Chevrolet Traverse vs. Ford Explorer

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - January 13, 2020

The Chevrolet Traverse and Ford Explorer are as mainstream as large crossovers get. They offer the versatility and features most buyers want, but without asking for too much of the family budget. Both have plenty of fans, but which would we choose to drive every day?

See a side-by-side comparison of the Traverse & Explorer »

What the Traverse Gets Right

The Chevy Traverse is the cruiser of this class – smooth, quiet, and accommodating. Up to eight adults can fit across three rows, while the Explorer only comes standard with a six-passenger layout.

The Traverse also comes out on top in terms of cargo space. It features 23.0 cubic feet of space behind the third row, 57.8 behind the second, and 98.2 total. These are figures no direct competitor can match. The Explorer lags behind with capacities of 18.2/47.9/87.8.

The base engine is also more powerful than the Explorer's, although Ford offers more choices. Still, the Traverse's 3.6-liter V6 makes 310 horsepower, compared to the 300 hp of the base Explorer's 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

What the Explorer Gets Right

The Ford Explorer has been totally redesigned for the 2020 model year. Its rear-wheel-drive platform results in improved handling and stability.

The Explorer offers four powertrain choices, compared to just one in the Traverse. There's the base 2.3-liter four-cylinder, two versions of a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6, and a hybrid variant that earns an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon combined.

Families looking for safety features are going to favor the Explorer. It comes standard with automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and more.

You have to move up to the fourth Traverse trim just to get standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. If you want standard automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist, you're looking at $52,095 for the range-topping Traverse High Country.

Best of Both

The Chevrolet Traverse excels in room and comfort, making it ideal for road tripping and hauling the whole family around. The Ford Explorer isn't quite so big on the inside, but raises the bar on handling in this class while having better powertrain choices and safety features.

Our Verdict: Ford Explorer

The latest Ford Explorer livens up the driving experience for those who need the utility of a large crossover. The Chevy Traverse simply can't keep up with it when it comes to standard equipment, especially in the safety department. That's a non-starter for many families shopping this segment.

Take a closer look at the Chevrolet Traverse »

Take a closer look at the Ford Explorer »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


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