2019 Audi Allroad vs. 2019 Toyota Highlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Allroad 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 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Allroad’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Highlander doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The Allroad has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Highlander doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Allroad. But it costs extra on the Highlander.

Compared to metal, the Allroad’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Highlander has a metal gas tank.

Both the Allroad and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The Allroad comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Highlander’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Allroad’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Highlander’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

The Audi Allroad’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the Highlander’s engines use an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

The Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 63 more horsepower (248 vs. 185) and 89 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 184) than the Highlander’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl. The Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s optional 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Audi Allroad is faster than the Toyota Highlander V6:

 

Allroad

Highlander

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.1 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.6 MPH

92.6 MPH

Transmission

The Allroad offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Highlander doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Allroad’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Highlander doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Allroad’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Highlander:

 

Allroad

Highlander

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.2 inches

The Allroad’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.

The Allroad stops much shorter than the Highlander:

 

Allroad

Highlander

 

70 to 0 MPH

152 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

131 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Allroad’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander’s standard 60 series tires. The Allroad’s tires are lower profile than the Highlander SE/Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The Allroad 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 Allroad has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The Highlander’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The Allroad 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Allroad’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Highlander (110.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

The Allroad Prestige handles at .85 G’s, while the Highlander AWD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Allroad Premium Plus executes Motor Trend’s “Figure-Eight” maneuver 2 seconds quicker than the Highlander LE (26.3 seconds @ .69 average G’s vs. 28.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Allroad’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Highlander’s (38.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

The Audi Allroad may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 850 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander.

The Allroad is 5.5 inches shorter than the Highlander, making the Allroad easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Allroad is 9.3 inches shorter in height than the Highlander, making the Allroad much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

The design of the Audi Allroad amounts to more than styling. The Allroad has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .32 Cd. That is lower than the Highlander (.33 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Allroad get better fuel mileage.

Cargo Capacity

The Allroad has a much larger cargo volume than the Highlander with its rear seat up (24.2 vs. 13.8 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo design makes loading and unloading the Allroad easier. The Allroad’s cargo lift-over height is 26.1 inches, while the Highlander’s liftover is 29.7 inches.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Allroad’s available trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Highlander doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The Allroad uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Highlander 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 engine in the Allroad is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Highlander. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Audi third in service department satisfaction. With a 44% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

The Allroad Prestige has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Highlander doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the Allroad and the Highlander have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Allroad is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Highlander prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Allroad’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Highlander’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the Allroad the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Highlander can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Allroad’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’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Allroad to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Highlander doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Allroad has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Highlander doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the Allroad has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Highlander doesn’t offer cornering lights.

The Allroad offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Allroad has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Highlander.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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