2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 Toyota Highlander

2019 Ford Explorer vs 2019 Toyota Highlander

Are you on the search for a new SUV that blends capability and convenience? In the bustling market of crossover SUVs, many automakers talk a big game but lack the grit to support any promises of strength or capability. Luckily, we’ve picked out two models with the bite to back up all that bark: the 2019 Ford Explorer and the 2019 Toyota Highlander.

To the untrained eye, these two models may appear to be equals, but a quick sift through the specs will tell a different story. Keep reading to see which model comes out on top with this comparison of the 2019 Ford Explorer and 2019 Toyota Highlander.

2019 Ford Explorer


2019 Toyota Highlander

$32,365  Starting MSRP $31,330 
3 Engine Options 1
365 hp / 350 lb.-ft. of torque Max. Engine Power 295 hp / 263 lb.-ft. of torque
21.0 cubic feet Cargo Space 13.8 cubic feet

2019 Ford Explorer and 2019 Toyota Highlander Power, Capability and Reliability Ratings Overview

Don’t let the MSRP gap fool you into thinking the Highlander brings better value. The Explorer’s ridiculously strong engine lineup more than makes up for that $1,000 price difference. Even at the base level, the Explorer’s standard 3.5-liter V6 delivers remarkable strength with 290 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque. The Highlander’s standard 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine falls way behind, offering just 185 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque.

The Explorer lineup offers two more engine options. First up, the available 2.3-liter turbo engine comes through with 280 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque. Topping the Explorer’s engine selection, the available 3.5-liter twin turbocharged V6 maxes the model out to 365 horsepower and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. The Highlander’s only other engine option, the available 3.5-liter V6, maxes the model out with 295 horsepower and 263 lb.-ft. of torque. This makes for a disappointing deficit of 70 horsepower and 55 lb.-ft. of torque.

Both the Explorer and the Highlander offer a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs.; however, the Explorer is the only one to offer this capacity across all trim levels. Sticking with the Highlander’s base trim will score you a simple 1,500-lb. towing capacity.

Over the years, the Explorer has also proven itself as the more dependable option with a J.D. power reliability rating that blows the Highlander out of the water. Out of 5 points, the 2018 Explorer scored a near-perfect rating of 4.5. The 2018 Highlander fell behind noticeably with a rating of 3.5.