2020 Dodge Durango vs. 2020 Toyota Highlander

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/07/14

Both the Durango and the Highlander 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, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front and rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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There are almost 2 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Durango’s warranty.

Engine

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The Durango’s optional 5.7 V8 produces 65 more horsepower (360 vs. 295) and 127 lbs.-ft. more torque (390 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Dodge Durango V8 is faster than the Toyota Highlander:

Durango

Highlander

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.4 sec

7.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

11 sec

12.1 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.5 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

15.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.9 MPH

91.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Durango V8’s fuel efficiency. The Highlander doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The Durango has 6.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (24.6 vs. 17.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

© 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 2020/07/14

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Dodge Durango at emission levels ranging from “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) to “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Toyota Highlander is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/07/14

For better stopping power the Durango V8’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Highlander:

Durango V8

Highlander

Front Rotors

13.8 inches

13.3 inches

The Durango V8’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.

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Durango has larger tires than the Highlander (265/60R18 vs. 235/65R18).

The Durango SXT/GT’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 Durango’s optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Highlander Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

The Durango offers an optional full size spare tire so a flat doesn’t interrupt your trip. A full size spare isn’t available on the Highlander; it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling

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The Durango offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Highlander doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The Durango 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 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Durango’s wheelbase is 7.6 inches longer than on the Highlander (119.8 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For greater off-road capability the Durango has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander (8.1 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Durango to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The Durango has .4 inches more rear headroom, 1.7 inches more third row headroom and 5.8 inches more third row legroom than the Highlander.

Cargo Capacity

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

Durango

Highlander

Behind Third Seat

17.2 cubic feet

16 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

85.1 cubic feet

84.3 cubic feet

Payload and Towing

© 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 2020/07/14

The Durango’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Highlander’s (6200 vs. 5000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Toyota Highlander is only 5000 pounds. The Durango offers up to a 7400 lbs. towing capacity.

The Durango V8 4WD 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 Durango can be unhitched and driven around locally. The Highlander can’t be towed flat on the ground.

The Durango has a higher standard payload capacity than the Highlander (1380 vs. 1330 lbs.).

The Durango has a higher maximum payload capacity than the Highlander (1460 vs. 1330 lbs.).

Servicing Ease

© 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 2020/07/14

The Durango 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 Durango 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.

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/07/14

The Durango 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 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Durango GT/R/T/Citadel’s standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 Durango’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 does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The Durango’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Highlander’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The Durango’s optional 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.

Economic Advantages

© 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 2020/07/14

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Durango is less expensive to operate than the Highlander because typical repairs cost much less on the Durango than the Highlander, including $26 less for a starter, $223 less for fuel injection, $48 less for a fuel pump and $838 less for a timing belt/chain.

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