2016 Toyota Highlander vs 2016 Ford Explorer

The 2016 Toyota Highlander and the 2016 Ford Explorers are both rugged, crossover utility vehicles that can carry a good amount of passengers and cargo throughout South Brunswick Township, Plainsboro Township or New Brunswick. While both the Highlander and the Explorer each have their own set of enticing features, you'll need to be completely informed about all they have to offer to determine which one is right for you.

At Dayton Toyota, we want to make sure our customers are educated about our vehicles. We've created this comparison to help you figure out which one can provide the most for you and your family.


The 2016 Toyota Highlander is an outstanding three-row crossover utility vehicle that offers both four and six cylinder engines, as well as Hybrid models. Car buyers also have the option between front and all wheel drive. The base Highlander is equipped with a 2.7-liter inline-4 and yields 185 horsepower, while most models come with a 3.5-liter V-6 that creates 270 horsepower, paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and either front or all-wheel drive. The Highlander Hybrid offers the most power with a 231-horsepower version of the 3.5-liter V-6 and an electric motor in the front and in the back which produces 280 horsepower.

The 2016 Ford Explorer comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 that produces 290 horsepower with a 6-speed automatic transmission; or, you can upgrade to the 2.3-liter turbo four that's rated at 280 horsepower. Put it in Sport shift mode for sharp acceleration and increased handling. The turbo six version produces 365 horsepower and is only offered with all-wheel drive.


Though the 2016 Highlander is considered a crossover, its exterior looks more like a truck and its overall appearance is rugged. It has an attractive grille and a handsome stance with clean lines and smooth edges. Within the cabin, the interior has an open feel and many appealing textures. It even has a large shelf that runs across the dash to keep small items.

The 2016 Explorer is more of a family crossover than previous models but still stays true to its truck-like roots with an authoritative, strong appearance overall.


The 2016 Highlander comes in trim levels base LE, LE Plus, XLE and Limited. The base LE provides premium cloth interior, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, USB port and smartphone connectivity. The top Limited trim comes with 19-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, a blind-spot monitoring system, heated and ventilated front seats, a power front passenger seat and premium audio.

The 2016 Explorer ranges in trim levels from base to Platinum. The base includes power windows, locks and mirrors, cruise control and a rearview camera and is offered with front or all-wheel drive. At the Platinum level, the Explorer comes with standard dual-pane sunroof, lane-keeping assistance, 20 inch wheels and more.


The 2016 Toyota Highlander earns "Good" ratings across the board according to the IIHS, making it a Top Safety Pick+. It also receives an "Advanced" rating for front crash prevention from the IIHS. You can count on the Highlander to keep you and your family safe while driving through South Brunswick Township, Plainsboro Township or New Brunswick.

The 2016 Explorer earns mostly "Good" scores from the IIHS, but only "Marginal" in the small-overlap frontal test.

The 2016 Toyota Highlander seems to beat out the 2016 Ford Explorer in many different areas, specifically the safety category. If you're interested in learning more about the Toyota Highlander or would like to schedule a test drive, please contact us online.


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Dayton Toyota

2291 US Route 130
Directions South Brunswick, NJ 08810

  • Sales: 732-997-1979
  • Service: 732-329-2080
  • Parts: 732-329-3075
  • Body Shop: 732-997-1891


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