The 2021 Ford Expedition Didn’t Lose to the Kia Telluride on This List Because of a Technicality

MotorTrend released its list of the Best SUVs to Buy in 2021 and both the 2021 Kia Telluride and 2021 Ford Expedition made the list. MT named the Kia Telluride the best three-row SUV in 2021. The Ford Expedition is on the list as the best full-size three-row SUV in 2021.

How did each SUV earn its place on the list? Do the designations mean the Telluride is a better SUV than the Expedition?

The 2021 Kia Telluride

The team at MotorTrend appreciated the latest Kia Telluride for its dynamic visual appeal and the fact that it’s as close as you’re going to get to a luxury SUV without paying a premium price. They like the Telluride so much that it was named the 2020 MotorTrend SUV of the Year. On its list of the Best SUVs to Buy in 2021, it’s listed as the Best Three-Row SUV.

They explained that the attention to detail and thought given to the 2021 Kia Telluride makes it a top SUV. Its dynamic driving experience, quiet upscale interior, and overall quality put it in a class of its own. It’s also priced to accommodate a broad range of budgets. Even those who can only afford the basic models will find that this refined SUV has more to offer than its peers.

With three rows, the Telluride is great for families on the move. It has all the popular features at an affordable price. And if that’s not enough, it can do what its midsize SUV rivals can do only better in key categories. The Telluride’s standard V6 doesn’t get the best fuel numbers but when it comes to moving people and cargo, it’s the top of the class.

The 2021 Kia Telluride offers spectacular utility and impressive levels of refinement. It gives you the experience of driving a near-luxury SUV on a budget.

The 2021 Ford Expedition

MotorTrend listed the 2021 Ford Expedition – bigger than the Kia Telluride – as the Best Full-Size Three-Row SUV on its list. It’s an important distinction.

New in 2018, the big Ford Expedition has earned this award from MT before, beating out four other full-size SUVs. The Expedition has a lot going for it like its potent twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 and its ability to tackle any road or terrain. Its user-friendly infotainment system is also something many will appreciate.

Since the 2021 Ford Expedition is available in regular and extended-length versions, more options are offered for busy families. It can seat up to eight, has plenty of room for cargo, and impressive towing chops. The Expedition is rear-wheel drive standard but for an extra cost, you can add four-wheel drive to any model.

No one is ever going to accuse the Expedition of being exciting to drive, though it does offer a comfortable, smooth ride. Considering its high starting price you’d expect some level of luxury or refinement but you won’t find it here. 

How did the Ford Expedition beat the Kia Telluride?

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While the 2021 Ford Expedition made it on the MT list for being the best full-size three-row SUV in 2021, it’s not on the same level as the 2021 Kia Telluride. With two different standards for three-row SUVs, the Ford Expedition was allowed to make the list. Between the two, though, the Telluride shines brighter.

Starting at $51,690, the Ford Expedition is powerful and rugged enough to be taken anywhere. But with a higher-end starting cost, you’d expect a little more finesse. The ride is smooth and reasonably comfortable but it’s not refined. Its interior is spacious but you expect less cheap plastic and a little more pizzazz for the money.

The 2021 Kia Telluride offers a great driving experience, enough power, and a quality ride. The interior is opulent for the money and offers all the popular features in today’s SUVs at a great price. A great all-around SUV, the Telluride is a great choice.