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2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Vs. 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

The 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid and 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid are two three-row SUVs that run on a combination of both gas and electric power. As a result, they don’t like each other too much. The proverbial automotive town is, as they say, a bit cramped for the two of them.

The Highlander has dominated this segment for quite some time, and doesn’t take kindly to having its spot at the top infringed upon. Ford has decided to take the risk however, no matter how many warnings they received from well-meaning folks trying to save the automaker a whole lot of time, money, and reputation points.

But Ford didn’t listen; it’s boisterously stepped up to the hybrid three-row plate with its 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid. How will this end? Will there be a new king in economical SUV town? Or will the 2021 Explorer Hybrid meet the same unfortunate fate as so many that came before? Tune in below.

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid


2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

$38,410 Starting MSRP $45,005
Up to 36 miles-per-gallon Fuel Economy (city) 27 miles-per-gallon
Up to 35 miles-per-gallon Fuel Economy (highway) 29 miles-per-gallon
36 miles-per-gallon Fuel Economy (combined) 28 miles-per-gallon
Available All-Wheel Drive Available
Standard Front-Wheel Drive Not Available
Not Available Rear-Wheel Drive Available

New Hybrid Three-Row SUV in Salisbury, MD

While the 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid thought it was being smart by bringing along a heftier horsepower capability and correspondingly higher tow-rating, it forgot one key element: many hybrid drivers don’t care about those figures. What does matter to hybrid drivers, however, is a thrifty fuel economy, and the 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid excels in this regard. Excels, and crushes the 2021 Explorer Hybrid.

This rule holds true for the all-wheel drive models as well. While AWD is available for both vehicles, it has differing impacts on fuel economy; on the 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid, AWD reduces the already struggling fuel ratings by three miles in the city and four on the highway. Conversely, adding AWD to the 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid drops estimates by just one mile-per-gallon across the board.

On a final note, the 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid boasts substantially lower starting price than the 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid. And who doesn’t enjoy a substantially lower starting price?

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