inches

Front Shoulder Room:

61.5 inches

Rear Head Room:

40.4 inches

Rear Leg Room:

37.6 inches

Rear Shoulder Room:

60.8 inches

Cargo Space:

20.6 cubic feet

Cargo Space, 2nd-row seat folded down:

96.8 cubic feet

Overall Interior Volume:

174.6 cubic feet

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

4345 lbs

Width:

89.3 inches

Height:

69.9 inches

Length:

198.8 inches

Wheelbase:

119.1 inches

Ground Clearance:

7.9 inches

Exterior Dimensions

Curb Weight:

4261 lbs

Width:

78.4 inches

Height:

70.1 inches

Length:

200.7 inches

Wheelbase:

117.3 inches

Ground Clearance:

7.1 inches

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

18.0 x 7.5 inches

Wheel Type:

painted aluminum

Tire Size:

255/65R18

Standard Wheel/Tire Information

Wheel Size:

18.0 x 8.0 inches

Wheel Type:

alloy

Tire Size:

P245/60R18