A white 2021 Ford Explorer is shown parked outside of a remote cabin.

Which is the Better Large Family Vehicle? The 2021 Ford Explorer or the 2021 Hyundai Palisade?

When you’re in the market for a new family vehicle, you’re typically going to gravitate towards a minivan or a larger SUV. However, if that’s the only starting point you have, you might end up feeling a tad bit overwhelmed. After all, there are dozens upon dozens of both SUVs and minivans, and many of them are absolutely perfect for larger families. However, two of the most popular SUVs, the Ford Explorer and the Hyundai Palisade, are often boasting that they are the best vehicles for families. The only question is, in a head-to-head lineup of the 2021 Ford Explorer vs 2021 Hyundai Palisade, which one comes out on top?

But before we can get to whether the Explorer or the Palisade come out on top, we must first take a look at what exactly makes a good family vehicle in the first place. Specifically, what do large families look for in a vehicle? What is the mark of a good large family car? Once we have the answers to these questions, choosing between the Explorer and the Palisade becomes easy.

What is the Mark of a Good Large Family Car?

People from large families look for specific qualities in a car when they are shopping around. Many large families live in cities and need a car that can handle heavy traffic and tight parking lots. Others may live out in the country but still require a vehicle with a lot of space inside to haul things, like hand tools, sporting equipment, and more. For them, the mark of a good large family car is one that provides maximum roominess.

It’s also important for this type of vehicle to be safe and reliable, no matter what the road conditions are like. Large family cars will usually come standard with plenty of airbags, driver-assist systems, and strong steel frames for protection in serious accidents. Parents also often look for a car that is easy to handle and not too hard on gas.

Finding the right large family car is essential for parents who want to provide their children with a safe ride while also sticking to their budgets. While many families might think the solution to their car-buying woes lies in the form of a sensible minivan, other families prefer to stay away from the “soccer parent minivan” stereotype and opt for a less boxy option.

For those large family car shoppers who want an attractive design, room to move around, and seating for up to seven people, full-size SUVs are one of the best choices on the market. The modern SUV is a far cry from its jeep-like ancestors – these days, it’s not uncommon for a top-of-the-range SUV to include satellite navigation, automatic multi-zone climate control, and large touchscreens for premium infotainment systems.

A man is shown putting bags into the rear cargo area of a grey 2021 Hyundai Palisade.

Picking the Right Large Family Car

Fortunately, there are several options available to parents who are looking for a large family car at an affordable price. A good starting point is to create a list of the top two or three vehicles that you are interested in.

Once a list of potential options has been created, it should be broken down into lists of pros and cons for each vehicle. This means that each car will have its own advantages and disadvantages. Parents can then look at these lists to decide which large family car is best suited to their needs. The most important questions they should ask themselves are:

What size is the family? Does the potential vehicle fit said family? What engine does the car have? Will it provide the family with the power needed to get up to speed in an appropriate amount of time or even perhaps encounter hazardous weather and road conditions?

How much cargo space do we need? How close together are all of the seats in the vehicle? Are there any features that the kids really want, such as a WiFi hotspot or movie player? These are all questions to ask yourself when looking for the perfect family vehicle.

Lucky for you, we’ve made the comparison part easy for you and are going to compare the 2021 Ford Explorer and the 2021 Hyundai Palisade. These are two of the most popular three-row SUVs on the market today. Let’s take a look at what each of these vehicles has to offer the everyday large family.

A green 2021 Ford Explorer Timberline is shown driving on a trail through the woods.

Is the Ford Explorer or the Hyundai Palisade the Better Family Vehicle?

When it comes to large SUVs, the Ford Explorer and Hyundai Palisade are two of the most popular vehicles on the market. Both vehicles offer plenty of roominess with three rows of seating, well-designed interiors, and good fuel economy. However, each car also has its own unique features that could make one better suited to your family’s unique needs.

As far as seating goes, the 2021 Ford Explorer is going to provide the entire family with seven very comfortable seats. Nobody is going to feel too crowded or like they are too close to one another. All seven passengers will be happy for the entirety of your road trip. On the other hand, if you have more than seven people in your family, you might prefer to go with the 2021 Hyundai Palisade since it can seat up to eight. However, if you don’t really need that eighth seat, it’s best to stick with the seven-seater Explorer, as each seat will have a few more inches worth of space.

When it comes to fuel economy, the Explorer and the Palisade are very close but not quite the same. The standard 2021 Ford Explorer will get you up to 21 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway, whereas the 2021 Hyundai Palisade will only get 19 MPG in the city and 26 MPG on the highway. If you really want to save money on gas, check out the available Explorer Hybrid, which gets an astounding 27 MPG in the city. Now that’s a lot of savings!

What about interior features? How do these two vehicles compare in terms of features and technologies that are important to the kids? For one, the Ford Explorer is going to get your kids their very own mobile WiFi hotspot that will follow them anywhere they go. When your car is a hotspot, you never have to worry about not being able to finish your homework or keep in touch with your friends ever again. While the Palisade doesn’t have readily accessible WiFi, it will come with Alexa and Google Assistant capabilities, so you can still remain a little connected, even if it isn’t quite the same thing.

What Vehicle Will End Up in Your Family’s Driveway?

At the end of the day, only one of these vehicles will fit in your driveway. It’s up to you to decide which vehicle that will be. If you want a vehicle that saves on fuel, that keeps your passengers as comfortable as possible, and that will enable everybody to stay connected no matter where they are, then go with the 2021 Ford Explorer. Choosing the right family vehicle requires a lot of thought, but sometimes the decision between two models is actually pretty simple.