Vehicle Comparisons:
2018 Toyota Highlander vs 2018 Ford Explorer

When you’re cruising through the streets of Nashville, Gallatin and Madison, do you find yourself needing a bit more interior space? If you don’t want to deal with the bulkiness of a full size SUV, a crossover might be the answer. These versatile vehicles have a lot to offer, but the crowded market makes it hard to find the right one for your needs.

To make things easier, we’ve taken two of the best crossovers available and compiled a handy comparison between them. The 2018 Toyota Highlander has made a trusty name for itself, but so has the 2018 Ford Explorer. Learn about the differences and find out which is best suited for your tastes in our Toyota Highlander vs Ford Explorer comparison.


You need to be sure your crossover can get you where you need to go, so it matters what’s under the hood. You’ll find a 3.5-liter V6 in both of these vehicles, but the Highlander can get more out of it. The Explorer’s base model offers 290 horsepower with 255 lb-ft of torque, but the Highlander features 295 horsepower with 263 lb-ft of torque.

Despite the Highlander’s power advantage, it earns a better fuel economy compared to the Explorer. When you’re behind the wheel of the Highlander, you can enjoy an EPA-estimated 27 mpg highway and 21 mpg city. The Explorer significantly lags behind only offering an EPA-estimated 24 mpg highway and 17 mpg city. The Highlander even has a larger gas tank, so you’re sure to make fewer stops at the pump.


If you’re planning on taking the whole crew with you on a long trip, they might have a better time in the Highlander. The Explorer offers plenty of seating for up to 7 people, but the Highlander features room for 8 with its generous third row reclining seats. You can even get captain’s chairs for the second row. The Explorer’s rear seats simply fold down if you want them to.

One of the reasons you might want to fold down the rear seats is for cargo space. Maximize the space in the Explorer, and you’ll have access to an impressive 81.7 cubic feet of space. The Highlander pushes it even further, however with its 83.2 cubic feet of available space.


Hauling around numerous passengers puts a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. That’s why both of these crossovers have been outfitted with numerous safety and driver assistance features. However, you have opted for some add-ons if you want it all in the Explorer. The Highlander features the Toyota Safety Sense P system standard.

This system includes things like lane departure alert with steering assist that can go so far as to edge you back into your lane should you merge out without signaling. The most impressive, however, is the forward collision warning with pedestrian detection. Not only can this system detect other vehicles but pedestrians as well. The Explorer can’t compete with that.

Toyota Highlander vs Ford Explorer

While our Toyota Highlander vs Ford Explorer comparison was close, the 2018 Toyota Highlander has more to offer. We want all our local Nashville, Gallatin and Madison drivers to see everything the Highlander can do, so don’t hesitate to check it out yourself at Ron Hibbard Toyota. Our friendly team is happy to show off every inch of this impressive vehicle. Visit us or call (615) 230-9000 to schedule your test drive today!


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