2019 Audi e-tron vs. 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the e-tron and Highlander Hybrid have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The e-tron has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Highlander Hybrid’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

An active infrared night vision system optional on the e-tron helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a night vision system.

Both the e-tron and the Highlander Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and available four-wheel drive.

Warranty

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

The e-tron’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Highlander Hybrid’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Engine

The e-tron’s standard electric motor produces 96 more horsepower (402 vs. 306) than the Highlander Hybrid’s 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the e-tron gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander Hybrid (74 city/73 hwy MPGe vs. 29 city/27 hwy). The e-tron gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander Hybrid LE(74 city/73 hwy MPGe vs. 30 city/28 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the e-tron’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Highlander Hybrid:

 

e-tron

Highlander

Front Rotors

14.8 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13.8 inches

12.2 inches

The e-tron’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.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the e-tron has larger standard tires than the Highlander Hybrid (255/50R20 vs. 245/55R19). The e-tron Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander Hybrid (265/45R21 vs. 245/55R19).

The e-tron’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE’s standard 60 series tires. The e-tron Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the e-tron has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE. The e-tron Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the e-tron uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the Highlander Hybrid, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The e-tron 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 or off-road. The Highlander Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The e-tron has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The e-tron’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The e-tron 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.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the e-tron’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the Highlander Hybrid (115.3 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

Chassis

The design of the Audi e-tron amounts to more than styling. The e-tron has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .3 Cd. That is lower than the Highlander Hybrid (.33 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the e-tron get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the e-tron uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the e-tron’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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

Towing

Maximum trailer towing in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is limited to 3500 pounds. The e-tron offers up to a 4000 lbs. towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum, the e-tron Prestige has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The e-tron’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

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

The e-tron’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 Hybrid’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The e-tron’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.

When the e-tron is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Highlander Hybrid’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The e-tron has standard 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 Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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

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