2020 Kia Telluride vs 2019 Ford Explorer

2020 Kia Telluride Quakertown PA

The all-new 2020 Kia Telluride is leading the SUV market with more of everything. The three-row crossover is designed larger and more comfortable than any of its predecessors. Built for larger families and SUV lovers who asked for more space and more options -the Telluride delivers it all! Filled with standard tech options and driving power, Kia sells the 2020 Telluride as the next level of SUV crossovers.

Our contender, the 2019 Ford Explorer with an XLT trim level, is only a step up from Ford’s base trim level. With a few added standard features, such as a power front passenger seat, satellite radio and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, the Explorer hasn't change much at all. Although it still offers solid construction and good power, the Explorer's confined third-row legroom needs to be opened up.

The Telluride offers up to eight-passenger seating, only limited by how many captain’s chairs you order. Also, Telluride’s third-row seating comfort and space have set new heights for other SUV crossovers to meet. The Explorer is only a seven seater and has reasonably soft seats with no back support. The optional second-row buckets have good comfort but are missing one armrest. Lastly, the third-row is uncomfortable with seatbacks that are hard and lack any type of support.

Measuring the wide open cargo space of the Telluride, with the third-row seating down, it has 21.0 cu. ft. The Explorer offers the same cubic measurement, but the total cargo area is misconfigured. Comparing other midsized SUV’s cargo space to the Telluride’s, we find the area behind the second-row huge.


2020 Kia Telluride


2019 Ford Explorer

19 / 24 / 21

Fuel Economy (combined) 16 / 22 / 18

3.8L 6cyl 8A

Engine 3.5L 6cyl 6A

291 hp @ 6000 rpm


365 hp @ 5500 rpm

All-wheel drive

Drive-type All-wheel drive





Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

43.3 / 36.0


2020 Kia Telluride: A new midsized SUV leading the way.

The Telluride has 291 horsepower pushing a low base curb weight chassis. The tested model has excellent acceleration and torque. The Explorer has 365 horsepower and smaller engine size, but as you can see below, it seems Ford forgot about saving fossil fuels.

EPA estimates for the Telluride averages 20 mpg city, 26 mpg highway, and 23 mpg combined. The all-wheel-drive estimates are lower at 19 mpg city, 24 highway, and 21 combined. The Explorer has 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway, and 18 mpg combined. A real gas guzzler!


2020 Kia Telluride

2019 Ford Explorer

EX 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

XLT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)



Powerful standard V6 with more than sufficient towing power

Low noise cabin

Roomy interior for large families or groups

Powerful acceleration with the optional turbocharged V6

Plenty of standard high-tech safety features

Easy to use infotainment and tech features

Bold stout exterior styling




Average fuel economy

Poor fuel economy

No available powertrain upgrades

The overall feel of driving changes drastically between trim levels


Little third-row passenger space


Lacks safety features offered as standard options by other manufacturers


We found the 2020 Kia Telluride is a better buy than the 2019 Ford Explorer because. The Telluride offers comfort beyond compare with more passenger room, new technologies for safety and entertainment, and power combined with acceptable fuel economy. Kia outdid themselves this time, and Telluride is definitely a model to be proud of.






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