2018 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse

August 1st, 2018 by

2018 Ford Explorer vs Chevrolet Traverse

The midsize crossover SUV segment is one of the key battlegrounds of the current auto industry, so let’s look at a couple of the main contenders by putting the 2018 Ford Explorer head-to-head with the Chevrolet Traverse.

Exterior Styling: 2018 Ford Explorer

With so many different models to choose from in this segment, looking good is extremely important for getting a decent share of the market, and both the Explorer and Traverse look really good. The second-generation Chevy Traverse debuts this year, and the manufacturer deserves credit for coming up with something a little different. This new model is much sleeker and more modern than its predecessor, although the Chevy does have an elongated rear that makes the Traverse look exceptionally long and a more like a tall wagon than a true SUV.

It’s hard to believe the Explorer is essentially an eight-year-old design that’s only had relatively minor cosmetic enhancements over that time. The Explorer looks just the way a modern SUV should look and is instantly recognizable as coming from the same Ford stable as the Escape and Edge crossovers. Like a fine wine, the Explorer appears to get better with age and is still more attractive than the all-new Chevy.

2018 Ford Explorer Exterior

Engines and Performance: 2018 Ford Explorer

Most versions of the Traverse get a new 3.6-liter V-6 paired with a slick-shifting nine-speed automatic transmission. Its 310 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque is more than adequate, and there’s also a 2.0-liter turbo-four with a little more torque and a little less horsepower than the V-6.

The most common engine for the Explorer is a 3.5-liter V-6 that’s not quite as powerful as the 3.6 in the Chevy, but the Ford’s four-cylinder turbo is more than a match for the similar unit offered in the Traverse. However, the Ford has the ace up its sleeve with a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V-6. It’s another win here for the Explorer.

Interior Comfort and Quality: 2018 Chevy Traverse

By just about every measure, there’s more room for passengers inside the Explorer, although there is a little more legroom in the third row of the Traverse than there is in the Explorer. But if cargo capacity is a major factor in your buying decision, the Chevy is the clear winner. The deciding factor here though is comfort and quality, and the all-new Traverse is definitely the more comfortable vehicle inside. Comfort is an area where the Explorer is perhaps starting to show its age, despite a degree of updating over Explorer’s lifespan.

2018 Chevrolet Traverse Interior


Chevy has certainly brought the fight to the 2018 Ford Explorer with its all-new version of the Traverse, and there are areas, life the cabin, where some buyers might see the Chevy as the more attractive proposition. Unfortunately for the Chevy, the Traverse still doesn’t represent an overall package as comprehensively adept as the Ford, and that awkward back end doesn’t help the Traverse either.

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