The Chevrolet Traverse was completely redesigned for 2018. It'd be good see how the new Traverse stacks up against the tried-and-true Ford Explorer. In this comparison guide, we do exactly that.
Reliability: Ford Explorer
A distinct advantage of being a few years into a complete overhaul is the tweaks and modifications that can iron out any out-of-the-gate issues. The Ford Explorer, now eight years since its last overhaul, has really been honed into something special. Its reliability rating is a jaw-dropping 4.5, well above average. That means when you buy new, it's probably going to last until well after Ford rolls out the next generation of Explorers.
The Chevy Traverse has a good score, but not as good as the Explorer. Despite both having an identical warranty-a three-year or 36,000-mile and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain-the Explorer still wins out in this class. It's simply predicted to last longer with fewer problems.
Safety: Ford Explorer
The 2018 Ford Explorer clinched a five-star safety rating from NHTSA and boasts an astounding number of active safety features, including active cruise control and a lane-keeping system. Then the Safe and Smart package nabs all of the available safety tech features in one slick package. You can also get Sway Control for easier towing.
Overall, the Chevy Traverse also earned a five-star safety rating but looking at individual tests shows that it didn't do quite as well as the Explorer. It offers all the safety features you would expect in a vehicle of this class, but many are locked away at the upper-trim levels.
Performance: Ford Explorer
The Ford Explorer is a reasonably sporty, sportier in fact than many SUVs that actually claim to offer a sporty trim. It comes with one of three engine options: the base 290-horsepower 3.5-liter V6, an eco-friendlier 280-horsepower 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder, and a blistering 365-horsepower twin-turbocharged EcoBoost 3.5-liter V6. That last option gives you acceleration at the top of its class. All Explorers corner and brake well for their class, making this not only a safe but fun vehicle to drive.
The Chevy Traverse comes with only a single powertrain option: a 310-horsepower 3.6-liter V6 engine paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. Its acceleration is a bit less than what the Explorer can give. The rumblings are that a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is coming soon, but because it's a newly overhauled vehicle some promised features are pending.
The Chevy Traverse shows a lot of promise and in a few years might give the Ford Explorer a run for its money. But in the 2018 year, the Explorer still wins out as the best mid-size SUV all around.