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There is a common misconception that third-row SUVs are alike. Yet, nothing proves this assumption to be further from the truth than the comparison of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Kia Telluride. Both SUVs are third-row models, yet their personalities and inherent characteristics are completely incompatible. While the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is an economical model that comes from a long-standing brand known for its traditional attitude, the 2021 Kia Telluride is vastly different from this persona. It is derived from a modern brand that is focused on innovative tech and safety attributes that make its character seem more upscale and accommodating than that of its Traverse rival.
Of course, the general concept of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Kia Telluride are largely the same. Encompassing third-row seating, each of these SUVs is lengthy and spacious. Their exteriors differ slightly, but strong curvature and squared-off features seem to be the trend between these competitors. However, the front end of the Chevrolet Traverse is an ode to its branding with its striped front grille. In contrast, the 2021 Kia Telluride features a chrome or black front grille with a thatched look that is a bit bolder. This is just the beginning of the variations between these two SUVs, and the inconsistent features just keep building.
In a world of many full-size SUV options, why are the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Kia Telluride worth of a comparison? These two popular models are notorious for their comfort, straightforward styling, and admirable power. They balance all these attributes without going overboard, being too frivolous, or becoming too expensive. Simply put, they offer the best of both worlds and walk the fine line of upscale and practical well. Let us look at how these two models differ in other ways that set them apart.
The expectations of power in a full-size SUV are high. After all, these vehicles are supposed to be the perfect mixture of a truck and a sedan with an emphasis on heavy duty attributes. Neither of these models will let you down in this area. Equally strong, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is known for its quick acceleration, while the 2021 Kia Telluride relies on a self-leveling suspension for a seamless driving experience. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse relies on a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that comes standard to generate up to 310 horsepower. The Traverse is paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Smooth and sophisticated under the hood, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is a reliable SUV that can be trusted to routine family transport and daily commuting efforts.
Similarly, the 2021 Kia Telluride relies on a V-6 to propel it forward and keep it going along with mainstream full-size SUVs. Its naturally-aspirated motor is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Generating 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque is no big deal for the Telluride, either. Although this SUV did not earn its namesake for its towing capacity, it could absolutely perform if it is called upon. The transmission of the 2021 Kia Telluride does a good job of sending power to the front wheels in its standard layout. Yet, it can also send power to all its wheels in an optional upgrade to all-wheel drive.
Oftentimes, buyers do not expect excellent fuel economy to come from full-size SUVs. Their sheer size and weight combined with the powerful engine necessary to move them along are all factors that work against their fuel efficiency. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse shocks buyers by maintaining a fuel economy of 27 combined mpg. Its auto start/stop feature also works well to preserve energy and fuel when it is idling. Coming in a little lower than the Traverse, the 2021 Kia Telluride can average 26 highway mpg in its thriftiest front-wheel drive setup. All-wheel drive models drop the fuel efficiency of the 2021 Kia Telluride substantially, but some buyers consider this to be a sacrifice that is worthwhile.
There is a certain feel that full-size SUVs are notorious for offering, and the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse lives up to this standard. The heavier feel and the larger size of this full-size SUV is what makes many buyers feel so safe in it. However, maneuvering a vehicle of this size into tight parking spaces or down crowded city streets can be challenging. Yet, when the Chevrolet Traverse speeds up on the highway it begins to function and steer like a smaller crossover. Refined and composed, the difference between driving the Traverse in these two situations is like night and day.
The 2021 Kia Telluride is a bit more adept in its steering, although it takes some time to get to that point. When traveling at lower speeds the Kia Telluride is not as responsive as it is when it gains momentum. Although a firm ride may be what some buyers are searching for, it can be a bit much for others. However, a self-leveling suspension enhances the ride quality of the Kia Telluride. Improving braking and steering, the Telluride functions better once it gets on the right path. A ground clearance of eight inches and a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds also sets this model above other rivals. Despite its chic attitude, the 2021 Kia Telluride could display its rough and tough persona, if needed.
Seating seven or eight passengers total, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is well-equipped to accommodate large passenger volume. It was made to transport large families or work colleagues, so every facet of the Traverse was designed with this concept in mind. From its third-row seating that is comfortable for adults to its rear cargo area that will hold up to six carry-on suitcases, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse has plenty of room for your guests and their belongings. More upscale and comfortable, the 2021 Kia Telluride offers a new level of convenience. Using captain's chairs to seat seven passengers or a middle bench seat to seat eight passengers, there are multiple configurations in the 2021 Kia Telluride, as well. Yet, the Kia Telluride accommodates only four carry-on suitcases in the rear with the seats folded up.
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One of the areas in which the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Kia Telluride begin to separate is in their array of safety feature offerings and their availability. The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is average but leaves much to be desired. This SUV did earn a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA, but it was not awarded as Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS. One of its major pitfalls is the lack of availability of modern driver assistive safety features. Buyers must tap into one of the two top trim levels to gain access to these amenities. Once they do, available blind-spot monitoring, forward-collision warning, and lane-keep assist can be purchased as upgrades.
The 2021 Kia Telluride takes safety a bit more seriously. After being awarded a five-star safety rating by the NHTSA, the 2021 Kia Telluride was also named as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS. This model incorporates all driver-assistive safety features as standard across all models, setting it apart from the subpar Chevrolet Traverse. In the 2021 Kia Telluride, buyers will find forward-collision warning, lane departure warning, and blind-spot monitoring as standard, among many others. Ensuring every buyer has access the safest driving conditions possible, the 2021 Kia Telluride provides a plethora of safety attributes in all trim levels, including its base model.
Which Has the Best Value?
Your next vehicle is one that is going to stay with you for a period, so making the right decision on the model you desire is an important task. To ensure you are making the right choice, you must consider a variety of concepts that include the overall price, the attributes each SUV entails, and the incorporation of these features within each trim level. Simply put, the SUV model that offers the most attributes for the best price is the one that can be awarded the distinction of the best value.
The lack of safety features really hurts the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse. This makes is hard for buyers to move forward and compare any other attributes of this full-size SUV. Yet, if they can get past this concern, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is valued as average for everything it entails. Conventional upholstery, a traditional interior, and an adequate powertrain give buyers everything they would expect in an economical SUV without providing too much. Priced a bit high for the limitations it experiences, the Chevrolet Traverse is a great option for those in search of a cheaper, but functional, full-size SUV.
Available at nearly an identical price, the 2021 Kia Telluride has so much to offer buyers. The enhanced value of this SUV from the Chevrolet Traverse is almost unbelievable. The Kia Telluride can be purchased at a price that is like that of the Chevrolet Traverse, but it has much more to show for it. A wide array of standard safety features, upscale interior definition, and premium technology features complete the character creation of the 2021 Kia Telluride as a full-size SUV. Not only does this model look better on the inside, but its distinctive looks on the outside are also appreciated by buyers.
Which is Better?
The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse and the 2021 Kia Telluride are two models that are similar in their basic attributes but become much more varied from one another as we explore higher trim level options. It is currently that buyers typically begin to consider which of these SUVs is a better selection. In our opinion, the 2021 Kia Telluride fits buyers who are in search of reputable dynamics and upscale amenities in an SUV. Who says family travel must be done frivolously? You can feel like you have it all together, and look like it too, in a new 2021 Kia Telluride. Luxury, comfort, and strength are inherent qualities in the newest Kia Telluride, and they get even better when you compare them to the minimum inclusions of the Chevrolet Traverse.
Now, if you are a buyer in search of a more economical option, the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse may be for you. Incorporating more basic and functionality features, the Traverse is more focused on utility than aesthetics. However, the overall price of the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is like that of the Kia Telluride. This means you are not gaining access to the level and span of amenities offered by the comparable 2021 Kia Telluride in the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse. For this reason, we think the 2021 Kia Telluride is the better model overall. It fits the requirements of many buyers and looks good while doing it. The 2021 Kia Telluride is the total package in a full-size SUV and has buyer recommendations to prove it.