Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

310 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.3 DOHC V6 hybrid

318 HP

322 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Platinum 3.0 turbo V6

365 HP

380 lbs.-ft.

Explorer ST 3.0 turbo V6

400 HP

415 lbs.-ft.

RX 350 3.5 DOHC V6

295 HP

268 lbs.-ft.

RX 450h 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid

308 HP

n/a

Fuel Economy and Range

? 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/10

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

MPG

Explorer

RWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

RX Series

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the Explorer’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the RX Series Hybrid.

The Explorer 2.3-liter’s standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the RX Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (18.6 vs. 17.2 gallons). The Explorer V6 Turbo’s standard fuel tank has a gallon more fuel capacity than the RX Series’ standard fuel tank (20.2 vs. 19.2 gallons).

The Explorer has a standard cap-less 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, which causes pollution. The RX Series doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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A 10-speed automatic is standard on the Ford Explorer, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the RX Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Explorer’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the RX Series:

Explorer

Explorer ST

Explorer ST opt.

RX Series

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

13.3 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the RX Series (255/65R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RX Series (275/45R21 vs. 235/65R18).

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RX Series’ optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer ST/Platinum offers optional 21-inch wheels. The RX Series’ largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Having a flat tire is dangerous, inconvenient and expensive. The self-sealing tires available on the Explorer can automatically seal most punctures up to 3/16 of an inch, effectively preventing most flat tires. The RX Series doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Explorer’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The RX Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 9.3 inches longer than on the RX Series (119.1 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Explorer is 2.5 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the RX Series.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Explorer (except 3.3 V6 non-Hybrid) uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The RX Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

The Explorer Hybrid uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The RX Series doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Explorer has standard seating for 7 passengers; the RX Series can only carry 5.

The Explorer has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 4 inches more front shoulder room, 1.4 inches more rear headroom, 1 inch more rear legroom, 3 inches more rear hip room and 4.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the RX Series.

Cargo Capacity

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

Explorer

RX Series

Third Seat Folded

47.9 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

18.4 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

87.8 cubic feet

56.3 cubic feet

Towing

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The Explorer’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the RX Series’ (3000 vs. 0 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Lexus RX Series is only 3500 pounds. The Explorer offers up to a 5600 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The engine in the Explorer is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the RX Series. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer’s exterior PIN entry system. The RX Series doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Explorer ST/Platinum’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The RX Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

? 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/10

The Ford Explorer outsold the Lexus RX Series by over three to one during 2018.

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

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