Sometimes a car misses the mark. Consumer Reports thinks the 2021 Ford Explorer missed the mark, but the 2021 Kia Telluride made up for it. While Consumer Reports suggests avoiding the Ford Explorer, it found a lot to like in the Kia Telluride and the Mazda CX-9.
Consumer Reports didn’t love the 2021 Ford Explorer
The 2021 Ford Explorer wasn’t all bad news. Consumer Reports thought the Explorer had a roomy cabin and handled well on the road. Unfortunately, it had below-average predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction. The Ford Explorer only got 21 mpg overall, and CR found the transmission was pretty rough. It does come with forward crash warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB), and blind-spot warning (BSW). Other than that, Consumer Reports found the 2021 Ford Explorer was pretty average.
The overall score given to the Explorer was 42 out of 100. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has one recall for the engine. The motor mount could be loose and cause vibrations that might cause the axel to disconnect. This could increase the risk of a crash. For the price, buyers can find a better-equipped vehicle.
Price Range: $32,925 – $54,600
Consumer Reports says to buy the 2021 Kia Telluride instead
It is no secret that Consumer Reports loves the 2021 Kia Telluride. The Kia SUV has above-average predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. It got the same 21 mpg overall but made up for it elsewhere. With room for eight passengers (or seven, depending on the configuration), the Telluride is well-equipped.
The second row offers one-touch folding/sliding for added space, plus all the latest technology. The 2021 Kia Telluride has a 5,000-pound towing capacity. It also has FCW, AEB, and BSW standard. You can get a fully-loaded Telluride for less than the 2021 Ford Explorer too.
The Telluride scored 96 out of 100, which is pretty extravagant. There is a recent recall relating to the front passenger airbag that should be corrected immediately. Also, don’t pay $25,000 over MSRP. The 2021 Kia Telluride is a great vehicle, but it isn’t worth that much.
Price Range: $32,190 – $44,390
Another alternative, the 2021 Mazda CX-9
The 2021 Mazda CX-9 has a lot to offer buyers. It has above-average predicted reliability and predicted owner satisfaction, plus 22 mpg overall. It provides a comfortable cabin, and the ride is smooth. The second row of seating is roomy, but the third row is a little cramped. The CX-9 is Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatible. This Mazda SUV offers FCW, AEB, and BSW standard.
The CX-9 scored an 80 out of 100 overall, which is relatively high. The Mazda CX-9 has no open recalls right now. Consumer Reports suggests the Grand Touring and Signature trim levels for extra luxury.
Price Range: $34,160 – $46,805
Consumer Reports puts each vehicle through a lot of testing before giving these scores. There are just better options out there than the 2021 Ford Explorer when it comes down to it. The 2021 Kia Telluride and the Mazda CX-9 have more safety features standard. These days, reliability and owner satisfaction play a massive role in the buying process, and the Explorer didn’t cut it.