2021 Kia Telluride vs 2020 Ford Explorer – Freehold, NJ for Sale in Freehold, NJ

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  • 2021 Kia Telluride

    A silver 2021 Kia Telluride is angled left.

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    2020 Ford Explorer

    A silver 2020 Ford Explorer is angled right.

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    Up to 8Available SeatingUp to 7
    157Passenger Volume (cu.ft.)153
    FWDStandard DrivetrainRWD

    The Kia Telluride is the second year of its first generation, which was introduced for the 2020 model year. As Kia's largest SUV, the Telluride comfortably fits up to eight adult passengers who will enjoy a long list of standard technology and safety features. The Telluride's luxurious cabin is comparable to more expensive SUVs, and Kia's impressive basic warranty of five years or 60,000 miles is tough to beat. One of its biggest competitors in the U.S. is the Ford Explorer, which is why we will be comparing the 2021 Kia Telluride vs 2020 Ford Explorer.

    Comparing the cutting-edge Telluride to the classic Ford Explorer is an exciting proposition. While the Explorer has some substantial power behind it, it struggles to keep up with Kia's modern design. The Ford Explorer has been around since 1991 as one of the first SUVs to hit the market. Originally built on a truck platform with rear-wheel drive, the Explorer retains much of its rugged beginnings.

    Both SUVs have enough space for large groups and are rated very well for safety. As new models, there's a decent amount of high-tech features to be found from either brand. Kia doesn't disappoint in terms of design with lots of thoughtful details and unique features that aren't available in other SUVs.

  • Interior

    The interior of a 2021 Kia Telluride is shown.

    The 2020 Kia Telluride

    The Telluride's cozy cabin is a major draw for prospective buyers. With comfortable seats and a spacious interior, the Telluride is a welcome choice for long drives. The Telluride offers a notably smooth and quiet ride for a tranquil driving experience. Seating upholstery on the base trim is synthetic leather seat trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and heated mirrors are included.

    Moving up to the S trim brings heated front seats and an eight-way power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar support. If you opt for the EX, all three rows have leather trim seating, and the front seats are heated and ventilated. The EX also comes with tri-zone automatic climate control. Some interior upgrades are found in the top SX trim, like second-row captain's chairs and front power seats with driver's memory, but most of the perks of the SX are related to technology and exterior design.

    The 2020 Ford Explorer

    The interior of the Ford Explorer isn't quite as refined as the Telluride. Nonetheless, 2020 represents a total redesign from older models. The changes made increased both passenger space and cargo room. Because the higher trims bring significant price bumps, some critics say the higher trims of the Explorer should offer more to justify their hefty price tag.

    If you're a fan of leather seating, the Explorer is slow to add to this feature. The base Explorer has cloth seating, and the XLT has upgraded cloth. Leather upholstery shows up in the Explorer's Limited trim and above.

  • Exterior

    A silver 2021 Kia Telluride is climbing over rocks in front of a canyon.

    The 2021 Kia Telluride

    Appealing exterior packages let you customize the look of your 2021 Kia Telluride to suit your style. The sleek Nightfall Edition coats the exterior with glossy black trim, complemented by 20" alloy wheels and a radiator grille also with an attractive black finish. Headlamps and fog lamps with black bezels, along with Nightfall Edition Kia logos, make this stunning edition stand out from the pack. The Nightfall Edition is available on all-wheel-drive versions of the EX Premium and SX trims.

    The 2020 Ford Explorer

    The Explorer also offers several packages once you get past the base model. Opting for the XLT Explorer (one level up from the base trim) adds roof rails and the optional 202A package. This package includes LED fog lights and silver-painted elements on the bottom of the bumpers, along with some interior upgrades. The Limited and Limited Hybrid models include the features of the 202A package and add 20" wheels and automated wipers.

    On the ST model, you have the option for the ST Street Pack and the ST Track Pack. Both come with red-painted calipers, upgraded brakes, and 21-inch wheels. If you decide to splurge on a Platinum Explorer, uniquely styled tail lights, a two-piece sunroof, and adaptive headlights all come standard.

  • Technology

    A closeup shows the infotainment screen in a 2021 Kia Telluride that is parked in Freehold, NJ.

    The 2021 Kia Telluride

    Starting with the LX Telluride, buyers can take advantage of the UVO link. With a free subscription for your first year of buying or leasing a new Telluride, this app allows remote access to lock and unlock your Kia, locate your vehicle, and use the remote starter. You'll also find your vehicle's owner's manual, videos, quick guides, warranty info, payment information, and maintenance milestones.

    An 8-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth wireless technology with hands-free connectivity, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability are all part of the Telluride's standard base package. You'll also find five USB charger ports, three 12-volt power outlets, and a steering wheel with mounted audio, cruise control buttons, and hands-free phone. All trims come with three months of satellite radio service. Higher trims also give you 110V Power Inverter and a Head-Up Display.

    The 2020 Ford Explorer

    Ford Explorer's base model comes standard with FordPass Connect, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and a 4G LTE WiFi Hotspot. There are three 12-volt powerpoints, and intelligent access with push-button start are included once you upgrade to the XLT. The ST and Platinum models are eligible for the Premium technology package, which adds a 10.1-inch touchscreen and 14-speaker premium audio system by Bang & Olufsen.

    Unlike the five standard USB ports on the Telluride, the Explorer's base model only has two. Upgrading to the XLT brings two additional USBs to the Explorer, adding up to a total of four.

  • Safety

    A silver 2021 Kia Telluride is driving in the snow after winning the 2021 Kia Telluride vs 2020 Ford Explorer comparison.

    The 2021 Kia Telluride

    The 2021 Telluride and the 2020 Explorer are safe bets if a cautious driver is behind the wheel. Both were awarded a 5 out of 5 overall safety rating by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.

    The Kia Telluride offers a generous package of standard safety features in its base model (the LX). Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and forward collision avoidance puts on the brakes to help prevent dangerous head-on collisions. Using front-mounted radar, the driver receives visual and audible warnings through the Kia's forward collision warning.

    Blind spot detection improves visibility on the side and rear of the Telluride, providing warnings and braking assistance as needed. For safe driving on the road, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and lane following assist act as a second set of eyes on the road using high-tech cameras.

    Rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist employs sensors in the rear bumper of the Telluride to keep a lookout for passing vehicles and activate alerts and brakes as needed. The smart technology of the Kia Telluride can even sense when the driver isn't paying attention. With driver attention warning technology, your SUV will notify you if it detects you aren't focused on the road and help divert your attention back to safety.

    The Kia Telluride Offers Plenty of Safety Features

    The Kia Telluride's extensive standard safety package doesn't stop there. A unique feature that's especially crucial for busy parents is the rear occupant alert. If any passengers remain in the rear seating area, audible and visual warnings alert the driver before exiting the vehicle. If you have older kids exiting the back seat, safe exist assist overrides deactivation of child safety locks preventing anyone from opening the door until it's safe to do so.

    Aside from driver assistance programs, the Kia Telluride has several built-in safety features, including hill start assist control, anti lock brakes to prevent skidding, rollover sensors, and electronic stability control and vehicle stability management (for enhanced steering). Drivers can feel confident bringing the Telluride on long trips and facing less-than-ideal driving conditions.

    Although there's no substitute for careful driving habits, every little bit of added precaution helps.

    The 2020 Ford Explorer

    Several similar high-tech features can be found in the Ford Explorer, but you won't see them in the base model as much as with the Telluride. The Ford CoPilot 360 is included in all models of the Explorer. It comes standard with a blind spot information system, rearview camera, lane-keeping system, automatic high beam headlamps, and automatic emergency braking. For additional safety features, an upgrade to the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Assist+ is required.

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