Comparison of 2020 Kia Telluride and 2020 Ford Explorer


With SUVs and crossovers still dominating the majority of the auto market, every so often we hear about consumers stuck between two vehicles. The decision on which vehicle to buy gets even more difficult with how similar one SUV can be to another. Not too long ago, the 2020 Kia Telluride and Hyundai Palisade came out – two SUVs from the same automobile group, Hyundai Motors. There were pretty close contenders, so we decided to pick something different this time around. That’s right, it’s comparison time, and we’re put the 2020 Kia Telluride up against the 2020 Ford Explorer.

Start Your Engines

When it comes to an SUV, towing power comes to mind, and because of that, consumers may be quick to flock to the Ford Explorer. Under the hood is a 2.3-liter turbo-four engine able to generate 300 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That might seem like a big deal and the winning choice, given the Kia Telluride is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 able to generate 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, but how well a car handles all that power is the real winning ticket. No one wants to feel like they’re out of control when behind the wheel of an SUV.

That’s where the Ford Explorer pales – a lack of response for acceleration and chippy transitioning between gears is no match for the eight-speed automatic paired to the V6 in the Kia Telluride. Drivers get smooth transitions between gears at all speeds for a leisurely ride down any highway. Speaking of the ride, the Kia Telluride also comes with improved body control and suspension for stability and comfort, whereas the Explorer can feel a little bouncy at times. And forget about leisurely rides on the highway with the sounds of the engine and wind battering the vehicle.

Creature Comforts

When it comes to SUVs, they’re always known for how many passengers they can seat and the amount of room available. A big car should have plenty of space, right? The 2020 Kia Telluride can seat up to eight passengers and has ease of access to the third row with the push of a button. No need to be awkwardly climbing over seats, and with plenty of head and legroom, passengers can keep comfortable on long rides. We’d be lying if we said the 2020 Ford Explorer also didn’t offer ease-of-access to the back row, but there’s noticeably less space in the cabin, especially in the third-row. The Explorer may be designed with a family in mind but not more than four adults at once, and that’s a bit of a bummer.

Throughout the cabin, it’s easy to see the Telluride is winning this category as well. Every inch comes with unmatched quality, and if one were to choose the high-end trim, the SX, rich Nappa leather upholstery increases the feeling of a luxury SUV without the luxury price – more on that later. Sadly, the Explorer interior cabin seems to have fallen behind, whether a low-end trim or a high-end trim, everything seems a little substandard.


Kia Motors always comes with great entertainment features in their vehicles and the 2020 Kia Telluride comes with the latest of the UVO infotainment system. Capable of operating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Kia also offers an UVO app that provides ways for consumers to connect to their car via their mobile phone with remote access. Standard on the Telluride is an 8-inch touchscreen, but the EX and SX trims come with a 10.24-inch touchscreen – the Kia Telluride SX also gets navigation with UVO link. The cherry on top would have to be the available 10-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound for the EX and SX trims.

Ford hasn’t done much to change its infotainment system in recent years. Still offering SYNC 3, Ford makes up for the old technology with improved user-friendliness with better response and larger icons. An 8-inch touchscreen also comes standard with a 10.1-inch touchscreen on the 2020 Ford Explorer ST and Platinum trims. When it comes to safety, Ford does offer some effective driver assistance systems like lane keeping and centering and adaptive cruise control, but the Kia Telluride offers this and more. Consumers will find blind-spot collision avoidance, driver attention warning, forward-collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, lane departure warning, lane following assist, lane keeping assist, parking distance (rear), rear-cross traffic collision avoidance, safe exist assist, and smart cruise control with stop and go – and it’s all standard.

The Winner

Do we really need to spell it out? If it wasn’t clear, let’s put up some numbers. Even the high-end trim of the 2020 Kia Telluride has a starting MSRP of $41,490 (plus destination fee) and comes out to $46,860 with all the bells and whistles. If looking to get the most out of 2020 Ford Explorer, whatever that means, consumers are looking at $50,000 and up. The choice is clear.

Come to Miami Lakes Kia and check out the 2020 Kia Telluride today.

Photo Source/Copyright: Motor Trend