The 2016 Ford Explorer vs. the 2016 Mazda CX-5

2016 Ford Explorer

The 2016 Ford Explorer has already set the bar for modern, full-sized crossovers, but some Chicago and Manteno drivers are still considering the 2016 Mazda CX-5. We don’t like to see anybody make the wrong choice when it comes to their family vehicle, so we decided to pit these two vehicles against each other to demonstrate that the new Explorer is the better buy.

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Trim Levels and Price

2016 Ford Explorer ExteriorThis year’s Explorer is offered in five models – including the all-new Platinum trim – so you’ll have no problems finding the right one to meet your needs.

  • Explorer: Starting at $30,700, the entry-level model includes a rearview camera for confident reversing, LED taillights for superior visibility, and 18-inch wheels for solid traction.
  • XLT: With an MSRP of $33,400, the XLT is all about cutting-edge technology. Chicago and Manteno drivers will benefit from both a reverse sensing system and an intelligent access system with push-button start.
  • Limited: Beginning at $41,300, the Limited is equipped with ambient lighting, a handsfree power liftgate for effortless loading and unloading, and a third row PowerFold 50/50 split-folding bench seat for added versatility and convenience.
  • Sport: Starting around $43,300, the Sport is perfect for off-roading and high performance driving, since it includes a turbocharged 3.5L EcoBoost V6 engine with Intelligent 4WD as standard features.
  • Platinum: The all-new platinum trim starts at $52,600 and delivers a 12-speaker Sony audio system, as well as a dual-panel moonroof.

While the 2016 Ford Explorer ensures that drivers receive plenty of comfort and technology for their money, the 2016 Mazda CX-5 is price lower because it doesn’t offer most of the premium features that drivers expect in an SUV. The standard Sport model starts at $21,795, while the Grand Touring tops out at $28,220.

Powertrains and MPG

2016 Explorer EngineFord is renowned for providing an exceptional level of choice when it comes to power and efficiency options. The 2016 Explorer is no exception to that rule, with three available engines – each paired with an advanced 6-speed SelectShift automatic transmission system - to choose from.

  • 3.5L Ti-VCT V6: The standard engine harnesses an enviable 290 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque, but still ensures that you’ll make 17 mpg in the city and 24 on the highway, or 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway in AWD.
  • 2.3L I-4 EcoBoost: The 2016 Explorer’s most efficient engine allows for 19 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway, or 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with AWD, while still delivering 280 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
  • 3.5L V6 EcoBoost: Available in AWD only, the 3.5L motor utilizes both turbocharging and direct injection to supply 365 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, while generating 16 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway.

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 comes with just two engines, both of which pale in comparison to the unstoppable Explorer. In fact, the difference between the two Mazda engines is marginal at best – either a 155 hp 2.0L SKYACTIV-G or a 185 hp 2.5 SKYACTIV-G. Either way, that’s far inferior to what even the standard Explorer engine can command.

Interior Space and Versatility

2016 ExplorerWhether you want to accommodate more passengers or stow more cargo, the 2016 Ford Explorer has you covered. While the 2016 Mazda CX-5 provides 103.8 cubic feet of passenger space for up to five occupants, whereas the Explorer boasts 151.6 cubic feet of passenger volume for up to seven adults. If you want room for the whole family, better drive home in an Explorer.

The only area in which the CX-5 pulls ahead is standard cargo space – with all seats occupied, you’ll have 21 cubic feet in the Explorer and 34.1 in the CX-5. However, 21 cubic feet is more than enough for most situations, and the Escape’s 81 cubic feet of cargo room with all seats folded down thoroughly outperforms the CX-5’s 65.4 cubic feet. There’s even a Class-Exclusive third row PowerFold 50/50 split-folding bench for the Explorer, which folds flat at the touch of a button to make interior versatility just that little bit easier.


Optional Features

2016 ExplorerThe 2016 Ford Explorer doesn’t just offer more space than the 2016 Mazda CX-5, it also ensures that you can fully personalize your drive with an entire suite of available features. The following choices are optional with the Explorer, but not with the CX-5:

  • Class-Exclusive Handsfree Liftgate: With the Intelligent Key in your pocket, just move your foot under the bumper to open the rear hatch.
  • 180-Degree Front Camera: This innovative feature allows you to see around corners.
  • Enhanced Active Park Assist: With 12 ultrasonic sensors to guide you into a perpendicular parking space, all you need to do is shift, accelerate, and brake.

Discover What Makes the new Explorer So Popular

The 2016 Ford Explorer is plainly in a league of its own. To test-drive our leading full-sized crossover, come visit Terry’s Ford of Peotone today.