2023 Chevy Traverse vs 2023 Ford Explorer

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  • 2023 Chevy Traverse

    A silver 2023 Chevy Traverse Premier is angled left.

    Starting at

    $34,520[a]

    2023 Ford Explorer

    A white 2023 Ford Explorer King Ranch is angled right.

    Starting at

    $36,760

    98.2Max. Cargo (cu.ft.)87.8
    StandardWi-Fi HotspotAvailable
    StandardWireless Apple CarPlay/Android AutoAvailable

    In the sea of three-row family SUVs, a few models tend to outperform the rest. Chevrolet and Ford, two brands recognized for shaping the automotive industry, reside at the top of the list, with the Traverse and Explorer making family travels easier, safer, and more comfortable. Although the Explorer had an 18-year head-start on the Traverse, making its debut in 1990, it didn’t take long for the Traverse, which debuted in 2008, to catch up. Known for its smooth driving dynamics, spacious cabin, and affordable starting price, the Traverse quickly became the go-to for families everywhere who didn’t want to settle for an outdated minivan for their daily travel needs. Both the Traverse and the Explorer have their fair share of accommodating features, but when you take a closer look at the 2023 Chevy Traverse vs 2023 Ford Explorer, one three-row stunner is a surefire winner with families near and far.

    On the heels of an extensive revitalization just last year, the 2023 Traverse showcases a few more enhancements to further appeal to drivers. From new paint colors entering its arsenal to more quality materials in its trim selection, the Traverse is even more mesmerizing than before. Unfortunately, the 2023 Explorer shows no new features to boast about for its current model year, save for a new paint color added to its palette. Here at DePaula Chevrolet, we want to help you find the family vehicle that will add value to your everyday travels, and in the areas of comfort and convenience, performance, and innovation, one of these three-row haulers proves to be the better traveler in every possible way.

  • Comfort and Convenience

    A white 2023 Chevy Traverse is shown from the side driving on an open road.

    Cozy Trim Selection

    Both the 2023 Chevy Traverse and the 2023 Ford Explorer offer their drivers a fine selection of versatile trims. Whether you’re searching for high-end luxury or basic comfort, you’ll find it in both camps; however, be prepared for skyrocketing prices in Ford’s lineup, especially as you make your way up the trim levels. The 2023 Traverse, on the other hand, is available in several appealing and affordable trims, and if you want top-level luxury, that’s available too with its High Country model. From perforated leather-appointed seating to a SkyScape dual-panel sunroof, your experience inside the High Country will be superb. The RS is also extremely alluring, with its athletic appeal radiating throughout, boasting black badging and sleek black accents inside and out.

    As we mentioned above, the 2023 Explorer also includes a nice array of trims, but again, be prepared to shell out some serious cash if you’re intrigued by its top-level models, like the King Ranch. From Del Rio leather appointments to hand-stitched accents throughout, this expensive traveler showcases ultimate luxury inside. You’ll find a number of trims in the lineup to appeal to various budgets; however, many feature low-quality materials and less-than-engaging design elements, making it feel like you’re riding in a budget-friendly vehicle. This poses a problem when you compare the quality of the materials with the sticker price plastered to the windshield.

    Convenient Cabins

    Drivers love all the space they get to enjoy in the 2023 Chevy Traverse, boasting a best-in-class cargo volume of 98.2 cu.ft., with plenty of ways to configure its spacious cabin to accommodate more. With three roomy rows and seating for up to eight, the Traverse is the ultimate family hauler, and with an available power-folding third row, making more space for more gear, when needed, is a breeze. Second-row Smart Slide seating helps create effortless access to the back row, while hidden storage throughout and an available hands-free liftgate make it easy to get loaded up and have a place for all your belongings while on the go.

    While the 2023 Ford Explorer offers three rows to accommodate its passengers, its third row is only suitable for small-size occupants, as it tends to be a bit cramped. You’ll also find that the Explorer can only handle seven passengers, and with only 87.8 cu.ft. of available cargo space, you may notice that the Explorer’s cargo hold is a bit cramped as well. This is why the Traverse is better equipped to handle your brood. Its spacious and accommodating cabin, cavernous cargo hold, and configurable seating further enhance the interior space. When traveling with your family, you need a vehicle that can handle anything and anyone joining you on the journey, which is exactly what you can expect in the 2023 Chevy Traverse.

  • Performance

    A blue 2023 Chevy Traverse is shown from the rear driving past a city.

    A Ride in the Traverse

    Beneath the hood of every 2023 Chevy Traverse lies a 3.6L V6 engine paired up nicely with a 9-speed automatic transmission. With a max towing capacity of 5,000 lbs and a fuel economy rating of 27 MPG on the highway, this engine is all the Traverse needs to deliver its occupants everywhere they need to go smoothly and efficiently. You’ll also find available drive modes to help you easily take on different terrains, including All-Wheel Drive for rough environments, Off-Road for trail-hopping, Tow/Haul for towing your camper out for a weekend getaway, and more.

    The overall ride quality is engaging and comfortable, allowing for the experience to feel much more compact and maneuverable than its size would suggest, effortlessly navigating the twists and turns of the road with accuracy. Responsive steering, firm braking, and an all-around dynamic ride await in the Traverse, bringing more value to your family’s travels wherever the road takes you next.

    A Ride in the Explorer

    Ford decides to arm its family hauler with a number of different engines, which can be confusing for drivers, especially those searching for a kid-friendly hauler. It’s not a pickup truck or a sports car, so having this many engines to choose from seems a bit over the top. If you’re searching for a powertrain to make your drive a livelier experience, the 3.0L EcoBoost turbocharged V6 will deliver 400 hp to add excitement to the mundane drive to school. Although this engine is peppy, be prepared to sacrifice fuel economy. This can be a dealbreaker for families, especially those who make frequent stops to the school, sports practice, doctor’s office, and so forth, as efficiency matters for busy families.

    Overall, the 2023 Traverse offers an excellent ride with exceptional fuel efficiency and ample power. One engine makes the decision easy for families who prioritize safety and convenience over powertrains, which makes the Ford Explorer and its engine arsenal a bit much for these types of travelers. When you’re searching for a comfortable ride, marked by easy handling and expert maneuverability, the 2023 Chevy Traverse is a top pick.

  • Innovation

    The black interior of a 2023 Chevy Traverse shows the infotainment screen.

    The Infotainment Experience in the Traverse

    The 2023 Chevy Traverse comes with a plethora of tech features designed to make family time on the road seamless and convenient. What drivers love about the Traverse is its intuitive and easy infotainment system, complete with eye-catching graphics and a responsive touchscreen. The Traverse makes it easy for families to remain dialed into their day, with standard wireless smartphone capabilities, plus a standard Wi-Fi Hotspot to keep all on board connected at all times. Opt for Alexa Built-In and further maximize convenience during your drive, with the ability to add items to your shopping list, operate your smart home devices, and more from the road.

    Keeping your kids’ devices charged up means everything to parents, especially since these devices can make or break a road trip adventure. Fortunately, the 2023 Traverse is armed with plenty of USB ports located conveniently in every row of its cabin to ensure that every device on board is ready for the journey ahead. You’ll also find available connected navigation, plenty of in-vehicle apps, including Spotify, and much more to add convenience and enjoyment to any ride for you and all of your passengers.

    The Infotainment Experience in the Explorer

    While a more innovative touchscreen would be preferred on the Ford Explorer, it’s still responsive and easy to use. It also showcases a large 10.1-inch touchscreen, but enjoying this means you’ll have to choose one of its top-level trims, which means shelling out more money for your vehicle. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities can be found, but wireless connectivity can only be enjoyed when you opt for the FordPass Connect app. All in all, the Explorer is loaded with features, including Alexa capabilities, navigation, premium sound systems, a wireless charging pad, and more, but not all of this comes standard, which can be disappointing for many drivers.

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