When you’re shopping for family-friendly comfort and sporty performance, it makes sense to consider both the 2020 Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander. In the end, though, you can only choose one. Which three-row crossover should go home with you? Our comparison guide can help you decide.
Rugged Performance: 2020 Ford Explorer
The newly redesigned Explorer delivers best-in-class performance. This year, it combines its car-based crossover chassis with sporty rear-wheel drive, a combination you won’t find anywhere else. This new setup helps the Explorer deliver increasingly athletic handling and improved towing performance. For extra safety on slick roads or sandy trails, drivers can also add optional all-wheel drive. The Explorer also offers three outstanding powertrains, the most powerful of which is a 400-horsepower turbo V6.
The 2020 Toyota Highlander is a three-row crossover that comes standard with front-wheel drive. It’s not quite as powerful as the Explorer, and it only offers one engine, a 295-horsepower V6. The Highlander is capable in its own right, providing a smooth ride and towing capabilities, but it’s no match for the sporty Explorer.
Towing Capabilities: 2020 Ford Explorer
To get your especially large boat to the beach, you need the Explorer. Properly equipped, these Ford crossover SUVs can tow up to 5,600 pounds. Though it trails behind the Explorer, the Toyota Highlander is still pretty capable. Depending on configuration and equipment, the Highlander can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Quiet Comfort: It’s a Tie!
The 2020 Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander both put comfort high on the agenda. These crossovers give you and your crew plenty of space for a comfy ride. But they also maintain a quiet atmosphere, so even when you’re cruising down the highway you can expect wind and road noise to remain outside where it belongs. And both of these three-row crossovers offer all the optional luxury features you could want, from leather upholstery to heated-and-ventilated front seats. The Highlander offers seating for up to eight, while the Explorer has a maximum of seven seats.
Best Tech Lineup: 2020 Ford Explorer
Infotainment is an integral part of any modern drive, and the Explorer has the edge with its user-friendly system and its standard Wi-Fi connectivity. Every Explorer trim model comes standard with the necessities: a Wi-Fi hotspot, an 8-inch touchscreen, and Android Auto/Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity. And the 2020 Explorer also comes standard with the Ford Co-Pilot360 suite of safety aids, including lane departure mitigation and pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking.
For 2020, the Highlander finally adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its lineup. This technology is also standard equipment, along with an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. However, if you want high-tech driver aids on your Highlander, like blind-spot monitoring, you must pay extra.
The Toyota Highlander has a lot to offer, but the new Ford Explorer has features you won’t find anywhere else. We think you’ll agree that it’s the best candidate for both daily driving and outdoor adventure. To test-drive the newly redesigned 2020 Ford Explorer, visit us at Jones Ford in North Charleston.