Ford Explorer vs Toyota Highlander

Ford Explorer vs. Toyota Highlander: Features

No matter which trim level you choose, the Ford Explorer offers a more complete ownership experience when compared to the Toyota Highlander. Explorer rewards Three Rivers drivers with a wealth of standard features like:

  • Rear parking sensors
  • A power liftgate
  • LED headlights
  • A SYNC 3 infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration

View Our New Ford Explorer SUVs


The Highlander appears quite austere by comparison. Most premium features are relegated to upper trim levels and options packages, and some aren't available at all. For example, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto systems are conspicuously absent in favor of Toyota's inferior in-house smartphone integration system.

Both Explorer and Highlander offer a suite of advanced safety features and driver aids as standard equipment. However, the Highlander reserves its blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert for a higher trim level.

Vehicle Comparison


Ford Explorer Toyota Highlander
Fuel Economy (city/hwy) 23 / 30 mpg 21 / 27 mpg
Engine standard turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that generates 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque2.5-liter non-turbo four-cylinder engine that puts out a paltry 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque
Max Cargo Space 81.7 cubic feet 83.7 cubic feet
Max Towing 5,000 5,000


 

Ford Explorer vs. Toyota Highlander: Handling

The Explorer and Highlander are both larger SUVS with three rows of seating and expansive cargo capacities. Typically, large families in Coldwater MI and Angola IN were stuck with equally large vehicles that provided enough seating but were burdensome to maneuver. The Ford Explorer, however, boasts impressive handling for its size. It behaves itself in the turns and is fluid on winding roads.

Conversely, the Highlander's large stature bleeds into its steering and handling. It is large, utilitarian, and steady on the straights, but it's simply not as confident in the corners.

Ford Explorer vs. Toyota Highlander: Powertrain

The Ford Explorer finds its motivation in a standard turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder that generates 300 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The base engine of the Highlander is a 2.5-liter non-turbo four-cylinder engine that puts out a paltry 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque.

Highlander does have a second engine option-a 3.5-liter V-6-but at 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, it still falls short of the base Explorer power plant.

Even with a stronger engine, the Explorer still gets better gas mileage. The base 2.3-liter turbocharged engine achieves an EPA-estimated combined fuel economy rating of 23 mpg. Both Highlander engines get just 21 mpg combined (EPA-estimated).

Test Drive the New Ford Explorer in Sturgis MI

Auto Park Ford offers an extensive line up of new and pre-owned Ford cars, trucks, and SUVs. For more information about the Explorer and what it has to offer you and your family, we invite you to visit our Ford showroom near Howe IN where you can take a test drive and experience it for yourself.

If you have any questions about our inventories, financing and incentives, Ford service and maintenance, or genuine OEM Ford parts and accessories, don't hesitate to reach out to us at your convenience. It will be our pleasure to assist you.

 

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Auto Park Ford

1820 S Centerville Road
Directions Sturgis, MI 49091

  • Sales: (269) 651-7728
  • Service: (269) 651-7728
  • Parts: (269) 651-7728
  1. Auto Park Ford

    1820 S Centerville Road
    Sturgis, MI 49091

    • Sales: (269) 651-7728
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