You should buy it
You should buy it
Hybrid availability. Toyota is one of the only brands in this segment to offer a hybrid model so if you’re looking for a three-row family CUV that sips gas, this is an excellent choice.
Better reliability. Consumer Report confirms Toyota’s longstanding excellence for reliability by finding the 2018 Highlander to be considerably more reliable than the Ford Explorer.
More standard safety features. The 2018 Highlander comes with the following standard active safety features: adaptive cruise control, pre-collision alert and braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-departure alert with steering assist. The Ford doesn’t have these as standard. PLUS the Highlander was rated as a Top Safety Pick by the independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; it did not give the Explorer that rating for 2018.
More engine choices. While the Toyota has a base four-cylinder model, a V6 and a hybrid, the Explorer has a base V6 and an optional turbocharged four-cylinder or an optional turbocharged V6. Setting aside the Highlander’s hybrid options, we favored the choices the Explorer offers consumers -- they’re all powerful, easy to drive and refined.
Better handling. Reviewer praised the 2018 Explorer for its handling prowess while they dinged the Highlander for this very thing. This matters when you’re driving the CUV on a daily basis.
Better interior. Not only does the inside of the Explorer have more space, but reviewers also praised the interior’s quality while criticising the cheap plastics and lack of Apple CarPlay and AndroidAuto in the Highlander.
While this may seem like a tough decision on paper, we see it as an easy one. Yes, the Explorer has more interior space -- a crucial consideration for crossover shoppers -- and we liked the Explorer’s engine lineup more. But the Highlander’s safety, reliability and hybrid offering are key advantages too important to overlook. Thus, we say Buy the Highlander.
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