2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Comparison

If you're looking for a reasonably priced, family-friendly SUV, you may be comparing the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Chevrolet Traverse. These models are closely matched in their class, but the Ford offers more engine options, including a hybrid, and has far superior technology.

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2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Performance

2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Performance

The main concern with the 2021 Chevy Traverse is the lack of engine options. With only one 310-hp engine, the Traverse is very limited when compared to the Explorer's three engines, which include a hybrid. With one less gear, the Traverse also has limited acceleration compared to the Explorer. Enthusiasts will note the Ford model comes with standard rear-wheel drive versus the Chevy's front-wheel drive. This can make a difference depending on the conditions in which you normally drive, with RWD being noted for improved handling, towing, and cornering, while FWD may offer better traction in snow.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • 2.3L turbo four cylinder
    • Base, XLT, and Limited trims
    • 300 horsepower
    • 310 lb-ft of torque
  • 3.3L V6 Hybrid
    • Limited trim only
    • 318 horsepower
  • 3.0L Twin Turbo V6
    • 365 horsepower (Platinum trim)
    • 400 horsepower (ST trim)
  • Standard RWD
  • AWD available
  • 10-speed automatic transmission
  • Up to 27 mpg city / 29 mpg highway
  • Tow up to 5,600 lbs

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

  • V6 engine
    • 310 horsepower
  • Standard FWD
  • AWD available
  • 9-speed automatic transmission
  • Up to 18 mpg city / 27 mpg highway
  • Tows up to 5,000 lbs
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2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Seating/Storage/Cargo

The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse seats up to 8 across its three-seat second and third rows. A 7-seat option replaces the second bench row with captain's chairs. In the 2021 Ford Explorer, you'll seat 6-7, with the third row seating two and the middle row being available as a three-seat bench or two captain's chairs. It is important to note that the total seating capacity on the Traverse does not necessarily account for how comfortable the vehicle is for adults or larger children.

Due to its longer length, the Traverse does have more cargo capacity. However, its length can make it a bit harder to maneuver, especially in tight spaces.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • Seats 6-7
  • Three rows
  • Second row captain's chairs optional
  • Optional two-tone seats with accent stitching
  • Soft touch materials
  • Vegan leatherette option (Limited and above)
  • Powered second row
  • Powered liftgate
  • 18.2 cubic feet behind third row
  • 47.9 cubic feet behind second row
  • 87.8 cubic feet behind first row
  • Concealed cargo storage
  • Cargo organizer standard above base

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

  • Seats up to 7-8
  • Three rows
  • Leather seating option
  • Powered third row
  • Powered liftgate
  • Hands-free liftgate
  • 23 cubic feet behind third row
  • 57.8 cubic feet behind second row
  • 98.2 cubic feet behind first row
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2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Seating/Storage/Cargo
2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Technology Features

2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Technology Features

When it comes to technology, there are slightly different standard features on the Explorer vs the Traverse. The Explorer also offers more premium features at lower trim levels, making them cost less on the Ford than on the Chevy.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • 8” touchscreen with pinch and zoom
  • SYNC3 infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Optional 10.1” vertical touchscreen
  • USB connection
  • Navigation system
  • HD radio
  • Hands-free system
  • 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio (above base)
  • Rear seat entertainment optional

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

  • 7” touchscreen
  • 8” touchscreen optional
  • Infotainment 3
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth
  • Six USB ports
  • Rear seat entertainment optional
  • Wireless charging available
  • Satellite radio available
  • 10-speaker Bose audio available
Regional Incentives

2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Safety Features

These SUVs offer similar standard safety features overall, but the Ford does offer a few extra standard features, like rear cross traffic alert and a post-collision safety system, which activates the brakes to prevent further motion and to help avoid the car rolling after an impact.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Tire pressure alert
  • Traction control
  • 4-wheel anti-lock brakes
  • Three-row airbags
  • Post-collision safety system

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

  • Forward collision alert
  • Automatic emergency braking (above base)
  • Front pedestrian braking
  • Lane keep assist
  • Lane departure warning
  • Auto high-beam headlights
  • Following distance indicator
  • Traction control
  • 4-wheel anti-lock brakes
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2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Safety Features
2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Interior

2021 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse Interior

The interiors of these models are comparable in comfort and quality. Despite the differing seating capacities, the base units are equally large and comfortable enough for six adults or two adults with five kids. This means paying extra for the “eight-seater” Traverse may be a mistake. On upper trims, you'll get leather seating options on the Traverse and vegan leatherette with contrast stitching on the Explorer. Reviews note that the upper trims on the Traverse do not give the quality one should expect for the price, while the Explorer continues to upgrade its interior materials with each trim level.

2021 Ford Explorer

  • Seats 6-7
  • Three rows
  • Second row captain's chairs optional
  • Optional two-tone seats with accent stitching
  • Soft touch materials
  • Leatherette option (Limited and above)
  • Rear seat entertainment option
  • Heated steering wheel option
  • Memory seat settings option
  • Heated and cooled front seats option
  • Twin-panel moonroof option

2021 Chevrolet Traverse

  • Seats 7-8
  • Three rows
  • Second row captain's chairs optional
  • Leather upholstery optional
  • Rear seat entertainment option
  • Heated and ventilated front seats option
  • Heated second row option
  • Heated steering wheel option
  • Sunroof available
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Why Buy From Heritage Ford near Louisville, KY?

Heritage Ford is the #1 SUV dealer near Louisville, KY. We know what you need in your next SUV: the right combination of power, comfort, style, and price. Let us customize your 2021 Ford Explorer to offer the engine, technology, and interior that suit your daily driving.

Our connection with a variety of lenders allows you to score the best down payment, monthly payment, and APR for your budget. We combine these financing deals with our own Heritage Ford discounts and rebates to get you the best possible price on a 2021 Ford Explorer.

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