2023 Kia Telluride Takes on the 2022 Ford Explorer

The Kia Telluride, which debuted a few years ago, has been a raging success — and with a refreshed design and new features for the 2023 model year, the SUV gets even better. See how the Telluride stacks up against one of its SUV competitors in this 2023 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer comparison.

2023 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer

Front angle view of Midnight Lake Blue 2023 Kia Telluride
Midnight Lake Blue 2023 Kia Telluride | Kia

In this 2023 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer comparison, we evaluated several areas. This includes performance, fuel economy, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, warranty coverage, reliability, and price. 

Telluride vs. Explorer: Performance and fuel economy

Front angle view of Star White 2022 Kia Telluride
Star White 2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

On the performance front, the 2022 Ford Explorer outmuscles the 2023 Kia Telluride. Engine options for the Explorer include a 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 (300 hp/310 lb-ft of torque), a 3.3-liter hybrid (318 hp/322 lb-ft of torque), a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 (365 hp/380 lb-ft of torque), and a second variant of the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 in the high-performance ST model (400 hp/415 lb-ft of torque). In comparison, all Telluride models have a 3.8-liter V6 engine, which generates 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque.

The Explorer also has the advantage for efficiency. The gas-powered Explorer has an estimated fuel economy of up to 20 city/28 highway mpg, and the Explorer Hybrid has a gas mileage of up to 27 city/28 highway mpg. While the fuel efficiency ratings were not yet released for the 2023 Telluride, they are expected to be similar to the 2022 Telluride (up to 20 city/26 highway mpg).

Telluride vs. Explorer: Towing

For towing, the 2022 Explorer edges out the 2023 Telluride. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds, while the Telluride can tow up to 5,500 pounds.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Off-road capabilities

The Explorer is the better choice for off-road use. For one, while the Telluride offers an all-wheel drive system, the Explorer offers a more advanced four-wheel drive system with a terrain management system.

Also, the Telluride added off-road-focused models for the 2023 model year with the X-Line and X-Pro trims, but they don’t match the off-road prowess of the Explorer Timberline trim. Notable off-road features in the Explorer Timberline include a Torsen limited-slip rear differential, skid plates, and upgraded shocks. 

Telluride vs. Explorer: Safety

On the safety front, the 2023 Telluride has the advantage. It offers multiple safety-enhancing driving assistance features that the 2022 Explorer doesn’t offer, such as safe exit assist, highway driving assist, and remote parking assist.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Passenger and cargo space

The 2023 Telluride is slightly bigger than the 2022 Explorer, resulting in more passenger space. While the interior specs are not yet available for the 2023 Telluride, they are expected to be similar to the 2022 Telluride. It can seat up to eight people and has a total passenger volume of 178.1 cu-ft. In comparison, the 2022 Explorer can seat up to seven people and has a total passenger volume of 152.7 cu-ft.

For cargo space, the SUVs are evenly matched, with a maximum cargo capacity of 87.0 cu-ft for Telluride and 87.8 cu-ft for the Explorer.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Warranty coverage and reliability

The 2023 Telluride provides more generous warranty coverage than the 2022 Explorer. It has the backing of a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. In comparison, the 2022 Explorer has a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Also, the Telluride is more reliable than the Explorer. While J.D. Power didn’t yet release the predicted reliability rating for the 2023 Telluride, the SUV will likely have a similar rating as the 2022 Telluride (85/100). In comparison, the 2022 Explorer has a reliability rating of 81/100.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Price

Which SUV costs more: the 2023 Telluride or the 2022 Explorer? As currently listed (but subject to change), the starting price of the 2022 Explorer ranges from $33,745 MSRP for the Base trim up to $53,995 MSRP for the King Ranch trim.

The price information is not yet available for the 2023 Telluride. However, with its new design and features, the 2023 Telluride will likely cost slightly more than the 2022 Telluride, which ranges from $33,090 MSRP for the LX trim up to $42,990 MSRP for the SX trim.

2023 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer: Which SUV is better?

In this 2023 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer comparison, each SUV has various advantages. Advantages for the 2023 Telluride include safety, passenger space, warranty coverage, and reliability. Conversely, advantages for the 2022 Explorer include performance, fuel economy, towing, and off-road capabilities.

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