The Ford Explorer has been the SUV to beat for nearly a quarter of a century, thanks to Ford’s consistent focus on turning out the best Explorer possible year after year. The competition in this segment is fierce, as many strong competitors like the Toyota Highlander aim to take the Explorer’s crown.
That’s not happening anytime soon, however, as the 2018 models of both vehicles illustrate. While the Highlander is a worthy competitor, it just can’t beat the value and driving experience offered to Indiana car buyers by the 2018 Ford Explorer. By nearly all measures, the Explorer leads the Highlander.
The Explorer gives consumers several engine options to choose from, including the standard V6 engine that delivers plenty of daily commuting power. A turbo four-cylinder will help drivers squeeze a little more gas mileage from the Explorer, while a twin-turbo V6 provides an unforgettable driving experience.
Toyota has a reputation for boring engines that the Highlander lives up to. The standard engine is a 2.7-liter four-cylinder that often struggles to get up to speed, and even a V6 engine available on upper trim levels of the Highlander is sluggish compared to the Explorer. The maximum horsepower offered by the Highlander is 295 hp, while the Explorer’s best engine offers 365 hp.
The Explorer offers more cargo space, an important feature for families with pets and kids to haul around. The Highlander offers 13.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind its third row, while the Explorer offers 21 cubic feet of cargo space. With seats folded down, the Explorer and Highlander offer about an equal amount of space to haul furniture and other gear.
The Explorer also offers more passenger space. The Explorer offers 151.5 cubic feet of passenger volume compared to 144.9 cubic feet offered by the new Highlander.
The Explorer also has a generous assortment of standard features, including a SYNC infotainment system, a 4.2-inch display, voice commands, one USB port, a rearview camera, and Ford’s MyKey system. MyKey allows owners to set limits for teen drivers.
The new Explorer edges the Highlander in safety tests. The Explorer got a “Good” rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and scored a perfect five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Highlander also got a five-star overall rating but underperformed the Explorer in some individual categories.
The Explorer starts at around $31,900 and its top-tier models cost around $54,000. The Highlander starts at $30,630 for a base model, and you can get a fully loaded Highlander for around $45,000. While the Explorer costs more, consumers get much more when they purchase an Explorer. The additional space, extra engine options, and great features make the Explorer well worth a few dollars more.
Community Ford is the Indianapolis Ford dealer of choice for consumers looking for excellent bargains on quality Ford vehicles like the Ford Explorer. Visit today and speak with knowledgeable and friendly sales staff about the latest Explorer model.