Chevrolet Tahoe Vs. Ford Explorer

By Justin Cupler | September 25th, 2019

Chevrolet Tahoe Vs. Ford Explorer

Crossovers and SUVs generally stay in their lane when it comes to competition, but the 2020 Ford Explorer finds itself in the median between the two classes. This results in some shopper comparing the 2020 Explorer against a full-size stalwart like the 2020 Chevy Tahoe. Which of these cargo-, trailer-, and people-hauling vehicles is best for shoppers in the Midland, MI area? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

The 2020 Chevy Tahoe is your everyday, truck-based SUV, so it features an upright body and higher ride height. Just because it’s base on a pickup doesn’t mean it must look like one, and the Tahoe masters this with its sharp headlights and taillights, bold grille options, and a slew of premium wheels.

The 2020 Ford Explorer sits in the void between soft crossovers and rugged SUVs, giving indecisive buyers the best of both worlds. The 2020 Explorer is an all-new design, which is sure to attract a fair share of buyers. This new look is more upright than the previous model but also features more creative body lines and fascia.

The Tahoe and Explorer both boast luxury-packed variants in the Premier and Platinum trims, respectively, but the Explorer is the only one to possess a legit performance model in its ST trim. The ST adds tons of black trimming, a unique grille, blacked-out lighting, and more.

As a full-size SUV, the 2020 Chevy Tahoe is significantly larger than the Explorer. Whipping out the tape measure shows the Tahoe is 5.1 inches longer, 1.6 inches wider, and 4.5 inches taller. The only area the Tahoe falls short is its 3.1-inch-shorter wheelbase. With its extra size comes added heft, making the Tahoe up to 1,010 pounds heavier than the Explorer. The lower weight makes the Explorer more comfortable to manage on windy roads.

Measurement

Chevy Tahoe

Ford Explorer

Difference

Length

203.9 inches

198.8 inches

+5.1 inches

Width

80.5 inches

78.9 inches

+1.6 inches

Height

74.4 inches

69.9 inches

+4.5 inches

Wheelbase

116 inches

119.1 inches

-3.1 inches

Ground Clearance

7.9 to 8.3 inches

Curb weight

5,355 to 5,772 pounds

4,345 to 4,969 pounds

+803 to +1,010 pounds

Advantage: 2020 Ford Explorer

·        Sporty ST trim

·        Smaller and more manageable

·        Newest design language

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Tahoe

·        Large and in charge

·        Sharp nose

·        Plenty of luxurious options

Interior

Inside, the 2020 Chevy Tahoe does a great job of disguising its truck-based cabin with tons of angles and curves on the dash. The 2020 Tahoe treats buyers to a massive center console, a trick touchscreen that rises to reveal a password-protected storage area, and plenty of advanced tech, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2020 Tahoe also pleases discerning buyers with plenty of luxury in its higher trim levels.

The Ford Explorer is all crossover with a sleek, car-like cabin that is full of subtle curves and shapes. It also boasts a floating infotainment screen and a clean center stack that gives this crossover a more premium feel. While its standard features are plentiful, it’s the Explorer’s options that set it apart from the Tahoe, including its optional 10.1-inch touchscreen, 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, quilted leather, and leather-wrapped instrument panel.

The 2020 Explorer lineup has another wrinkle in its sporty ST trim, which boasts ST badging, sport seats and steering wheel, and more to match the performance attitude of this powerful crossover.

Safety also sets the Explorer apart, as it boasts standard automatic high-beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking. The 2020 Chevy Tahoe has the same safety features, but they are all at-cost options.

In terms of roominess, the 2020 Chevy Tahoe’s front seats are far roomier in every vital measurement. In the second row, the Explorer gets a leg up in headroom and matches the Tahoe’s  39 inches of legroom, but the Tahoe takes the win in every other measurement. In the third row, the Tahoe’s 24.8 inches of legroom falls 7.8 inches short of the Explorer, but the Chevy wins in every other measure.

Standard cargo room with all seats up goes to the Explorer at 18.2 cubic feet, but the Tahoe takes the win once you start folding the rear seats.

Measurement

Chevy Tahoe

Ford Explorer

Difference

Front headroom

42.8 inches

40.7 inches

+2.1 inches

Front legroom

45.3 inches

43 inches

+2.3 inches

Front shoulder room

64.8 inches

61.8 inches

+3 inches

Front hip room

60.8 inches

59.2 inches

+1.6 inches

Second-row headroom

38.7 inches

40.5 inches

-1.8 inches

Second-row legroom

39 inches

39 inches

Second-row shoulder room

65.1 inches

61.9 inches

+3.2 inches

Second-row hip room

60.3 inches

59.1 inches

+1.2 inches

Third-row headroom

38.1 inches

38.9 inches

-0.8 inches

Third -row legroom

24.8 inches

32.2 inches

-7.4 inches

Third -row shoulder room

62.6 inches

54.6 inches

+8 inches

Third -row hip room

49.3 inches

40.9 inches

+8.4 inches

Cargo room (behind the third row)

15.3 cubic feet

18.2 cubic feet

-2.9 cubic feet

Cargo room (behind the second row)

51.7 cubic feet

47.9 cubic feet

+3.8 cubic feet

Cargo room (behind the first row)

94.7 cubic feet

87.8 cubic feet

+6.9 cubic feet

Advantage: 2020 Ford Explorer

·        Sporty ST cabin

·        Luxurious interior in Platinum trim

·        Tons more third-row legroom

·        More standard cargo room

·        More standard advanced safety features

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Tahoe

·        Roomier front seats

·        Trick touchscreen reveals a protected storage area

·        Massive max cargo room

·        Wider seating

Performance

The hulking 2020 Chevy Tahoe uses a mighty 5.3-liter V-8 engine to power most of its lineup. This V-8 powerplant pumps out 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque. Combining the power and rugged chassis results in up to an 8,600-pound towing capacity.

The 2020 Ford Explorer’s base 2.3-liter engine has half the cylinders, but its turbocharger pumps the output to a surprising 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. This power routes through a 10-speed automatic transmission and out to the rear wheels to help it tow up to 5,300 pounds. Buyers can opt for four-wheel drive.

Buyers looking for more oomph can get that in the Tahoe with the RST Performance Edition package, which adds the 420-horsepower 6.2-liter V-8 engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission. This adds up to a 5.7-second 0-to-60 sprint time, but its added heft drags towing capacity down to 8,400 pounds.

The Ford Explorer has a counter to this more powerful Tahoe in its ST trim, which includes a 3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 that pumps out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. This power heads through a 10-speed automatic transmission and a four-wheel-drive system for a 5.5-second 0-to-60 sprint time.

The luxurious 2020 Explore Platinum has the same 3.0-liter engine as the ST but with just 365 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. This engine also pairs with a standard 10-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive, but its sprint time is slower than the ST at 5.7 seconds.

Rounding out the Explorer lineup is the Limited Hybrid with its 3.3-liter hybrid V-6 engine that pumps out 318 horsepower and 322 pound-feet of torque. This results in a 7.8-second 0-to-60 time and a 5,000-pound towing capacity. Where the Explorer Hybrid shines is fuel economy, as it gets up to 27 mpg city, 29 highway, and 28 combined.

Chevy Tahoe

Ford Explorer

Difference

Engine

5.3-liter V-8

2.3-liter turbo 4-cyl

Horsepower

355 hp at 5,600 rpm

300 hp at

+55 hp

Torque

383 lb-ft at 4,100 rpm

310 lb-ft

+73 lb-ft

Transmission

6-spd automatic

10-spd automatic

Driveline

RWD (std.)/4WD (opt.)

RWD (std.)/4WD (opt.)

0-60 time

Towing capacity

8,600 pounds (RWD w/ Max Trailering Package)

5,300 pounds (4WD w/ optional tow package)

+3,300 pounds

MPG City

15 mpg

20 to 21 mpg

-6 to -5 mpg

MPG Highway

21 to 22 mpg

27 to 28 mpg

-7 to -5 mpg

MPG Combined

17 to 18 mpg

23 to 24 mpg

-7 to -5 mpg

Optional engine

6.2-liter V-8

3.0-liter turbo V-6 (Platinum)

Horsepower

420 hp at 5,600 rpm

365 hp

-55 hp

Torque

460 lb-ft 4,100 rpm

380 lb-ft

-80 lb-ft

Transmission

10-spd automatic

10-spd automatic

Driveline

RWD (std.)/4WD (opt.)

4WD

0-60 time

5.7 seconds

5.7 seconds

Towing capacity

8,400 pounds (RWD)

5,600 pounds

+2,800 pounds

MPG City

14 mpg

18 mpg

-4 mpg

MPG Highway

22 to 23 mpg

24 mpg

-2 to -1 mpg

MPG Combined

17 mpg

20 mpg

-3 mpg

Optional engine

3.0-liter turbo V-6 (ST)

Horsepower

400 hp

-20 hp

Torque

415 lb-ft

-45 lb-ft

Transmission

10-spd automatic

Driveline

4WD

0-60 time

5.5 seconds

+0.2 seconds

Towing capacity

5,600 pound

+2,800 lbs

MPG City

18 mpg

-4 mpg

MPG Highway

24 mpg

-2 to -1 mpg

MPG Combined

20 mpg

-3 mpg

Optional engine

3.3-liter hybrid V-6

Horsepower

318 hp

Torque

322 lb-ft

Transmission

10-spd automatic

Driveline

RWD (std.)/4WD (opt.)

0-60 time

7.8 seconds

Towing capacity

5,000 pounds (w/ optional tow package)

MPG City

23 to 27 mpg

MPG Highway

26 to 29 mpg

MPG Combined

25 to 28 mpg

Advantage: 2020 Ford Explorer

·        Big performance from ST model

·        Thriftier at all levels

·        Lighter and nimbler

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Tahoe

·        Truck-like towing

·        Traditional V-8 power

·        Huge power with the 6.2-liter engine

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Chevy Tahoe has a trio of trim levels – LS, LT, and Premier – and their starting prices range from $50,295 to $63,995.

There are five trim levels in the 2020 Explorer lineup: XLT, Limited, Limited Hybrid, ST, and Platinum. Their starting prices range from $36,675 to $58,250.

2020 Chevy Tahoe Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LS: $50,295

·        5.3-liter V-8

·        Six-speed automatic transmission

·        Smooth-ride suspension

·        Limited-slip rear differential

·        Rear-wheel drive

·        Auxiliary transmission cooler

·        Trailer hitch with 2-inch receiver

·        Trailer-sway control

·        Multi-link rear suspension

·        Power steering

·        Hill-start assist

·        18-inch aluminum wheels with high-polish finish

·        17-inch full-size spare tire

·        Body-color front and rear fascias

·        Daytime running lights

·        Projector-beam headlights

·        Black roof-mounted side rails

·        Black assist steps

·        Heated, power mirrors

·        Acoustic laminated glass

·        Deep-tinted glass

·        Rain-sensing windshield wipers

·        Rear intermittent wiper

·        Chevrolet Infotainment System

·        8-inch touchscreen

·        Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio

·        Apple CarPlay

·        Android Auto

·        USB ports

·        Single-slot CD player

·        Six-speaker audio system

·        SiriusXM radio

·        High-Definition Radio

·        4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot

·        Premium cloth seating

·        10-way power driver’s seat

·        Six-way power passenger’s seat

·        60/40 split-folding second-row seats

·        Carpeted flooring

·        Tlit steering wheel

·        Leather-wrapped steering wheel

·        Steering-wheel-mounted controls

·        4.2-inch driver-information center

·        Power door locks

·        Remote keyless entry

·        Remote ignition

·        Power windows with front express up/down

·        Cruise control

·        Tri-zone automatic climate

·        110-volt power out

·        Conversation mirror

·        Cargo-management system

·        Cargo net

·        Teen Driver

·        Rear park assist

·        Rear vision camera

·        OnStar

·        Chevrolet Connected Access capable

LT: $55,095

·        All LS features, plus

·        Power liftgate

·        Leather seating

·        Heated front seats

·        Auto-dimming rearview mirror

·        Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

·        Two-position memory for driver’s seat, pedals, and mirrors

·        Power-adjustable pedals

·        Safety Alert Seat

·        Universal home remote

·        Bose premium nine-speaker audio system

·        Intellibeam automatic high-beam headlights

·        Lane-keep assist

·        Lane-departure warning

·        Forward-collision alert

·        Automatic emergency braking

Premier: $63,995

·        All LT features, plus

·        Magnetic ride control

·        20-inch polished alloy wheels

·        Body-color bodyside moldings

·        Fog lights

·        Ha nds-free programmable power liftgate

·        Auto-dimming outside mirrors with integrated turn signals

·        HID headlights

·        10-speaker Bose Centerpoint audio system

·        Navigation

·        Heated and ventilated front seats

·        Heated outboard second-row seats

·        Keyless open

·        Keyless ignition

·        Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel

·        60/40 power-folding third-row seats

·        Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

·        Perforated leather seats

·        SiriusXM NavTraffic

·        Wireless charging pad

·        Rear cross-traffic alert

·        Blind-zone monitoring

·        Front and rear parking sensors

2020 Ford Explorer Key Features and Pricing by Trim

XLT: $36,675

·        2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder

·        10-speed automatic transmission

·        Rear-wheel drive

·        Electric parking brake

·        Auto brake hold

·        Active grille shutters

·        Body-color door handles with black inserts

·        Chrome grille bars with black mesh inserts

·        Power, heated mirrors with LED turn signals and pufle lights

·        Black lower bodyside cladding with a chrome accent

·        Black rear bumper step pad

·        Black roof rails

·        Black wheel-lip moldings

·        Body-color bumpers

·        Body-color rear spoiler

·        Chrome liftgate applique

·        Daytime running lights

·        LED signature lighting

·        LED taillights

·        LED headlights

·        Power liftgate

·        Tinted rear glass

·        18-inch five-spoke Sparkel Silver wheels

·        Variable-intermittent windshield wipers

·        Single-speed rear wiper

·        Black metallic center stack

·        Tri-zone electronic climate control

·        Cruise control

·        Cargo net

·        Four cargo-area tie-downs

·        Black dfoor-sill scuff plates

·        First- and second-row floor mats

·        Illuminated vanity mirrors

·        6.5-inch driver-information center

·        Outside temperature display

·        Five 12-volt power points

·        Rotary shifter

·        Stritch diamond interior applique

·        Unique cloth seating

·        10-way power driver’s seat

·        Four-way power passenger’s seat

·        Entry pad keyless entry

·        Second-row capain’s chairs

·        50/50 split-fold third-row seats

·        Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

·        Leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters

·        Steering-wheel-mounted controls

·        Power windows with one-touch up/down front row

·        4G LTE Wi-Fi

·        Remote start via app

·        Parked-vehicle locator

·        SYNC 3 infotainment system

·        Enhanced voice recognition

·        8-inch touchscreen

·        AppLink

·        Apple CarPlay

·        Android Auto

·        Six-speaker audio system

·        AM/FM/MP3/SiriusXM audio system

·        Two smart-charging USB ports

·        Two second-orow smart-charging USB ports

·        Keyless ignition

·        Ford MyKey

·        Post-crash notification

·        Trailer-sway control

·        Automatic high-beam headlights

·        Blind-spot monitoring

·        Lane-keep assist

·        Automatic emergency braking

·        Rearview camera

·        Hill-start assist

·        Perimeter alarm

Limited: $48,130

·        All XLT features, plus

·        Heavy-duty rear calipers

·        Body-color door handles with bright inserts

·        Dual chrome exhaust tips

·        Bright-silver-painted mesh grille insert with chrome bars

·        Foot-activated power liftgate

·        Liftgate scuff plate

·        Power-folding side-view mirrors with LED turn signals and puddle lights

·        Satin roof rack rails with black end caps

·        20-inch polished aluminum wheels

·        Rain-sensing windshield wipers

·        Ambient interior lighting

·        Door-sill scuff plates with bright inserts

·        Noce Wave instrument panel applique

·        10-way power passenger’s seat

·        Leather seating with perforation and accent stitching

·        Heated and ventilated front seats

·        Driver’s seat memory

·        Heated second-row seats

·        Power-fold second-row seats

·        Power-fold third-row seats

·        Second-row sunshades

·        Power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel

·        Heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters

·        110-volt power outlet

·        12-speaker B&O audio system

·        High-definition radio

·        Universal garage door opener

·        Windshield wiper de-icer

·        Wireless charging pad

·        Navigation

·        DiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link

·        Auto-dimming rearview mirror

·        360-degree camera

·        Adaptive cruise control

·        Lane cerntering

·        Traffic-sign recognition

·        Evasive steering assist

·        Forward parking sensors

Limited Hybrid: $53,370

·        All Limited features, plus

·        3.3-liter hybrid V-6 engine

ST: $54,740

·        All Limited features, plus

·        3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engine

·        Auto stop/start

·        Sport-tuned suspension

·        Black mesh grille insert

·        Black liftgate applique

·        Balck lower bodyside cladding

·        Black roof-rack side rails

·        Black mirror caps

·        Black skid plate elements

·        ST projectors on mirrors

·        Class III trailer tow package

·        Cargo area management system

·        Body-color door handles with black insert

·        Quad-exit chrome exhaust tips

·        “EXPLORER” hood badge

·        Blackout treatment on headlights and taillights

·        20-inch machined aluminum wheels

·        ST floor mats

·        12.3-inch digital gauge cluster

·        Hexacut instrument panel applique

·        Sport captain’s chairs

·        Leather upholstery with Mirco Perforation and City Silver accent stitching

·        ST logos on seatbacks

·        Sport-style heated steering wheel with ST logo

·        Active Park Assist 2.0

·        Reverse brake assist

Platinum: $58,250

·        3.0-liter turbocharged V-6 engine

·        Class III trailer package

·        Cargo-management systemQuad-exit chrome exhaust tips

·        LED taillights

·        Satin-aluminum door handles

·        Satin-aluminum liftgate aplique

·        Satin-aluminum lower bodyside insert

·        Premium silver skid plate elements

·        Twin-panel moonroof

·        Satin-aluminum finish grille

·        20-inch bright machined-face aluminum wheels

·        Premium-finish mirror caps

·        Unique quilted door inserts

·        Floor mats with Brunello stitching and Platinum branding

·        Illuminated door-sill scuff panels

·        Real wood dash appliques

·        12.3-inch digital gauge cluster

·        Leather-wrapped door and front console armrests

·        Leather-wrapped instrument panel and door rollovers

·        Tri-Diamond perforated leather seating with accent stitching

·        Platinum-branded front seat embroidery

·        Adaptive headlights

·        Active Park Assist 2.0

·        Reverse brake assist

Who Should Buy the 2020 Ford Explorer

Buyers who prefer the more manageable drive of a crossover will find a great balance of crossover and SUV in the 2020 Ford Explorer. Also, shoppers seeking a true performance crossover will have that in the 2020 Ford Explorer.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Chevy Tahoe

The 2020 Chevy Tahoe is an excellent option for buyers seeking a roomy SUV that can handle midsize trailer-towing duties. Also, buyers seeking to maximize cargo-hauling abilities will find the Tahoe is the more capable cargo hauler with all its seats folded.

Is the 2020 Chevy Tahoe check all the boxes you need in an SUV? Head down to Garber Chevrolet Midland today to test drive the 2020 Tahoe and see what it offers in person. Can’t make it to our showroom serving the Freeland, Bay City, and Saginaw areas today? Navigate to our online inventory page, find a few in-stock 2020 Tahoe models that fit your needs, and schedule a test drive at your convenience.

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Chevrolet Tahoe Vs. Ford Explorer

It’s not every day when a crossover and SUV go head-to-head, but Ford’s new 2020 Explorer sits in a niche between a crossover and SUV. How does it stand up against a stalwart SUV like the Tahoe? Find out here.

Categories: 2020 models, model comparison