2018 Toyota Highlander vs. 2018 Ford Explorer

Any discussion of SUVs has to include the Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer. To be completely fair, the Ford Explorer put the sport utility platform on the map and the Highlander was one of the inaugural members of the crossover SUVs industry segment. For the current model year, an examination of the 2018 Toyota Highlander vs. 2018 Ford Explorer reveals two very closely-matched vehicles, but the Highlander does exhibit a few advantages that put it out in front of the Explorer. Generally speaking, the 2018 Highlander offers better performance and interior space than the current Explorer model. The 2018 Highlander is currently available at the Colonial Toyota showroom. If you'd like to take a closer look, you can schedule a test drive with a Colonial Toyota sales professional today by calling, 203-286-5500.

Crossover SUVs are different from the original iteration in the way they are built. By using a unibody construction platform allows for the vehicle to be easier to drive and more flexible in its role as a daily-driver. The 2018 Highlander has made the most of the advantages offered by crossover SUVs. When compared to the Ford Explorer, the Highlander can offer up to 83.7 cubic-feet of cargo volume with a properly configured interior. The difference with the Explorer might only be 2 cubic-feet, but that can actually account for a lot. Additionally, crossover SUVs aren't always known for being major players in the towing industry. Both the 2018 Toyota Highlander and 2018 Ford Explorer exhibit a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, when properly equipped. Toyota also makes a towing prep package standard on most trims.


2018 Toyota Highlander


2018 Ford Explorer

3.5-L, V-6 Engine 3.5-L, V-6
295/263 Horsepower/Torque 290/255
83.7 cu.-ft. Max. Cargo Volume 81.7
5,000 lbs. Max. Towing 5,000 lbs.


Performance Specs

The 2018 Toyota Highlander offers two powertrains for buyers to choose from. Colonial Toyota customers start out with a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Only front-wheel-drive is available with this powertrain that makes 185 horsepower and 184 pound-feet torque. Drivers can expect to achieve 20 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon on the highway. To get the most capability possible, customers will want to choose a trim of the 2018 Highlander with the 3.5-liter, V-6 engine. Attached to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this version of the Highlander will make 295 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque. This best the comparable engine offered by the 2018 Ford Explorer.



A front to back view of the seating options in the 2018 Highlander.
A back to front view of the seating and cargo options in the 2018 Highlander.
A look at one of the cargo configurations in the 2018 Toyota Highlander.
A rear left quarter photo of the 2018 Toyota Highlander.

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