SUVs come in many shapes and sizes, but the Chevrolet Traverse and Ford Explorer are two of the best on the market, hauling all the stuff and people you could hope for. They give you the utility of a minivan without cramping your style, but can you choose between the two? It may come down to the trade-off between fuel economy and cargo space.
How long are you going to be paying off your new SUV? Hopefully not too long, and that’s why price is a huge deciding factor for most customers. Obviously, you want to pay as little as possible for the best car you can get, but sometimes a better vehicle really is worth shelling out more.
The 2017 Chevrolet Traverse is the cheaper of the two with a starting MSRP of $29,595 for the LS base model with front-wheel drive, according to Chevy’s website. The 2017 Ford Explorer is more expensive at $31,660. The difference of $2,065 may seem like a lot, but it breaks down to around an extra $35 per month with a 60-month car loan, excluding taxes and interest. Is the Explorer worth the extra money?
The less you fill up, the more money is in your pocket. Depending on how much you drive, the Explorer's relative fuel efficiency could save you. With the front-wheel-drive, V6 option you can get 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The V6, front-wheel-drive 2017 Chevrolet Traverse gets 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. It may not seem like much, but it could end up being significant over a few years.
The real reason people purchase an SUV is so that they can have plenty of passengers and haul stuff around. You want a vehicle that gives you plenty of space, and in this case, the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse is the winner. According to Chevy, it has a maximum of 116.3 cubic feet of maximum cargo space, while the Ford claims their 2017 Explorer only has 81.7 cubic-feet of cargo space.
You may also need to tow boats, U-Hauls, or other vehicles. The Traverse leads in this category, though not by much. The 2017 Traverse has a maximum tow of 5,200-pounds when properly equipped. The 2017 Explorer isn’t too far behind, with a maximum loaded trailer weight of 5,000-pounds when properly equipped.
You want to know that your family is safe no matter what happens. The 2017 Chevy Traverse includes all the safety features you’d expect like antilock disc brakes and traction control, but it also has full-length side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. OnStar is also standard and includes automatic crash notifications, on-demand road assistance, remote door unlocking, and turn-by-turn navigation. Finally, government crash tests gave the traverse a five out of five-star score for performance and crash test ratings.
The 2017 Ford Explorer also comes with standard safety features such as stability and traction control, trailer sway control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags, a front passenger knee airbag, and MyKey. A rearview camera is also standard, but you can upgrade to an 180-degree front camera for an extra cost. Government tests also gave the Explorer a five out of five-star rating.