The Chevy Traverse is doing extremely well: sales of the large crossover have increased 20 percent in the first nine months of 2018 (see running Traverse sales). But the Bow Tie brand’s largest crossover will soon face a totally overhauled 2020 Ford Explorer – its primary rival in the full-size CUV segment.
Interestingly, the Explorer has been outselling the Traverse nearly two-fold (when factoring in sales of its police derivative – the Police Interceptor Utility). In the first nine months of 2018, combined sales of the Explorer and its police variant totaled 196,870, which is nearly twice as much as the Traverse’s 106,998 units (see running Ford Explorer sales).
Sales Numbers - Chevy Traverse vs. Ford Explorer - Jan-Sep 2018 - USA
|MODEL||SEP 2018 / SEP 2017||SEPTEMBER 2018||SEPTEMBER 2017||YTD 2018 / YTD 2017||YTD 2018||YTD 2017|
|POLICE INTERCEPTOR UTILITY||+11.65%||2,578||2,309||+2.69%||25,454||24,787|
Now, our sister site – Ford Authority – just caught up to a prototype of the upcoming 2020 Ford Explorer as it was undergoing testing with minimal camouflage. The spy photos show that the design of the future Explorer will continue to be similar to that of the current model. The big news, however, is not the design. Instead, it’s the platform: the next iteration of Ford’s full-size CUV will be underpinned by a rear-drive platform – one that will also serve as the basis for the upcoming Lincoln Aviator and next-gen Ford Mustang.
That’s a notable differentiator when compared to the front-drive-based Chevrolet Traverse. In fact, every crossover from Chevrolet and GM currently on sale rides on front-drive architectures. Now, we’re not necessarily recommending that the platform, along with its drive wheels and engine orientation, will serve as major purchase considerations for crossover buyers.
However, a RWD-based platform typically translates to two characteristics that consumers will actually see and feel: superior driving dynamics (such as ride and handling attributes) as well as a higher towing capacity. Those two factors could be enough to sway consumers toward the 2020 Ford Explorer and away from the Traverse. In fact, those advantages are delivered by the Jeep Grand Cherokee – America’s best-selling crossover SUV.
Stay tuned to see whether Ford’s all-new 2020 Explorer will present a bigger threat to the Traverse than the current Explorer. In the meantime, head on over to Ford Authority for the latest Explorer spy shots.