2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs. 2019 Audi Q7

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The Highlander Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Q7 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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 Q7 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Q7 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is safer than the Audi Q7:

 

Highlander Hybrid

Q7

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

 

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.7 inches

Neck Injury Risk

32%

44%

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is safer than the Q7:

 

Highlander Hybrid

Q7

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

65

225

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

24 cm

30 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

4%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.52/.36

.57/.7

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is safer than the Audi Q7:

 

Highlander Hybrid

Q7

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

54

187

Chest Movement

.6 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

88 G’s

128 G’s

Hip Force

348 lbs.

350 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

111

337

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

62 G’s

Hip Force

440 lbs.

888 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

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 Q7 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 Q7. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q7 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 Q7.

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 15 points higher than the Q7.

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 Q7 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Highlander Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Q7:

 

 

 

MPG

Highlander Hybrid

 

AWD

LE 3.5 V6 Hybrid

30 city/28 hwy

 

 

XLE/Limited/Platinum 3.5 V6 Hybrid

29 city/27 hwy

Q7

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

19 city/25 hwy

 

 

3.0 supercharged V6

19 city/25 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Highlander Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Q7 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 Q7 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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 Q7 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

The Highlander Hybrid has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Q7; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed. Some models of the Q7 don’t even offer run-flats.

Suspension and Handling

The Highlander Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (46.6% to 53.4%) than the Q7’s (55% to 45%). This gives the Highlander Hybrid more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q7’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

The Highlander Hybrid is 7.1 inches shorter than the Q7, making the Highlander Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Q7 can only carry 7.

The Highlander Hybrid has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more front legroom, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, .5 inches more rear shoulder room and 5.6 inches more third row shoulder room than the Q7.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander Hybrid’s middle and third row seats recline. The Q7’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The Highlander Hybrid’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q7.

 

Highlander Hybrid

Q7

Third Seat Folded

42.3 cubic feet

37.5 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.7 cubic feet

71.6 cubic feet

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Highlander Hybrid easier. The Highlander Hybrid’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 29.7 inches, while the Q7’s liftover is 32.5 inches.

The Highlander Hybrid’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Q7’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

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 Q7 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

Consumer Reports rated the Highlander Hybrid’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Q7’s headlights, which were rated “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 Q7’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

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 Q7 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will be $15297 to $23463 less than for the Audi Q7.

Recommendations

Both are recommended, but 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 Q7 by almost seven to one during 2018.

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

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos