2023 Ford Explorer Beats the 2023 Kia Telluride

Are you on the hunt for a high-quality midsize SUV? Two excellent choices are the Ford Explorer and the Kia Telluride. Find out how they measure up in this 2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Kia Telluride comparison. With its abundance of advantages, the Explorer beats the Telluride.

2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Kia Telluride

Rapid Red 2023 Ford Explorer midsize SUV driving over a bridge
Rapid Red 2023 Ford Explorer | Ford

In this 2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Kia Telluride comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, and price.

Explorer vs. Telluride: Performance and gas mileage

Front angle view of blue 2023 Kia Telluride midsize SUV
Midnight Lake Blue 2023 Kia Telluride | Kia

With its more powerful engine options, the 2023 Ford Explorer has the advantage for performance. This includes a 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 (300 horsepower), a 3.3-liter V-6 hybrid (318 horsepower), and a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 (365 horsepower). The Explorer also offers a second variant of the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V-6 in the high-performance ST model (400 horsepower). 

In comparison, all 2023 Kia Telluride models come equipped with a 3.8-liter V-6 engine, which generates 291 horsepower.

The Explorer also has the advantage for efficiency. The fully gas-powered Explorer has an estimated fuel economy of up to 24 combined mpg, while the Explorer Hybrid has a gas mileage of up to 27 combined mpg. In comparison, the Telluride has an estimated fuel economy of up to 23 combined mpg.

Explorer vs. Telluride: Towing 

For towing, the 2023 Explorer has a slight advantage. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds, compared to 5,500 pounds for the 2023 Telluride.

Explorer vs. Telluride: Off-road capabilities

If you’re aiming to head off-road, then the Explorer is the better SUV for you. While the Telluride offers an all-wheel drive system, the Explorer offers a more advanced four-wheel drive system for effectively driving over rugged terrain. 

Also, the Explorer has higher ground clearance than the Telluride (up to 8.7 vs. 8.4 inches). Furthermore, while the Telluride has rugged new X-Line and X-Pro models, they don’t match the off-road capabilities of the Explorer Timberline trim.

Explorer vs. Telluride: Safety

The Explorer has the edge for safety. For the previous model year, it earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. In comparison, the Telluride received the second-tier IIHS Top Safety Pick award. 

Explorer vs. Telluride: Passenger and cargo space

Which SUV is bigger: the Telluride or the Explorer? While the official interior specs of the 2023 Telluride are not yet available, they will likely be similar to the 2022 Telluride, which has a total passenger volume of 178.1 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 87.0 cu-ft. In comparison, the 2023 Explorer has a total passenger volume of 152.7 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 87.8 cu-ft. 

The SUVs are fairly evenly matched for storage space, but the Telluride provides considerably more passenger space. Also, the Telluride can seat up to eight people, compared to seven for the Explorer.

Explorer vs. Telluride: Warranty coverage

The Telluride provides more generous warranty coverage than the Explorer. It has a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, compared to a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty for the Explorer. 

Explorer vs. Telluride: Price

Which SUV costs more: the 2023 Telluride or the 2023 Explorer? The starting price of the 2023 Explorer ranges from $36,760 MSRP for the Base trim up to $54,130 MSRP for the King Ranch trim.

For the 2023 Telluride, the official price information is not yet available. However, it will likely cost slightly more than the 2022 version. The starting price of the 2022 Telluride ranges from $33,090 MSRP for the LX trim up to $42,990 MSRP for the SX trim.

2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Kia Telluride: Which SUV is better? 

In this 2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Kia Telluride midsize SUV comparison, the 2023 Explorer has most of the advantages. This includes advantages for performance, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, and safety. Conversely, the 2023 Telluride has advantages for passenger space and warranty coverage.

RELATED: Hello 2023 Kia Telluride, Goodbye 2022 Telluride