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2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 Chevy Traverse

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  • 2022 Ford Explorer

    A grey 2022 Ford Explorer Platinum is shown angled left.

    Starting at

    $35,510[a]

    2022 Chevy Traverse

    A white 2022 Chevy Traverse is shown angled right.

    Starting at

    $33,700

    300-400Horsepower (hp)310
    27Fuel Economy (mpg)21
    8Screen Size (in)8

    Many drivers don't see it coming. One day, they're adjusting the rearview mirror in their coupe, listening to their favorite tape and fidgeting with the manual transmission, and then––just like that––they're shopping for a three-row SUV. Thankfully, automotive manufacturers are aware that many drivers are looking for a vehicle that is large enough to accommodate multiple potentially squabbling passengers without sacrificing a good-looking exterior or fun comfort and convenience features. One of the most popular comparisons in the growing three-row SUV segment is the 2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 Chevy Traverse, both of which are sporty SUVs with fantastic reputations.

    But how does today's driver sort through all the different options and features to determine which SUV to buy? Both Ford and Chevy are known for their die-hard brand loyalists, so you may not get a straight answer, depending on who you ask. Furthermore, no one knows your driving preferences and lifestyle better than you do, which means there's only one expert you can trust––yourself. In cases like this, it's best to make an apples-to-apples comparison of the vehicles to determine once and for all whether you should put your hard-earned money toward a 2022 Ford Explorer or a 2022 Chevy Traverse.

  • Power and Performance

    A blue 2022 Ford Explorer ST is shown parked during a 2022 Ford Explorer vs 2022 Chevy Traverse comparison.

    Which Is Mightier?

    Most drivers want a vehicle that has incredible power and performance, but those words can mean different things when driving a three-row SUV, such as the 2022 Ford Explorer or the 2022 Chevy Traverse. These vehicles are designed to accommodate passengers, tow trailers, and drive across unpredictable terrain, but the definition of "great performance" can differ from driver to driver. However, there are a few objective ways to look at it, such as comparing engines.

    The 2022 Explorer is equipped with three different engines, depending on the trim selected. Most trims include a 2.3L EcoBoost turbocharged inline-four engine that's good for 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. With this engine, the Explorer can cheerfully tow loads up to 5,300 lbs. Drivers who select the ST, King Ranch, and Platinum trims are treated to a 3.0L twin-turbocharged V6 that cranks things up with 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. This engine has the ability to tow up to 5,600 lbs.

    Against these two turbocharged options from Ford, Chevy can only offer its classic 3.6L V6 engine in the Traverse. Good for 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque, this engine is no slouch. A properly equipped Traverse can tow up to 5,000 lbs. None of these numbers are necessarily bad, but the Explorer has a clear advantage when it comes to getting people and their belongings where they need to go.

    The Option to Save

    The Explorer also has a third engine option that is absolutely unparalleled: the option to go hybrid. The Explorer hybrid is equipped with a 3.3L V6 engine combined with a powerful electric motor. Output is impressive, with this setup making 318 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. Additionally, the hybrid is capable of towing up to 5,000 lbs and is fully capable in off-roading conditions.

    Equally impressive is the fuel economy, as the 2022 Explorer's hybrid configuration provides 27 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway for rear-wheel drive models, or 23 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway for all-wheel drive models. The Explorer may well be the most well-rounded hybrid SUV in its class, given its long list of talents. The hybrid setup is offered on the Limited and Platinum trims.

  • Features and Options

    A close up of the silver rim on a silver 2022 Ford Explorer is shown.

    Choosing the Right Trim for Your Needs

    Automobile manufacturers offer a variety of trims in order to appeal to the widest range of drivers. Ford took this assignment seriously with the 2022 Explorer, offering a base trim known simply as the "Explorer," as well as the XLT, ST-Line, Timberline, Limited, ST, King Ranch, and Platinum trims.

    The ST is the sporty sibling, with a sport-tuned suspension and quad exhaust system to match its more powerful V6 engine. But what's the difference between the ST and the ST-Line? It's definitely a difference many drivers need to experience in person to fully appreciate, but the ST-Line has the sporty personality of the ST without the twin-turbocharged V6 engine. The advantage is that this configuration delivers fantastic style without the great responsibility that comes with a sport-tuned engine.

    Other trims in the lineup have their own distinct personalities. Ford's King Ranch trim includes a Country-Western theme, with a Del Rio leather interior and chrome details on the exterior. The Timberline is the off-road expert of the family and includes standard all-wheel drive with a limited-slip rear differential for use when exploring beyond where the pavement ends.

    The Limited trim comes well-equipped with cool treats like second-row sunblinds, tri-zone automatic temperature control, and an impressive 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system. For those who are looking for an even more luxurious driving experience, the Platinum trim does not disappoint. It brings additional speakers, extra USB ports and power outlets, heated and ventilated leather-trimmed front-row seats, and more. It even has a unique bright mesh grille not found on other trims.

    Where Is the Personality?

    In contrast, the 2022 Chevy Traverse is only offered in six trims: the LS, LT Cloth, LT Leather, RS, Premier, and High Country. Each trim adds more sophistication and convenience to the Chevy Traverse, with a little something extra at each step. The RS trim is easy to spot with its Jet Black and Spice Red color palette.

    Unfortunately, the Traverse doesn't offer any purpose-built options for backwoods adventures or high-speed driving, so you are out of luck if you are looking for a vehicle to accommodate your off-roading or performance needs. Luckily, Chevy does have some options. For instance, the Safety Package adds Side Blind Zone Alert, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, and Rear Park Assist to the base trim. In contrast, the Midnight and Sport Edition packages are designed for aesthetics and add 18-inch gloss black aluminum wheels, blacked-out badges, and black window and grille surrounds.

  • Safety and Driver-Assist

    The interior of a 2022 Ford Explorer Timberline shows the infotainment screen and steering wheel.

    An Important Consideration

    Because they are often used as family vehicles, an important consideration for three-row SUVs is safety and driver-assistance technology. Every 2022 Explorer includes the Ford CoPilot360 bundle of driver-assist technology, including a Lane-Keeping System, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-Collision Assist with Automatic Emergency Braking, a Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert, a rearview camera, and automatic high beams. Climbing the trims allows drivers to access even more features, such as the Reverse Sensing System or parking sensors in the Platinum trim.

    The 2022 Traverse includes the Chevy Safety Assist suite of driver-assistance technology. This package offers standard Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking and Front Pedestrian Braking, Following Distance Indicator, Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning, and IntelliBeam automatic high beams. Again, higher trims have more features, such as Enhanced Automatic Emergency Braking and the HD Surround Vision camera that are offered with the RS level and above.

    Of course, choosing your next three-row SUV involves more than simply selecting the option with the most robust driver-assist package. When it comes to buying your next vehicle, you need to get a feel for the whole package, inside and out. However, if some of the features mentioned here transcend the level of wants into absolute needs, it can be important to address those features first.

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