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2020 Ford Explorer Platinum vs. Toyota Highlander Platinum


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20190106_122917.jpgThe '12 MDX last January after TX Nat'l Forest road for a Woodcock hunt.

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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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On 8/4/2019 at 11:30 AM, Jazz4Brazo said:

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

 

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 shift lever would not always go into park which required the replacement of the shift lever.  The second recall was for a little rubber bumper on the hatch and a toe link on rear suspension. We did not experience any issues but recalls were executed.

 

The sport version of the explorer is not really an off road trail vehicle but my wife absolutely love the thing in the winter ( South Dakota).  It is the all wheel drive/ 4wheel drive car. The 3.5 liter 365 horse 395 torque is  a lot of motor for the car and it flat moves out. I rarely drive it but when I do it usually gets 20-21mph. My wife gets a bit less because she drives it like she just robbed a bank.

 

Remember the 2020 Ford Explorer will not be the same car as previous versions.  2012-2019 explorers are based on the FORD TAURUS  platform. The 2020 is based on the new FORD RANGER platform thus it is a rear wheel drive vehicle with 4X4. It also has what I understand to be a completely new engine the 3.0 twin turbo not the 3.5 twin turbo. The engine is supposed to be mounted conventionally like a truck instead of crosswise with a trans axle like the Taurus based model. 

I would like my wife to upgrade but I have doubts she is going to part with the one she has now any time soon. Fit, finish and mechanically we could not be happier with the car.

 

Most importantly in the Ford, you must fold down the 3rd and 2nd row of seats (they fold flat)  if you want to get two large  Ruff Tough Kennels in side by side in the back, but it leaves you with a bunch of room between the kennels and the front seat for stuff.

 

There are pretty fanatic Toyota owners here so they must be pretty good. I do not know much about them but they seem like good cars. Two of my neighbors have bought Toyota 4 runners in the last couple of years. I road in them and they seem like very solid cars if a bit plain. Very popular with the dog trial folks in my area.

 

I would not worry about turbos this is not the 1980's, fuel injection and electronic timing have made gas turbos as reliable as diesel turbos. I have a number of good friends that use 3.5 liter f150's as fleet vehicles and run them to 150-200k without issues. You may talk about issues with the ecoboost on the interweb but if you read into it a bit you find out that they were tuning and hot rodding them.

 

Between your two choices, I would drive them both and buy the one I like better or the one with the better dealer.

 

 I do not pay much attention to consumer report type reviews especially the top model initial quality type reviews. Did you know that if you stop into your dealer and have them show you how to connect a cell phone to the vehicles audio system that counts as a return for service to Consumer Reports?

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@jeff88 just replaced a 2014 MDX with a Yukon XL.  The MDX had sh-awd and it performed very well.  Deep snow, slippery hill climbing, really excelled in greasy slushy mud. 

 

@25/06  doesn’t get anymore real world feedback than that, nice write up.  The 2020 3.0 Ecoboost is supposed to have 400hp.  In RWD like you pointed out, it should be a performer!  

 

Wonder If that means there’s a chance for an Sporty version ranger? 

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4 hours ago, 25/06 said:

 

Remember the 2020 Ford Explorer will not be the same car as previous versions.  2012-2019 explorers are based on the FORD TAURUS  platform. The 2020 is based on the new FORD RANGER platform thus it is a rear wheel drive vehicle with 4X4. It also has what I understand to be a completely new engine the 3.0 twin turbo not the 3.5 twin turbo. The engine is supposed to be mounted conventionally like a truck instead of crosswise with a trans axle like the Taurus based model. 

I would like my wife to upgrade but I have doubts she is going to part with the one she has now any time soon. Fit, finish and mechanically we could not be happier with the car.

 

 

I'm glad to hear you've had overall good luck with your explorer sport. I've though about picking one up some day used for a somewhat practical vehicle that has good power.

 

One thing I wanted to point out is that while are correct the new Explorer is now a rear-drive platform, it's really not based on the Ranger. The Ranger is a body-on-frame design with solid rear axle while the Explorer is unibody with independent rear suspension. The Ranger has a conventional transfer case with low-range while the Explorer has only an AWD transfer case with no low range.

 

 With that said apparently, the new Bronco that is coming out is based heavily on the Ranger platform.

 

Another note is the 3.0ecoboost in the Explorer comes in two states of tune: 365hp in all models but the ST, the ST is 400hp. I'm sure all with the 3.0 scoot along real well though.

 

 

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8 hours ago, 25/06 said:

 

 

I would not worry about turbos this is not the 1980's, fuel injection and electronic timing have made gas turbos as reliable as diesel turbos. I have a number of good friends that use 3.5 liter f150's as fleet vehicles and run them to 150-200k without issues. You may talk about issues with the ecoboost on the interweb but if you read into it a bit you find out that they were tuning and hot rodding them.

 

 

Even with hot rodding, they are still tough. I've got a couple of friends pushing them harder than the vast majority of people without internal engine upgrades, and no issues. 

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16 hours ago, CheckCord said:

@jeff88 just replaced a 2014 MDX with a Yukon XL.  The MDX had sh-awd and it performed very well.  Deep snow, slippery hill climbing, really excelled in greasy slushy mud. 

It's been a good ride so far.  When I replace it am going smaller, maybe the RDX with sh-awd or an Audi All-road.  

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10 minutes ago, jeff88 said:

It's been a good ride so far.  When I replace it am going smaller, maybe the RDX with sh-awd or an Audi All-road.  

Wife drives an RDX and we both actually prefer it to the MDX.  It’s quick too.  Hers has the same 3.5 v6 as the MDX de-tuned to 271hp.  New ones get a TT 4 cylinder.  I got one as a loner from the dealership, it was nice but still prefer the v6. 

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salmontogue

We had several Highlanders, both were bland, tinny and wimpy.  They were reliable but horribly boring.  Our next suv will be a Ford or Lincoln.  Turbo is interesting.

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stripersonfly

I am a Highlander owner, and have never had the inclination to own a Ford Explorer.   I am, unfortunately, not a fan of American cars.  They just do not stack up in terms of reliability and durability IMHO to the foreign brands.  I have owned 2 Chevy's, A Cavalier and a Blazer, a Ford Escort and a Pontiac station wagon.  None of them compared in terms reliabity and durability to the Honda Accord, VW and currently the Toyota Highlander that I own.   

 

I can't argue with Salmontongue's comment about them being boring...they are reliable cars, and the drive is comfortable, but it is not a performance vehicle.

 

Personally, I am not a fan of the most current styling and will look at the ForeRunner when I am back on the market.  My highlander only has 150K on it, so that should hopefully not be for a long time. 

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Since the Highlander doesn't have a 3rd row of seats, doesn't seem like that is part of the decision mix.  Then what about Honda's new Passport?  It's a two row seating SUV that has a similar approach to AWD (like the Explorer) with settings for various conditions.  It's basically a shortened Pilot with better AWD running gear.  Honda seems to have bought into the MDX SH-AWD system for this as well - it uses true torque vectoring instead of quasi-torque vectoring employing braking.  My belief is the Acura SH-AWD is the best over the road AWD system out there, adding conditional settings to that seems like a good idea.  AWD will never be as good off-road as 4WD with low range but you might not need that level of performance.  Honda's are as bullet proof as Toyota's for build quality.  

 

BTW, if this is down to the Highlander, I'd also look at the latest Acura RDX - it seems about the same size but nicer than the Toyota.  

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@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. 

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On ‎8‎/‎9‎/‎2019 at 9:20 AM, Curt said:

I like American made products, I'd buy the Ford.

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 swears she will never own another vehicle other than another Highlander.  I have tried to get it stuck several times to no avail and it is almost too good in the snow as in it's tempting to not slow down.  YMMV

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