Greene Ford Compares 2015 Ford Explorer VS 2015 Chevrolet Traverse Near Cleveland, GA

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2015 Ford Explorer

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VS

2015 Chevrolet Traverse

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Traverse doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Explorer 4WD’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The Traverse doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

The Explorer’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Traverse doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Explorer and the Traverse have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Chevrolet Traverse:

Explorer

Traverse

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

209

277

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.5 inches

Neck Injury Risk

31%

34%

Neck Stress

159 lbs.

188 lbs.

Neck Compression

31 lbs.

51 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Explorer is safer than the Chevrolet Traverse:

Explorer

Traverse

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

44

52

Hip Force

295 lbs.

318 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

34 G’s

Hip Force

524 lbs.

704 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

676 lbs.

677 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Explorer’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Traverse’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Explorer has a standard 175-amp alternator (200-amp - Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport). The Traverse’s 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Explorer has more powerful engines than the Traverse:

Horsepower

Torque

Explorer 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

240 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

Explorer 3.5 DOHC V6

290 HP

255 lbs.-ft.

Explorer Sport 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Traverse LS/LT 3.6 DOHC V6

281 HP

266 lbs.-ft.

Traverse LTZ 3.6 DOHC V6

288 HP

270 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Popular Mechanics the Ford Explorer V6 is faster than the Traverse LTZ:

Explorer

Traverse

Zero to 60 MPH

8.4 sec

8.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.3 MPH

84.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer 4 cyl. FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Traverse LTZ FWD (20 city/28 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Explorer 4WD with its standard V6 gets better city fuel mileage than the Traverse LTZ AWD 3.6 V6 (288 HP) (17 city/23 hwy vs. 16 city/23 hwy).

The Explorer has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Traverse doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Explorer stops much shorter than the Traverse:

Explorer

Traverse

70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

194 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

135 feet

141 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

145 feet

161 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Explorer’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Traverse LS’ standard 70 series tires. The Explorer’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Traverse’s optional 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Explorer has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Traverse LS.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Explorer has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Traverse’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Explorer has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Explorer flat and controlled during cornering. The Traverse’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Explorer Limited 4WD handles at .81 G’s, while the Traverse LTZ AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Explorer Limited 4WD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Traverse LTZ AWD (27.4 seconds @ .61 average G’s vs. 27.8 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Explorer 4WD’s turning circle is 1.5 feet tighter than the Traverse’s (38.9 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The Explorer Sport’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Traverse’s (39.8 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Explorer has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Traverse (7.5 vs. 7.2 inches), allowing the Explorer to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis Comparison

The Ford Explorer may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 200 pounds less than the Chevrolet Traverse.

The Explorer is 6.6 inches shorter than the Traverse, making the Explorer easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Explorer Limited 4WD is quieter than the Traverse LT AWD:

Explorer

Traverse

At idle

35 dB

41 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Explorer has 1 inch more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom and 3 inches more rear legroom than the Traverse.

The Explorer offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The Traverse doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Explorer has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Traverse doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Explorer Limited/Sport’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Traverse doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Explorer’s standard driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Traverse’s standard driver’s power window switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully. The Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s front power windows both open or close with one touch of the switches. The Traverse LTZ’s front passenger window doesn’t close automatically.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Explorer XLT/Limited/Sport’s exterior keypad. The Traverse doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its OnStar ® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Intelligent Access optional on the Explorer (except Base/XLT) allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Traverse doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Explorer’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Traverse’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Explorer Limited’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Explorer has a standard rear variable intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Traverse only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Explorer Limited detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Traverse doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

Both the Explorer and the Traverse offer available heated front seats. The Explorer Limited also offers optional heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated second row seats aren’t available in the Traverse.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the Explorer’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The Traverse doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Explorer Limited/Sport offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Traverse doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The Explorer Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Traverse doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Explorer is less expensive to operate than the Traverse because typical repairs cost much less on the Explorer than the Traverse, including $118 less for front brake pads, $13 less for a starter, $139 less for fuel injection, $74 less for a fuel pump, $375 less for a timing belt/chain and $398 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

A group of representative automotive journalists from North America selected the Explorer as the 2011 North American Truck of the Year. The Traverse has never been chosen.

The Ford Explorer outsold the Chevrolet Traverse by over two to one during the 2014 model year.

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