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SUVs with Captains’ Chairs: Toyota Highlander vs. Ford Explorer

SUVs with captains’ chairs have become increasingly popular among car buyers in recent years. These vehicles offer a more luxurious and comfortable seating arrangement, with individual seats in the second row instead of a traditional bench seat. Two popular options in this category are the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer. Both SUVs offer a range of features and capabilities, but there are some key differences to consider when choosing between them. In this article, we will compare the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer in terms of design, performance, safety, technology, and pricing to help you make an informed decision.

Design

The design of an SUV plays a crucial role in its overall appeal. Both the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer have distinctive designs that cater to different tastes.

The Toyota Highlander features a sleek and modern exterior design. It has a bold front grille, sharp LED headlights, and a sculpted body that gives it a sporty and sophisticated look. The interior of the Highlander is equally impressive, with high-quality materials and a well-designed layout. The captains’ chairs in the second row provide a luxurious and comfortable seating experience for passengers.

On the other hand, the Ford Explorer has a more rugged and muscular design. It has a prominent front grille, muscular wheel arches, and a boxy shape that gives it a more aggressive and adventurous look. The interior of the Explorer is spacious and well-appointed, with comfortable captains’ chairs in the second row.

Performance

When it comes to performance, both the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer offer a range of engine options to suit different needs and preferences.

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The Toyota Highlander comes standard with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower. It delivers smooth and responsive acceleration, making it suitable for daily commuting and highway driving. The Highlander also offers a hybrid powertrain option, which combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for improved fuel efficiency.

The Ford Explorer offers a choice of three engines. The base engine is a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 300 horsepower. It provides ample power for most driving situations. For those seeking more performance, there is an available 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that produces 400 horsepower. The Explorer also offers a hybrid powertrain option, which combines a 3.3-liter V6 engine with an electric motor for enhanced fuel efficiency.

Safety

Safety is a top priority for SUV buyers, and both the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer come equipped with a range of advanced safety features.

The Toyota Highlander comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+, which includes features such as pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. It also offers available features like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a surround-view camera system for added safety.

The Ford Explorer comes standard with Ford Co-Pilot360, which includes features such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams. It also offers available features like adaptive cruise control, evasive steering assist, and a 360-degree camera system for enhanced safety.

Technology

Both the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer offer a range of advanced technology features to enhance the driving experience.

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The Toyota Highlander comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also offers available features like a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a premium JBL sound system, and a rear-seat entertainment system with a 10.2-inch display.

The Ford Explorer comes standard with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It also offers available features like a 10.1-inch vertical touchscreen, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a premium Bang & Olufsen sound system.

Pricing

Pricing is an important factor to consider when comparing SUVs, and both the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer offer competitive pricing options.

The Toyota Highlander has a starting price of around $34,810 for the base LE trim. The price increases as you move up to higher trims and add optional features. The top-of-the-line Platinum trim starts at around $48,915.

The Ford Explorer has a starting price of around $32,675 for the base XLT trim. The price increases with higher trims and optional features. The top-of-the-line Platinum trim starts at around $54,480.

Summary

In conclusion, both the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer are excellent SUVs with captains’ chairs. The Toyota Highlander offers a sleek design, smooth performance, advanced safety features, and a range of technology options. The Ford Explorer, on the other hand, has a rugged design, powerful performance, advanced safety features, and a range of technology options. Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your personal preferences and priorities. We recommend test driving both vehicles and considering factors such as design, performance, safety, technology, and pricing before making a decision.

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