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When it comes to selecting your next SUV to navigate the streets of Wilmington, New Castle, and Newark, DE, both the Ford Explorer and the Toyota Highlander likely come to mind as reliable options. How do you know which of these formidable contenders will best suit your unique lifestyle?

Our team at Sheridan Ford created this head-to-head comparison of the Toyota Highlander vs. Ford Explorer to help you see how these two models measure up. Reach out to an associate with any questions you may have or to schedule an in-person test drive today!

Ford Explorer vs Toyota Highlander Wilmington DelawareHighlander vs Explorer: Performance Specs, Towing & Capability



Maximum Horsepower (Acceleration)



Maximum lb-ft of Torque (Towing Power)



Investing in a vehicle that tows oversized toys like a small recreational boat or RV can quickly upgrade your weekend getaways and family vacations. The Ford Explorer offers a maximum towing capacity of up to 5,600 pounds when properly equipped, while the Toyota Highlander delivers a more limited 5,000-pound towing capacity when properly equipped.

The available Terrain Management System™ in the 2020 Ford Explorer delivers improved performance across challenging road conditions. It features up to seven Selectable Drive Modes, each easily adjusted using a convenient rotary dial located on the center console, including:

  • Normal, Sport & Eco
  • Trail
  • Deep Snow/Sand
  • Slippery
  • Tow/Haul

In the 2020 Highlander, you will also find a comparable set of seven selectable drive modes. However, the Explorer displays each mode with a unique 3D animated graphic directly onto an optional 12.3-inch digital cluster. The Toyota Highlander, on the other hand, offers a 7-inch color LCD Multi-Information Display (MID), which may be more difficult to read.

ord Explorer vs Toyota Highlander Wilmington DelawareExplorer vs Highlander: Interior & Exterior Dimensions



Maximum Cargo Volume

84.3 cubic feet

87.8 cubic feet

Passenger Volume

141.3 cubic feet

152.7 cubic feet

When it comes to the dimensions of the Ford Explorer vs. Toyota Highlander, the Explorer clearly offers a more spacious interior. The additional cubic feet of cargo room allows drivers to load more belongings on moving days, as well as for extended road trips and daily errands.

On top of that, the over ten cubic feet of extra passenger volume invites everyone from front to back to stretch out.

Toyota Highlander vs Ford Explorer: Interior, Safety & Tech Features

Ford Explorer vs Toyota Highlander Wilmington DelawareBoth the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer offer an array of interior upgrades to elevate every ride, such as the following:

  • Twin-panel moonroof
  • Ambient Lighting
  • Premium audio system

The largest audio system available in the Highlander maxes out at 11 speakers, while the 2020 Ford Explorer offers an immersive 14-speaker system. In terms of seating, the 2020 Highlander offers leather-trimmed seating appointments. However, the Explorer Platinum trim features plush, tri-diamond perforated leather seating surfaces with high-fashion accent stitching.

Safety-wise, the Highlander and the Explorer offer robust driver-assist features to boost your awareness on the road, some of which can intervene when necessary to avoid a collision. For enhanced security, only the Ford Explorer also offers a SecuriCode™ Keyless Entry Keypad. This grants you access to your SUV without a key by simply punching in your personal code.

Another convenient system you will only find in the Explorer is the Active Park Assist 2.0. When you find a parallel parking spot, your Ford Explorer can steer, shift, accelerate, and brake autonomously for your peace of mind.

Final Call: Ford Explorer or Toyota Highlander?

We at Sheridan Ford hope you found this deep dive into the Explorer vs. Highlander illuminating. Ultimately, when it comes to towing capacity, space, and amenities, the Ford Explorer outdoes its competitor.

To see for yourself why we love the 2020 Ford Explorer, schedule your test drive today. Wilmington, New Castle, and Newark, Delaware, area drivers interested in taking the wheel can give us a call to move forward!

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Sheridan Ford 39.728930, -75.648920.