2020 Chevy Traverse vs 2020 Ford Explorer – Albany, NY

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  • 2020 Chevy Traverse

    A grey 2020 Chevy Traverse is angled left.

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    2020 Ford Explorer

    A white 2020 Ford Explorer King Ranch is angled right.

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    8Max Seating7
    157.3Passenger Volume (cu.ft.)152.7
    98.2Max Cargo Space (cu.ft.)87.8

    Large SUVs are not a thing of the past. Practical for families, these models are perfect for getting the kids to school and extracurricular activities. You can even use an SUV to go on a family road trip or camping adventure. The decision to purchase a large SUV is easy. But the hard part comes in choosing the right SUV for your driving needs. That’s why we did some work to help you decide between two of the most popular SUVs out there with a comparison: 2020 Chevy Traverse vs 2020 Ford Explorer.

    As the two most popular American automakers, Chevy and Ford have a reputation for competing against each other. While both the Traverse and Explorer offer three rows of seating, the configurations are very different inside. The Chevy Traverse offers available seating for up to eight people with still 23 cu.ft. of storage room in the back. And the maximum cargo area is measured at 98.2 cu.ft. Meanwhile, the Ford Explorer only has room for six or seven people, depending on the configuration, with 18.1 cu.ft. of cargo space behind the third row. The maximum cargo area for the Explorer is also low at 87.8 cubic feet.

    So, if you are looking for space, the Chevy Traverse is already coming out on top. But for those of you who are still on the fence, let’s explore a few other key areas to see which SUV reigns supreme.

  • Performance

    A red 2020 Traverse is parked in front of a city steak house at night after winning the 2020 Chevy Traverse vs 2020 Ford Explorer comparison.

    When it comes to powering an SUV, it is crucial that an engine is not only powerful but also versatile. For a family vehicle such as the Traverse and the Explorer, the combination of power, fuel economy, and capability both on and off the road is essential. So, let's look at what these two vehicles have to offer.

    The Traverse's Engine

    Rumbling under the hood of the 2020 Chevy Traverse is a 3.6-liter V6 engine. Paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission and FWD (AWD is optional), this powertrain pushes out 310 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. The gas mileage isn’t too bad either. It has an estimated fuel economy set at 21 MPG combined (18 city/27 highway), and it can pull up to 5,000 pounds. And if you need more oomph for crawling over rough terrain, you can switch over to Traction Mode. This is an excellent off-roading feature that makes camping a blast.

    Exploring Engines

    The 2020 Ford Explorer is available with three unique powertrains. First is a turbocharged 2.3-liter I-4 engine mated with a 10-speed automatic transmission and RWD (AWD is optional). This standard powertrain generates 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, and it can tow 5,300 pounds. Next is the turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that makes 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque on the ST high-performance trim. Keep in mind that when this particular powertrain is equipped with the Platinum model, the performance drops down to 365 hp and 380 lb-ft of torque.

    The maximum towing capacity is capped at 5,600 pounds. Lastly, the Limited Hybrid model is powered by a 3.3-liter V6 motor coupled with a battery-fed electric motor. It produces 318 hp and can haul 5,000 pounds.

    The Takeaway

    While the Ford Explorer has more options, the Chevy Traverse uses a very well rounded powertrain with features that can better handle off-roading as well as city driving, something families who enjoy some adventure and camping may want or need.

  • Interior

    The front seats and dashboard of a 2020 Chevy Traverse is shown.

    When you slip behind the wheel of either SUV, you will notice that the interior features will vary depending on which trim you choose. Keep in mind that the Chevy Traverse is offered in seven trims while the Ford Explorer is only available in five. But let’s take a peek inside to see what you get in each one.

    Inside the Traverse

    The Traverse L is the base model, and it comes with cloth-covered bucket seats, carpeted floors, and floor mats. The Chevrolet Infotainment 3 system is included with a 7-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth, and a 4G LTE Wifi hotspot. As for safety systems, every Traverse comes with the Teen Driver technology, a tire pressure monitoring system, cruise control, and rearview camera.

    Next is the LS trim. This one adds protective seat covers, a universal tablet holder, and a back seat DVD entertainment system. The third trim is the LT Cloth, which adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite radio, and an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support. You can also opt for the LT Leather trim, which comes with leather seating, a digital compass, and a 4.2-inch information center.

    Added safety features include rear park assist, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. Want something more sporty? You can go for the RS trim. This model comes with a heated steering wheel, a 120-volt power outlet, a 10-speaker Bose sound system, and navigation. HD Surround Vision has also been added along with other safety systems, including emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and forward collision alert.

    Now, we have reached the luxury trims. The Premier adds perforated leather upholstery for heated/cooled seats. A wireless charging pad has also been included. Finally, the top-tier High Country model includes power-folding technology for the back row, the SkyScrape tilt-sliding power sunroof, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control.

    The Explorer's Interior

    On the other hand, the Ford Explorer is only available in five trims. The base model includes dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, dual USB ports, a 6-speaker stereo, and an infotainment interface displayed on an 8-inch touchscreen. This system works with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wifi hotspot. Standard safety features include automatic high beams, emergency braking, lane-departure warning, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.

    Next is the XLT model. The one includes keyless ignition/entry, two more USB ports, lumbar support for the driver’s seat, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters. The third term is the Limited. Adding leather seats that are both heated and cooled, this popular trim includes ambient cabin lighting, a 360-degree camera system, a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system, and a wireless charging pad.

    The sporty trim is known as the ST. This high-performance ride adds a redesigned instrument cluster and athletic seats. Finally, the Platinum model gets the best upgrades. It comes with massaging front seats, a 14-speaker stereo from Bang & Olufsen, and a 10.1-inch touchscreen.

    The Takeaway

    The Chevy Traverse offers more features over more trims for the ultimate customization. You can find the perfect ride that suits your daily driving needs because of all the choices, making it a better competitor.

  • Exterior

    A family is walking towards a white 2020 Chevy Traverse that is parked in a driveway.

    While both vehicles look like large SUVs, the exterior styling elements vary depending on the trim. Let’s explore the different features available for the outside of both vehicles.

    Outer Walls of the Traverse

    The Traverse L rolls on 19-inch aluminum wheels and features LED daytime running lights and dual exhaust tips. Black accents on the moldings and mirror caps add a sleek look, and body-colored accents on the front fascia and door handles pulls everything together. The LS adds HID headlights and rear privacy glass.

    The LT Cloth gets foglamps, and body-colored mirror caps along with roof rails and heated side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators. Meanwhile, the LT Leather model offers a programmable, hands-free liftgate. Stepping up to the RS will get you 20-inch aluminum wheels, all-season tires, IntelliBeam headlights, and black accents.

    The Premier adds chrome door handles, LED exterior lighting, and an auto-dimming feature to the side mirrors. Lastly, the High Country gets polished alloy 20-inch wheels, a dual-pane sunroof, and body-colored moldings.

    Exterior of the Explorer

    As for the Ford Explorer base, it rides on 18-inch wheels, and features LED headlights, a power liftgate, and rear privacy glass. The XLT adds heated side mirrors and roof rails. Riding on 20-inch wheels and featuring rain-sensing wipers is the Limited model. It also has power-folding side mirrors. Then, the ST gets different 20-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. Finally, the Platinum adds adaptive headlights and a dual-pane sunroof.

    The Takeaway

    There are a lot more exterior features available on the Chevy Traverse than the Ford Explorer. These options put the Traverse on top of the competition because they add to the SUV's versatility.

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