2020 Lexus NX Series vs. 2019 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The NX Series’ 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The NX Series offers an optional Intuitive Parking Assist with Automatic Braking 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.

Both the NX Series and the Highlander Hybrid 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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

NX Series

Highlander Hybrid

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

46%

47%

Neck Stress

509 lbs.

509 lbs.

Neck Compression

24 lbs.

73 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, results indicate that the Lexus NX Series is safer than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid:

NX Series

Highlander Hybrid

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

303 lbs.

440 lbs.

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

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The NX Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-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 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the NX Series 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 NX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Highlander Hybrid’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked second.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Toyota vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Toyota is ranked second.

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

On the EPA test cycle the NX 300h gets better fuel mileage than the Highlander Hybrid (33 city/30 hwy vs. 30 city/28 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

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The NX Series stops shorter than the Highlander Hybrid:

NX Series

Highlander

70 to 0 MPH

183 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

146 feet

Consumer Reports

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The NX Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Highlander Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The NX Series offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Highlander Hybrid’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The NX Series 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.

The NX 300h handles at .80 G’s, while the Highlander Hybrid Limited pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The NX 300 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Highlander Hybrid Limited (27.2 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the NX Series’ turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Highlander Hybrid’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Lexus NX Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 900 pounds less than the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

The NX Series is 9.8 inches shorter than the Highlander Hybrid, making the NX Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the NX Series is 1.2 inches lower than the Highlander Hybrid (18.1” vs. 19.3”). The NX Series’ rear step up height is 1.5 inches lower than the Highlander Hybrid’s (18” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

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Pressing a switch automatically lowers or raises the NX Series’ optional rear 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, the NX Series’ 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.

Servicing Ease

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The NX Series 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 Lexus service is better than Toyota. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 41% lower rating, Toyota is ranked 14th.

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

The NX Series 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 NX Series’ 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 NX Series’ 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 Hybrid does not have an oil pressure gauge.

The NX Series’ power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Highlander Hybrid’s parking brake has to released manually.

The power windows standard on both the NX Series and the Highlander Hybrid have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the NX Series is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Highlander Hybrid prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The NX Series’ 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 NX Series 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. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Highlander Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the NX Series F Sport has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Highlander Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights. The NX Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

When the NX Series with available tilt-down mirrors 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 NX Series 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

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

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

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 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 2019/10/16

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Lexus NX Series and the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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