Driven: The Practical Kia Telluride vs. The Sporty Ford Explorer

It’s time for a first-hand SUV battle as we compare the 2022 Kia Telluride to the 2022 Ford Explorer. Deciding between the athletic Ford Explorer and ultra-comfortable Kia Telluride might be challenging, but each SUV has unique pros and cons to consider. 

2022 Ford Explorer vs. 2022 Kia Telluride 

2022 Kia Telluride review
2022 Kia Telluride | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

When it comes to being the better family SUV, then the 2022 Kia Telluride beats the 2022 Ford Explorer. The Telluride has more cargo space, passenger space, and storage solutions. For example, there’s an in-floor storage cubby in the rear of the Telluride. 

The Explorer offers 18.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and up to 87.8 cubes total. With the Telluride, you get 21.0 cubic feet behind the rear seats with 87.0 cubes total. 

It’s easier to fold the second and third rows flat in the Telluride. Both SUVs have power folding seats in the second row. Also, the Telluride offers more passenger space in the third row. 

The doors open wider in the Telluride, and it’s easier to move past the second-row seats to access the third row. The Telluride doesn’t have a center console between the captain’s chairs that blocks access. 

Does the Explorer or Telluride have a better performance? 

The 2022 Ford Explorer has a standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. You can upgrade to the 3.0-liter V6 engine for 400 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. 

Also, the Explorer Hybrid pairs a 3.3-liter V6 engine with an electric motor to crank out 315 hp and 322 lb-ft of torque. The Explorer can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.9 seconds and can tow up to 5,600 lbs. 

The 2022 Kia Telluride has a standard 3.8-liter V6 engine with 291 hp and 26 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds. Also, the Telluride can tow up to 5,000 lbs. 

The Telluride has a smoother ride over the pavement, but the brakes feel a little softer than the Explorer’s. The Explorer feels more connected to the road with more responsive handling and a tighter turning radius. 

Also, the Explorer feels more stable with less body roll-around curves. The Telluride feels lighter with a little more heft while turning. Both options have a Sport mode that stiffens the suspension and increases the throttle response. 

But the Telluride has a Comfort mode for a peaceful experience. The Telluride and Explorer both have noticeable wind noise levels at highway speeds. 

While the Explorer Timberline is a dedicated trim for off-roading, the Telluride holds its own with a locking differential, hill descent control, and a Snow Mode. 

Does the Telluride or Explorer have better features? 

2021 Ford Explorer parked outdoors
2021 Ford Explorer | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Ford Explorer features an upscale interior with high-quality materials, but it’s a little bland. The 2022 Kia Telluride is hard to beat with luxurious features such as extremely comfortable Nappa leather seats. 

While the Explorer has a standard 8.0-inch infotainment screen, you can upgrade to the 10.1-inch unit. The Telluride has a 10.3-inch screen. Both SUVs have standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with an available wireless phone charger. 

Both vehicles have a head-up display and an intuitive digital gauge cluster. However, Telluride offers more personalization options. 

If you have more than three kids, then the Telluride is more accommodating. But the Explorer is great for smaller families and provides a more engaging daily driving experience. However, the Telluride is a bit more comfortable, but the Explorer Timberline is better equipped for off-roading.

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