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Towing: 2019 V6 (Limited) or 2019 Ecoboost V6 (Sport)?


Coronach

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Hey all-

I've been searching the forums and doing my research, and I have a question about towing with an Explorer. My wife is looking to buy a 19, and we have it narrowed down between a Limited (with the V6 and factory class III tow package) and a Sport (with the Ecoboost and class III tow). We do plan on getting a small camper or pop-up at some point in the near future, and a weight distributing hitch. We are aware of:

1. The limitations of the platform for towing- if we wanted to go heavy or often, we would be better served with a F150 or Expedition. Towing will be more of an occasional thing, so the Explorer should be fine.

2. The specific limitations of the Explorer with regard to weight and frontal area. We have no problem keeping the trailer small enough to meet these criteria.

3. We know that both vehicles CAN safely tow any trailer that we would get. The issue is driveability/practicality.

The question I have is which is the better option? On paper, the Sport with the more powerful engine wins, but I'm unsure how much better it is in real world use, and I'm also unsure of how the two suspensions would handle towing a pop-up or small camper (~2500 dry). Any thoughts? And again, this is specific to the 2019, and the normally aspirated V6 Limited vs the 2019 Ecoboost Sport.

Thanks,

Mike
 
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thebrakeman

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I'm pretty sure these 2 will have the same max ratings, properly equipped. Some will say the Ecoboost is better, all else being equal, and the turbo powertrain will likely feel a lot better when pulling away form a red light, passing slow traffic, etc. Just remember, the more you step into it, the more you are trusting the cooling system to do it's job. But again, you say towing will be occasional.

I would simply decide what you would want when NOT towing (which will be 98% of the time?), and go with that. Why pick something for 2% of the driving, and not be satisfied the other. So, why wouldn't you want the EB when not towing...assuming your have the coin. Then again, it's probably not a whole not more than a Limited.
 




Coronach

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Yes, their max ratings are identical. So, I know that either vehicle CAN do the job. However, if one can do it appreciably better, it's worth knowing that and taking it into consideration.

As to 2% vs 98%, I get what you're saying, but their specs are similar enough on the 98% that it's worth considering the 2%. Gas mileage is identical. The EcoBoost will certainly be more fun, but the regular 6 is adequate for daily driving (I have experience with both engines, though it's not exactly apples to apples as one is in a 1000 lb lighter Taurus).

Are there practical differences in towing performance besides the engine? How is the Sport's suspension with towing?
 




Larryjb

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Is there a reason you're looking at the 2019? The 2020 seems much better designed for towing.
 




Coronach

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We're buying used. We could always wait and get a used 20, her current vehicle is running fine (at 215k miles).

What about the 20 is better for towing, besides the engine output?

Mike
 




Larryjb

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2020 went back to a rear wheel drive based 4x4. I believe the towing capacity of the 2020 is quite a bit higher too, as a result.

Being RWD based, the engine is longitinally oriented, which means (I could be wrong) it uses an externally mounted water pump instead of the interally mounted ones. It does seem to be built tougher from what I've heard. However, this is the first year of the new Explorer and there have been some growing pains. The most common one I hear is the whistling sound.

Personally I would prefer the Expedition over the Explorer because there is less reliance on the touch screen in the Expedition, and the Expedition is built tougher yet. But if I wanted the size of the Explorer, I'd be seriously looking at the 2020.
 




Coronach

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Yeah, we're not going with anything bigger than an Explorer or equivalent. She wants something smaller than what she has now (a minivan), and the Explorer fits the bill nicely (as do some other non-Ford options).

Is the suspension on the Sport different from the limited, with regards to towing? I know it is different, I'm just not sure if that difference impacts towing at all.

Thanks,

Mike
 




Mbrooks420

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We're buying used. We could always wait and get a used 20, her current vehicle is running fine (at 215k miles).

What about the 20 is better for towing, besides the engine output?
Mike
I’d certainly skip the ‘20. They can’t even stock enough parts to assemble them fully. If you wanted a new model, I’d wait until the r&d is completed on the first model year suckers.
Also, not sure I’d want to tow in a turd that warns that excessive steering on a windy road can cause steeribility issues because the electric motor gets overheateded. More light duty garbage from Ford.

Before pulling the trigger on any tow vehicle I’d stop by the local trailer sales and give one a test tug.
 




Coronach

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That general idea was why I, personally, have reservations about the '20. The first year of a model (or redesign) often has issues (though not always, in the past I can think of 2 cars that we've owned that were first model years and they were rock solid).

Can anyone speak to the general performance of the 19s, Sport vs Limited (V6) with regard to towing?
 




thebrakeman

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There may be some other difference in these 2 that affect towing. But in engineering terms, the engine output is going to be the largest contributor (as a plus to the EB). The body structures are the same, which is why they will have the same rating. That is, the increased power output of the EB does not increase the tow rating, because the tow rating is limited by the structure. Conversely, most pickups or large SUVs have really beefy structures to handle most anything, so when you increase the engine output or axle ratios, their tow ratings usually increase.

Suspension??? I'm not sure here. Again, there is no tow rating difference between the 2, so there is no durability concerns with either. This will largely come down to touring comfort. Stiffer suspension and perhaps larger wheels (less sidewall) will mean a potentially stiffer ride. So again, we are back to whatever you prefer, whether towing or not.

Have you actually driven both vehicles?
 




Coronach

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There may be some other difference in these 2 that affect towing. But in engineering terms, the engine output is going to be the largest contributor (as a plus to the EB). The body structures are the same, which is why they will have the same rating. That is, the increased power output of the EB does not increase the tow rating, because the tow rating is limited by the structure. Conversely, most pickups or large SUVs have really beefy structures to handle most anything, so when you increase the engine output or axle ratios, their tow ratings usually increase.

Suspension??? I'm not sure here. Again, there is no tow rating difference between the 2, so there is no durability concerns with either. This will largely come down to touring comfort. Stiffer suspension and perhaps larger wheels (less sidewall) will mean a potentially stiffer ride. So again, we are back to whatever you prefer, whether towing or not.

Have you actually driven both vehicles?
I have (examples of each, not the actual vehicles in question, which I obviously would do before I bought). The NA V6-equipped XLTs and LTDs are okay. They get the job done for family hauling. I would be fine with one, and (more importantly) my wife would be okay with it (her car, her choice). The EcoBoost 6 and the Sport package is obviously better in every way except cost. I'm just making sure that there is not a hidden consideration here that we're missing.

Mike
 




Mbrooks420

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I have (examples of each, not the actual vehicles in question, which I obviously would do before I bought). The NA V6-equipped XLTs and LTDs are okay. They get the job done for family hauling. I would be fine with one, and (more importantly) my wife would be okay with it (her car, her choice). The EcoBoost 6 and the Sport package is obviously better in every way except cost. I'm just making sure that there is not a hidden consideration here that we're missing.

Mike
There’s the cost now, and then the risk of all that high dollar equipment failing if this is a vehicle you plan on keeping.
 




Coronach

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There’s the cost now, and then the risk of all that high dollar equipment failing if this is a vehicle you plan on keeping.
Solid point, though if it is powertrain it will be warrantied.
 




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