2021 Ford Explorer vs 2021 Chevy Traverse

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  • 2021 Ford Explorer

    A black 2021 Ford Explorer is angled left.

    Starting at

    starting at $32,225

    2021 Chevy Traverse

    A white 2021 Chevy Traverse is angled right.

    Starting at

    starting at $29,800

    300 - 400Horsepower (hp)310
    27 / 28Fuel Economy (city/hwy mpg)18 / 27
    5,600Max Towing (lbs)5,000

    In the battle of the mid-size SUVs, Ford and Chevy are noteworthy contenders with some of the most impressively designed and capable offerings available on lots across the country. With Ford's exquisite Explorer and Chevy's trailblazing Traverse, you're not only met with unmatched performance from both vehicles, but you can also expect to find designer appeal, unbeatable tech and safety features, and loads of personality from both camps. So, when it comes to the 2021 Ford Explorer vs 2021 Chevy Traverse, which vehicle is better suited for your lifestyle? Prepare to discover the key performance features, stunning interior design elements, and legendary technology that reside in both vehicles as we pin these competitors up against each other. It may be glaringly evident that although both SUVs are exceptional, one vehicle is not like the other, and this particular vehicle is known to outperform the other competitors in its class.

  • Performance

    A white 2021 Ford Explorer is driving past a city after winning the 2021 Ford Explorer vs 2021 Chevy Traverse comparison.Designed with adventure in mind, both the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Chevy Traverse prove that they're built to travel any road. And with a fine selection of engines and options, you'll find that these SUVs perform exceptionally well. See why one of these options is willing to go the extra mile with enhanced performance and unbeatable features.

    Engine Selection

    The 2021 Ford Explorer helps you uncover new destinations with a nice engine lineup, including a base 2.3L four-cylinder, providing it with 300 horsepower, as well as upgraded options, like the turbocharged 3.0L V6, which offers up to 400 horsepower for that added power you need during your travels. The Explorer is also available in a hybrid option, which wows with 318 horsepower, combining a 3.3L V6 with an electric motor for enhanced efficiency and performance. Not only will you find that the Explorer can get moving quickly, but you'll also be happy to know that it can tow up to 5,600 lbs when outfitted correctly, meaning that you're able to do more when you trust in the Ford Explorer.

    The 2021 Chevy Traverse also proves that it's able to accelerate quickly with its 3.6L V6 engine; however, if you're looking for more engine options, you're out of luck. This is your only option in the Traverse, making the Explorer a much more versatile vehicle, as you're able to take advantage of multiple engine types, as well as a hybrid option that the Traverse simply doesn't offer. On the plus side, the Traverse is a capable hauler and can tow up to 5,000 lbs when equipped with an upgraded trailering package, just a hair short of the Explorer's power.

    Travel with Efficiency

    You'll be able to travel new roads when you're riding in the Ford Explorer, as it features an intelligent Terrain Management System, as well as seven drive modes to help you explore different places. Navigate rough terrain, travel through tough road conditions, and discover off-road destinations, all while taking advantage of maximum control, stability and efficiency. No matter which of its four powertrains you choose from, you'll be sure to enjoy impressive fuel efficiency with its hybrid option getting up to 27 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway.

    Traipsing through tough terrain in the Chevy Traverse is also made easy through a series of features, like all-wheel drive, off-road, and tow/haul options, designed to improve your vehicle's performance based on the road condition. You can expect to find less desirable fuel efficiency ratings at 18 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, which is a touch disappointing for this nicely designed vehicle. All in all, the Traverse is a capable performer that lacks a certain excitement behind the wheel.

    If you're looking for a fine selection of engine options, including a hybrid powertrain, expertly-designed terrain management capabilities, and superior fuel efficiency ratings, the Ford Explorer is a clear winner between the two. With fewer options and less efficiency, the Chevy Traverse just can't keep up with Ford when it comes to performance.

  • Interior

    A close up shows a woman making a selection on the infotainment screen in a 2021 Ford Explorer.Shopping for an SUV means that you want more room, more features, and more ways to enhance the productivity of your day. When it comes to interior design, both the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Chevy Traverse showcase stunning options and impressive cargo volume, but one takes this a step further. Learn more about what each SUV brings to the table in terms of interior design.

    Trim Options

    Available in a wide variety of trim offerings, the Ford Explorer has an option for any driver. From base options to a hybrid model to the ultimate in luxury, finding the Explorer that's right for you is easy. Perhaps the most alluring is the Explorer King Ranch, which features leather seating, heated and ventilated front captain's chairs, and real wood applique throughout. Its twin-panel moonroof allows for pristine views of the stars, while its extra legroom and sophisticated features help you melt into the cozy seating and relaxing ambiance within.

    Also available in a nice lineup of trim options, the Chevy Traverse offers everything you need in a vehicle with added upgrades as you advance up the ladder from its L model to the elegant High Country. Premium perforated leather-appointed seating, SkyScape dual-panel power sunroof, and refined appeal greet you in this luxurious model. If you're looking for more, the Traverse is also available in a number of special editions.

    Cavernous Interiors

    The Ford Explorer and the Chevy Traverse delight with roomy interiors and ingenious storage solutions to make anyone and anything comfortable. With seating up to seven, available third-row PowerFold seats, and a Cargo Management System, the Explorer makes it known that it can handle any cargo that's inside. The Traverse is equally as impressive, with seating up to eight and best-in-class cargo volume. Smart Slide seating, hidden storage compartments, and split-folding seats help you create the space you need in your Traverse.

    If you're looking for the roominess you need with the comfort you deserve; both vehicles showcase impeccable designs and cargo capabilities. Where they differ is in the quality of these interior appointments. The Traverse is known to have cheaper-looking parts and pieces in its base options, which means an upgrade will be in order if you want a higher level of quality.

  • Technology

    A dark blue 2021 Ford Explorer is shown speeding down a dirt hill.Staying connected and secure on your drive is imperative, which is why both the Ford Explorer and the Chevy Traverse offer their own set of tech, safety, and driver-assist features designed to elevate your ride. Let's delve into all the ways both mid-size SUVs impress when it comes to late-breaking technology.

    Infotainment Features

    The Ford Explorer is designed with an 8-inch or an optional 10.1-inch touchscreen which provides access to all the connectivity options you could ever want in a vehicle. Upgrade to a higher trim level to take advantage of stellar sound from the Bang & Olufsen audio system, and if keeping your devices charged up is on your wishlist, do so effortlessly with its wireless charging station. The Traverse offers an intuitive infotainment system as well, which includes access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as Amazon Alexa and more. If you're looking for the latest tech features, the Explorer and the Traverse won't let you down.

    Safety & Driver Assist Options

    Both the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Chevy Traverse have earned five stars by the NHTSA in crash testing and provide an exceptional lineup of standard and available advanced safety and driver assist options. With Ford Co-Pilot360, you're able to stay more focused and confident on the road with features like a Lane-Keeping System, Rearview Camera, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, and more to help you avoid accidents and become a safer driver. You're also able to take advantage of the features available in the FordPass app, like vehicle control options, a rewards program, service scheduling, and more. Chevy also offers an excellent lineup of driver-assist features but only offers them as standard in its two highest trim levels.

    Although both the Explorer and the Traverse offer the latest and greatest tech, safety, and driver-assist features, we have to give it to Ford here for making them more attainable. Having to upgrade to some of the most expensive trim levels in order to enjoy these features makes the Traverse less appealing for those who take safety and technology seriously. With the Explorer, you're able to enjoy these features without having to upgrade all the way to the most expensive trim level, making this a top choice for many car shoppers.

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