Full-size SUVs like the 2022 Toyota Highlander and the 2022 Ford Explorer give you plenty of interior space so you have room to carry the people you care about and cargo space to haul your gear. This Toyota Highlander vs. Ford Explorer comparison shows that these two vehicles also come with interior comfort and performance features combined with visually appealing exteriors.
The Toyota Highlander and Ford Explorer are both known as reliable performers, and routine maintenance can enhance reliability. Choosing an SUV with a factory-scheduled maintenance plan, like the ToyotaCare coverage that comes standard with the 2022 Toyota Highlander, can help keep your vehicle in peak running condition without costing you extra for routine repairs for the first two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. The Ford Explorer doesn’t come with a comparable complimentary maintenance plan.
In addition to stylish lines and your choice of several stunning exterior colors, the Toyota Highlander offers some other exterior features such as available LED fog lights which can help keep you safe on the road while adding to the visual appeal of your ride.
Let’s dive into this 2022 Toyota Highlander vs. 2022 Ford Explorer comparison to see which of these vehicles can help save you money while offering more of the features you want.
The Toyota Highlander L FWD and LE FWD both have an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. The EPA-estimated fuel economy rating for the Ford Explorer comes in a bit lower at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Plus, with the Toyota Highlander, you have the option to get the LE Hybrid FWD trim that has an EPA-estimated up to 36 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined or the XLE Hybrid FWD that has the same EPA-estimated fuel economy rating as the LE Hybrid FWD. You can also get the Ford Explorer in a gas-saving hybrid trim for 2022.
The Toyota Highlander comes with the ToyotaCare factory-scheduled maintenance plan. ToyotaCare covers normal factory scheduled maintenance service for two years or 25,000 miles, whichever comes first. The extended service plans available for the Ford Explorer provide varying levels of coverage based on the plan you choose to purchase. However, the plans aren’t included standard with the Ford Explorer, so you have to spend more for the coverage that’s included with the Toyota Highlander.
You get 24-hour Roadside Assistance for two years and unlimited mileage with the 2022 Toyota Highlander. With the 2022 Ford Explorer, Ford Roadside Assistance gives you five years or 60,000 miles of coverage. You can also get an extended service plan for an additional cost with the Ford Explorer. So, while the Roadside Assistance from Ford gives you coverage for more years, the mileage is limited. You get unlimited mileage from the Toyota Roadside Assistance plan that’s included with your Toyota Highlander.
In addition to a vehicle’s features like the Toyota Highlander’s Toyota Safety Sense™ 2.5+ (TSS 2.5+) suite of active safety features, the awards it wins can give you a glimpse of its reliability. The Toyota Highlander has a 5-star overall NHTSA rating, 4-star NHTSA frontal crash rating, 5-star NHTSA side impact crash rating, a 4-star NHTSA rollover crash rating, and a Top Safety Pick+ award for 2022. The Ford Co-Pilot 360® suite of active safety features helped the Ford Explorer earn Top Safety Pick+ awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Having plenty of seating is one reason full-size SUVs are so useful. With the Toyota Highlander, you get seating for up to eight in trims like the Hybrid LE, compared to seating for seven in the Ford Explorer.
Most 2022 Toyota Highlander grades come standard with an 8-in. touchscreen, but not all. Platinum grade Toyota Highlanders come standard with a 12.3-in. touchscreen while Ford Explorers come with an 8.0-in. touchscreen, or you can upgrade to a higher trim and get an optional 10.1-in. Touchscreen that’s vertically oriented.
The Toyota Highlander has available heated, ventilated front seats to help keep you warm or cool you off on demand. With the Ford Explorer, the front seats have a massage feature to help drivers stay comfortable in addition to heated and ventilated first row seats plus heated second row seats starting with the XLT trim.
For ambient light and an amazing view of the sky, a panoramic moonroof comes standard in the Toyota Highlander Platinum and the regular moonroof is standard on the XLE, XSE, Bronze Edition, and Limited grades. To get a moonroof in the 2022 Ford Explorer, you would need to upgrade to the Platinum trim, which has a higher starting MSRP, and then pay extra to get the optional moonroof.
With the Toyota Highlander, you can get an optional cargo area cover to help keep the items you’re hauling secure and hidden from view. You can’t get a cargo area cover with the Ford Explorer, but like the Toyota Highlander, it also has cargo hooks to help secure some things.
Heated outside power mirrors with a turn signal and manual folding features come standard on the base trim Toyota Highlander L. You can get power and heated side view mirrors with the Ford Explorer, but you would have to upgrade to the XLT trim or higher.
LED projector headlights with the Adaptive Front-Lighting System (AFS), auto leveling, and LED-strip Daytime Running Lights (DRL) are available in the Toyota Highlander when you choose the Platinum trim. While the Ford Explorer comes with automatic LED headlamps on all trims, no mention is made of a feature that’s comparable to Toyota’s Adaptive Front-Lighting System(AFS).
LED fog lights come standard with the Toyota Highlander LE with its starting MSRP of $35,855. To get LED fog lights with the Ford Explorer, you would need to upgrade to the ST-Line trim, which has a starting MSRP of $45,245.
Both competitors in this 2022 Ford Explorer vs. 2022 Toyota Highlander comparison pull up to the line with an abundance of excellent safety features and interior features. However, you get more of the features that help make driving enjoyable without spending more when you choose the 2022 Toyota Highlander.