Jones Ford Verde Valley Compares 2014 Ford Flex VS 2014 Toyota Highlander Near Verde Valley, AZ

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2014 Ford Flex

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VS

2014 Toyota Highlander

Safety Comparison

The middle row seatbelts optional on the Flex inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The Highlander doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the Flex and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Flex’s warranty.

Engine Comparison

The Flex has more powerful engines than the Highlander:

Horsepower

Torque

Flex 3.5 DOHC V6

287 HP

254 lbs.-ft.

Flex Limited 3.5 turbo V6

365 HP

350 lbs.-ft.

Highlander LE 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.

185 HP

184 lbs.-ft.

Highlander 3.5 DOHC V6

270 HP

248 lbs.-ft.

Highlander Hybrid Limited 3.5 DOHC V6

280 HP

n/a

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Flex has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Highlander doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Flex’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Highlander are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Flex’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander (255/45R20 vs. 245/60R18).

The Flex’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander Limited’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Flex offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Highlander’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Flex has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Highlander’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Flex has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The Flex’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Highlander doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Flex’s wheelbase is 8.1 inches longer than on the Highlander (117.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Flex is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Flex has 10.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Highlander (155.8 vs. 145).

The Flex has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more rear headroom, 5.9 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more third row headroom and 5.6 inches more third row legroom than the Highlander.

The Flex Limited offers an optional rear tailgate seat that can be flipped rearward and used for tailgate picnics. (Do not use seat reversed while vehicle in motion.) The Highlander doesn’t offer a rear tailgate seat.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Flex’s cargo area provides more volume than the Highlander.

Flex

Highlander

Behind Third Seat

20 cubic feet

13.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

43.2 cubic feet

42.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.2 cubic feet

78.6 cubic feet

The Flex has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Highlander doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Flex’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Flex offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Flex’s exterior keypad. The Highlander doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Flex SE/SEL’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Highlander’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted. The Flex Limited’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield.

The Flex Limited’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Highlander doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® chose the Ford Flex as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.

 The Flex is ranked first in its class and received the 2012 “Total Quality Award.” The Highlander is not ranked.

The Flex was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 6 years. The Highlander has never been an “All Star.”

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