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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 Outlander PHEV 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 Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
The Highlander Hybrid Platinum has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Outlander PHEV 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid weighs 647 to 787 pounds more than the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. 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 Outlander PHEV has not been fully tested, yet.
The Highlander Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander PHEV’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 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. Mitsubishi doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Outlander PHEV.
There are over 3 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.
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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 17th in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.
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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 46 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.
The Highlander Hybrid’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 109 more horsepower (306 vs. 197) than the Outlander PHEV’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.
On the EPA test cycle the Highlander Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV running its gasoline engine (29 city/27 hwy vs. 25 city/26 hwy). The Highlander Hybrid LE gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander PHEV running its gasoline engine (30 city/28 hwy vs. 25 city/26 hwy).
The Highlander Hybrid has 5.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Outlander PHEV (17.2 vs. 11.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the Highlander Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Outlander PHEV:
For better traction, the Highlander Hybrid has larger tires than the Outlander PHEV (245/55R19 vs. 225/55R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum has standard 19-inch wheels. The Outlander PHEV’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander Hybrid’s wheelbase is 4.7 inches longer than on the Outlander PHEV (109.8 inches vs. 105.1 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander Hybrid is 3.8 inches wider in the front and 3.6 inches wider in the rear than on the Outlander PHEV.
For greater off-road capability the Highlander Hybrid has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Outlander PHEV (8 vs. 7.3 inches), allowing the Highlander Hybrid to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Outlander PHEV can only carry 5.
The Highlander Hybrid has .1 inches more front headroom, 3.3 inches more front legroom, 4.4 inches more front hip room, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, .5 inches more rear legroom, 4.2 inches more rear hip room and 3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Outlander PHEV.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander Hybrid’s middle and third row seats recline. The Outlander PHEV’s third row seats don’t recline.
The Highlander Hybrid’s cargo area provides more volume than the Outlander PHEV.
Third Seat Folded
42.3 cubic feet
Third Seat Removed
30.4 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
83.7 cubic feet
78 cubic feet
A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Highlander Hybrid. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
The Highlander Hybrid’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the liftgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Outlander PHEV’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.
The Highlander Hybrid’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outlander PHEV’s (3500 vs. 1500 pounds).
When different drivers share the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a memory system.
The Highlander Hybrid’s standard front power windows 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 Outlander PHEV’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically. The Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches.
The Outlander PHEV’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The Highlander Hybrid’s standard doors lock when the transmission is engaged. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)
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 Outlander PHEV only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Highlander Hybrid has standard extendable sun visors. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Outlander PHEV offer available heated front seats. The Highlander Hybrid Platinum also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Outlander PHEV.
Standard air-conditioned seats in the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.
To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is standard on the Highlander Hybrid XLE/Limited/Platinum. The Highlander Hybrid’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Outlander PHEV doesn’t offer a navigation system.
Consumer Reports® chose the Toyota Highlander Hybrid as its “Top Pick,” the highest scoring vehicle in its category, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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