2023 Ford Explorer Defeats 2023 Chevy Traverse With Its Many Advantages

Are you aiming to get behind the wheel of an American three-row midsize SUV? Two popular choices are the Ford Explorer and the Chevy Traverse. See how they stack up in this 2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Chevy Traverse comparison. With its wide array of advantages, the Explorer defeats the Traverse. 

2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Chevrolet Traverse

Front angle view of Star White 2023 Ford Explorer midsize SUV
Star White 2023 Ford Explorer | Ford

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

Explorer vs. Traverse: Performance and gas mileage

Front angle view of Black Cherry Metallic 2023 Chevy Traverse midsize SUV
Black Cherry Metallic 2023 Chevy Traverse | Chevrolet

For performance, except for the base engine, all of the engines for the 2023 Ford Explorer have a higher horsepower output than the one for the 2023 Chevrolet Traverse. Engine options for the Explorer include 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 Traverse models come equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine (310 horsepower).

For efficiency, the Explorer has the advantage. The fully gas-powered Explorer has an estimated gas mileage of up to 24 combined mpg, while the Explorer Hybrid has a fuel economy of up to 27 combined mpg. In comparison, the Traverse has an estimated gas mileage of up to 21 combined mpg.

Explorer vs. Traverse: Towing

The 2023 Explorer can tow more than the 2023 Traverse. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds, compared to 5,000 pounds for the Traverse.

Explorer vs. Traverse: Off-road capabilities

For off-road use, the Explorer is the better choice. While the Traverse offers an all-wheel drive system, the Explorer offers a more advanced four-wheel drive system for effectively driving over challenging terrain. Also, the Explorer has higher ground clearance than the Traverse (up to 8.7 vs. 7.5 inches). Furthermore, unlike the Traverse, the Explorer has an off-road-focused model with the Timberline trim.

Explorer vs. Traverse: Safety

The Explorer has the advantage for safety. For the previous model year, it earned an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the highest possible IIHS rating. However, the Traverse didn’t receive any safety award from IIHS.

Explorer vs. Traverse: Passenger and cargo space

The 2023 Traverse is bigger than the 2023 Explorer, resulting in more interior space. It can seat up to eight people and has a total passenger volume of 157 cu-ft, compared to seven people and 152.7 cu-ft for the Explorer.

Also, the Traverse provides more space for storage. It has a maximum cargo capacity of 98.2 cu-ft, compared to 87.8 cu-ft for the Explorer

Explorer vs. Traverse: Warranty coverage and reliability

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For warranty coverage, both the Explorer and the Traverse have a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile warranty. 

However, the Explorer is slightly more reliable than the Traverse. It earned a J.D. Power reliability rating of 83/100, compared to 82/100 for the Traverse

Explorer vs. Traverse: Price

Which midsize SUV costs more: the 2023 Explorer or the 2023 Traverse? 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. In comparison, the starting price of the 2023 Traverse ranges from $33,920 MSRP for the LS trim up to $51,400 MSRP for the High Country trim. 

2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Chevy Traverse: Which midsize SUV is better?

In this 2023 Ford Explorer vs. 2023 Chevy Traverse midsize SUV comparison, the Explorer has most of the advantages. This includes advantages for more available engine options, maximum horsepower output, gas mileage, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, and reliability. Conversely, the 2023 Traverse has advantages for base engine horsepower output, interior space, and a lower price. 

RELATED: 2023 Chevy Traverse: Features, Specs, and Color Options