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The Kia Telluride is an insanely popular SUV that can’t stop winning awards. It makes sense that other car manufacturers would want to emulate what Kia is doing right. That’s why it’s no surprise that Ford was seen driving a Kia Telluride around town to get a sense of what they need to do with the best-selling three-row SUV.

A dark-green 2022 Kia Telluride travels on a two-lane highway through a desert at sunset
2022 Kia Telluride | Kia

The Ford Explorer wants to be more like the Kia Telluride

According to Ford Authority, someone from Ford was recently seen driving a 2021 Kia Telluride SX. Ford Authority says this would likely mean that Ford wanted to get a sense of what they could do to compete with its own Explorer XLT, ST-Line, and Timberline.

While both the 2022 Ford Explorer and 2022 Kia Telluride are roughly the same size, the Explorer does have a slight size advantage. However, its interior isn’t quite as nice, and its reliability and safety ratings leave something to be desired when compared to the Telluride.

Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend the Ford Explorer

The 2022 Ford Explorer isn’t recommended by Consumer Reports. In fact, Consumer Reports ranks it 13 out of 14 for midsized 3-row sport-utility vehicles. It also gives the Explorer a 1/5 for its predicted reliability. The 2022 Kia Telluride, on the other hand, is ranked #1 out of those same 14 SUVs. It’s pretty obvious why Ford would want to copy the Telluride.

The 2022 Ford Explorer scores a 47 for its overall score while the 2022 Kia Telluride gets a 97. That’s obviously a huge difference and is probably a compelling reason to choose the Telluride over the Explorer. The predicted owner satisfaction score for the Explorer is just a 3/5 while the owner satisfaction rating for the Kia Telluride is a 5/5.

Which is cheaper, the Explorer or Telluride?

The 2022 Kia Telluride price starts at $32,790. This 2022 Kia Telluride cost is for the base model, the LX. The 2022 Kia Telluride LX has a 3.8-liter V6 engine that makes 291-hp and can tow up to 5,000 pounds. The LX can also seat up to eight passengers and has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a push-button as well as remote start. It also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

A base model 2022 Ford Explorer costs $36,345, but the high-end Explorer is much more expensive. It’s called the Platinum trim level and its price is $56,985. The base model 2022 Ford Explorer comes with a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 300 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. That’s matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission. It also has an 8-inch touchscreen that’s compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a six-speaker sound system.

If Ford learns a thing or two from the 2021 Kia Telluride, it can only be good for the Ford Explorer. Though these two midsize SUVs have a lot in common, they’re also pretty different. We’ll have to wait and see just how much the Ford Explorer changes – and just how much it resembles the Kia Telluride in the future.


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