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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Edge have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
Both the Edge and the Highlander Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all-wheel drive and front parking sensors.
There are over 2 times as many Ford dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Edge’s warranty.
The Edge has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.
The Edge’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 2 more horsepower (245 vs. 243) and 275 lbs.-ft. more torque (275 vs. ) than the Highlander Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid. The Edge ST’s standard 2.7 turbo V6 produces 92 more horsepower (335 vs. 243) and 380 lbs.-ft. more torque (380 vs. ) than the Highlander Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.
The Edge FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid (18.4 vs. 17.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Edge AWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid (18.5 vs. 17.1 gallons).
The Edge 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better stopping power the Edge ST’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Highlander Hybrid:
The Edge ST’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 Hybrid are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the Edge has larger standard tires than the Highlander Hybrid (245/60R18 vs. 235/65R18). The Edge ST’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander Hybrid (265/40R21 vs. 235/65R18).
The Edge SE/SEL’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Edge ST’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Edge ST offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Highlander Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.
The Edge 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The Edge’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 Hybrid doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For greater off-road capability the Edge ST has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander Hybrid (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Edge to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Ford Edge may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 50 to 350 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
The Edge is 6.1 inches shorter than the Highlander Hybrid, making the Edge easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The Edge ST uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Edge has .6 inches more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .9 inches more rear headroom, .5 inches more rear hip room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Highlander Hybrid.
The Edge has a much larger cargo volume than the Highlander Hybrid with its rear seat up (39.2 vs. 16 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Edge SEL/Titanium/ST’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Edge ST can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Edge can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Highlander Hybrid can’t be towed flat on the ground.
The Edge uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Highlander Hybrid uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.
The Edge 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Edge Titanium/ST’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Edge SEL/Titanium/ST’s exterior PIN entry system. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.
The Edge’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Highlander Hybrid’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
The Edge SEL/Titanium/ST’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Edge Titanium/ST’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 Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Ford Edge, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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