2022 Kia Telluride Body Slams 2022 Ford Explorer, But the Explorer Gives a Swift Kick Back

Are you shopping around for a midsize SUV, but are undecided about which model to buy? We encourage you to check out this heated competition in our 2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer comparison. The Telluride body slams the Explorer, but the Explorer gives a swift kick back. Let’s see how this SUV fight unfolds.

2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer

Everlasting Silver 2022 Kia Telluride parked in front of a forest
Everlasting Silver 2022 Kia Telluride | Kia

For our 2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer head-to-head comparison, we analyzed several different factors. This includes performance, efficiency, towing, off-road capabilities, safety, passenger and cargo space, interior features and technologies, warranty coverage, reliability, and price.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Performance, efficiency, and towing

Red 2022 Ford Explorer driving over a bridge
Rapid Red 2022 Ford Explorer | Ford

The Ford Explorer offers a wide range of engine options — and they are all more powerful than the sole engine offered for the Kia Telluride. This includes a 2.3-liter EcoBoost I-4 (300 hp/310 lb-ft of torque), a 3.3-liter hybrid (318 hp/322 lb-ft of torque), a 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 (365 hp/380 lb-ft of torque), and a second variant of the 3.0-liter EcoBoost V6 in the high-performance ST model (400 hp/415 lb-ft of torque). In comparison, all Telluride models have a 3.8-liter V6 engine, which produces 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque.

For efficiency, the Explorer has the advantage. The gas-powered Explorer has an estimated fuel economy of up to 20 city/28 highway mpg, while the Explorer Hybrid has a gas mileage of up to 27 city/28 highway mpg. In comparison, the Telluride has an estimated fuel-efficiency rating of up to 20 city/26 highway mpg.

The Explorer also has the advantage for towing. It has a maximum towing capacity of 5,600 pounds, compared to 5,000 pounds for the Telluride.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Off-road capabilities

If you’re aiming for some off-road excursions, then the Explorer is the best choice for you. While the Telluride offers an all-wheel drive system, the Explorer offers a more advanced four-wheel drive system with a terrain management system. With the terrain management system, you can choose from a variety of selectable drive modes, including Deep Snow/Sand, Trail, Slippery, Sport, Tow/Haul, Eco, and Normal. Furthermore, the Explorer has a higher maximum ground clearance than the Telluride (up to 8.7 vs. 8.0 inches).

Telluride vs. Explorer: Safety

Both the Telluride and Explorer received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, with its numerous standard driving assistance features, including in the base trim, the Telluride has the advantage for safety.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Passenger and cargo space

The Telluride is the better choice for carrying passengers. It can seat up to eight passengers and has a total passenger volume of 178.1 cu-ft. In comparison, the Explorer can seat up to seven passengers and has a total passenger volume of 152.7 cu-ft. The two SUVs are evenly matched for storage space, with a maximum cargo capacity of 87.0 cu-ft for Telluride and 87.8 cu-ft for the Explorer.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Interior features and technologies

The overall interior quality is higher for the Telluride. It has an upscale look and feel, compared to the heavy use of hard plastics for the Explorer. Technologies offered for both SUVs include a touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and a wireless smartphone charger.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Warranty coverage and reliability

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The Telluride has much better warranty coverage than the Explorer. It has the backing of a 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. In comparison, the Explorer has a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also, the Telluride has a higher J.D. Power predicted reliability rating, with a score of 82/100, compared to 81/100 for the Explorer.

Telluride vs. Explorer: Price

What SUV costs more: the 2022 Telluride or the 2022 Explorer? The starting price of the 2022 Telluride ranges from $32,790 MSRP for the base LX trim up to $42,690 MSRP for the SX trim. In comparison, the starting price for the 2022 Explorer ranges from $33,100 MSRP for the Base trim up to $54,115 MSRP for the Platinum Hybrid trim.

2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer: Which SUV is better?

As you can see with our 2022 Kia Telluride vs. 2022 Ford Explorer comparison, each SUV has different advantages. For the Telluride, advantages include safety, passenger space, interior quality, warranty coverage, and reliability. For the Explorer, advantages include performance, efficiency, towing, and off-road capabilities.

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