Toyota Highlander vs Ford Explorer


There are dozens of SUVs on the market to select from, but the Toyota Highlander is one of the more popular options. This SUV offers great value for its features, and you can find it with a standard or hybrid engine for improved fuel economy. The Highlander is frequently mentioned in comparison with the Ford Explorer, another quality choice.


When comparing SUVs, it is important to compare models that are comparably equipped. In this case, that would be the 2015 Highlander 2WD LE and the 2015 Explorer Base 2WD. Examining these models, you’ll find that the Toyota Highlander is $1,045 cheaper.


Both the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer have three rows of seats, but while the Explorer only seats seven, the Highlander can seat eight passengers, making it perfect for larger families or carpooling. The seat styles are similar, but the Highlander does have rear headrests in addition to the rear split folding bench seat found in either model.


Comparing the base models of the Highlander and the Explorer shows that despite being less expensive, the Highlander offers many features as standard that either aren’t available or are only optional in the Explorer. These include illuminated vanity mirrors, heated exterior mirrors, a backup camera, Bluetooth for phone, and voice activated controls. It is also worth noting that the Highlander LE offers a trailer hitch and tow package, which isn’t an option on the Explorer base model.

Fuel Economy

Although both the Highlander and Explorer are ultra-low emission vehicles, the Highlander has a distinct advantage in terms of fuel economy. The Highlander gets 22 mpg combined (20 mpg city and 25 mpg highway*) compared to the 20 mpg combined of the Explorer (17 city and 24 highway*).

To continue to compare the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer, visit Miller Toyota in Manassas, Virginia, and take a look at the Highlander in person.

*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.


April 20, 2015
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