2020 Chevrolet Traverse vs. 2020 Ford Explorer

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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For enhanced safety, the Chevrolet Traverse’s middle seat shoulder belts have child comfort guides to move the belt to properly fit children. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages children to buckle up. The Ford Explorer doesn’t offer comfort guides on its middle seat belts.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Traverse are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Explorer doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Traverse has a standard front seat center airbag, which deploys between the driver and front passenger, protecting them from injuries caused by striking each other in serious side impacts. The Explorer doesn’t offer front seat center airbags.

Both the Traverse and the Explorer have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.


The Traverse’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Explorer’s (6 vs. 5 years).


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.


The Traverse’s 3.6 DOHC V6 produces 10 more horsepower (310 vs. 300) than the Explorer’s standard 2.3 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Traverse uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Explorer ST requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Traverse FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (19.4 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Traverse AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Explorer V6 Turbo’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 20.2 gallons).

Tires and Wheels

The Chevrolet Traverse’s wheels have 6 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Explorer only has 5 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Traverse has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Explorer doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Traverse’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the Explorer (120.9 inches vs. 119.1 inches).

Passenger Space

The Traverse has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Explorer can only carry 7.

The Traverse has .6 inches more front headroom, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.3 inches more third row legroom, 7.6 inches more third row hip room and 2.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the Explorer.

Cargo Capacity

The Traverse’s cargo area provides more volume than the Explorer.



Behind Third Seat

23 cubic feet

18.2 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

57.8 cubic feet

47.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

98.2 cubic feet

87.8 cubic feet

Servicing Ease

The Traverse uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Explorer uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.


When the Traverse Premier/High Country is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Explorer’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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