Avoid the 2021 Ford Explorer and Choose the Kia Telluride Instead, Says Consumer Reports

The 2021 Ford Explorer is a popular choice among three-row midsized SUV shoppers. But is it the best option available? According to Consumer Reports, not at all. For a popular alternative to the Ford Explorer, Consumer Reports recommends checking out the 2021 Kia Telluride. Let us tell you why.

2021 Kia Telluride driving
2021 Kia Telluride | Kia

The 2021 Ford Explorer is a three-row SUV worth avoiding

According to Consumer Reports, the 2021 Ford Explorer has a number of problems to contend with. Although the Explorer was recently redesigned, Consumer Reports explains that its “clunky transmission, noisy engine, and stiff-edged ride leave it with a middling rank among three-row midsized SUVs.” 

The interior of the 2021 Ford Explorer borders on plain too. It boasts an “abundance of hard plastic trim,” nearly as much as the Ford Ranger and the Ford F-150. It’s also not that easy to see out of, with front views being heavily compromised by its thick windshield pillars.

Unfortunately, those aren’t the only reasons you might want to avoid the Ford Explorer and go with a popular alternative such as the Kia Telluride instead. As Consumer Reports explains, this year’s Explorer earned some rather dismal predicted reliability ratings. In fact, this year’s model was only given a one out of five predicted reliability rating.

2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch Edition driving
2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch | Ford

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The 2021 Kia Telluride is a popular alternative to the Ford Explorer

The good news is that there are alternatives to the 2021 Ford Explorer out there and, among them is the 2021 Kia Telluride. Unlike the Explorer, this year’s Telluride earned a near-perfect score in Consumer Reports’ road tests. According to Consumer Reports, its high score can be attributed to its “refined driving experience, user-friendly controls, thoughtful features, and vast cargo room.”

The 2021 Kia Telluride has the edge when it comes to reliability too. Consumer Reports gave this year’s new model a five out of five predicted reliability rating, which is a pretty hard score to argue with. Such a high score shouldn’t be all that surprising, though, as last year’s model also earned a five out of five reliability rating.

As it turns out, owners of the Kia Telluride also really enjoy the three-row SUV. In fact, Consumer Reports gave this year’s new model a five out of five predicted owner satisfaction rating. Consumer Reports explains that owners are most satisfied with the SUV’s driving experience, comfort, and styling. An astounding 91% of Telluride owners told Consumer Reports they would even consider buying the SUV again. 

RELATED: The 2021 Kia Telluride Is a Top 10 Car for the Second Straight Year

Here’s how much the 2021 Kia Telluride will cost you

The 2021 Kia Telluride may be a popular alternative to the 2021 Ford Explorer, but how much will this year’s model actually cost you? Opt for a base model Telluride, and you can expect to spend just over $32,000. Upgrade to the Telluride S, and this year’s model will cost you about $34,590. An EX, meanwhile, will cost you $37,590. At its most expensive, the Kia Telluride will have you spending approximately $42,490.

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Should you buy the Kia Telluride?

The 2021 Kia Telluride makes for a great pick among its segment, especially if you’re on the hunt for an alternative to the 2021 Ford Explorer. But does that make it the right choice for you? Not necessarily. To find out, we recommend taking this three-row SUV out for a test drive.