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Using vehicle speed sensors and seat sensors, smart airbags in the Passport deploy with different levels of force or don’t deploy at all to help better protect passengers of all sizes in different collisions. The Passport’s side airbags will shut off if a child is leaning against the door. The Highlander Hybrid’s airbags don’t have smart features and will always deploy full force.
Compared to metal, the Passport’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a metal gas tank.
Both the Passport and the Highlander Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
The engine in the Passport has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Highlander Hybrid has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.
An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Passport’s fuel efficiency. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.
The Passport has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid (19.5 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Passport 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.
The Passport stops shorter than the Highlander Hybrid:
70 to 0 MPH
Car and Driver
60 to 0 MPH
60 to 0 MPH (Wet)
For better traction, the Passport Touring/Elite’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander Hybrid (265/45R20 vs. 245/55R19).
The Passport Sport/EX-L’s standard 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 LE/XLE’s standard 60 series tires. The Passport Touring/Elite’s tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Passport has standard 20-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE. The Highlander Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.
The Passport 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Passport 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.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Passport’s wheelbase is 1.1 inches longer than on the Highlander Hybrid (110.9 inches vs. 109.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Passport is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 2.6 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Highlander Hybrid.
The Passport Elite AWD handles at .78 G’s, while the Highlander Hybrid Limited pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.
For greater off-road capability the Passport has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander Hybrid (8.1 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Passport to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Honda Passport may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 850 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
The Passport 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 Passport has 1.9 inches more front hip room, 2.7 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.2 inches more rear legroom, .2 inches more rear hip room and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Highlander Hybrid.
Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Passport’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Passport Touring/Elite’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
Maximum trailer towing in the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is limited to 3500 pounds. The Passport AWD offers up to a 5000 lbs. towing capacity.
The Passport 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The Passport Touring/Elite’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.
If the windows are left open on the Passport the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Highlander Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Passport’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Highlander Hybrid’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Passport’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 Hybrid’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.
When the Passport EX-L/Touring/Elite is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Highlander Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.
The Passport Elite has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which 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 Passport is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
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