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The Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander are two of the most trusted names in midsize SUVs. The Explorer is Ford’s best-selling SUV, and the Highlander is Toyota’s second-best-selling SUV (after the RAV4). Just a few advantages they both offer are standard three-row seating, optional hybrid powertrains, and modern safety and infotainment tech features.

However, there’s one area where the Toyota Highlander has a significant advantage over the Ford Explorer.

Toyota Highlander resale value beats Ford Explorer resale value

J.D. Power is an authority on resale value for cars, trucks, and SUVs. According to J.D. Power, the Ford Explorer gets a resale score of 82 on a 100-point scale. That’s pretty good, but the Toyota Highlander beats it with an 89-point score.

Both of those scores are “Great,” according to J.D. Power, but that seven-point difference can add up to a lot of savings for the owners of Highlander models.

Digging deeper, car resale site iSeeCars says the Toyota Highlander holds 61.9% of its value after five years. The Ford Explorer only holds 53.8% of its value in the same period. For reference, the segment average is 57.2%. That means, according to iSeeCars, Highlander resale value is above average, and Explorer resale value is below average.

Why does resale value matter?

Resale value is important for new car shoppers who plan on trading in their cars every few years. If a vehicle has good resale value, it holds more of its value as time goes on. Almost all cars depreciate as they age, but a car that holds its value well can save its owners a bundle when it’s time to trade in.

Good resale value also brings advantages if you plan on selling your car privately. It will get you a better price for your vehicle on the private market as well as at a dealership.

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The 2023 Ford SUV With the Best Resale Value Isn’t the Explorer

The Toyota SUV with the best resale value

There’s one Toyota SUV that beats even the Highlander when it comes to resale value. The legendary Toyota 4Runner holds its value even better. Just how well it holds its value depends on who you ask, but according to all sources, it has the best resale value of any Toyota SUV. K

BB says it holds 64.4% of its value over five years, and iSeeCars says that number is 75.3%. J.D. Power gives it a near-perfect resale score of 90 out of 100.

The 4Runner runs on an old platform with an old, inefficient engine, and it doesn’t have the car-like comfort of the Highlander or the Explorer. However, it has proven long-term reliability, and it’s a rugged off-roader when equipped with four-wheel drive.

All three of these SUVs are impressive in their own ways, and resale value is worth considering if you’re in the market for a new midsize SUV.