2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid vs. 2020 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid only offers a rear monitor.

Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Crosstrek 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and daytime running lights.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid weighs 613 to 878 pounds more than the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

Warranty

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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. Subaru doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Crosstrek Hybrid.

There are almost 2 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Subaru dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander Hybrid’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 25th, 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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 14th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Subaru vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota third in reliability. Subaru is ranked 7th.

Engine

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The Highlander Hybrid’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 95 more horsepower (243 vs. 148) than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Highlander Hybrid has 3.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Crosstrek Hybrid (17.1 vs. 13.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Highlander Hybrid

Crosstrek Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.3 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.3 inches

11.2 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 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

For better traction, the Highlander Hybrid has larger tires than the Crosstrek Hybrid (235/65R18 vs. 225/55R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum has standard 20-inch wheels. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s largest wheels are only 18-inches.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander Hybrid’s wheelbase is 7.3 inches longer than on the Crosstrek Hybrid (112.2 inches vs. 104.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander Hybrid is 4.3 inches wider in the front and 4.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Crosstrek Hybrid.

Passenger Space

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The Highlander Hybrid has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Crosstrek Hybrid can only carry 5.

The Highlander Hybrid has 40.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Crosstrek Hybrid (141.3 vs. 100.7).

The Highlander Hybrid has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front hip room, 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, 2 inches more rear headroom, 4.3 inches more rear legroom, 3 inches more rear hip room and 3.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Crosstrek Hybrid.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Highlander Hybrid

Crosstrek Hybrid

Third Seat Folded

48.4 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

n/a

15.9 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

84.3 cubic feet

43.1 cubic feet

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Highlander Hybrid has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Highlander Hybrid’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s (3500 vs. 1000 pounds).

Ergonomics

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The engine computer on the Highlander Hybrid automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

When two different drivers share the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a memory system.

The Highlander Hybrid’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Crosstrek Hybrid has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.

The Highlander Hybrid’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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s 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 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 Crosstrek Hybrid can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Highlander Hybrid Platinum’s standard wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Highlander Hybrid to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

When the Highlander Hybrid Limited/Platinum 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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Crosstrek Hybrid offer available heated front seats. The Highlander Hybrid Platinum also has standard heated second row seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Crosstrek Hybrid.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The Highlander Hybrid’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Highlander Hybrid and the Crosstrek Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Highlander Hybrid has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid XLE/Limited/Platinum has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Crosstrek Hybrid 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 Subaru Crosstrek by 86% during the 2019 model year.

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