2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs. 2019 Tesla Model X

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 2020/08/14

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Highlander Hybrid are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Model X doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Highlander Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Model X doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Highlander Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Model X doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum has standard Automated Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Model X doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the Highlander Hybrid AWD’s standard Downhill Assist Control allows you to creep down safely. The Model X doesn’t offer Downhill Assist Control.

The Highlander Hybrid (except LE/XLE) offers an optional Bird’s Eye View Camera to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Model X only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

To help make backing safer, the Highlander Hybrid’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Model X doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Highlander Hybrid’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Model X doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The Highlander Hybrid has standard Safety Connect™, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Model X doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Model X 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and daytime running lights.

Warranty

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The Highlander Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Model X’s (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Tesla doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Model X.

There are almost 20 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Tesla dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Tesla vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Tesla is ranked 23rd.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Highlander Hybrid’s maximum EPA estimated driving range on a full tank of fuel is 615.6 miles, after which it can be refueled at any gas station in minutes. The Model X’s range is only 295 miles, after which the minimum recharge time is 30 minutes for only a 54% charge at a specially configured quick charge station not available in most areas. A full recharge at a conventional charging station can take up to 82 hours and 53 minutes.

Brakes and Stopping

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In an emergency stopping situation, many drivers don’t press the brakes with enough force to stop the vehicle in the shortest distance. The Highlander Hybrid has a standard brake assist system to detect emergency braking situations (by how hard and how quickly the brake pedal is pressed) and then automatically apply maximum braking immediately in order to help prevent a collision. The Model X doesn’t offer a brake assist feature.

Tires and Wheels

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The Highlander Hybrid has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Model X; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Model X’s (37.4 feet vs.

40.7 feet).

For greater off-road capability the Highlander Hybrid has a 1.8 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the Model X (8 vs. 6.2 inches), allowing the Highlander Hybrid to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The Toyota Highlander Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 950 pounds less than the Tesla Model X.

The Highlander Hybrid is 3.4 inches shorter than the Model X, making the Highlander Hybrid easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The Highlander Hybrid is 5.5 inches narrower than the Model X, making the Highlander Hybrid easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

Passenger Space

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The Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Model X can only carry up to 7.

The Highlander Hybrid has .8 inches more front legroom, 1.6 inches more front hip room, 2.6 inches more rear legroom,

1.9 inches more rear shoulder room, 7.1 inches more third row hip room and 15 inches more third row shoulder room than the Model X.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander Hybrid’s middle and third row seats recline. The Model X’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Highlander Hybrid’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Model X 6-Passenger doesn’t offer folding rear seats.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Model X 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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A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Highlander Hybrid to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes, air filter replacement, tire rotation, radiator flush, brake pad replacement and transmission fluid replacement based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Tesla doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Model X.

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the Highlander Hybrid 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. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Model X can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Highlander Hybrid has a standard rear wiper. The Model X doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

The Highlander Hybrid’s standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Model X doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Highlander Hybrid has standard extendable sun visors. The Model X doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Model X doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Highlander Hybrid has a standard center folding armrest for the middle row passengers. A center armrest helps make middle row passengers more comfortable. The Model X doesn’t offer a middle row seat center armrest.

The Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Model X doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

© 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 2020/08/14

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

Recommendations

© 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 2020/08/14

The Toyota Highlander outsold the Tesla Model X by over 13 to one during the 2019 model year.

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