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Both the Envision and Highlander have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Envision 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.
Both the Envision and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
The Envision 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.
Buick’s powertrain warranty covers the Envision 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Highlander. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Highlander ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Envision’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Highlander’s (6 vs. 5 years).
There are over 60 percent more Buick dealers than there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Envision’s warranty.
The Envision Premium’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 32 lbs.-ft. more torque (295 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6.
A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Buick Envision Premium, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Highlander.
The Envision stops shorter than the Highlander:
60 to 0 MPH
The Envision’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 Envision Premium’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Highlander Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.
The Envision has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Highlander doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Envision’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Highlander doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For better maneuverability, the Envision’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Highlander’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
The Buick Envision may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 350 to 400 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander.
The Envision is 11.2 inches shorter than the Highlander, making the Envision easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The front grille of the Envision uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Highlander doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Envision uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Highlander doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Envision has a much larger cargo volume than the Highlander with its rear seat up (26.9 vs. 16 cubic feet).
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Envision’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Envision can be flat towed on all four wheels (dinghy towed), allowing recreational vehicle owners to bring it with them on the road. When they reach their destination, the Envision can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Highlander can’t be towed flat on the ground.
The Envision 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.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Buick service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Buick 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 17% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.
The Envision has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Envision Essence/Premium’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back 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 Envision’s standard rear and 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 Envision Premium’s optional Automatic Park 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.
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