2018 Toyota Highlander comparison

Toyota Highlander for 2018

Well-equipped for the American family, the 2018 Toyota Highlander offers some strong incentives to choose it over the competition. Better V6 horsepower, more features, and three-row spaciousness may be enough reason for many. Others will point to the high reliability and durability ratings for the Highlander and all Toyotas. Handsome interiors can be spiced up with leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof. To add utility, you can open the liftgate window. Modern technology rules the dash. Highlanders come with a touchscreen to coordinate Bluetooth streaming audio options. With the rearview camera, you can always see what’s behind you.

USB ports are distributed throughout the cabin to power your family’s smart devices. Highlanders have a high safety IQ. They earned five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Leading their class, Highlanders have an autobrake with a forward collision warning and a pedestrian watch. This puts Toyota way ahead of the 2022 deadline for these important crash avoidance features. Also on board, you’ll find a lane watch with a lane assist. Driver aids include self-regulating high beams and adaptive cruise control. You can get other safety assistance such as a blind spot monitor and rain-sensing wipers. Three engine choices let drivers choose the right fuel economy and performance. The V6 is especially potent with more horsepower than most rivals, including the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Nissan Pathfinder. You can check out its handling when you take a test drive.

Toyota Highlander vs. Nissan Pathfinder

Pathfinders have stepped up their game, offering more features and a higher tow rating. However, they still lag behind the Highlander in space, serious safety tech, and V6 performance. Intellichoice named Highlander as the Best Value in its Class. Highlander advantages include:

  • Driver Power Seat
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Illuminated vanity mirrors
  • Larger cabin (144 cu.ft. vs. 120 cu.ft.)
  • More horsepower (295 vs. 284)
  • Hybrid option
  • Automatic braking system for pedestrians and traffic

Highlander vs. Honda Pilot

Comparing the two V6 models, you’ll find the Highlander has the stronger engine. It is also lighter weight than the Pilot, which is a bigger vehicle. Furthermore, an eight-speed automatic is a Highlander standard while lower trim Pilots still make do with a six-speed automatic. Also, Highlanders have crash avoidance features as standards while the Pilot reserves them as costly extras. Highlander advantages include:

  • Better V6 Power (295 horsepower/263 lb.-ft. of torque vs. 280 hp/262 lb.-ft.)
  • Second-row reclining seats
  • Ergonomic cockpit
  • Less likely to crowd your garage (Consumer Reports)
  • Toyota Safety Sense (Forward collision warning, pedestrian watch, autobrake, etc.)

Toyota Highlander vs. Dodge Durango

The Durango and Highlander offer comparable V6 engines and similar interiors. Durango’s lower pricing may look like a deal, but it does not include the third row nor does it include safety tech. Durangos have rear-wheel drive which can be less reliable than carlike front-wheel drive. Dodge offers V8 power, but it drops the fuel efficiency to 14 mpg city. Whereas Dodge gets low rankings on JD Power reliability charts, Toyota gets high marks. Kelley Blue Book recently declared it the Best Resale Value Brand. U.S. News and World Report writes that the Highlander is “altogether a better SUV than the Durango.” The Toyota Highlander advantages include:

  • IntelliChoice Best Value in its Class Award
  • Full Crash Avoidance System
  • Standard seating for seven, alternate seating for 8 (vs. 5 standard, 7 alternate)

Toyota Highlander vs. Ford Explorer

The Ford Explorer is another three-row rival of the Highlander. A bigger SUV, it should have more power, but it actually has less. This gives the Highlander a superior weight-to-horsepower ratio. Standard crash avoidance tech saves you money over comparably equipped Explorers. Highlander advantages include:

  • More V6 horsepower (295 vs. 280)
  • More V6 torque (263 vs 255 lb.-ft.)
  • Liftgate window opens for easy access
  • ToyotaCare two years of scheduled maintenance
  • Best Resale Value Brand, Kelley Blue Book

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