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Ford Explorer vs. Toyota Highlander

Compare repair costs, reliability, and owner reviews

Ford Explorer

2015 Ford Explorer
$722
Annual Repair Cost
on average

Toyota Highlander

2016 Toyota Highlander
$460
Annual Repair Cost
on average

Overall Reliability Rating

Above Average

The Ford Explorer Reliability Rating is 3.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 21st out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $722 which means it has average ownership costs. The frequency and severity of repairs are both fairly average when compared with all other vehicles.

Excellent

The Toyota Highlander Reliability Rating is 4.5 out of 5.0, which ranks it 8th out of 26 for midsize SUVs. The average annual repair cost is $460 which means it has lower than average ownership costs. The frequency and severity of repairs are both fairly average when compared with all other vehicles.

Reliability Rating Breakdown

Cost
Average annual repairs total
$722
inexpensive
very expensive
$460
inexpensive
very expensive
Frequency
Average annual repair shop visits
0.5
not often
way too often
0.4
not often
way too often
Severity
Percentage of annual repairs that are urgent
12%
minor issues
major issues
11%
minor issues
major issues

Overall Car Ratings & Details

(146 Reviews)
(31 Reviews)
Rating Details
5 star
(9)
4 star
(69)
3 star
(44)
2 star
(15)
1 star
(5)

The Ford Explorer ranks highest in exhaust and ranks lowest in drive train.

Read more detailed reviews here.

“I would buy one again.”

Rating Details
5 star
(12)
4 star
(15)
3 star
(3)
2 star
(1)
1 star
(0)

The Toyota Highlander ranks highest in engine and ranks lowest in body.

Read more detailed reviews here.

“I bought the 2002 Highlander Limited used with 52,000 miles. The best vehicle that I have ever owned. I had the transmission rebuilt at 212,000 and just replaced both knock sensors at 223,500 mil...”

Vehicle Comparison Rundown

The Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer are both midsize, three-row SUVs. Both come with front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. Both of these vehicles are top sellers in their category.

As similar as they may appear, there are some notable differences between them:

  • The Toyota Highlander is available in a hybrid version.
  • The Explorer offers more powerful standard (290 vs. 155 horsepower) and optional (365 vs. 295 horsepower) engines than the Highlander.
  • The Highlander has more total cargo space behind the front row (83.2 cubic feet vs. 80 cubic feet).
  • The Highlander includes adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane keep assist and a pre-collision system as standard equipment.
  • The Highlander has a higher reliability rating and, on average, costs less to maintain each year.

Comparing these two SUVs comes down to what you value most. If you like to have lots of power at your command, then the Ford Explorer will likely satisfy you more. If you prefer lots of space, value a high level of standard safety technology, or would like your SUV to be a hybrid, then the Toyota Highlander is probably the answer.

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