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For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Chrysler Pacifica are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer height-adjustable middle seat belts.
Both the Pacifica and the Highlander Hybrid 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.
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 available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Pacifica the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 120 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Highlander Hybrid has not been tested, yet.
There are almost 2 times as many Chrysler dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Pacifica’s warranty.
The Pacifica Hybrid’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6 hybrid produces 17 more horsepower (260 vs. 243) than the Highlander Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.
On the EPA test cycle the Pacifica Hybrid on full charge gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander Hybrid FWD CVT (87 city/76 hwy vs. 36 city/35 hwy).
The Pacifica Hybrid can drive on battery power alone for up to 32 miles. The Highlander Hybrid must run its internal combustion engine to move.
The Pacifica’s standard fuel tank has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid (19 vs. 17.1 gallons).
The Pacifica has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
For better traction, the Pacifica’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander Hybrid (245/50R20 vs. 235/65R18).
The Pacifica’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.
The Pacifica has vehicle speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
The Pacifica’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 Hybrid doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Pacifica’s wheelbase is 9.4 inches longer than on the Highlander Hybrid (121.6 inches vs. 112.2 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Pacifica is 3 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Highlander Hybrid.
The Pacifica uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.
The Pacifica has 23.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Highlander Hybrid (165.1 vs. 141.3).
The Pacifica has 1.8 inches more front hip room, 4.8 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 7.8 inches more rear hip room, 4.3 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row headroom, 8.8 inches more third row legroom, 3.9 inches more third row hip room and 6.2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Highlander Hybrid.
The Pacifica’s cargo area provides more volume than the Highlander Hybrid.
Behind Third Seat
32.3 cubic feet
16 cubic feet
Third Seat Folded
87.5 cubic feet
48.4 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
140.5 cubic feet
84.3 cubic feet
The Pacifica has standard Stow ‘n Go™ second and third row seats (except Hybrid for the second row), which fold flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Pacifica’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
The Pacifica’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Highlander Hybrid’s (3600 vs. 3500 pounds).
The Pacifica offers a 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Pacifica Limited non-Hybrid’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 Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The Pacifica’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The Highlander Hybrid does not have an oil pressure gauge.
The Pacifica’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 Hybrid offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
The Pacifica (except Hybrid Touring)’s optional ParkSense 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Pacifica was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 3 of the last 4 years. The Highlander Hybrid has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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