2018 Toyota Highlander vs 2018 Ford Explorer

Split screen images of the 2018 Toyota Highlander and  the 2018 Ford Explorer

Unlike in the past, three-row SUV shoppers now have a variety of options available to them at the dealership that provide plenty of space for family and friends without sacrificing on style and comfort. Today, we're going head-to-head with the 2018 Toyota Highlander and the 2018 Ford Explorer to see which model offers the best mix of space, amenities, and value.

As you can see in some of the specs below, right off the bat the 2018 Toyota Highlander is going to offer more space than the 2018 Explorer with an extra rear seat on base trim levels and about 3 extra cubic feet in the way back for everyone's gear. The 2018 Highlander also offers better fuel economy scores, so drivers could see some fuel cost savings over the 2018 Explorer in addition to the savings in the starting MSRP.

2018 Toyota Highlander


2018 Ford Explorer

$31,030 Starting MSRP $32,140
20/24 Fuel Economy 17/24
8 Base Seating Capacity 7
83.7 cubic feet Base Cargo Space 80.7 cubic feet

Which SUV Offers Better Standard Safety Features?

Considering their size, the 2018 Toyota Highlander and the 2018 Ford Explorer are likely being used as family haulers making safety one of the largest concerns. Drivers looking to get into a new SUV with active safety will find that the 2018 Toyota Highlander offers the popular Toyota Safety Sense active safety bundle as standard on every trim. Find a list of what is included in the Toyota Safety Sense system below. Unfortunately, the 2018 Ford Explorer doesn't offer active safety as standard on its base trim, or any other trim for that matter. SUV shoppers will need to purchase it as an add-on package for additional money which can get quite pricey, especially considering the 2018 Explorer's starting MSRP is already higher than the 2018 Highlanders to begin with.

2018 Toyota Highlander Standard Safety Features

  • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Automatic High Beams

In terms of active safety and value, the 2018 Toyota Highlander wins this one hands down. Come see the 2018 Toyota Highlander in person at the Rochester Toyota dealership in Rochester, MN.