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.

Atlas 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

235 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

Atlas 3.6 DOHC V6

276 HP

266 lbs.-ft.

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 Atlas:

MPG

Explorer

RWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

21 city/28 hwy

AWD

2.3 turbo 4-cyl.

20 city/27 hwy

3.0 turbo V6

18 city/24 hwy

ST 3.0 turbo V6

18 city/24 hwy

Atlas

FWD

2.0 turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/26 hwy

3.5 SOHC V6

17 city/24 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/23 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Explorer Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Atlas doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The Explorer V6 Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Atlas (20.2 vs. 18.6 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 Atlas 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 Atlas.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Explorer

Explorer ST

Explorer ST opt.

Atlas

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.3 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

12.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Explorer has larger standard tires than the Atlas (255/65R18 vs. 245/60R18). The Explorer ST/Platinum’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Atlas (275/45R21 vs. 265/45R21).

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 Atlas doesn’t offer self-sealing tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The Explorer has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Explorer has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Explorer flat and controlled during cornering. The Atlas’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Explorer’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Atlas (119.1 inches vs. 117.3 inches).

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 Atlas 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 Atlas doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

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The Explorer has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 1.4 inches more rear legroom, 1.1 inches more rear hip room, 1.1 inches more rear shoulder room and .6 inches more third row headroom than the Atlas.

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Explorer’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Atlas doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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The Explorer’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Atlas’ (3000 vs. 2000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Volkswagen Atlas is only 5000 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 Atlas. 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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The Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 Atlas doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

On a hot day the Explorer’s driver can lower all the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Atlas can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

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 Atlas doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Explorer has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Atlas only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Atlas’ optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The Explorer Platinum’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

The Explorer ST/Platinum has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Atlas offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Explorer has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Atlas SE/SEL/SEL Premium.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Ford Explorer Limited/ST/Platinum has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Atlas doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Volkswagen Atlas by over four to one during 2018.

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

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