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2020 Ford Explorer vs 2020 Mazda CX-9 – Albany, NY

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  • 2020 Ford Explorer

    A grey 2020 Ford Explorer is facing left.

    Starting at


    2020 Mazda CX-9

    A black 2020 Mazda CX-9 is facing right.

    Starting at


    300-400 HPHorsepower250 HP
    310-415 lb-ftTorque320 lb-ft
    5,600 LBSMax Towing Capacity3,500 LBS

    One of the best things about the modern auto market is that there really is something out there that is perfect for each person. While a small or compact SUV is the right choice for many people, if you have a large family or group of friends that you need to get around, then a three-row option simply cannot be beat. With so many models available, however, choosing the right one can be tricky and often requires a lot of time researching and going back and forth between your options. We like to make your life simple, so we thought we would present you with a straightforward comparison between the 2020 Ford Explorer vs 2020 Mazda CX-9.

    We believe this is a fair comparison, as they are both three-row SUVs with some similar features, but when you start to look at what they can offer, one does come out as the better option. The 2020 Mazda CX-9 does its best to keep up, and it does have some good options, but the 2020 Ford Explorer simply has so much going for it that it blows the Mazda away. You get far greater interior cargo space with the Explorer, along with the options for a much more powerful engine, which also gives you greater towing capacity – if that is something you are interested in.

    In terms of technology and safety features, the 2020 Ford Explorer comes out on top again, with incredible options like an available 10-inch infotainment display and 12-inch digital driver cluster, with sophisticated and luxurious details on offer all throughout the cabin. Plus, the Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist+ safety options give you some of the most advanced and impressive safety features available on the road. When you are ready to find out more, come visit us at DePaula Ford in Albany, NY, and we will show you your next great driving experience.

  • Performance

    A silver 2020 Ford Explorer, which wins when comparing the 2020 Ford Explorer vs 2020 Mazda CX-9, is towing a boat out of a lake near Albany, NY.

    2020 Mazda CX-9

    The 2020 Ford Explorer has four different engines available while the 2020 Mazda CX-9 has one – just one. While the one engine on the Mazda is pretty good, it cannot keep up with what Ford has to offer. The engine on the Mazda CX-9 is a 2.5L 4-cylinder that can offer up to 250 hp and up to 320 lb-ft of torque, which comes paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive available.

    2020 Ford Explorer

    By comparison, the 2020 Ford Explorer starts with a 2.3L EcoBoost I-4 that offers up to 300 hp and up to 310 lb-ft of torque. Then there is an available 3.0L EcoBoost V6 engine that delivers up to 365 hp and up to 380 lb-ft of torque. You can also choose a 3.3L V6 Hybrid engine, which offers up to 318 hp and up to 322 lb-ft of torque, with a range of up to an estimated 500 miles on a full tank of gas.

    If you want the most power possible with the 2020 Ford Explorer, then there is an available 3.0L EcoBoost V6 that has been enhanced to deliver up to 400 hp and up to 415 lb-ft of torque. Every single engine for the Explorer comes with a 10-speed automatic transmission for a smooth and incredibly responsive driving experience.

    Towing Capacity

    When properly configured, both 3.0L V6 engines give you up to 5,600 lbs of towing capacity, while the hybrid gives you up to 5,000 lbs, and the standard engine gives you up to 5,300 lbs. The Mazda CX-9 has a maximum towing capacity of just 3,500 lbs, which is a huge difference and can be a serious issue if you plan on towing.

  • Interior

    The black interior of a 2020 Ford Explorer is shown.

    Cargo Space

    If you are going to choose a large, three-row SUV, then you want to make sure you can load as much into it as possible. That all comes down to cargo space, and with this kind of vehicle, you are looking at how much you can load up behind each row of seats. No matter how you look at it, the 2020 Ford Explorer comes out on top, but we will show you how.

    With the 2020 Mazda CX-9, there is up to 14.4 cu.ft. of space behind the third row, up to 38.2 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the second row, and a total of up to 71.2 cu.ft. of space behind the front row. This is pretty good, but falls well short of what you can get in the Explorer. And when it comes to people inside, there is up to 135.1 cu.ft. of total passenger space.

    The 2020 Ford Explorer gives you more room in every possible way. You get up to 18.2 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the third row, up to 47.9 cu.ft. behind the second row, and a massive 87.8 cu.ft. of total cargo space behind the front row. That is more than 15 cu.ft. of additional space, which makes a huge difference. You also get 152.7 cu.ft. of total passenger space, giving you and your passengers a lot more room to breathe inside the Explorer.

    Tech Features

    Although the interior features and tech options on both of these SUVs are quite good, once again, the 2020 Ford Explorer simply has more to offer. To keep things simple, we will look at the highest trim of each model to see what you can get. Just remember that some of these features might not be available or standard on lower trims.

    The 2020 Ford Explorer Platinum has tri-zone electronic temperature control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a heated steering wheel. It also has an available 10-inch LCD Capacitive touchscreen infotainment display, with an available 14-speaker B&O Sound system. The Platinum comes with a 12-inch digital instrument cluster for you while driving, along with a huge twin-panel moonroof for an incredible overall experience as the driver or a passenger.

    The 2020 Mazda CX-9 Signature, on the other hand, has three-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a heated steering wheel too. However, it has only a 9-inch full-color touchscreen infotainment display, with a 7-inch LCD display for the driver. It comes with a 12-speaker sound system and a moonroof, though the moonroof is not as large as the one on the 2020 Ford Explorer, which allows for less of a view.

  • Safety

    A blue 2020 Ford Explorer is reversing out of a parking spot as a Ford truck drives by.

    2020 Ford Explorer

    In terms of safety features, both of these vehicles deliver some great standard and available options. On the 2020 Ford Explorer, you get the Ford Co-Pilot360 safety package standard on every model, regardless of trim. This includes pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, a blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert, and a lane-keeping system. Higher trims also offer additional safety features including intelligent, adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, active park assist, and reverse brake assist. All of this comes together to create an incredibly safe and reliable SUV.

    2020 Mazda CX-9

    The standard features on the 2020 Mazda CX-9 are also quite good, including blind spot monitoring, a rear cross traffic alert, and advanced smart city brake support with pedestrian detection. The CX-9 also includes a collision warning, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist, and cruise control. Higher trims include front and rear parking sensors, though features like evasive steering assist are missing and not available on the CX-9 at any trim.

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