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2021 Chevrolet Traverse vs Ford Explorer

2021 Chevrolet Traverse vs Ford Explorer

2021 Traverse vs Explorer - How do they stack up? Which is Better?

When you need extra room for your kids or more space for work colleagues, there are several full-size SUV options to choose from. In a market that is saturated with options for this type of model, there are two that stand out the most among the competition. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer are widely popular because of their economical price, ample passenger space, and savvy style attributes. These traditional styles put a modern flair on things to keep it fresh and contemporary for potential buyers. Created from a long line of reliable vehicles, the Chevrolet and Ford brands have outdone themselves in making the Traverse and the Explorer appeal to the masses.

The highlight of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer is the third-row seating both models entail. Creating ample space for passengers of all sizes, you will not find a back seat that is too small for adults in these two SUVs. In fact, create a comfortable environment for all passengers is the goal of the Chevy Traverse and the Ford Explorer. Quality materials and edgy interiors allow these two SUV models to appeal to most buyers without going overboard with complicated facets and upscale enhancements. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer are also powerful under the hood and generate enough horsepower to easily tow trailers, too.

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer are versatile enough to accommodate all buyers. Each developed by authentic American automakers, the Chevrolet Traverse and the Ford Explorer prioritize the same key tenants. Providing family travel that is good-looking and affordable is the goal of these two brands, and they have succeeded in their development of the Traverse and the Explorer. Despite their many similarities, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer are different enough for buyers to compare and determine which benefits them the most.

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The Powertrain

The beauty of these two full-size SUVs is that they can tow large loads with well-built and nicely-equipped engines. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse offers just one engine style that moves up the trim levels with ease. It is standard 3.6-liter V6 engine has a strong pull and pairs with a nine-speed automatic transmission that moves through gears with ease. You will not find any sticky shifting or jerking in this SUV model as it powers through. In fact, the integration of its standard V6 puts the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse near the top of its class in speed and agility.

In contrast, the 2021 Ford Explorer has a couple different engine options to choose from. The lower trims come equipped with a base 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine that is turbocharged and can produce up to 300 horsepower. Trims that fall in the middle of the lineup will be equipped with a 3.0-liter V6 that is a bit more powerful and can produce 365 horsepower with its twin-turbocharged setup. Following that, the same engine is improved to produce up to 400 horsepower in top trims. The 2021 Ford Explorer also rolled out a hybrid model for this year, which consists of a 3.3-liter V6 that is paired with an electric motor and still produces an impressive 318 horsepower.

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer are both known for their towing power. With more powertrain options, the Ford Explorer is undeniably more diverse in its payload ratings. Yet, the Chevrolet Traverse does incorporate a Trailering Package upgrade option that makes it better equipped for larger loads. Going from 1,500 to 5,000 pounds, this trailering package makes quite the difference for the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse. Beating out the Chevrolet Traverse by a few hundred pounds, the maximum towing capacity of the 2021 Ford Explorer tops out at 5,600 pounds. This achievement is available in properly-equipped models with other options falling short of this maximum towing capacity.


Poise is relevant in the driving experience of both the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer. While the Traverse is more laidback and traditional, the Explorer is a bit sportier and spunkier. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is every bit just as big and bulky as it seems making it difficult to park at times. Sliding into tight parking spaces can also be a challenge in this SUV. Yet, the quietness of the cabin and its seamless auto start and stop feature adequately make up for this shortcoming. Handling much like a vehicle that is smaller in size, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is also renowned for its poise and potential. Minimal steering effort is required, which makes handling this SUV feel more like that of a sedan rather than a large SUV.

The choice of rear-wheel or all-wheel drive in the 2021 Ford Explorer makes a ride in this full-size SUV model more diverse than that of the Chevrolet Traverse. A standard 10-speed automatic transmission helps the Explorer pull off a ride that is smooth and graceful. Yet, this SUV can pour on the adventure when it is called upon. Composed and mostly agreeable, the athletic stance of the 2021 Ford Explorer is more than what most rivals can offer. Putting out the same repertoire of other sporty SUV models, the 2021 Ford Explorer has plenty of power and a stiff suspension that stands out.

Limited in its implementation of innovative tech features and navigation system superiority, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse could learn a thing or two from the 2021 Ford Explorer. The Traverse's infotainment system is responsive and easy to read, and this SUV incorporates multiple USB ports throughout its cabin. Yet, it is built-in navigation system is non-existent. In contrast, the 2021 Ford Explorer features a standard 8.0-inch infotainment screen that can be flipped vertically for a 10.2-inch layout in higher trims. It offers voice-activated navigation via a built-in system and an entertainment setup in the rear seats.


This is the one aspect that the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer are similar in more than any other area. Both full-size SUVs received a five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet, they both also missed out on being named as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. The Ford Explorer missed this prestigious safety ranking because of its merely acceptable performance in crash testing, while the Chevrolet Traverse's overall safety demeanor contributed to its near miss of the Top Safety Pick label.

The biggest difference between the safety attributes of these two models is their accessibility. While the 2021 Ford Explorer strives to make all its modern driver assistive safety features standard, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse makes buyers pay to upgrade to these safety amenities. The Ford Explorer makes forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert capabilities standard, as well as automated emergency braking. In contrast, the Chevrolet Traverse only offers blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, and lane-keep assist as available in some models.

This is not to say that the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is not safe, because its NHTSA ranking says otherwise. Yet, its lack of standard safety elements and its second-rate headlights play a role in its obvious room for improvement. Not to mention, the standard suite of safety features known as Chevrolet Safety Assist could be a bit more cohesive. Taking note from Ford's signature Co-Pilot360 safety suite, safety and technology go hand in

Buying Tip:

To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Has the Best Value?

The value of a vehicle can be determined by many facets, which include their trim level variety, overall cost, and associated cost of ownership. Offering just five trims, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse comes in second to the seven trim levels of the 2021 Ford Explorer. With many more options to offer, the Ford Explorer not only provides more trim levels to choose from, but it also incorporates a hybrid option into its lineup.

Between the newest Chevrolet Traverse and the Ford Explorer, the cost of ownership is almost equal. Both are produced by American brands which incorporate parts that are easy to find and labor rates that are comparable. Built on platforms that are very similar, the Traverse and the Explorer are equally as complicated to work on.

In purchasing a 2021 Chevrolet Traverse or a 2021 Ford Explorer, both models are also quite different in their MSRP span between trim levels. The Traverse starts off at $3,000 less than the Explorer is in its base model. However, it is also less equipped and has fewer safety features than the 2021 Ford Explorer. Ending up within a few thousand dollars of each other in their most equipped trims, the 2021 Ford Explorer has much more to offer at a lower cost than one might expect. As a result, the 2021 Ford Explorer is viewed as a much better value than the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse.

Which is Better?

Deciding between the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer for a potential purchase is a simple decision to make. These two models are similar in areas where it matters the most and different in their most intricate details. Buyers interested in a more simplistic model will likely find themselves at home in a 2021 Chevrolet Traverse. Price comparison is not an issue here, because the Traverse is just a few thousand dollars less in each model. Therefore, those with a minimalist attitude will find the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse simply works better for them.

Those who are interested in modern safety feature integration and incorporation of futuristic tech elements will likely enjoy the 2021 Ford Explorer better, though. This model is complex in many areas that the Traverse overlooks or does not put much thought into. The Explorer is quite the catch with an array of upgrades from the Traverse with a minimal price difference. The 2021 Ford Explorer has performed like the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is safety testing and has the standard safety features to prove its excellence in this area.

With cost being a point to consider for most buyers, you will not find a substantial difference in the MSRP of similar trim levels between these two models. Meeting each other every step of the way, the Ford Explorer sprinkles in a few more models with its hybrid options. Yet, for the most part the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Ford Explorer match their price well. However, many buyers will find that the amenities and features the Ford Explorer incorporates in its inherent design fulfills the expectations of this SUV's standard pricing. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse simply falls short for most buyers, leaving the 2021 Ford Explorer standing tall at the top of the full-size SUV lineup. If you are in the market for a large and powerful SUV, the 2021 Ford Explorer is the model we would go with.

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