The Ford Explorer was first launched in 1990, and has built a reputation as solid as the vehicles themselves. In 2007, Mazda decided to challenge this line with their CX-9, and some Peotone and Bradley drivers still aren’t sure which SUV is superior. To find out, we’ve compared the 2015 Ford Explorer with the 2015 Mazda CX-9.
The CX-9 provides no options. All trims are provided with the same drivetrain, a 3.7L DOHC 24-valve V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission — although you are permitted to select between front- and all-wheel drive. The engine produces a reasonable 273 hp and a generous 270 lb-ft of torque.
Conversely, Ford knows the value of customer choice, so Bradley drivers have the power to elect one of the following three engines with the new Explorer:
The CX-9’s engine is perfectly capable, but the Explorer lets you prioritize your own requirements. Want better mileage? The 2.0L EcoBoost has a combined rating of 24 mpg, compared a maximum of 20.5 mpg combined with the CX-9. Want power? The 3.5L EcoBoost gives you 365 hp, almost 100 hp more than the CX-9.
The cabin of the 2015 Ford Explorer is noticeably more comfortable than the CX-9, with far more room for drivers to relax. In fact, the Explorer has more headroom, hip room, and legroom in the front than the 2015 Mazda CX-9.
The CX-9 does have some fantastic gadgets such as the capability to read incoming texts aloud, but some more crucial features are absent. For example, there is no option for an integrated navigation system — an odd choice for an SUV, which is surely supposed to roam. There’s also a noticeable price gap for some add-ons. Drivers of both vehicles can enjoy a power moonroof, but those in the CX-9 will have to pay double the amount for it.
Both vehicles offer a good suite of safety features, which means you’ll get plenty of protection devices.
However, the 2015 Explorer’s safety rating is exceptional. We’re proud to report that the vehicle has earned a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive models receiving five stars in front and side crash tests.
The CX-9 has not yet been fully rated, but it is unlikely to surpass this. In fact, the Mazda vehicle scored only three stars on the frontal crash test, two less than the rock-solid Explorer.
The 2015 Ford Explorer offers more power, better mileage, enhanced comfort, and greater protection than the 2015 Mazda CX-9. If you want to drive this winner home, come to Terry’s Ford of Peotone today.