2021 Ford Explorer vs. Its Competition

2021 Ford Explorer Timberline
Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor

Three-row SUVs are big—literally and figuratively.

The Explorer competes against very stiff competition, including two of our Best Car To Buy winners.

The Kia Telluride won last year thanks to its good looks and better value.

(The Hyundai Palisade is related but wears a different look.) The Honda Pilot is a BCTB alum too, but time and tech has caught up to it.

The Chevy Traverse is big inside, but it lacks anything compelling otherwise.

The GMC Acadia is smaller than the bunch but offers a tough-looking off-road version that may appeal to some.

2021 Ford Explorer Timberline2021 Ford ExplorerGet Your Price2021 Chevrolet Traverse2021 Chevrolet Traverse
#14 in Large SUVs
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2021 GMC Acadia AT42021 GMC Acadia
#11 in Large SUVs
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2021 Honda Pilot2021 Honda Pilot
#10 in Large SUVs
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2021 Hyundai Palisade2021 Hyundai PalisadeGet Your Price2021 Kia Telluride2021 Kia TellurideGet Your Price
Quick Specs
6.8
The 2021 Ford Explorer is recognizable, but new. It should be on every family SUV shopper’s list.
5.7
The 2021 Chevrolet Traverse is a big family mover with an update on the way next year.
6.2
The 2021 GMC Acadia shines most brightly in turbo-4 spec, but rival three-row crossovers put out more lumens.
6.3
The 2021 Honda Pilot does a solid impression of a minivan, minus the cultural baggage.
7.3
The 2021 Hyundai Palisade builds a bridge to luxury with three rows of seats, big touchscreens, and quilted leather.
7.5
The 2021 Kia Telluride earns our Best Car To Buy nod with its excellent features, warranty, space, and style.
MSRP From     
$32,925$29,800$29,800$32,550$32,675$32,190
Gas Mileage     
18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-4Gas V6Gas I4Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6Regular Unleaded V-6
EPA Class     
Standard SUV 2WDSport Utility Vehicles2WD Sport Utility VehicleSmall SUV 2WDStandard SUV 2WDSmall SUV 2WD
Style Name     
Base RWDFWD 4-Door LFWD 4-Door SLLX 2WDSE FWDLX FWD
Drivetrain     
Rear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
787888
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
Sport UtilitySport Utility4 DoorSport UtilitySport UtilitySport Utility
Transmission     
Automatic w/ODAutomaticAutomaticAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/ODAutomatic w/OD
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2021 Ford Explorer vs. 2021 Chevrolet Traverse2021 Ford Explorer vs. 2021 GMC Acadia2021 Ford Explorer vs. 2021 Honda Pilot2021 Ford Explorer vs. 2021 Hyundai Palisade2021 Ford Explorer vs. 2021 Kia Telluride