2017 Chevrolet Traverse vs Ford Explorer
The search for the perfect midsize SUV can be overwhelming in a market that is dominated by the crossover category. Whether you want the most passenger space or the highest towing capacity for those family camping trips, the lines can get a bit blurry. Of course, you want the safest vehicle but what about all the latest technology? Both the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse and the Ford Explorer have something to offer.
2017 Chevrolet Traverse vs Ford Explorer
If you’re shopping for a midsize SUV, you likely have an age-old problem: how to fit all of the people you need to take with you and their stuff without feeling like a sardine. The 2017 Chevrolet Traverse keeps its eye on the ball in this category, giving you room for 8 and 34.6 cubic feet of additional cargo space. One thing we really like is that the Traverse can be configured in any combination you need, with seats that store in the floor for large cargo and a second row that easily slides forward for access to the third row without making everyone get out. Carpool, soccer practice, and grocery trips have never been easier.
The Ford Explorer only seats seven, with no upgrade option to add that 8th passenger, which leaves it lagging behind the Traverse. With a flip forward seat in the second row, getting in and out of the third row quickly is tougher in the Explorer. You can opt for the captain’s seats in the second row for more comfort, but that brings the seating down to 6. We like the Traverse in this category.
If you’re looking for a vehicle that will adapt to your needs, the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse is the right choice. Especially when you’re looking for utility performance, the Traverse doesn’t disappoint with an impressive 5,200 lb tow capacity. The Traverse backs that capacity with a bigger, more robust engine for all driving conditions. Every Traverse model has a 3.6-liter V6 and six-speed automatic transmission, with the greater horsepower in the upper trim levels.
The Ford Explorer offers a 2,000 lb towing capacity in comparison, which doesn’t measure up to the Traverse but would be fine for towing small jet skis or some extra luggage. It’s definitely not enough for tough hauling. The Explorer offers 2 engine sizes but you are going to have to shell out some extra cash upfront to get the upgrade.
The 2017 Chevrolet Traverse brings the boom in the technology category, with an array of standard and available technology. Opt for the built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi and you can keep all of your passengers connected while saving them from using their data. Standard options include a 3-month trial of Chevrolet’s stellar OnStar service, which offers safety features and some cool Siri-linked voice command features that will give you hands-free options to keep you safer.
Ford offers the SYNC package in the Explorer, which allows you to make hands-free calls and choose your music, but this not available at all in the 2 base models. Some trims offer a 6 month trial to Sirius XM, which is nice, and we like the available dual 2nd row smart USB ports, but both of those options are available only on the highest trims.
The good news here is that, no matter which vehicle you choose, both the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse and the Ford Explorer get the highest overall safety ratings by the NTHSA. The Traverse offers OnStar, with automatic crash assist and basic levels of assistance, for five years to buyers, which is a nice bonus. It also comes standard with the regular buffet of safety features, including a rear camera and airbags throughout the vehicle.
We’re impressed, though, by the package of available safety features that the Explorer offers. Active Park Asisst, Lane Keeping, knee airbags and a safety canopy, reverse sensing system, and a rear camera. While not all of these features are available until the higher trims, the Explorer offers more options than the Traverse. In this category, the Ford takes the crown.
Learn More about the Chevrolet Traverse
The 2017 Chevy Traverse is the clear standout here, with more passenger room, solid safety track record, greater towing power, and more tech features. Add to those options a lower pricetag than the base model Ford Explorer, and you have a midsize SUV that will take you anywhere for less.