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2016 Toyota Highlander vs 2016 Ford Explorer

Drivers in search of a new, family-friendly vehicle have probably narrowed it down to either a versatile SUV or a spacious minivan. Our team here at Cox Toyota is going to help by providing drivers with a detailed comparison between two popular SUVs available on the market: the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer. We’re going to focus only on the base models, but keep in mind there are higher models and trims available for additional features and performance capabilities.

The 2016 Toyota Highlander LE has three trim levels to choose from including two engine options. We chose the 3.5-liter V-6 trim, which is most comparable to the 2016 Ford Explorer Base because it’s also equipped with the same size engine. Both are set with a 6-speed automatic transmission, which makes for a smooth driving experience. The Highlander is more fuel efficient than the Explorer, but the Explorer comes out on top with slightly more horsepower. Both vehicles come standard with cruise control, outside temperature gauges, keyless entry and plenty of other convenience features.

2016 Toyota Highlander vs 2016 Ford Explorer_o

2016 Toyota Highlander 2WD LE VS 2016 Ford Explorer Base FWD
3.5-liter V-6 Engine 3.5-liter V-6
19 city/25 hwy MPG 17 city/24 hwy
8 Seating Capacity 7
Standard Backup Camera Not available

*A LIFETIME ENGINE WARRANTY comes with every new vehicle sold at Cox Toyota and most used vehicles.

*Take the $1000 TEST DRIVE at Cox Toyota and you could win $1000. No purchase necessary.


Test drive the 2016 Toyota Highlander in Burlington, NC

One of the most important aspects of a family vehicle is the amount of space available for both passengers and cargo. The 2016 Toyota Highlander LE offers seating for eight passengers, whereas the 2016 Ford Explorer can fit seven passengers. For the Highlander, this means less cargo space than in the Explorer. Overall, the Ford Explorer has slightly more interior volume, but the passengers in the Highlander definitely won’t notice the different. Front seat passengers in the Toyota Highlander will have 44.2 inches of legroom, and passengers in the Ford Explorer will have 40.6 inches.

Safety is another critical factor that determines how family-friendly a vehicle is. These two SUVs are packed full of safety features including standard anti-theft protection, automatic headlights, brake assist systems, electronic traction control and child safety door locks. The 2016 Highlander LE comes out on top with standard active head restraints and third row manual headrests, which are not available in the Explorer Base. There are also plenty of convenience features standard in the Highlander that are not available in the Explorer. These include a running board, heated exterior mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, a backup camera and a remote fuel filler door release.

Those interested in learning more about what the 2016 Toyota Highlander has to offer are encouraged to contact our team here at Cox Toyota for more information. Drivers can get behind the wheel of this SUV by scheduling a test drive online today.

2016 Toyota Highlander family SUV_o
2016 Toyota Highlander liftgate_o
2016 Toyota Highlander seating options_o
2016 Toyota Highlander front grille_o