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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Infiniti QX50 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The Toyota Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
Both the QX50 and the Highlander Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.
The QX50 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Highlander Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 24,000 miles sooner.
Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the QX50 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Toyota covers the Highlander Hybrid. 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 Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The QX50’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Highlander Hybrid’s (7 vs. 5 years).
The QX50’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder produces 25 more horsepower (268 vs. 243) than the Highlander Hybrid’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.
The QX50’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 Hybrid are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the QX50 Sensory/Autograph’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander Hybrid (255/45R20 vs. 235/65R18).
The QX50’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The QX50 Sensory/Autograph’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 QX50 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Highlander Hybrid LE/XLE.
The QX50 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.
Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the QX50 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The QX50 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 better maneuverability, the QX50’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Highlander Hybrid’s (36.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet).
For greater off-road capability the QX50 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander Hybrid (8.6 vs. 8 inches), allowing the QX50 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.
The Infiniti QX50 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.
The QX50 is 10.2 inches shorter than the Highlander Hybrid, making the QX50 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The QX50 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 QX50 has a much larger cargo volume than the Highlander Hybrid with its rear seat up (31.4 vs. 16 cubic feet).
The QX50 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Highlander Hybrid 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 Infiniti service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in service department satisfaction. With a 38% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.
The QX50 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 QX50 (except Pure/Luxe)’s optional 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 Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The QX50 (except Pure/Luxe/Essential) offers an available heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The QX50’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.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Infiniti QX50, based on reliability, safety and performance.
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