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rperez817

3-Row SUV Comparison Test: Kia Telluride vs. Toyota Highlander vs. Ford Explorer and Six Others

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Motor Trend comparison test of midsize 3 row crossovers. https://www.motortrend.com/cars/kia/telluride/2020/3-row-midsize-suv-comparison-test/

 

9th Place Volkswagen Atlas
It's plenty spacious but has a ride that will make kids carsick. VW needs to improve its family SUV's suspension.

8th Place Ford Explorer
It's new to market, but the Ford seems like it was built ages ago. Its price ladder doesn't speak well to value.

7th Place Mazda CX-9
Great power, ride, and handling, but that's not why folks buy people haulers. It's short of the traits that make a true family vehicle.

6th Place Chevrolet Traverse
A strong SUV just three years ago, the Traverse has suffered at the hands of the newer players in the segment. A rental car feel at a high price.

5th Place Toyota Highlander
The segment sales leader arrived with a cool new design, but a cramped third row and a thrashy powertrain hurt.

4th Place Hyundai Palisade
A smart value, the Palisade raises eyebrows at school plays and soccer practice. Ride is stiff for kids, though.

3rd Place Honda Pilot
The smartly packaged Pilot scores highly with its responsive suspension and direct steering feel.

2nd Place Subaru Ascent
It's oddly styled, but once you see how spacious and capable it is, the Ascent checks many boxes. Plus: value.

1st Place Kia Telluride
Eye-catching design, an elegant interior, and excellent value. The Telluride doesn't disappoint. A class above.

2020-Subaru-Ascent-Kia-Telluride-Ford-Ex

 

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Well, the kissing cousins are placed where they should be...they should hook-up

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A couple of things seem obvious:

 

That was a pre production unit   Why does Ford continually shoot themselves in the foot with their press fleet?  I know it doesn’t really affect sales but at the same time it wouldn’t take much effort.  I guarantee the Koreans didn’t phone it in.

 

Ford obviously ran out of time on the interior and suspension tuning.  We’ve heard they’re fixing the interior - hopefully the suspension will be sorted out at the same time.

 

The MSRP is too high relative to the competition.  I’m sure street price after rebates and discounts is a lot closer and more competitive.

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10 minutes ago, akirby said:

A couple of things seem obvious:

 

That was a pre production unit   Why does Ford continually shoot themselves in the foot with their press fleet?  I know it doesn’t really affect sales but at the same time it wouldn’t take much effort.  I guarantee the Koreans didn’t phone it in.

 

Ford obviously ran out of time on the interior and suspension tuning.  We’ve heard they’re fixing the interior - hopefully the suspension will be sorted out at the same time.

 

The MSRP is too high relative to the competition.  I’m sure street price after rebates and discounts is a lot closer and more competitive.

Most of the things you mentioned are either fixed or will be soon and last month, it sounds like Ford moved plenty of STs

but this month will be disastrous for every one...,..and probably the next six months.

Edited by jpd80

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I look for the Korean twins (combined) to outsell the Explorer.  I also have already made my feelings known on the Escape-it's a miss as well.

 

There is every indication in the long -term picture Ford is in trouble.

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21 minutes ago, CKNSLS said:

I look for the Korean twins (combined) to outsell the Explorer.  I also have already made my feelings known on the Escape-it's a miss as well.

 

There is every indication in the long -term picture Ford is in trouble.


I think the sales numbers will surprise you.  And there is nothing wrong with Explorer that can’t or is already being fixed.

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Well, in that photo the Explorer is certainly the best looking of the bunch.   Since a lot of people don't read Motor Trend and buy what they think looks good, that might give Ford some wiggle room to work on all the nit-picking.

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6 hours ago, CKNSLS said:

I look for the Korean twins (combined) to outsell the Explorer.  I also have already made my feelings known on the Escape-it's a miss as well.

 

There is every indication in the long -term picture Ford is in trouble.

 

You do realize that the Explorer sold 51K units (yes down from 61K the year before that) to the combined total of the Kia and Hyundai models of 34K units, with the Teluride making up 19K units in the 4th Quarter of last year?

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Not that I am in the market for a 3-row full-size CUV...

But the list of models/brands I would be interested in is mostly an inverse of MT's finishing order: Ford, VW, Mazda, and Chevy towards the top, non-Mazda Asian brands to the bottom. But Toyota wouldn't be mid pack for me, it's always at the bottom. I loathe Toyota.  

Edited by AGR

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13 hours ago, CKNSLS said:

I look for the Korean twins (combined) to outsell the Explorer.  I also have already made my feelings known on the Escape-it's a miss as well.

 

There is every indication in the long -term picture Ford is in trouble.

I’ll see you and raise you that Q1 Telluride and Pallisade combined sales don’t beat Explorer and Aviator combined sales.

 

The Koreans are good but Ford and Lincoln’s Kung fu is stronger,

the strength of high series sales is impressive but covid-19

is about to screw everyone’s sales plans

Edited by jpd80

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6 hours ago, jpd80 said:

covid-19 is about to screw everyone’s sales plans

 

19 hours ago, akirby said:

there is nothing wrong with Explorer that can’t or is already being fixed.

 

Hopefully Covid-19 induced downturn doesn't cause Ford to give up on an emergency refresh for Explorer. The current gen has a lot of potential. But the many design and engineering flaws in the 2020 model year vehicle need to be fixed soon. 

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3 hours ago, rperez817 said:

 

 

Hopefully Covid-19 induced downturn doesn't cause Ford to give up on an emergency refresh for Explorer. The current gen has a lot of potential. But the many design and engineering flaws in the 2020 model year vehicle need to be fixed soon. 

Last month was pretty good for Explorer and Aviator, sure they can do better but actual

buyers seem to be supporting them in  spite of internet critics giving it the thumbs down.

 

Once production restarts it will be interesting to see if Ford begins with updated trims

or continues with existing trim until supplier stocks change

Edited by jpd80

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On 3/24/2020 at 2:06 PM, CKNSLS said:

I look for the Korean twins (combined) to outsell the Explorer.  I also have already made my feelings known on the Escape-it's a miss as well.

 

There is every indication in the long -term picture Ford is in trouble.


That’s an arbitrary statement based on no date to support it.  

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7 hours ago, rperez817 said:

 

 

Hopefully Covid-19 induced downturn doesn't cause Ford to give up on an emergency refresh for Explorer. The current gen has a lot of potential. But the many design and engineering flaws in the 2020 model year vehicle need to be fixed soon. 


What specifically are the design engineering flaws that you mention?

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1 hour ago, tbone said:


What specifically are the design engineering flaws that you mention?

 

These flaws were mentioned in the Motor Trend comparison test article and other reviews. This is for 2020 Explorer XLT.

 

  1. 10-speed automatic transmission, inconsistent shift quality and responsiveness
  2. 2.3L engine, uneven power delivery
  3. High interior noise levels
  4. Suspension tuning, unsettled ride
  5. Poor interior material quality, fit, and finish (Motor Trend called it "heinously cheap")
  6. Unsupportive driver's seat (Motor Trend called it "gooey")

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They have no direction...if they are a truck company then they need to act like it...trying to turn suv's on the low end into cars is not the answer....they gambled...they lost....they can start on the interiors which are utter garbage...trying to push 25k price in a suvcar with an interior that was sub 15k in a car 3 years ago was asnine marketing

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13 hours ago, rperez817 said:

 

These flaws were mentioned in the Motor Trend comparison test article and other reviews. This is for 2020 Explorer XLT.

 

  1. 10-speed automatic transmission, inconsistent shift quality and responsiveness
  2. 2.3L engine, uneven power delivery
  3. High interior noise levels
  4. Suspension tuning, unsettled ride
  5. Poor interior material quality, fit, and finish (Motor Trend called it "heinously cheap")
  6. Unsupportive driver's seat (Motor Trend called it "gooey")


As an early build ST owner, perhaps I can speak to some of these:

 

1. Has not been an issue during the 5k miles it’s been driven so far.
2. N/A

3. I hear a suspension noise that my wife nor teen kids do not, but she and my kids think it is quiet.  There are no rattles or other noises.  For comparison sake, my wife traded her QX80 for the Explorer. 
4.  The ST has a taut ride, which I prefer based on the way I drive, but  suspension valving is something that can be easily modified so I don’t see this as a long term problem. 
5. There are some things that I think should be better, but these are also fixable with better components.  With that said, I find the statement “heinously cheap” to  be quite a bit of hyperbole. 
6. Nobody who has driven our ST thinks that.  Perhaps the other configuration’s seats are that way, and someone else can weigh in on it.  

Edited by tbone

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Your st midel would maybe do better than the xlt they tested, but you have to remember, they are comparing the explorer provided by ford within the price they dictate to other likewise vehicles in the same pricepoint.  A st model won't be used because the 57k starting price is way to high for these multi car comparos where all fully loaded barely reach 55k.  Also, when doing comparos, for the most part, they are comparing the suvs through the lense of a general consumer.  Ford worked so hard on the criticsms of the last explorer, they were blinded by what the competition was doing with their vehicles.  Yes, rwd platform makes for a sportier yield, but rele what consumer is buying a 7 seat minivan to take on a track.  And not only that, ford tuned that car to be sporty, then built a sporty variant of said car.  I wont taint the validity of motortrend, most often than not, they actually reward fords unlike their direct journalist competitor.

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4 minutes ago, Dlcorbett said:

they were blinded by what the competition was doing with their vehicles.  Yes, rwd platform makes for a sportier yield, but rele what consumer is buying a 7 seat minivan to take on a track. 


Were they blinded or did they just run out of development time?   Nobody saw the Koreans coming with plebeian (but good) platforms and luxury interiors at bargain prices.  It remains to be seen how well that works long term.
 

As to your second point - 25% of sales are STs so maybe a lot more than you think.  Same for Edge ST.

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3 hours ago, akirby said:


Were they blinded or did they just run out of development time?   Nobody saw the Koreans coming with plebeian (but good) platforms and luxury interiors at bargain prices.  It remains to be seen how well that works long term.
 

As to your second point - 25% of sales are STs so maybe a lot more than you think.  Same for Edge 

 

Ford does that alot if your right.  They like to release their vehicles before complete.

 

I more meant that they built the explorer to be sportier than need be, than built a sporty variant of it (which is doing well).  

 

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5 hours ago, Dlcorbett said:

 

Ford does that alot if your right.  They like to release their vehicles before complete.

 

I more meant that they built the explorer to be sportier than need be, than built a sporty variant of it (which is doing well).  

 


I wouldn’t say they do it a lot but it does happen.  The problem is you have a long lead time on suppliers and tooling etc and it’s complicated by needing to roll out two vehicles developed separately.  Getting all that to line up perfectly with maxed out resources is hard.  In a perfect world you’d just delay Aviator but that’s not really feasible either.  As long as they correct it they’ll be fine.  Even with the flaws sales (retail at least) seem to be good and with higher prices that’s probably still a win financially.

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1 hour ago, akirby said:


I wouldn’t say they do it a lot but it does happen.  The problem is you have a long lead time on suppliers and tooling etc and it’s complicated by needing to roll out two vehicles developed separately.  Getting all that to line up perfectly with maxed out resources is hard.  In a perfect world you’d just delay Aviator but that’s not really feasible either.  As long as they correct it they’ll be fine.  Even with the flaws sales (retail at least) seem to be good and with higher prices that’s probably still a win financially.


They could have staggered the Explorer and Aviator launches. I don't believe 2 months would have been that detrimental, especially with all eyes on that plant. 

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1 hour ago, fuzzymoomoo said:


They could have staggered the Explorer and Aviator launches. I don't believe 2 months would have been that detrimental, especially with all eyes on that plant. 

 

And also stagger the features. Putting in a brand-new 3.0L GTDI and 10-speed transmission and AWD Disconnect and MHT and DAT 2.0 are already a tall order when you have a brand-new RWD platform to deal with.

 

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2 hours ago, fuzzymoomoo said:


They could have staggered the Explorer and Aviator launches. I don't believe 2 months would have been that detrimental, especially with all eyes on that plant. 


I don’t think 2 months is enough time to fix those issues.  Would have helped with launch issues though.  

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