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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Motortrend updated their article from January that compares the Kia Telluride with the well established Ford Explorer. They went through the specs and features of each SUV and here's what they found.

- The Explorer "builds off the previous model," while the Telluride "receives more unexpected design cues that give it a quirky vibe. Square headlights, curved taillights, muscular wheel arches, and boxy proportions contribute to the Telluride's unique personality."
- The Telluride is less powerful than all the options you can get with the Explorer. The 3.6 liter V-6 makes 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque while the Explorer's base 2.3 liter EcoBoost turbocharged four cylinder makes 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.
- The Telluride can tow up to 5,000 pounds while the Explorer can tow 5,600 pounds with the 3.0 liter V-6 and 5,300 pounds with the base 2.3 liter engine.
- The Telluride only has 4 driving modes while the Explorer has up to 7.
- The Telluride can seat up to 8 passengers and the Explorer seats 7.
- The Telluride is slightly shorter, narrower, and has a smaller wheelbase than the Explorer
- The Telluride has more interior space than the Explorer
The Telluride wins when it comes to cargo space behind the third row: 21.0 cubic feet compared to the Explorer's 18.2 cubic feet. If you drive with the third-row seat folded, however, the Explorer pulls ahead, with 47.9 cubic feet of space to the Telluride's 46.0 cubic feet. Of course, we'll have to compare the cargo bays for ourselves before we decide which one feels roomier.

Now how about legroom? The Explorer lags behind in the second row with 39 inches compared to the Telluride's 42.4 inches of legroom. But the Explorer makes a comeback in third-row legroom, which measures 32.2 inches, ahead of the Telluride's 31.4 inches.
- Both are loaded with safety features.
Both the Explorer and Telluride offer a slew of safety features. They each get collision avoidance tech, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Ford offers evasive steering assist, which provides steering support to help avoid a crash.
- The base Telluride price is lower than the Explorer's and will go on sale first.
The 2020 Kia Telluride began sales this spring, while the 2020 Ford Explorer enters the market in June. As we reported earlier, the base Explorer starts $33,860, putting it well above the Telluride's starting price of $32,735. The most expensive Explorer in the lineup, the Platinum model, goes for $59,345, while the Telluride's top trim only comes in at $42,535.
 

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Kelley Blue Book put together a side by side comparison of the Telluride and Explorer. According to them the Telluride is the clear winner.
Similarities
Functional 3-row SUVs that are fully-capable family haulers.

2020 Kia Telluride Advantages
A comfortable ride, fantastic warranty, and amenity-packed vehicle for a good price.

2020 Ford Explorer Advantages
The 2020 Ford Explorer comes in a hybrid.

Final Recommendation
The Kia Telluride takes the cake in this comparison since it comes well-equipped at its base level. While the Explorer does offer a hybrid power train, it is priced into luxury SUV territory and can be costly.
They also have this great side-by-side chart with all the specs.
 

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That what you get when its build and designed by people that understand the demand.

If it was designed and built elsewhere, we wouldn't see strong sales.

ADMITTEDLY, the Explorer holds its own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That what you get when its build and designed by people that understand the demand.

If it was designed and built elsewhere, we wouldn't see strong sales.

ADMITTEDLY, the Explorer holds its own.
The Explorer is definitely no slouch that's for sure. This comparison is definitely more about how good the Telluride is rather than how bad the Explorer is.
 

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A C&D comparison between the summed up the differences quite well.

The Bottom Line
Kia's second shot at the three-row, mid-size SUV market is a first-rate vehicle that is perfectly attuned to the American market. It probably took a massive effort on Kia's part to deliver this knockout, but the Telluride's win appears effortless. The big Kia proves the better buy regardless of whether you prioritize interior space, style, value, driving dynamics, or convenience features as your most important need. The Ford's advantages in straight-line performance and highway fuel economy simply aren't enough to justify its less accommodating interior, its unpolished powertrain, or its mediocre driving dynamics.

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Explorer does some core SUV things VERY well.

Telluride does everything well enough but nothing exceptional well and that's completely fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
A C&D comparison between the summed up the differences quite well.

The Bottom Line
Kia's second shot at the three-row, mid-size SUV market is a first-rate vehicle that is perfectly attuned to the American market. It probably took a massive effort on Kia's part to deliver this knockout, but the Telluride's win appears effortless. The big Kia proves the better buy regardless of whether you prioritize interior space, style, value, driving dynamics, or convenience features as your most important need. The Ford's advantages in straight-line performance and highway fuel economy simply aren't enough to justify its less accommodating interior, its unpolished powertrain, or its mediocre driving dynamics.

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Yeah Car and Driver did a good job with their review. At the end of the day they're both worthy SUVs to own.
 

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Yeah Car and Driver did a good job with their review. At the end of the day they're both worthy SUVs to own.
No doubt. Telluride demand verifies that and so did MotorTrend recently:

And The Verdict Is ...
Both the 2020 Kia Telluride and the 2020 Ford Explorer bring a lot to the table, but the Kia is simply the more well-rounded vehicle. The big Korean also comes with features found in pricier luxury SUVs, such as heated and ventilated second-row seats, a blind-spot monitor, and a self-leveling rear air suspension, while topping out at $46,860. An equally equipped 2020 Explorer costs well into the $50,000 range, yet the quality, road manners, and comfort pales in comparison against the Telluride. For those reasons, the 2020 Kia Telluride wins this matchup.
More: MotorTrends Full Article
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
No doubt. Telluride demand verifies that and so did MotorTrend recently:

More: MotorTrends Full Article
This quote from the article about the build quality really stands out and reinforces their verdict for the Telluride.

Look closely at the interior details, and you'll notice the Telluride's superior build quality. Everything you touch feels expensive and substantial, and our SX tester's two-tone Nappa leather upholstery further enhances the cabin's premium ambiance. In comparison, the Explorer XLT's interior reeks of cheapness, putting it way behind the Telluride in terms of quality. Multiple staffers criticized the Explorer's interior for cost cutting and the extensive use of substandard bits throughout the cabin. (Editors had similar opinions about two more expensive Explorer testers.)
 

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Here's another Telluride/Explorer comparison. This time it's from Sam CarLegion. Like the other comparisons he picked the Telluride for its ability to offer more features than Explorer at a better price.

 

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The problem I have with these Explorer vs Palisade comparisons is its getting old and really quick. Mindsets of the buyer types involved are drastically different. If I had more utilitarian related needs it would be the Explorer and its a completely different mindset from what attracts people to the Telluride.
 

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The problem I have with these Explorer vs Palisade comparisons is its getting old and really quick. Mindsets of the buyer types involved are drastically different. If I had more utilitarian related needs it would be the Explorer and its a completely different mindset from what attracts people to the Telluride.
Really well put, they serve two different purposes and they both do it well. It's time for these reviewers to find another SUV to compare the Telluride too.
 
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