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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Toyota Highlander are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Land Rover Discovery Sport doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
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 are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
The Highlander 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Highlander 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 Discovery Sport 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 Limited/Platinum has standard Automated Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Highlander (except L/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 Discovery Sport 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.
Both the Highlander and the Discovery Sport have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Highlander the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Discovery Sport has not been tested, yet.
Toyota’s powertrain warranty covers the Highlander 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Land Rover covers the Discovery Sport. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the Discovery Sport ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Highlander for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Land Rover only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Discovery Sport.
There are almost 7 times as many Toyota dealers as there are Land Rover dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Highlander’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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 32nd, 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 Land Rover vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 113 more problems per 100 vehicles, Land Rover is ranked 30th.
The Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 49 more horsepower (295 vs. 246) than the Discovery Sport’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The Highlander’s 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 9 more horsepower (295 vs. 286) than the Discovery Sport P290’s standard 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder hybrid.
On the EPA test cycle the Highlander AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Discovery Sport turbo 4 cyl. (20 city/27 hwy vs. 19 city/24 hwy).
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Toyota Highlander uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Discovery Sport requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Highlander’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the Discovery Sport (112.2 inches vs. 107.9 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Highlander is 1.1 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Discovery Sport.
For better maneuverability, the Highlander’s turning circle is .9 feet tighter than the Discovery Sport’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.3 feet).
The Highlander is 5.5 inches narrower than the Discovery Sport, making the Highlander easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.
The Highlander has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Discovery Sport can only carry up to 7.
The Highlander has 1.7 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 2.8 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.7 inches more third row headroom, 2.1 inches more third row legroom and 7.9 inches more third row shoulder room than the Discovery Sport.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Highlander’s middle and third row seats recline. The Discovery Sport’s third row seats don’t recline.
The Highlander’s cargo area provides more volume than the Discovery Sport.
Behind Third Seat
16 cubic feet
4.1 cubic feet
Third Seat Folded
48.4 cubic feet
23.2 cubic feet
Second Seat Folded
84.3 cubic feet
55.6 cubic feet
A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Highlander. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.
To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Highlander Limited/Platinum’s liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
The Highlander’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Discovery Sport’s (5000 vs. 4409 pounds).
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Highlander has standard extendable sun visors. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer extendable visors.
Manual rear side window sunshades are available in the Highlander to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.
The Highlander 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 Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.
The Highlander is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Discovery Sport doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.
The Toyota Highlander outsold the Land Rover Discovery Sport by over 19 to one during 2019.
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