The current Chevrolet Traverse was introduced for the 2018 model year, but one of its main rivals, the Ford Explorer, received a complete overhaul for 2020. That would seemingly put General Motors at a disadvantage in the hotly contested three-row SUV segment, but the Traverse has managed to keep up with its rivals in the highly competitive crossover/SUV landscape.
Motor Trend’s recent comparison test of the 2020 Chevrolet Traverse and 2020 Ford Explorer is very indicative of the Traverse’s staying power. After conducting extensive testing of both SUVs, Motor Trend concluded the “Chevrolet is the more complete package,” than the Ford Explorer, which it found had “glaring faults,” and was difficult to live with.
The biggest problem Motor Trend had with the Ford Explorer was its build quality. The publication slammed the Ford for its poor interior fit and finish, saying it used “hard, scratchy plastics on the doors and dash, leatherette materials that feel more like rubber than leather,” and had “mismatched panels and exposed wiring.” Furthermore, Ford’s Sync3 infotainment system was found to be buggy, while the powertrain, a turbocharged 2.3L four-cylinder and 10-speed automatic, was described by the magazine’s editors as “sloppy.”
By comparison, Motor Trend found the Traverse’s 3.6L LFY V6 engine and nine-speed automatic transmission was a much more cohesive package, with editors describing the combo as “snappier and smarter,” than the Explorer’s engine/transmission combo. It also said the Traverse’s softly sprung suspension provided a “nice mix of comfortable and controlled.” It still had some small criticisms for the Chevy, though, lambasting the automaker for its liberal use of hard plastics in the interior and poorly laid out climate and audio controls. It used products like the Kia Telluride and Honda Pilot as examples of how to properly execute an interior in the mainstream mid-size SUV segment.
Ford has some work to do with the recently introduced Explorer, as per Motor Trend’s findings. Making things worse for the Blue Oval is the fact that GM has an updated Chevrolet Traverse on the way for 2022, which will bring refreshed styling, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and more standard active safety technologies, among other improvements.
Source: Motor Trend