2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs. 2019 Audi Allroad

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Highlander Hybrid’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Allroad doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid weighs 1000 to 1140 pounds more than the Audi Allroad. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Highlander Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 100 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Allroad was a “Top Pick” for 2017, but no longer qualifies under the tighter 2018 guidelines.

Warranty

Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Highlander Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Allroad. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Allroad ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Allroad.

There are over 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Highlander Hybrid’s reliability 21 points higher than the Allroad.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 25th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Audi is ranked 7th.

Engine

The Highlander Hybrid’s 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 58 more horsepower (306 vs. 248) than the Allroad’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the Highlander Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Allroad doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Allroad requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Highlander Hybrid has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Allroad (17.2 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Toyota Highlander Hybrid as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Audi Allroad is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission

The Highlander Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Allroad doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum has standard 19-inch wheels. The Allroad’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander Hybrid is 2.3 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Allroad.

For greater off-road capability the Highlander Hybrid has a 1.5 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Allroad (8 vs. 6.5 inches), allowing the Highlander Hybrid to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

The Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Allroad can only carry 5.

The Highlander Hybrid has 52.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Allroad (144.9 vs. 92).

The Highlander Hybrid has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front legroom, 3.4 inches more front shoulder room, 2.5 inches more rear headroom, 2.7 inches more rear legroom and 4.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Allroad.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander Hybrid’s middle and third row seats recline. The Allroad’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Highlander

Allroad

Third Seat Folded

42.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

24.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.7 cubic feet

58.5 cubic feet

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Highlander Hybrid has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Allroad only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Highlander Hybrid’s headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Allroad’s headlights are rated “Marginal.”

The Highlander Hybrid XLE/Limited/Platinum has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Allroad doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Highlander Hybrid owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the Highlander Hybrid will cost $525 to $1900 less than the Allroad over a five-year period.

The Highlander Hybrid will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Highlander Hybrid will retain 51.94% to 53.43% of its original price after five years, while the Allroad only retains 50.32% to 50.79%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will be $9640 to $11585 less than for the Audi Allroad.

Recommendations

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

The Toyota Highlander outsold the Audi A4/S4 by over seven to one during 2018.

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

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