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2020 Ford Explorer Platinum vs. Toyota Highlander Platinum


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My wife is looking seriously at the new 2020 Highlander when it comes out this fall. We usually buy new and hold the vehicle until it dies so I push for the all in Platinum as you only live once LOL.

 

In the end it will be her choice though as it ages I may be able to abscond with it for the odd hunting trip...looking for some towing capability (small trailer/future boat, etc.).

 

Hoping John weighs in here and what the collective UJ has to offer.

 

As for me I am holding out for a full size pick up and the F150 is the front runner there but that's a few more years out.

 

Thanks for any opinions and note the on line reviews favor the Highlander over the Explorer though neither have been released yet so a bit of a paper exercise.

 

J4B

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My wife has an 2014 explorer sport. This is the first year offered with the 3.5liter twin turbo motors. It has had two recalls and no shop visits other than service and tires. The first recall was the

@Jazz4Brazo I don't know if you use kennels for your dogs but I recommend bringing them to the dealership and checking the fit during the test drive. 

Well 85% American made anyway. (might be top of the list actually)    My wife's Highlander is a 2012 with ~160,000, does not use a drop of oil, gets 24mpg + on the highway, carries 7 and she

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I’ve been in both newer, but not 2020 models.  I’d normally lean Toyota and  I read a review that said the highlander is an under the radar luxury vehicle, I believe that assessment is correct.  

 

But... 

That being said; the 3.0L ecoboost in the explorer is awesome.  The Toyota will feel sluggish in comparison.  

 

The numbers are stout for the eco boost and you might even feel like you bought a sports car and not a sport utility vehicle.  

 

Tough choice, but if the ford delivers on the creature comforts and technology once you actually get to demo one, I think the ford will win by a landslide with that powertrain. 

 

Let us know your impressions!!

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jazz4Brazo said:

We usually buy new and hold the vehicle until it dies 

 

With this in mind, how often is the death of a turbo the death of a vehicle?  Not by destroying the engine, but by needing replacement with the cost involved crossing the line.  Are they generally trouble free for 10/12/15 years (or 100, 150k, 200k miles)?

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Great question and how much does it cost to replace a turbo?...have no idea here.

 

The 3.0L eco is something I definitely want to test drive!!

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Ouch!!

 

Wait a second that's Canadian dollars...the stuff that comes in pretty colours 😄

 

Still pricey nonetheless...

 

J4B

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I just got rid of my 2015 Explorer. It was literally falling apart after only 4.5 years. It was not an ecoboost motor. For quality and fit and finish I would buy the toyota between those 2. I bought a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe with a 2.0 turbo. I like it way more than I thought I would. I didnt want the 3rd row seats anymore. The value and technology was no comparison between it and the explorer. Im very happy with it

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Ford is just recently putting ecoboost engines in vehicles other than trucks and vans.  2020 will be the first year for eco explorers.  Lincoln has had them in some suvs for a little while.  Ecoboost has been our for a decade now, which is a long enough to observe, they are reliable.   

 

If longevity if #1 goal.  Toyota should be the choice.  They are well known for lasting forever.  

 

I owned an 07 4Runner V8 for 100,000miles.  All I ever had to do was change oil and put gas in it.  1 set of tires. That’s not a ton of miles but when I sold it private party, the guy buying it had it checked out at a mechanics shop, that was the only time it had ever been on a lift!  

3 mechanics tried to offer more on the spot than the guy was paying, they only knew bc the buyer was younger and insecure and asked a mechanic if it was worth X .  He was lucky I agreed to still honor our deal.  He didn’t talk much after that. 

 

Anyway, long story to say Toyota’s hold value. 

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Wife had explorers for work- we could have bought one cheap. Instead we bought a highlander and paid more.  Explorer too many problems.  If you plan to buy and hold for a long time Id go Highlander all the way.  Plus Im pissed at Ford over the recent transmission scandal.  Screw Ford even sold the stock prior to the recent drop. 

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Thanks everyone..seems like every company has their issues as Toyota dealt with the rust frame issues on Tundras and Tacomas. BTW despite replacing the frame on my Tacoma and taking advantage of replacing a few other items while that was done I am still dealing with legacy rust issues beyond the frame replacement.

 

J4B

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I have seen a few new Explorers in my area the last month, nice looking suv. My parents have had 2 and my sister has had one never no issues with either. The new one with the 3.0 should really move out. I had that motor in my Lincoln MKZ, it ran great.  I have had 3 different turbo motors and no trouble with any of them but I only kept them till 40,000. They should be getting on the lots in the next month around the country.  I would not want one with the little 4 cylinder turbo motor.  

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14 hours ago, CheckCord said:

Ford is just recently putting ecoboost engines in vehicles other than trucks and vans.  2020 will be the first year for eco explorers.  Lincoln has had them in some suvs for a little while.  Ecoboost has been our for a decade now, which is a long enough to observe, they are reliable.   

 

 

Ecoboost engines have been offered in Explorers since 2012, with the 3.5 ecoboost first being offered in 2013.

 

 

 To the OP, It will just be a matter of personal preference on which vehicle is "better".

In terms of reliability I believe overall Ford is quite good, but as a rule Toyota is the best. 

 

 

 

 

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We are doing a slow search for my wifes next vehicle.  Currently in an Odyssey.  Right now the Pilot makes the most sense.  Roomy, nice interior finishes and very reasonable price particularly certified used.  The Highlander, which I thought she'd love, was nixed based on interior finishes feeling cheap particularly on the door panel.  I can't disagree with her on that.  Toyota is making some strange choices on materials. 

 

She'd love a Benz ML or GL but reliability reports on those are terrifying.  Used prices are great on them but I suppose the reason is the reliability issues. 

 

Sequoia and Tahoe are strong front runners given road trip comfort.  I don't trust Chevy but I'd consider one.  I don't believe Explorers age well so those are out. 

 

4 Runner would be cool but Toyota really lags on options/tech and then there's the weird materials choices.  Tough to look past the Pilot with its modern dash/switch gear/controls. 

 

Last note is I recently rented a car that had Apple car play.  Now THAT is a nice feature (assuming you have an iphone) and I'd want that in any newer car. 

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1 hour ago, Flush said:

Ecoboost engines have been offered in Explorers since 2012, with the 3.5 ecoboost first being offered in 2013.

 

They are pushing the advertising like its a new thing, I had no idea you could get one with it already.  

Ive been in a 19 and it just had a regular v6, and you could tell. 

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At 1st I was not in favor of Ford's Eco-boost engines, thought a turbo/gasoline combination in a truck/suv was not a good idea since it takes higher revs for equal grunt.  (A turbo-diesel, no problem for me.)  But today, with oil that lasts a lot longer especially synthetic or synthetic blends coupled with engines sealed tighter than a drum, the Eco-boost makes a lot more sense to me.  Also I like the Ford "dial" settings for road conditions, it dates back to their land rover days.  I believe Ford learned a lot about awd from rover, rover learned a lot about electrical systems form Ford.  

 

When I bought my '12 MDX in January '15 it was my 2nd choice.  1st choice was a '13 or '14 Explorer AWD Titanium.  The two SUVs before the Acura were Fords, a '95 Explorer then an '04 Expedition, both 4wd with low range, both Eddy Bauer's.  Both were also bullet proof and had survived two tracks with a lot of snow, strip mine roads in PA and a lot of bad weather highway driving.  The reason I did not go back to Ford:  Try finding one in the greater HOU area that was not 2wd.  I spent months looking for CPO AWD + 3.5L Eco-boost versions and gave up.  I really like the MDX a lot and it's been a very solid ride but the AWD dial-in tranny on the Ford made me want to go in that direction.

 

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