Midsize SUVs like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander should provide you and your passengers with a comfortable and fun ride on top of a versatile drivetrain. So, which one is the right fit for you and your crew?

Zoellner Ford of Beatrice put together this Ford Explorer vs. Toyota Highlander comparison to help drivers in Beatrice, Lincoln, and Ceresco decide.

Ford Explorer vs Toyota Highlander Performance

The Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander each offer all-wheel drive and three dependable engines to help you get through any conditions.

The most powerful option on the Ford is a 3.5L EcoBoost® V6 engine that gets up to 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. This produces more power than the Toyota Highlander is capable of. Its strongest engine is a 3.5L V6 that only gets 295 horsepower and just 263 lb-ft of torque.

Both SUVs can tow up to 5,000 pounds to help you move everything from a boat to a large trailer. However, the Ford helps you keep your trailer stable and in line with standard Trailer Sway Control. The Toyota Highlander unfortunately does not offer this feature.

Ford Explorer vs Toyota Highlander Passenger & Cargo Room

Both the Ford Explorer and Toyota highlander are designed to have room for your whole family or all your friends. Each one has three rows of seats that can fold down to make room for more cargo or give your passengers easy access to the back row.

The Explorer makes things a little easier for you though with available power-assist 2nd-row and PowerFold® 3rd-row seats. You can stow these away or create a path for your passenger by just pressing a button. The Toyota Highlander makes things a little more challenging by forcing you to fold your seats down manually.

Your passengers can also count on a little more space inside the Ford. In the middle row there's 39.5 inches of legroom, while the back row has 33.3 inches of legroom. In the Toyota Highlander, 2nd-row passengers have 38.4 inches of legroom and just 27.7 inches in the third row.

A good SUV should also have space for your cargo. The Ford delivers with a roomy trunk that gives you 21 cubic feet of space. You'll have significantly less room in the Toyota Highlander. Its trunk only has 13.8 cubic feet of space.

Ford Explorer vs Toyota Highlander Infotainment

To keep your passengers entertained and help you find the best route, both the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander feature an 8-inch touchscreen in their dashboard for their infotainment system. Using voice recognition, you'll be able to take incoming calls with Bluetooth® and input destinations in your navigation system.

During your drive, the Explorer helps you stay connected wherever you go with an available built in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot. You'll also have great entertainment options through Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™. The Toyota Highlander does not offer Wi-Fi and isn't compatible with Apple CarPlay™ or Android Auto™.

Test Drive Your Next SUV

Visit Zoellner Ford of Beatrice to test drive the reliable Ford Explorer. It offers drivers in Beatrice, Lincoln, and Ceresco a strong, comfortable, and fun ride. To learn more about this Ford Explorer vs. Toyota Highlander comparison, contact us or visit our dealership.

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Zoellner Ford of Beatrice

4115 N. 6th Street
Directions Beatrice, NE 68310

  • Sales: (402) 223-3547
  • Service: (402) 223-3547
  • Parts: (402) 223-3547


  • Monday 8am-6pm
  • Tuesday 8am-6pm
  • Wednesday 8am-6pm
  • Thursday 8am-6pm
  • Friday 8am-6pm
  • Saturday 8am-3pm
  • Sunday Closed