2020 Land Rover Discovery 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 2020/08/12

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Land Rover Discovery have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Toyota Highlander doesn’t offer pretensioners for the middle seat belts.

Both the Discovery and Highlander have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Discovery has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Highlander’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the Discovery. But it costs extra on the Highlander.

Both the Discovery and the Highlander have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available around view monitors.

Warranty

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The Discovery comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Highlander’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Discovery’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Highlander’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Engine

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The Discovery’s 3.0 supercharged V6 produces 45 more horsepower (340 vs. 295) and 69 lbs.-ft. more torque (332 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

The Discovery’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 180 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 263) than the Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Motor Trend the Land Rover Discovery 3.0 Supercharged is faster than the Toyota Highlander:

Discovery

Highlander

Zero to 30 MPH

2.2 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.1 sec

7.2 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

10.2 sec

12.1 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.1 sec

3.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.7 sec

15.6 sec

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Discovery Diesel’s standard fuel tank has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (22.4 vs. 17.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Discovery Gas’ standard fuel tank has 5.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Highlander (23.8 vs. 17.9 gallons).

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 2020/08/12

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

Discovery Td6

Discovery P340

Highlander

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.3 inches

13.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

13.8 inches

13.3 inches

The Discovery’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 Discovery’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Highlander (285/40R22 vs. 235/65R18).

The Discovery’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Discovery has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Highlander L/LE/XLE. The Discovery’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels on the Highlander Limited/Platinum.

The Discovery 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 Discovery 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 Discovery’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Highlander (115 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Discovery is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than the track on the Highlander.

For greater off-road capability the Discovery has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Highlander (8.7 vs. 8 inches), allowing the Discovery to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Discovery Air Suspension’s minimum ground clearance is 3.1 inches higher than on the Highlander (11.1 vs. 8 inches).

Chassis

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The front grille of the Discovery uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Highlander doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Discovery has .6 inches more front hip room, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.8 inches more third row headroom and 5.8 inches more third row legroom than the Highlander.

Flexibility is maximized at the game, campground or a drive-in theatre in the Discovery when its optional tailgating rear seats are deployed, allowing people to sit facing out of the liftgate. (Do not use while vehicle is in motion.) The Highlander doesn’t offer tailgating seats.

Cargo Capacity

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

Discovery

Highlander

Second Seat Folded

88.3 cubic feet

84.3 cubic feet

The Discovery has a standard third row seat which folds flat into the floor. This completely clears a very large cargo area quickly. The Highlander doesn’t offer seats that fold into the floor.

Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the Discovery’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between cargo and passengers easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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The Discovery’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Highlander’s (8201 vs. 5000 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The Discovery 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 Discovery 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

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Highlander Limited/Platinum, the Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position (with optional power wheel adjuster) and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The Discovery HSE/HSE Luxury’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 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The Discovery’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Highlander’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Discovery to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Highlander doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

Consumer Reports rated the Discovery’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Highlander’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Discovery offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Highlander doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Discovery’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 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The Discovery offers optional heated front, second and third row seats, which keep the driver and passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Toyota doesn’t offer heated seats in the third row of the Highlander.

Optional air conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Discovery’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Highlander doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

The Discovery HSE Luxury offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Highlander.

The Discovery’s 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 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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