2019 BMW X7 vs. 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X7’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the middle seat shoulder belts of the BMW X7 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.

The X7 has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Highlander Hybrid 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.

Both the X7 and the Highlander Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, all wheel drive, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.

The BMW X7 weighs 405 to 792 pounds more than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

The X7 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 X7’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Highlander Hybrid’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X7 for 1 year and 11000 miles longer than Toyota pays for maintenance for the Highlander Hybrid (3/36,000 vs. 2/25000).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The X7 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 29 more horsepower (335 vs. 306) than the Highlander Hybrid’s 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid. The X7 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 150 more horsepower (456 vs. 306) than the Highlander Hybrid’s 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

The X7 has 4.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid (21.9 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The X7’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 Hybrid doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X7’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Highlander Hybrid:

X7 xDrive40i

X7 xDrive50i

X7 M Sport

Highlander Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

15.6 inches

12.9 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

14.6 inches

12.2 inches

The X7’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 X7 has larger standard tires than the Highlander Hybrid (285/45R21 vs. 245/55R19). The X7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander Hybrid (F:275/40R22 & R:315/35R22 vs. 245/55R19).

The X7’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE’s standard 60 series tires. The X7’s optional 275/40R22 front and 315/35R22 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X7 has standard 21-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE. The X7’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels on the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X7 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The front and rear suspension of the X7 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 X7 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 X7 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The X7’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 X7 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 X7’s wheelbase is 12.4 inches longer than on the Highlander Hybrid (122.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X7 is 1.9 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander Hybrid.

For greater off-road capability the X7 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander Hybrid (8.7 vs. 8 inches), allowing the X7 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the X7 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.

Passenger Space

The X7 has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more third row headroom and 6.6 inches more third row legroom than the Highlander Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The X7’s cargo area provides more volume than the Highlander Hybrid.

X7

Highlander Hybrid

Third Seat Folded

48.6 cubic feet

42.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

90.4 cubic feet

83.7 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the X7’s second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

The X7’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Highlander Hybrid’s (7500 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The X7 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 engine in the X7 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Highlander Hybrid. 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 BMW service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 30% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

The X7 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.

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum, the X7 offers an optional passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X7’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The X7 offers an optional 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the X7 and the Highlander Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X7 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Highlander Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X7’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 X7’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 X7 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 X7 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.

The X7 has standard heated front and optional heated second and third row seats, which keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a third-row heated seat.

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