2020 Audi Q5 vs. 2020 Toyota Highlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Q5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Highlander doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the Q5 and Highlander have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Q5 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Highlander’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Q5. But it costs extra on the Highlander.

Both the Q5 and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, post-collision automatic braking systems, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Q5 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Highlander’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q5’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Highlander’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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The Audi Q5’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Highlander’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

Engine

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The Q5 45 TFSI’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 10 lbs.-ft. more torque (273 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6. The Q5 55 TFSI e’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid produces 67 more horsepower (362 vs. 295) and 106 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Q5 45 TFSI 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder is faster than the Toyota Highlander:

Q5

Highlander

Zero to 60 MPH

5.9 sec

7.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94.6 MPH

91.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 55 TFSI e gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander AWD (64 city/66 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Q5 45 TFSI Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander AWD (22 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

The Q5 55 TFSI e can drive on battery power alone for up to 26 miles. The Highlander must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the Q5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Highlander doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Transmission

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The Q5 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Highlander doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The Q5’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 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Q5 55 TFSI e’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Highlander:

Q5 55 TFSI e

Highlander

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

13.3 inches

The Q5’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 are solid, not vented.

The Q5 stops shorter than the Highlander:

Q5

Highlander

60 to 0 MPH

130 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Q5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander (255/45R20 vs. 235/65R18).

The Q5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander L/LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The Q5’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Highlander Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For greater off-road capability the Q5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander (8.2 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Q5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Q5 is 11.3 inches shorter than the Highlander, making the Q5 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

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The Q5 has a much larger cargo volume than the Highlander with its rear seat up (25.1 vs. 16 cubic feet).

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Q5’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Servicing Ease

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The Q5 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Highlander 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 Q5 is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Highlander. 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 Audi service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 17% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

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The Q5’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Highlander doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Q5’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’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q5 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Highlander doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The Q5’s standard rear view mirror and optional side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Highlander offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Q5 Prestige’s Park Steering Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Highlander doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/08/06

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q5 and the Toyota Highlander, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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