2020 Infiniti QX60 vs. 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The QX60 Luxe’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front, middle and rear seat shoulder belts of the Infiniti QX60 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The QX60 Luxe offers an optional Backup Collision Intervention that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

Compared to metal, the QX60’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 QX60 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, lane departure warning systems and around view monitors.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Infiniti QX60 is safer than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid:

QX60

Highlander Hybrid

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

42%

47%

Neck Stress

464 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

25 lbs.

73 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

248

291

Neck Stress

137 lbs.

219 lbs.

Neck Compression

44 lbs.

55 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Infiniti QX60 is safer than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid:

QX60

Highlander Hybrid

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

101

111

Spine Acceleration

41 G’s

41 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

338

372

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

43 G’s

Hip Force

661 lbs.

829 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The QX60 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 QX60 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 QX60’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Highlander Hybrid’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Fuel Economy and Range

The QX60 has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander Hybrid (19.5 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

The QX60’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.

The QX60 stops much shorter than the Highlander Hybrid:

QX60

Highlander

70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

143 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the QX60 Luxe offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Highlander Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The QX60 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 QX60’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the Highlander Hybrid (114.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the QX60 is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander Hybrid.

The QX60 AWD handles at .76 G’s, while the Highlander Hybrid Limited pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Chassis

The Infiniti QX60 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 450 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

The design of the Infiniti QX60 amounts to more than styling. The QX60 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Highlander Hybrid (.33 to .34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the QX60 get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The QX60 has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Highlander Hybrid (149 vs. 144.9).

The QX60 has 1 inch more front shoulder room, 3.3 inches more rear legroom, 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room, .6 inches more third row headroom, 4.1 inches more third row legroom and 2.1 inches more third row shoulder room than the Highlander Hybrid.

The front step up height for the QX60 is 1.1 inches lower than the Highlander Hybrid (18.2” vs. 19.3”). The QX60’s rear step up height is .8 inches lower than the Highlander Hybrid’s (18.7” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The QX60’s cargo area provides more volume than the Highlander Hybrid.

QX60

Highlander Hybrid

Behind Third Seat

16 cubic feet

13.8 cubic feet

The QX60 has a standard third row seat which folds 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 raises the QX60’s optional third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just kicking your foot under the back bumper can open the QX60 Luxe’s available liftgate, 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.

Towing

The QX60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Highlander Hybrid’s (5000 vs. 3500 pounds).

Servicing Ease

The QX60 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.

Ergonomics

The QX60 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 QX60 Luxe’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 Hybrid doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The QX60’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Highlander Hybrid’s standard rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

If the windows are left open on the QX60 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 QX60’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 QX60’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 QX60 Luxe 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 QX60 Luxe offers optional 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.

Model Availability

The QX60 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

Economic Advantages

The QX60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the QX60 will retain 54.7% to 54.76% of its original price after five years, while the Highlander Hybrid only retains 51.94% to 53.43%.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Infiniti QX60 and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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