2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs. 2019 Honda Passport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Passport doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

The Highlander Hybrid Platinum has a standard Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Passport only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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 Passport doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Passport have standard driver and passenger frontal 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, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid weighs 588 to 1006 pounds more than the Honda Passport. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Acceptable” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Highlander Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Passport has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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. Honda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Passport.

There are over 18 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Honda dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Highlander Hybrid’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Passport’s camshafts. If the Passport’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

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 Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.

Engine

The Highlander Hybrid’s 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 26 more horsepower (306 vs. 280) than the Passport’s 3.5 SOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

Highlander Hybrid

 

AWD

LE 3.5 V6 Hybrid

30 city/28 hwy

 

 

XLE/Limited/Platinum 3.5 V6 Hybrid

29 city/27 hwy

Passport

 

FWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/25 hwy

 

AWD

3.5 SOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

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

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 Passport doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

Highlander

Passport

Front Rotors

12.9 inches

12.6 inches

The Highlander Hybrid stops shorter than the Passport:

 

Highlander

Passport

 

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

130 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

The Highlander Hybrid’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (46.6% to 53.4%) than the Passport’s (58% to 42%). This gives the Highlander Hybrid more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Passport AWD’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.3 feet). The Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is .8 feet tighter than the Passport’s (38.7 feet vs. 39.5 feet).

Passenger Space

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

The Highlander Hybrid has 29 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Passport (144.9 vs. 115.9).

The Highlander Hybrid has .6 inches more front headroom and 3.3 inches more front legroom than the Passport.

Cargo Capacity

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

 

Highlander Hybrid

Passport

Third Seat Folded

42.3 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

41.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

83.7 cubic feet

77.9 cubic feet

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

Ergonomics

The Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’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 Passport’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The Highlander Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite.

The Highlander Hybrid’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Passport’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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.

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

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