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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 Q5 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 Q5 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
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 Q5 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
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 Q5 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Q5 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights and around view monitors.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Highlander Hybrid 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Audi covers the Q5. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Q5 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
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. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Q5.
There are over 4 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Audi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 8th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Audi vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Audi is ranked 14th.
On the EPA test cycle the Highlander Hybrid AWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Q5 45 TFSI SMG with its standard engine (35 city/35 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the Highlander Hybrid LE AWD CVT gets better fuel mileage than the Q5 45 TFSI Auto (35 city/
35 hwy vs. 22 city/28 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Q5 requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The Highlander Hybrid has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the Q5 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (17.1 vs. 15.3 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The Highlander Hybrid has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Q5 doesn’t offer a CVT.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander Hybrid’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Q5
(112.2 inches vs. 111 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander Hybrid is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.1 inches wider in the rear than on the Q5.
For better maneuverability, the Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the Q5’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.4 feet). The Highlander Hybrid’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Q5 55 TFSI e’s (37.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).
The front grille of the Highlander Hybrid uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Q5 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Q5 can only carry 5.
The Highlander Hybrid has 1 inch more front legroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .1 inches more rear headroom, 3.2 inches more rear legroom and 2.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Q5.
The Highlander Hybrid’s cargo area provides more volume than the Q5.
Third Seat Folded
48.4 cubic feet
Third Seat Removed
25.1 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
84.3 cubic feet
53.1 cubic feet
To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Highlander Hybrid has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Q5 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Highlander Hybrid Platinum has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Q5 doesn’t offer cornering lights.
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 Q5 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Highlander Hybrid is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Q5 doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
The Toyota Highlander outsold the Audi Q5 by almost four to one during the 2019 model year.
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