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Car & Driver 2020 Explorer vs. Telluride Comparison

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https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparison-test/a29359211/2020-ford-explorer-vs-2020-kia-telluride/

 

 

They compared strictly on price, so therefore compared a top trim Telluride to an Explorer XLT (entry model).  And then went on to complain and imply that Explorer didn't offer at all several features the Telluride had, when all those and more are available on higher trims of Explorer.

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22 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/comparison-test/a29359211/2020-ford-explorer-vs-2020-kia-telluride/

 

 

They compared strictly on price, so therefore compared a top trim Telluride to an Explorer XLT (entry model).  And then went on to complain and imply that Explorer didn't offer at all several features the Telluride had, when all those and more are available on higher trims of Explorer.

 

 

Well, to be fair, most people shop on price.  The two vehicles were within $100 of each other. The fact you get much more for the same price is the point of the article. 

 

Let's put it this way.  A Mercedes GL can cost quite a bit more then a Navigator in top-end trims after piling the options on, but we would most likely call the Navigator the better value and not offer any complaints if it won a comparison test.

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I think Explorer buyers will be different and see the value in higher trims, especially once ford starts putting incentives behind it 

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19 hours ago, rmc523 said:

They compared strictly on price, so therefore compared a top trim Telluride to an Explorer XLT (entry model).  And then went on to complain and imply that Explorer didn't offer at all several features the Telluride had, when all those and more are available on higher trims of Explorer.

 

Car and Driver's complaint regarding 2020 Explorer XLT is spot on. The one they tested cost $46,810. Yet when you open the door, you see an interior that looks appropriate for a car that costs no more than $30k. 

 

This highlights the problem that expensive Fords, including Explorer, always had. These Fords are priced way more "premium" than they actually are.

 

 

Edited by rperez817

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15 minutes ago, rperez817 said:

 

Car and Driver's complaint regarding 2020 Explorer XLT is spot on. The one they tested cost $46,810. Yet when you open the door, you see an interior that looks appropriate for a car that costs no more than $30k. 

 

This highlights the problem that expensive Fords, including Explorer, always had. These Fords are priced way more "premium" that they actually are.

 

 

And yet, plenty of people have still bought  Explorer..

 

so, are you predicting that Telluride will steal a lot of Explorer sales

or will it be business as usual for Explorer because people just want one?

Edited by jpd80

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I have no issue saying the Telluride is a better value as far as more options for less money. I think it’s unfair, regardless of make, to put a top tier model against a entry level.  Put at least a limited against an SX. Then point out hey these are comparably equipped but there’s a 10k difference or whatever it is. If they put the ST or platinum against the SX Telluride, it would be just as unfair. Critics don’t see or feel the money aspect. They feel and see the product. So having different tier vehicles is going to sway experience. 

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So here's the thing, base model to base model

Kia Telluride LX 4DR FWD...........$31,690

Ford Explorer base RWD.............$32,765

 

Go to S and XLT and the gap is $3K,

Go to ES Vs Limited and the gap is $11K

Go to SX Vs Platinum and the gap is $17K

Edited by jpd80

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3 hours ago, jpd80 said:

So here's the thing, base model to base model

Kia Telluride LX 4DR FWD...........$31,690

Ford Explorer base RWD.............$32,765

 

Go to S and XLT and the gap is $3K,

Go to ES Vs Limited and the gap is $11K

Go to SX Vs Platinum and the gap is $17K

 

Given the pricing of the Kia and Hyundai models maybe they are trying the Lexus LS style marketing-undercutting the competition on price to grow market share?

 

As for the Explorer interior looking cheap...that hasn't been a complaint outside of the stupid larger screen ordination. I checked out my sisters 2020 XLT and the interior was fine outside of her already have a bunch of junk in it LOL  

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The ONLY way I would get an Explorer over the Telluride is if I were getting the Explorer ST. You just can't beat that performance with a Telluride... But design, interior, value, features, etc. is owned by the Kia in my opinion. 

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I'm surprised the driving dynamics weren't better in the Explorer.   Is it really not that good or is this more media bias?

 

I also wonder if Ford has priced the XLTs a little high anticipating rebates.  That's what they do on F150s.  My loaded XLT was only about $3K cheaper than a Lariat based on MSRP but the difference in rebates made it $9K cheaper.   Also - does the Telluride have all the same features/functionality?

 

I think it's easy to compare two vehicles side by side and say this one is better.  The question is whether someone shopping for an Explorer would say that they don't like the interior because it feels cheap and whether it's enough to influence a purchase.   I've heard folks say the F150 XLT interior is cheap compared to a RAM but I have zero complaints about mine.  And I'm used to having top of the line interiors.

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13 hours ago, rperez817 said:

 

Car and Driver's complaint regarding 2020 Explorer XLT is spot on. The one they tested cost $46,810. Yet when you open the door, you see an interior that looks appropriate for a car that costs no more than $30k. 

 

This highlights the problem that expensive Fords, including Explorer, always had. These Fords are priced way more "premium" than they actually are.

 

 

 

Have you even seen one?  I'll say some spots could be a bit nicer, but "a car that costs no more than 30k?"  Really?  lol.

 

2 minutes ago, akirby said:

I'm surprised the driving dynamics weren't better in the Explorer.   Is it really not that good or is this more media bias?

 

I also wonder if Ford has priced the XLTs a little high anticipating rebates.  That's what they do on F150s.  My loaded XLT was only about $3K cheaper than a Lariat based on MSRP but the difference in rebates made it $9K cheaper.   Also - does the Telluride have all the same features/functionality?

 

I think it's easy to compare two vehicles side by side and say this one is better.  The question is whether someone shopping for an Explorer would say that they don't like the interior because it feels cheap and whether it's enough to influence a purchase.   I've heard folks say the F150 XLT interior is cheap compared to a RAM but I have zero complaints about mine.  And I'm used to having top of the line interiors.

 

Granted it was an ST, but I felt it drives much better than the outgoing Explorer Sport.  It's much more planted and has a lot less body roll - much more Flex like compared to the outgoing model which would lean a lot more.

 

I can't say how that translates to the XLT, but I have a hard time believing it's worse than the Telluride.

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2 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

Granted it was an ST, but I felt it drives much better than the outgoing Explorer Sport.  It's much more planted and has a lot less body roll - much more Flex like compared to the outgoing model which would lean a lot more.

 

I was reading an Aviator review and they had no issues with suspension on it and seemed to like it better then the Explorer (which I hope they did)-I think its boiling down to expectations at a certain price point vs what the actual market that buys them is actually looking for.  

 

Just look back at the original Focus-it was praised for its handling in its price range, but did that translate into more sales for it? Most likely not, since people were buying them because they where "cheap"

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I prefer to make my own decisions rather than pay much attention to comparison tests.   However, there was much more to this story than just value or interior quality.   Based on this test, the Kia had "a marked improvement in ride and handling compared to the Explorer."   It was also 3 decibels quieter at 70 MPH.   They described the Kia engine as more refined and the transmission better shifting.

 

While the 0-60 was better in the Explorer, the 5-60 was very close.   The Kia was actually quicker in 30-50 passing and only one tenth slower in 50-70.   Add the two together and the Kia was quicker from 30-70.    I doubt if many buyers of these things do brake boosting launches to see how fast they are off the line so from a real world performance perspective, the Kia wasn't hurting.    The Explorer's observed MPG was 1 MPG better, however.   

 

Again, I take these sorts of comparisons with a grain of salt but if one puts much stock in them, the Kia was a run-away better choice.

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The engine difference makes sense - the 2.3LEB gets better fuel economy.   I don't recall any transmission issues with the 10 speed though - not sure what's up with that.  Pre production unit?

 

Still don't understand the ride and handling results though.   Would like to see a different comparison.   I could understand the Kia being softer but would think the Explorer would handle much better.

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2 minutes ago, akirby said:

The engine difference makes sense - the 2.3LEB gets better fuel economy.   I don't recall any transmission issues with the 10 speed though - not sure what's up with that.  Pre production unit?

 

Still don't understand the ride and handling results though.   Would like to see a different comparison.   I could understand the Kia being softer but would think the Explorer would handle much better.

 

I've had some troubles with my Mustang's 10-speed.  I still need to take it in for them - it sort of lurches between shifts....especially downshifts/when coasting.

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6 minutes ago, rmc523 said:

 

I've had some troubles with my Mustang's 10-speed.  I still need to take it in for them - it sort of lurches between shifts....especially downshifts/when coasting.

 

I've had a few of those early on but nothing lately.  There is a software update that's supposed to fix it and I would assume Explorer has all those updates.

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The 10A in my Mustang GT is perfect....best transmission I have ever experienced.    I have heard a few complaints from guys with the ecoboost 4 cylinder and 10A combination, though.

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3 hours ago, silvrsvt said:

 

Given the pricing of the Kia and Hyundai models maybe they are trying the Lexus LS style marketing-undercutting the competition on price to grow market share?


That would make sense, Hyundai/Kia have never really competed in this market (Borrego was BOF) This will at least  get people to look at the vehicle. However the Explorer is priced close to the competition when you figure incentives that will be on it after launch. The Pilot/Atlas/Highlander all top out at 50K and an Explorer limited is right around there.
 

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"... unpolished powertrain ..."  Really? 

 

They could have just as easily said:  "...fun to drive...responsive low end torque..."

 

Anything other than the Honda like V6 powertrain where you have to replace timeming belts every 75k miles to get the silky smooth feel...ani't gonna fly with the rag that is looking hard for something to complain about.

 

Ford is not allowed to go out of the box - that same engine in a European SUV and they would rave how much fun and sporty it is.

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8 hours ago, akirby said:

I'm surprised the driving dynamics weren't better in the Explorer.   Is it really not that good or is this more media bias?

 

In my experience, Kia's have a bouncier rear axle than Fords. The driver feels bumps being absorbed. Rear passengers just feel carsick. But just the rear. Front axles are stiff. Strange way to tune a suspension.

 

So if that's their definition of a better ride... yeah there's  some bias. 

 

As far as performance, any Kia 8ve driven has an extremely sensitive throttle. A light touch just launched the vehicle, for a false sense of power. Once you get the pedal down halfway, there is no more. But that's in my experience. I haven't tried a Telluride yet, but I'm sure it follows the same corporate formula.

Edited by J-150

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Great article of comparing the difference

 

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The Koreans have very viable vehicles in this market now.  I bought a new Santa Fe XL Limited AWD back in 2017.  While I didn't cross shop any Ford products-I did with Toyota and Honda.

 

My wife and I could afford ANY VEHICLE in this segment and we still bought the Santa Fe.

 

It was an easy $5,000.00 savings (after incentives) from either the Honda or Toyota products.

 

Had an Explorer-previous boxy model -with the Fiberglass trim piece that would crack underneath the rear window hatch. No support from Ford on this factory defect.  The leather (XLT version) looked like it had three years of wear after about 12 months.

 

Just a "cheaply made vehicle" at the time.

 

I would agree that the Koreans still need to work on "road manners" for their vehicles. They are getting there.

 

But anything you give up in ride refinement is worth the 5K difference IMHO.

 

 

Edited by CKNSLS

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I have a lot of respect for Koreans. They have made major strides in building competent and decent looking vehicles.  They have done impressive work on transitioning from a discount brand to what most would probably consider a mainstream brand. 

 

With that said, I’ve had a number of their sedans and SUVs as rentals and don’t really like their driving dynamics, but someone looking for an appliance certainly wouldn’t care. 

 

Regarding this comparison, it is what it is I guess, but I did just see a Limited Explorer 4x4 advertised for $46k after discounts so you can certainly get an Explorer comparably equipped for a similar price, and from my perspective the Explorer nameplate carries a little more weight behind it. 

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On 10/9/2019 at 8:33 AM, Kev-Mo said:

"... unpolished powertrain ..."  Really? 

 

The Ford 2.3L turbo + 10 speed automatic? Yes sir, unpolished is an accurate description. My 2019 Ranger has the same powertrain. It delivers very good performance and feels responsive. But the engine is noisy and buzzy. Also the transmission occasionally has harsh shifts.

 

In $30k Ford Rangers and Mustangs, owners and testers should have no problem with this powertrain despite its roughness. But in a $45k Explorer, they will probably want something much smoother and quieter. 

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1 hour ago, rperez817 said:

 

The Ford 2.3L turbo + 10 speed automatic? Yes sir, unpolished is an accurate description. My 2019 Ranger has the same powertrain. It delivers very good performance and feels responsive. But the engine is noisy and buzzy. Also the transmission occasionally has harsh shifts.

 

In $30k Ford Rangers and Mustangs, owners and testers should have no problem with this powertrain despite its roughness. But in a $45k Explorer, they will probably want something much smoother and quieter. 


I had my trans reflashed and it’s smooth as butter.  I don’t find the engine noisy or buzzy. It’s a pocket sized monster when it comes to power though. 

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